by Lydia Huelskamp
Today as we came over the last hill and saw the Pacific Ocean I realized how true this quote is. Feeling the sand and seeing the mass of blue stretching for miles would have meant nothing if it hadn’t been for the miles ridden to get there, the strangers turned family around me, and the experiences had, and the memories made along the way. We have pushed ourselves through headwinds and pulled each other in pace lines. We have ridden through rain, construction, and days that couldn’t have been better. We have done archery, water skied, and floated down rivers. We have painted, built, and done yard work for others. We have teased each other, laughed with each other, and encouraged each other. We have turned these nine weeks from simply getting to an end into a journey worth remembering.
The news constantly tries to tell you what an awful place this world is. But over these nine weeks I have seen and experienced the opposite. I have seen the goodness that is all across this country. Strangers opening up their floors to us and cooking copious amounts of food for our growling stomachs have never ceased to amaze me as we moved from town to town. The generosity of those I ride with each day, whether it be through buying me a milkshake, riding with me during the tough days, or pouring their hearts and sweat into a build day, never ceased to encourage me to be a better person. I have seen the love of God and the love for others put into action this summer. It is a beautiful thing.
Now as everyone leaves this family to go back to their own families, it is hard to believe we have to say goodbye to this journey. Nine weeks ago I arrived in New Jersey with no idea what I was getting into. I thought I was just going on a bike ride. Now, nine weeks later, as I reflect with achy muscles and worn down tires I know it was so much more than a bike ride. I have reached my goal of making it across this beautiful country. I have fought the fight against poverty housing. And now I am going to take a well-deserved nap before going to explore more of our final destination.
To the Summer 2014 bike adventure I say, “Farewell and Oyee.”
To the Summer 2015 bike adventure I say, “Get ready.”
And to all of you I say, “Keep pedaling on.”
P.S. Stay tuned for more details on 2015… but in the mean time watch this video to see where we’ll be riding (and to see the awesome tan lines in your future!).