Today was our first day actually moving ourselves forward across America. It is starting to become real–31 of us will be cycling about four THOUSAND miles this summer. We will be pedaling up every hill, flying down every decent; we will experience rain, frost, sun, and fog; we will feel great and terrible, we will be excited and miserable. But it all boils down to this one amazing thing we are doing together: pedaling ourselves across a huge country.
Today was beautiful. Our first official ride took us across state lines (we left Rhode Island behind for gorgeous Connecticut), up amazing ascents, and down fast decents, and up them all over again. I can’t believe the scenery. We passed houses of all kinds–old, new, delapitated, and house after house with carefully stacked stone walls. And I fell in love with Connecticut. The sun, the trees, the lakes with actually lily pads and lillies! This place with its adorable farmer’s stands (yummy lemon squaress!), towns where everyone know their neighbors, is picturesque and terribly friendly.
When we traversed the 38 miles after our first of two tire dipping ceremonies (the second will be in Seattle, and I am sure will be emotional), we arrived hours and hours later (we stopped everywhere!) In Pomfret, Conneticut. We were greeted by a lovely man taking our picture and waving us off the huge ‘hill’ and into his chuch. A shower and delicously and lovingly prepared meal later, a few of the others and myself were giving a presentation to the group and the church members about what we are doing.
Now, it is starting to hit me–the magnitude of what we are doing. The more I hear my fellow cyclist’s stories, the more I come to realize what this journey means. We are hear for so many reasons, and because of so many coincidences. One woman’s trip to the store changed her plans for the summer in a single interaction! And I don’t think any of us will just be changed for a summer. This is already feeling like a family, and I don’t think I’m leaving without a life-changing experience.