Becoming a family

Written by: Larry Cooper

It’s been a week since we met in Seattle to commence our FCBA Seattle to Washington D.C. cross-country bike ride. Most of the 35 support staff and riders had never before met, and for many, this was their first FCBA Ride. There was apprehension in the air with many wondering if their cycling training was sufficient, whether they would fit in with the group, would they make friends, and perhaps other fears I haven’t yet recognized; and this is my 5th Ride with FCBA. And yes, after four rides, I still have many of these fears.

I believe many of these fears have subsided in this first week. We all know each other’s name, for the most part, and we can now turn our attention to really learning about each other. This is just part of the process as strangers from all over the country and Great Britain, become part of their new FCBA Family. We ride, eat, sleep, and talk like any other biological family. I mentioned to my riding partner this afternoon during the ride we have cycled together for 9-weeks in the last two years, and by the end of this S2DC ride, we will have had 17-weeks of 24/7 of interaction.

The bottom line is we are becoming family!

Today’s 90-mile ride from Spokane to Kellogg was the best day yet. This ride should have satisfied the hill climbers with 2700’ ascent, those that like cooler temperatures—my Garmin showed 81°F max vs. up to 100+° the last several days, and all of us just loved the gorgeous scenery. While Spokane scenery was nice, the Coeur d’Alenes Trail that we rode from Plummer to Kellogg was indescribable. It offered at least 3 miles of 3% grade descent, some wildlife sightings of coyotes and waterfowl, and a crossing over Lake Coeur d’Alene. This should be, if not already, on a cyclist bucket list of ‘must rides’.

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