The Big Ride Across America 2013 is completed now and I want to wrap up this amazing journey with some simple reflections. Fourteen riders and three leaders gathered as strangers in Seattle seven weeks ago not knowing what might be in the cards for us. It turns out we were a very lucky crew weather-wise as we encountered very few days that were rainy, windy, too hot or too cold. Compared with other Big Rides, we lucked out!
This does not mean that riding a bicycle across four time zones, 3334 miles,12 states and the District of Columbia is easy. Some days were a joy and some were pretty grueling but we all worked together as a team for the most part and became a family unit that bonded quickly and stayed strong to the end.
I think that my crazy preparation of 3300 miles from January to June prior to the ride was the right training for an event of this type. The riders that did not do as much were pretty sore and injured early on in the trip. I had very few physical problems. Not to say I wasn’t totally worn out both during and now, after.
Camping was really not as hard as I had anticipated and I preferred the tent to any gym floor and even some dorms at universities. Not having much rain certainly influences that statement!
Charlton and Lynn are amazing in their preparation each day and always were thinking steps ahead of all of us. Their caring is genuine and very respected by me and the other riders. Your friendship will last a lifetime!
Tom Anderson-Monterosso was indespensible in caring for our bikes. We could never cross the country as a group without him. More importantly, he was a great friend to all of us and I know our paths will cross again soon! Thanks Tom!
This trip was all about raising funds and awareness for the American Lung Association and we did that beautifully as a group raising nearly $110,000 . I can never thank all of my supporters enough for their financial contributions and well wishes before and during his adventure. Thank you all for all you have done!
Great seeing so many of my Brothers from Phi Kappa Psi as I crossed the US this past 7weeks. You guys get better all the time and I realize how fortunate we all were to meet and become a fraternity so long ago.
For me , this journey was two years in the making and as a dentist I could never have done this without Willow Run Dental and my colleagues total support of this crazy idea. Drs. Geri Schneider and Scott Beckerman and our entire staff filled in for me, raised money for me and sent me off with their blessings. Thank you team!
The Congregational Church in Cumberland, Maine was also a huge help in this endeavor and all my friends there did so much to make this possible. Your thoughts, prayers, contributions and love were all needed to get me across this big country. Thank you all!
Most importantly, the love of my life, Sara Sloan, provided me with motivation and allowed me to venture out for two months without her to to do this trip. We celebrate 33 years of marriage this week and I return full of thanks for all she does for me. I could never do this without her love! Kelsey and Maggie, my talented, loving daughters,are my inspiration and I dedicate this ride to you two! Thanks for being so amazing!
So here’s to you Big Riders 2013! To Jeff E, Tom P, Olivia, Tim, Kendall, Cara, Nellie, Melanie, John, Luke, Martha, Laura, Jenny, and our fabulous leaders Charlton, Lynn and Tom.And also our part-time riders Brian, Ellen,Carol, Ali and Jim. Ride Safe! Love you all, Jeff
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.