What a Day

Through the entire time after finals, and the entire time after everything we’ve seen and done and all of that, I’ve said, “Maybe when we ride for the first day, it’ll finally feel real.” I was wrong. Today, while it has been AMAZING beyond all my expectations, still feels surreal. I can’t process what it’s like to be a part of this incredible organization sometimes.

While I was packing up to get on the train to come, I kept thinking to myself that I felt like I wasn’t really doing this. Like somehow, I would get to Chicago, and it would be like “Oh, whoops, no, this isn’t legit. This amazingly awesome thing isn’t actually happening, haha jokes on you!” One year ago exactly, I was standing on the stage at my high school’s graduation, giving a speech about how there’s a difference between life on the page, and life, which was the first time I told my community that I wanted to bike across the country. I think that today exactly exemplifies what I meant by that quote– there’s the life on the page (me telling everyone for so long that I’ve wanted to do this), and there’s life (everything actually legitimately happening). I’m really excited to see what all of this brings for us!

Before getting into the too serious stuff, the definite most interesting thing of the day was the supergroup hearing an ice cream truck, getting really excited, and then realizing it was the van next to us with the fully tinted windows, that then suddenly turned on a police siren and blew through the stop light. However, I think the second highlight (as far as entertaining things go) would certainly be riding alongside a group of male rugby players who were just really excited to see us. Then there was the time in the city, riding with Marcus and like 10 girls, when the guy on the street expressed clearly that they found Marcus to be a complete player, and of the ladies “they all fine! None of them ugly!”



On a more serious note, we did our first portrait of the actual ride today, and it was amazing. Clinton Kelley, a homeless man from Lyndon, NJ, was diagnosed with colon cancer at 37, and is now 56. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect the amazing amount of inspirational words that he gave. He spoke for a long time about the importance of never giving up. It’s really easy to forget what the cause is, when we’re riding through New York and New Jersey, and when we have our first ride day, and all of these amazing bike things are happening. So, even though I’m really tired, and this isn’t nearly along the lines of what I’d normally be posting, a huge thanks to Clinton Kelley for bringing me back to the cause today. We’re not just a bunch of kids biking across the country. We’re biking for a reason, so that men like Clinton Kelley don’t have to wonder if they’re going to lose their lives at 37 years old. We’re biking so that no one has to go through what his family went through, wondering if their father would live. It’s really hard sometimes to stay connected to the fact that this is for cancer. This isn’t a ride for us to have an awesome time (that’s just a nice perk!). It’s a ride to fight cancer. And that’s something to be excited about!

Comments (1)
  • dnagpal Divya Nagpal says:

    Sounds like you had a full-on initiation to the 2012 ride. Nice blog! Keep up the good work! Best wishes to all of you this year!

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