Cycling for Roofs – by Dianne Fuller (Virtual Rider)
As I was raised in the deep south, “family reunion dinners,” “suppers on the lawn,” and “church pot luck” meals were a big part of my life. You never knew quite what you would eat, but you knew it would be tasty. At every one of these events, I would hear at least one person, if not more, exclaim, “Oh no,…. my eyes were bigger than my stomach,” meaning that the person felt full but there was still food on their plate. We have all faced the reality of our ability not matching our ambition.
Today was my “first” Fuller Center Bike Adventure conditioning ride. The “REAL-non Virtual” Fuller Center Bike Adventure Cyclists begin cycling on June 11 in Seattle, Washington, so I have around 2 weeks to build up to cycling five miles a day. They are riding all the way to Washington D.C., 3600 miles. I mapped out a route in my mind that I thought would be about two miles. Surely I could cycle two miles!
About half way through today’s ride, I started thinking about those pot-luck meals of long ago. My heart was pumping hard, I was gasping for breath, and my sweat was pouring out as fast as I could drink the water in. As I crested a big hill, I felt like I wasn’t going to make it to the top. I keep thinking, “Oh, no, my eyes were bigger than my … my eyes were too big … my two mile ride is too far, what have I done?” This ride was too far for my unconditioned heart! Yes, in this situation, my proverbial eyes were bigger than my pumping heart. In my exuberance to get started, I tried to ride too far.
As I rested during one of the two times I stopped mid-hill, (steep, steep hill!) I consoled myself with these thoughts: "Well, it’s extremely hot in Georgia at 10:00 a.m. in the morning. It’s humid. It’s my first time to ride. I wonder if this is more than 2 miles? Am I going to pass out? If I pass out, at least let there be some good-looking guy to come along and give me mouth to mouth resuscitation."
Only then did I remember why I was doing this. Of course health is one reason, but my focus is to raise funds to replace someone’s leaky roof, or rotten floor. I want to help someone who can’t afford a simple decent place to live. I remembered that it’s a challenge to live in a sub-adequate house, where it’s poorly insulated, and the outside elements enter in. It’s only fitting that getting in shape and cycling should be challenging when the challenges of helping those with poor living conditions is The Fuller Center’s goal.
I hope the REAL Bike Adventure cyclist will not read this blog. You see, they will be cycling a minimum of 50 miles each day up to 100 miles a day. Whew! What a commitment. Even before the ride has begun, the group of “REAL” cyclists have raised over $80,000 and over $400,000 has been pledged! And while that’s exciting, it’s just a fraction of what’s needed to help those who live in shacks and inadequate housing, especially with the recent tornado destroyed homes. Will you help us raise more so that those who live in stressed conditions can have a place to raise their children?
Oh, and by the way, I did clock the route later and it was 3.5 miles! I will start off a little slower tomorrow. I hope my heart can handle my ambition. Pray for me, and pray for those who are biking across the country to help those who need a better home.
Thanks for a great post – and for supporting the FCBA – and for pushing yourself. That’s inspiring to everyone. Keep pushing. The riding will get easier. (you might find maymyride.com helpful for plotting a route and distance).
Dianne, Thank you for your post and for riding with us. And yes, you are riding with us, even if you are not here in Seattle. Topmorrow afternoon we will head out for Monroe, WA, north of where we are now. Temps are in the low 60s, but I came from your part of the world so I know what you mean about heat and humidity. Take care… b ut KEEP RIDING!