Written by: Steve Maliszeski
Another week—week four—has come to an end and brings with it both a rest day in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the great month of July!
Every day of riding brings out both the good and bad in the world and ourselves. But this trip has shown me the determination of individuals and the resiliency of the human spirit.
Churches with only 20 members have happily opened their doors to 25 strangers, and an equal number of bicycles, without expectation of reciprocation. Some of the riders decided to take a collection to help our hosts, even if the amount may not be newsworthy.
Everyone in the group is assigned a chore team for the week, and every week we become better at learning and doing the tasks of each team. Since we have each taken a turn with most of the teams, we know what to do to help other teams get their job done more efficiently. Many times we simply jump in to help our fellow riders do their assigned tasks. Today I am doing laundry, but we have to keep a tight schedule to make sure everyone can get dinner, showers and clothes washed before lights-out.
The rider—me today—who used to get flustered and angry upon getting a flat tire now has the knowledge, skills, and experience (some more than others—fourth of the trip for me) to do the roadside repair themselves. But they are not alone since fellow riders will stand by to assist and support as necessary.
Every week we become a more finely tuned group of cyclists and support members. We are getting a sense of what makes each other’s gears turn and what we might be able to do to make the entire trip more enjoyable for everyone.