We’ve got a new face in the office, and what better way to get to know someone than reading about their human-powered trip across the country?
Jac joins the sales time to provide support to our retail channels, fulfillment needs, and to keep the pace honest on group lunch rides. New to Bend from Northern California, she spent her summer after college riding her bike from Portland to New York City with the Ride for Water cycling team. She shares a bit about the ride with us here…
Subway had become our oasis. And that’s where we were, eating Spicy Italian sandwiches on wheat bread, when I spotted him. Tall, Anderson Cooper lookalike. Cycling shorts, normal t-shirt. I judged him for not having a cool kit.
But, we made eye contact. A subtle nod, you know, the cool one that cyclists give to each other. It was safe to approach.
“Where are you headed?”
“San Francisco. I have to make it by August. And you?”
“New York City. We have to make it by 4th of July”
Different stories. Different paths. Different goals. I was headed east. He was headed west. I was with 6 of the most amazing, badass women. He was alone. I left 9 days after graduation. He left his job. We were raising money for a charity. He was fulfilling a family dream. I am American. He is German. Yet we were both there, in Subway, in the middle of the hardest strip of our rides. In the middle of freaking Nebraska.
I don’t remember his name. But I remember what he taught me.
His grandfather’s dream was to ride his bike across the United States. He was going to do it once he retired, yet passed immediately after retiring. His dad was going to attempt the ride, yet passed even before retiring. So this man said “No, I am not waiting until I retire. I am doing it now. Life is too short to wait to fulfill dreams.“
And I think he’s right.
After that day we began a new routine. We woke up every morning for those remaining 27 days and looked each other in the eyes and said ‘We are so lucky.” We were so lucky. As a child I dreamed of being a professional soccer player and getting in to the top colleges in the country. Those things didn’t happen (LOL) but this one could. Fresh out of college, thrown into the real world, kicking off a new chapter of life by fulfilling a dream. And I couldn’t be more thankful.
So here’s to every single one of those 3200 miles, 13 states, and 50 days. Here’s to homemade pastries, the kindness of strangers, Teton Valley Dave, 96,000 feet of elevation gain, the ugliest cats I’ve ever seen, healing, McKenzie Pass, Mexican food in the Midwest, Sprinter vans, running over badgers (OMG it was an accident okay!!), the “Population 4” town, seeing fireflies for the first time, the pedicure I never got, the Cleveland Cavaliers, sailing on Lake Michigan, Maria and Berkeley, naked miles (sorry dad), the “drunk off one beer” nights and passing out in parks, six badass women, discovering myself, unsurpassable natural beauty, and yes, even you, f*#!ing Nebraska.
To read more stories from Jac’s ride across the USA check out Hit the Road Jac
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