A Common Goal

by Joe Ergle

It’s easy to lose sight, especially on a bike. Easy to lose sight of your surroundings, of the beautiful scenery we’re passing by, our goals, and our purpose. It’s hard at times to focus on anything but the wheel in front of you.

Today was my first time ever riding as a ‘sweep’ on an FCBA ride, and I learned a lot as a product of having ample time to think and absorb. I was able to enjoy the presence of the riders around me, who have all become my friends over the past week. I was graced with the ability to embrace the scenery as the Rockies beckoned us into Harlowton. I was gifted with time to consider our goals — why we’re here, what we are really trying to accomplish out in the West on our loyal two wheeled stallions. I thought a great deal about our purpose. Not just on paper, but how every mile translates to our humanitarian cause and our conviction to help. Every pedal stroke is a push for change, a strain of muscle and bone for the greater good. Torque on crank arms for our neighbors in need, kilowatts for strangers who on an essential and existential level are our friends and brothers. Blood, at times, spilled for those without homes at all. It’s so very easy to lose sight of this.

Every place I’ve stopped in, I’ve gotten to share our story with at least one person. That is how the seed sprouts, how the sapling takes hold in the soil against all elements working against it, because it knows that what it does is good, and all good will aid in its struggle. We work in small ways but in great quantity and honesty. A mighty forest is but a collection of individual struggling saplings that somehow made it work. The end of unsatisfactory housing starts with a collection of hearts with an idea, a dream, a common goal.

My goal is to finish my FCBA ride (I’m heading back home after Missoula) with intent and conviction vivaciously intertwined with every mile. Joy and personal satisfaction are byproducts of riding with purpose.

It’s astounding how a group of people from all over this crazy planet, each with their own idiosyncrasies, ideas, passions, and ways of communicating, can come together and form a cohesive family of workers on the road. I love every person I’ve met on this trip; you all are a new family that I will remember forever and forever. Thanks to all who have put their hearts into this initiation and especially to those who help keep coals on the fire.

See y’all next year.

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