Pedal Away!

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Starting out. 

Four days.
Two hundred fifty two miles.

Our trip has been crazy fun so far. The weather has been a perfect backdrop for our journey, it doesn’t get much better then cool days, gentle wind and dry weather.

And the scenery? All the trees and fields are bursting with life and color, every bend in the road uncovers stunning foliage and beautiful flowers.wp-1463915899971.jpegwp-1463915548983.jpeg

I feel like Noah and I are becoming a solid team, every day I feel so blessed that we can do this trip together, brother/sister adventures like this are a once in a lifetime experience.

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I removed five stitches from above Noah’s eye last night. Good trusting building exercise, I think. I didn’t stab his eye. Win.

We stopped at a bike store to buy some stuff and I found the prettiest bike I have ever met in my life. It was a Trek Madone 9.2 and I think I disturbed Noah by how excited I was. I dared to pick it up-I think feathers weigh more!wp-1463915435527.jpeg

The best part of our trip has been the people we have met. Along the Erie Canal Trail, we stop to chat with a dad and son who set off after the son’s graduation to cycle across New York.

We also visited with a couple from the Netherlands. They are completing their fourth major tour of the US. The guy was pulling a BOB so I immediately thought of Dan and his trailer. They passed us as we were sitting down to eat our second breakfast (or was it our first lunch? We are eating so much food that it gets confusing) and they took a picture of us. So somewhere, on a Dutch blog is a picture of us and our food.

And then there is Bob.
It was the third day and Noah and I were riding on the Erie Canal Trail through Rochester. The trail gets very confusing. Last year, when I rode here, I had to ask four different people for directions before I made it successfully to my destination. So I was pretty apprehensive about biking through Rochester-but then we met Bob.

We were riding along at a pretty slow pace when a guy caught up to us and asked where we were heading. When he found out we going to Holley for the night, he told us that he was going that way and he could take us through the city.

Suddenly, we found ourselves in the hands of a capable, friendly guide. Bob commutes this route several times a week, so he was a total pro, escorting us safely through each turn and intersection. We had been planning to spent the night at an RV park but he told us that we could  camp at the drawbridge in Holley. We are not the only touring cyclists Bob has rescued, he definitely needs an official “Guide of Rochester” title.

It was beyond amazing to be riding another cyclist’s commuting route alongside of them. Bob was a great, interesting person  to talk to and before Noah and I knew it we had made it past the city. Once Bob left us, Noah and I flew along the trail with wide grins spreading across our faces. Bob had saved us time and money. But most importantly, he had boosted our spirits and we reached our campsite that night feeling great.

When we got to Holley, I talked to the lady who was working at the drawbridge about spending the night. Jane was the sweetest lady we have met so far. We chatted about Colorado and in the morning, while we leaving, she called across the canal to wish us well.

Saturday night, we slept over at a friend’s house, which was a nice little break from camping. We hung out and skyped our brother out in Colorado, it is hard to believe we get to see him soon!

Goodbye, Friends. Hello Adventure!

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After work today, my dad asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was feeling sentimental. The past few days have been nothing but a series of goodbyes and even though I know I will be back home before long, I feel so emotional about leaving.

I got emotional saying goodbye to the people at my church, to my Sunday School kids, my coworkers, customers at work…I thought I was holding myself together well until I became emotional while biking my commute for the last time.

Logically, it doesn’t make sense for me to feel emotions for a road but for me this is not just a road. It has been my classroom. This is the road that taught me to love cycling. On this road, I learned how to ride in dark, how to ride in the snow, how to stay warm in cold weather and how to use clipless pedals without falling over, just to name a few things. I have learned about myself, grown in my relationship with God and gained so much confidence while riding to and from work on this road.

But that isn’t why I became teary-eyed on my commute this morning. The reason I started bawling my little eyes out is because winter threw a going-away party for me on my final ride to work. That’s right, there was snow. Oh, it didn’t really stick but for about ten minutes, the snowflakes were falling so furiously that I felt like I was transported back to February. It was beautiful.

And then, after work was over, the wind was strong and the gusts were overpowering and I took it as an invitation to ride home slowly and take time to enjoy the familiar river and the farms, fields and hills that make my commute so unique and beautiful.

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But surging past these sentimental thoughts, is an irrepressible excitement . On Wednesday when I wake up, I will do something rather ordinary. I will hop on my bike and pedal down the road. But this time something will be different. I won’t be back home before the day is over. Instead, my brother and I will continue to follow that road (and many other roads).

And if there are no major disasters…
And we remember the difference between East and West…

…We will end up in Colorado with our brother.

Only two days left until “GO!” time, the next time I post we will be on our way. Thank you to all of you for your encouragement and support in this adventure, it means so much to me.