I've trained with five incredible human beings for a few months now. And I can't wait to spend a month with them simply biking, eating peanut butter sandwiches, and helping communities across America.
- Hope is one of the most sunshiny and determined people I've met, and her strength and resilience is something I can't wait to learn from.
- Alexander is the cool, lovable, level-headed mediator I think every group of travelers needs, especially a group of travelers doing something as crazy as this.
- Max is unbelievably cheerful, always lightening up the mood with little songs, jokes, and stories, which will be amazing to have around, especially for days when we feel exhausted, disheartened, homesick, or all of the above, and need a little cheer.
- Sakib is so very wonderfully funny and has such a big, generous heart in wanting to make sure his family and friends are always safe, protected, and taken care of.
- Gabrielle is incredibly dependable and supportive, and, as the lead organizer of this whole event, a person I very much look up to, relate to, and aspire to be.
Spending so long with such amazing people truly has been and will continue to be a learning experience, as each one of us has something unique and different to offer.
My quads are sore, I got stitches for the first time in my life, I chipped a tooth, scraped off a knee, and have bruises running up and down my legs all while preparing and training for this ridiculous adventure. And though I've suffered setback upon setback in terms of falls and injuries, I couldn't be more excited. This ride has grown to become so close to my heart and so meaningful to me. It's given me a reason, since leaving hardcore athletics in December, to once again re-immerse myself in training mode and the "don't think, just do it" mindset. I'm grateful for all the skills it's taught me, and the confidence it's given me to reclaim the road as a cyclist. I can't wait to use those skills and that confidence as a vehicle to take me down to Miami.
I'm altogether too excited for the entirely unique way we'll be experiencing the East Coast. I've taken two-way road trips in cars with my family down to Orlando twice, but now, instead of rushing past farms and rivers and all the other incredible sights this country has to offer, we'll be able to experience it more personally and stop and take pictures and actually get to interact with the environment around us. It'll be life-changing.