This is just the beginning…….

When I started touring the United States on my bicycle, I was so nervous. I had not ridden my bike in 11 years until last July when I was kindly given a bike by a friend. I fixed it up and Charlie and I, were soon best friends. I had always been thinking about doing Illini 4000, but I was never sure if I could since I hadn’t biked in so long. I have never been athletic and I have always been horrible at sports embarrassing myself anytime I tried. I have certainly struggled a lot with cycling on this trip, but today I realized that this is only the beginning of my lifelong adventures. We were so fortunate to get to tour the Adventure Cycling Association. This whole trip, I have felt so cool. I can finally say that I am athletic, which I have never ever said before. Today, I realized that what I am doing is just the beginning of the rest of my life. I met a woman who has toured 66 countries on her bike and has done over 250,000 miles in the last 30 years. I met the founders who biked 18,000 miles from Anchorage, Alaska to Argentina over two years and then set up a cross country ride for 4000 people in 1976. How AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! I met people who were doing self-supported tours and people who had traveled all over the world on their bicycles. I read crazy stories like one about a man who toured the U.S. at 70 and another man who toured with a lawn mower attached to his bike so he had some employment. I realized that we had just touched the tip of the iceberg. We were the lucky ones with a supported tour that was already organized.

I left that place as if I was in a dream mode and I was constantly thinking about what would be my next tour. I thought I was adventurous, but it turns out I am nothing compared to others. However, after studying abroad in Australia and doing this tour of the United States, my thirst for adventure is only growing. I can’t wait to see where life takes me next. On our way into Missoula, I rode with 4 boys. I have never done that. I am usually the one causing the gaps, not the one keeping up. Finally, for the first time, I was able to keep up with people who were much bigger and more athletic than me. I’m sure they slowed their pace down some, but it was a lot better then it usually is for me. We rode fast even in the headwind and it was an amazing accomplishment for me.  I can see myself improving everyday. I can’t wait to get back. I am hoping to get a routine of cycling, swimming, and running in. It’s going to be awesome.

I feel like I am finally learning that I have never pushed my limits and if I do push them, I really have potential. If I could explain where I was a year ago and where I am today with words, I would, but I can’t, the change is unreal. I ended up having one of the best rides I have ever had with Connor, Sean, Christian, and Ron. We got to stop at these hot springs off the side of I-90 and I jumped off a cliff for the first time and swam in an underwater cave! I even got the opportunity to sit in a waterfall! To top off a great day, Rachel and I happened to walk into a sweet jazz bar at night and we had a great evening listening to some amazing live jazz. I love when life takes you by surprise and you find something so perfect just by chance. Every time I travel, it happens at least once and it’s such a magical feeling. We ended up at a local hotspot with great music and we didn’t even know it. We got the opportunity to listen to some phenomenal live music in a town we have never even been to, how can’t you enjoy a moment like that? As I keep telling everyone by adding Rs when I am excited about something, I LURV this trip!

BTW, excuse my grammatical errors, I am usually half asleep when I write these so I make silly mistakes sorry about that.

Comments (2)
  • Joan Lindsay says:

    …and today, Divya, you made me laugh:)

  • Nancy Replogle says:

    Divya, It sounds like you are having the time of your life! Limits are made to be broken — so it is good to hear that you are blasting those limits out of your way. You are becoming an amazing athlete! What a surprise to find that special jazz bar. Savor the moment.

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