Musings from the road
June 24, 2023
By Valerie Foland
From the click of the first cleat until the last tail light is shut off for the day, the Fuller Center Bike Adventure is filled with single and collective moving parts in their journeys. In this case, it is the 2023 Cali to Carolina coast to coast ride that I have had the opportunity to be a part of for the last four weeks.
During the initial orientation, a seasoned Fuller rider was speaking to us regarding safety, and mentioned a harrowing experience that she had while turning left. She had looked back and signaled after deciding the coast was clear only to be almost hit by a truck. This reminded me of a story depicting the fear of making left turns. Almost everyone has had a negative experience, while trying to turn left, either resulting in a collision or a near miss.
This story was written by Michael Gartner and featured in USA Today. It can be appreciated by both motorists and cyclists alike, as we have all had difficulty with turning left at some point in time! Here is a link to the article when you have time for a thoughtful short story.
Sometimes 20 miles on a bike flies by as fast as a freight train, or it can be as slow as molasses based on the terrain, wind, and a variety of other factors. Some hours of the days are very regimented where you are part of the team and you are given certain duties to perform. In other hours of the day, you are given time as individuals to reflect on your own existence, while pedaling alone, or in a group up and down the highway.
Many emotions can be felt along the trip, just as in life, especially with the addition of the build days, when riders were gifted with feelings of satisfaction and purpose as they were helping and improving quality of life for special homeowners that need a “hand up”. A strong sense of friendship, belonging, and family ensues from a group of strangers almost immediately on this adventure as we eat, sleep, ride, and worship together. I am including a photo of a poem I have hanging in my house titled “Life Is”
It is my hope that It may help other riders benefit as it can help get through a rough moment and enjoy and appreciate the joyous ones even more. As in life, sometimes a few words of encouragement can help you pedal those last few miles as you are making your way to the next church or rest stop, and as you make your way back to re-integrating into your own lives, and society, after this life-changing adventure.