I’m leaving on my Epic Journey May 17, 2012: a bike ride across the USA
I’m a 58 year old grandmother who has been married for 30 years. My husband and I live in North Long Beach. I started cycling in earnest in 2002 when I trained and rode in the AIDSride: a 7 day fundraiser ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I kept riding locally but missed being on the road for multi-day trips. So I rode the 8 day Amgen Coast Classic (a ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles) in 2006 and 2007. My husband also rode the 2007 Amgen Coast Classic with me in 2007. These were fundraisers for arthritis research and treatment.
I met Pat Messer and her husband during the Amgen Coast Classic 2006 and we became close friends. She was the one who shared her dream to ride across the USA. I thought, in 2006, that she was nuts. Especially since she was planning on camping! I am a serious city gal and staying Motel 6 is my idea of roughing it. I do NOT camp! Ugh! Sleeping in a tent! Bugs and dirt! No 15 minute hot showers? Wearing the same clothes day after day? Squatting in the woods? No way!!!!!!!
But life has a way of changing the “no ways” in our lives. I was laid off my well-paying job as an IT Project Manager, in 2009 and was then unable to work due to illness. That illness was diagnosed in 2010 as mixed connective tissue disease: an autoimmune disease. While I was seeing to my health, I realized that there are some things more important than getting ahead, making money and living comfortably. My husband and I have made a major downsize and now live a much more simple life. We have come to cherish what cannot be taken away from us: love, close friendships, building memories, growing emotionally and spiritually and serving others.
Now I could hear Pat as she shared her dream with me. I began to have the same dream. I knew that we could work well together: we would have to since we would spend 90 days together for this ride. So the seed of an idea that she had planted many years ago was starting to take root.
On May 17th, we start our 90 day Epic Journey: a bicycle ride across the USA, from Maine to Washington state. 4200 miles in 90 days. We will haul all our gear in trailers attached to our bikes and camp under the stars every night. You can follow us now and during the journey on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/2trikesnbike
I have learned a lot from Pat about how to plan and execute an exciting Epic Journey. I would like this trip to give vision for many other people:
- That you can take on this extraordinary physical and mental challenge even though you are pushing 60!
- That you can take on this extraordinary physical and mental challenge even though you suffer from a chronic, painful disease.
- That you can take on this extraordinary physical and mental challenge even though there are few role models in the African-American community who cycle!