Hi, my name is Steven Dobbs, I live in Houston, and I am in for the full nine week experience. There is a fair amount of time to think, both when you are on the bike and in the afternoon free time, and here are some random thoughts I have had so far five weeks into the trip:
- This ride is not a life-changing event for me, but it is life-enriching. I’m now more motivated to schedule more life-enriching experiences in the future with my wife, Sara.
- Build days are off days with a purpose. Working with others on the build days have been some of the biggest highlights of the trip.
- The Generation Y “kids” on this trip give me hope for the future. The retired “kids” on this trip give me hope for my goal to snowboard with Sara in our 70’s.
- The amount of rain seen on a ride is proportional to how much sun block I put on.
- Sun screen in the eyes is like turning into 20 miles of strong head wind–no fun.
- Some people require at least one hour to be “ready” in the morning regardless, so it is best to look on the bright side of having sleeping bag zippers as your morning and snooze alarms for 9 weeks.
- Road biking can be addictive. There is something special about the pull of the pace line so your legs still feel reasonably fresh after 80 miles.
- The generosity of the churches that open up their doors and feed us has been overwhelming. Folks at several stops have even gotten up early just to feed us breakfast and wish us well.
- One should neither borrow nor share chamois butter.
- There is a special bond in a pace line. You are dependent on the bike ahead to point out obstacles that you can’t see when closely drafting and the bike behind not to knock you off by hitting your back tire.
- Why does everyone wish they were from Texas?
- Time is a precious commodity that you can’t get back and this is the longest holiday I will take without Sara. Next time I do a holiday ride it will be on a tandem.
I’ll close with a simple prayer I say every time I get on the bike that also serves as a safety moment. It reminds me to be keenly observant for anything that will knock me off my bike as well as to ride intelligently so I don’t interfere with any other cycles.