We made it

This was supposed to be posted 2 weeks ago. But we did not get Internet access, or more so I was lazy to find time to post it. We rolled into San Fran yesterday. I would still like to take some time to reminisce the last 70 days and hence this post.

The following was written 2 weeks ago… With the trip coming to a closure in no time, there’s been a sense of ambivalence in me. I want it to come to a full circle, so that 10 years down the road I can look back in life with no regret. It’s hard to account for the conflicting feelings in me right now, harder than the struggle up the appellations, metaphorically of course. The tremendous sense of achievement and satisfaction I’ve gained along the trip is indescribable. It’s not so much of doing a 80mile ride on rugged terrain in unforgiving weather, nor is it tolerating the knee pain with every hill we’ve to climb. It is waking up everyday having the mentality of not wanting to ride. (Just kidding!!) It is the inner strength that fights this mentality every morning and forces me to peddle.  It is the extra stroke everyone puts in when we feel like throwing in the towel. It is venturing out of our comfort zone and constantly pushing to accomplish something we would have never thought to be able to accomplish on our own. It is committing to a common cause and never losing faith, both in the cause and ourselves, or having the courage to look for faith again after we’ve lost it.

I feel like I’ve learnt a lot  from this short span of 70 days, more than what I could from 7 months of school. The past few days (in Washington) have been hard. But would I have done it if I knew beforehand that it’s this hard? I think I would.

So today is Aug 2nd, one day after the last riding day. I still remember during the first few weeks, I would dread the journey on the road, wishing that this could come to an end soon. But now, I wish it had not ended. I miss the 6 am wake-up. I miss having to sleep on the cold hard floor in a room with 27 other people. I miss having cereal for breakfast. I miss having PB&J for lunch. I miss the van, yeah the smelly van. I miss riding my bike with 27 other riders across the Golden Gate. I miss the stories we tell on the ride. I miss the games we play (Contact, What would you do for a million dollars?). I miss the times we could not ride our bikes in a straight line because we had to laugh so hard at someone’s jokes. I miss taking naps alongside the road waiting for people to change their flats. I miss being moshered and moshering others. I miss the moshers. I miss the times we complained so much about the 80% hills and headwinds and the unbearable heat. I miss packing the van. I miss copying cues that last for 80 miles on the same road. i miss the insanely long concerns meetings. I miss stopping for ice cream on the road. I miss the trail mix at rest stops. I miss going down the Big Horn at 40mph shivering in the cold. I miss doing portraits. I miss everything in the past 70 days. I miss everyone’s smiles. I miss laughing at their jokes. I miss hose showers……There’s so much more that I miss.

So here we are, at the end of the trip. I’m really proud of everyone for having the faith to finish it, for taking this huge step towards fighting cancer and making such a great impact on  society that we ourselves may not even realize.

A month and half ago in Champaign we sang,”I4K, we are going to make it all the way.” Now, it’s “I4K, we’ve made it!”

Comments (7)
  • Tom Kelleher says:

    Congratulations! You kids are a true inspiration. Well written blog, Shaozhe.

    I will miss going to the I4K website at the beginning of my day to read the update and blogs, check the weather to see what’s ahead, and experience a spiritual moment of thanks for the team’s well being. You made our summer special as well.

    We thank you!

    Tom “Jaime’s Dad” Kelleher, ’77

  • Jill Canaday says:

    It has been an amazing virtual trip every mile with you guys. You are each truly inspirational. I hope you can take some time for yourselves after dedicating 4,500 miles in 72 days for such a good cause. Kevin and I love you all for doing this trip. We look forward to watching again next summer – please let us know if we can help!
    Conor’s moe

  • Jaime Kelleher Jaime Kelleher says:

    Shao, this is adorable! Team Vagas cried in the airport reading it. Love you!

  • pfu priscilla fu says:

    Love your blog! :D

  • ME Robbins says:

    Congratulations from the Illini Club of Portland! Thank you for gracing our city. It was a pleasure to meet you. We are so proud of you.

  • Lauren's Mom says:

    Dear Shao, It was wonderful meeting you! Don’t forget… you have a place to stay in Chicago. Congratulations on completing the ride!

  • Nancy Odon (Steve's Ma) says:

    Shao, thank you for your beautiful blog. I admire you and the team. Congratulations on riding across the country. I too, will miss the inspirational blogs from the trip. All the best.

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