A summary of 13 days on I4K.

I really have no idea how to start this. So much has happened and I have so many thoughts to share! It seems ages since my last blog and training ride before finals and graduation. And I thought that was difficult…

Well, today we completed our thirteenth day. It was actually one of our most relaxed and uneventful days. We had beautiful weather and the last group was to the church by 3:30. No showers tonight, but wifi and free time so that I can finally post. It’s easy to put things off while on this ride since we are often tired and have other chores to do or people to talk to. I had been putting off cleaning my bike for about four days before I finally cleaned it last night (you’d be impressed with the amount of caked on dirt and grease).

I won’t be able to recall and describe everything so far, but hopefully I can provide a brief summary:

- We have several rules, here are a couple: there’s always one last uphill to the stayover, sunscreen and water, flats come in pairs (usually), never assume there are no more hills
- Pennsylvania challenged me mentally and physically, helped me to further realize the importance of team support, brought on my first tears of the trip, has more hills than I care to think about, has wonderful people and food, and made me remember I am much more capable of conquering mountains (in whatever form they come) than I think I am
- I have gained so much appreciation for good food, showers, and beds
- Sometimes we just want to get there. We want to power through the miles and lay flat on the floor, so I have to remind myself many times of the people we dedicate each day to and of the portraits we have and will get…it’s about so much more than getting from point A to point B
- So far we have four portraits. I sat in on one and learned so much in those 20 or so minutes. People’s willingness to share is amazing and I am so thankful to learn from them and to be able to spread their stories
- There may be a layer of dirt and grease on my legs and arms forevermore…and distinct tan lines
- If I were less tired I would continue this list…

As of right now my odometer reads 907 miles. Almost every day has been 70 or 80 mile rides, and these first days have been through several cities, over several mountains, and over tons of hills. It has been a daily routine of waking up at 5:45 in the morning and just plain biking. I have been told we have been through the hardest part.

It has certainly been insane, and it’s been even more wonderful. As we ride we hear stories, get random donations, and receive many honks and waves along the way. I am so proud of our entire team and the things we have accomplished together. I hope that we continue to gather more stories and touch lives everywhere we go. Although it may seem crazy that we get up every day to keep biking more and more miles, it truly never gets old.

(My butt definitely protests at times though.)

How I spend most of my time nowadays. Also back pockets and license plates are great.

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