What a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood, won’t you be my biking buddy? Actually, it was 39 degrees and raining when the ride began at 8:30. We all knew that we had 75 miles to ride and everyone departed with expectations of completing the 75 miles. This being the 5th day of riding most had biking buddies to ride with as we set out in the rain. We began telling stories to pass the time and the miles began to slide by.
After donning all the rain gear we had, we felt ready to meet the weather challenge. As the first leg of the trip progressed the tempo of rain increased. By the first rest stop, several riders were too cold and wet to continue. They secured a ride in the van to warm up and move down the road.
Others began searching for some creative ways to stay warm. Plastic bags were placed over socks to keep feet warm. Those who looked at the forecast on Thursday bought ponchos, rubber gloves and extra jackets. As I was riding down the road, I found Ryan Iafigliola pedaling in bike shorts. I suggested he wear the tights that I had not worn. Later I saw Ryan wearing leg warmers. He said this was the first time he had ever worn anything on his legs and he was surprised how warm his legs felt. All the guys welcomed Ryan to the "Men in Tights" club.
Around mile 35 the rain stopped and the sun peeked through the clouds. We hoped for more sun and even scolded the sun for playing peek-a-boo with us. (One tries anything to coach Mother Nature into cooperation!)
At mile 55 the rain began again, lightly at first, but then changing to downpour. At 60 miles, the third rest stop, I was feeling tired and ready to quit. But my fellow riders said "we have made it this far and the weather is not going to beat us." So off we went to finish the last 15 miles and ask……
Why were we riding in colder, wetter weather than we do at home? We decided that one has to be a little crazy to ride 400 miles, maybe a little demented to ride through a thunderstorm, and just plain committed to the mission of providing adequate shelter for people world wide. At least we had the
option of a warm, inviting church shelter when we finished the ride. We ride to raise money to provide those in need, with adequate housing. Those without adequate shelter or abode sleep, eat and live in the elements all day.
By: Tom Tebbe