by Lydia Huelskamp
Oh it is well with my soul. A rest day. How beautiful are those words to a group of 30 something riders who have ridden 500 plus miles in six straight days. We are now in our eighth state and though our muscles are aching, our eyes are heavy, and our minds are continuously tracking the mileage, we are so joyful to have a church floor to come and lay our heads on for a little longer. Some are working on their bikes, some are napping, and some are exploring the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We have riders leaving us to return home and others coming to join our life of cycling. Sunday is a welcomed treat.
Next week marks the half-way point for those of us who are going the whole way, from coast to coast. We are half way through this journey that some have been dreaming of for years while others (like myself) just happened to stumble into. So far I have been tested physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have muscles screaming at me that I never even knew existed. I have my mind battling between “Stop pedaling, you aren’t going to make it, look how huge that hill is,” and “I feel good danuhnanananana I knew that I would….can’t touch this.” And I have had many talks with God and about God while on the bike seat. It has been a testing, but wonderfully fulfilling four weeks.
Four weeks ago I hopped on my bike knowing very little about cycling or thepeople that surrounded me. Now my knowledge has doubled and those people have become family. I am no longer afraid of getting over into the left turn lane. I can ride with no hands. And I have learned the rules of a pace line. The team has inside jokes, nicknames, and breakout song sessions. We are half way through and I already cannot imagine leaving these people. From geophysicists to college student to retired folk we are all working toward the same goal. We share food, sleeping spaces, and cycling tips. We pull each other through the wind and push each other up the hills. We are many individuals coming together for the love of riding, adventure, and now for each other.