Day 4: I4k Magic

Today’s ride was dedicated to the family that we collected a portrait from earlier this week in Albany. Charlotte, the mother, and Raymond her son sat down and spoke with us at the YMCA. Only last month their father, Roland, who had two children, died from colon cancer suddenly. He unknowingly had stage four cancer and within days of finding out, he passed away. Somehow this family gathered extraordinary strength to discuss their experience with us for our project.

In our training and meetings leading up to this trip during the school year many riders who had participated in this trip in previous years talked about the “magic” of I4K. I was initially skeptical of how great this experience would be because when breaking it down: it involves many hours of arduous physical activity, infrequent opportunities for showering, laundry, and wifi, early mornings, sharing small spaces (and sometimes one bathroom) with a large group of people, having near constant hunger, and learning to get along with 27 unique people. Sizing up this experience in this way might make it seem like some sort of military training.  However, I have already began to fall in love with spending the summer in this way and I am so grateful that I decided to participate in this organization.

When I look at my team members I am so proud of the progress that they have made. At the beginning of the year we all started out with varying base levels of fitness.  Each day I am amazed at how my teammates push themselves and each other to achieve impressive physical feats (so far, an average of 70 miles a day with lots of uphill climbing).  And while one may think that this type of challenge each day would bring out the nasty competitive side of each person, thus far I have only witnessed collaboration and encouragement. It makes me so happy to see how well these people have been able to create a warm and open group dynamic in such a short amount of time.

Thanks you for being such a great squad 2017 team. I can’t wait to reach San Francisco with you all.




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