My last ride of the trip may have only been 62 miles, but it felt more like 92. The traffic was extremely congested and the driving was very aggressive giving me little room for error. It took all the concentration and biking skills I could muster to ride in this traffic. After just 30 miles I was mentally and physically exhausted. So I was thankful when Pam stopped at a bike shop to get a more detailed map of the area and discovered the presence of a bike path not too far from where I was riding. What a relief to get such timely information. I navigated to the path that I then took all the way from Falls Church, VA into D.C. and up into MD. I then had to deal with the traffic for the last 7 miles of the trip before reaching my final, and I do mean my final destination.
Washington, D.C. is a tough place to ride. The drivers are aggressive and unforgiving as are the bikers on the bike path. Such behavior makes it more difficult to navigate through the city as it takes all your focus just to stay safe. Life can be that way, especially for those in material poverty. Just think of how exhausting it must be to have your baby cry because she is wet but you only have two diapers remaining that need to last for another week. And then to have others treat you as less of a person because of your lack of financial resources is like riding in heavy traffic with unforgiving drivers. Believe me, it doesn’t feel good. We all need a mentor, someone to help us along the way, if we’re going to find the best way to our destination in life.
I am so fortunate to have had a support team for this ride. The team on the ground with me included Pam, Bill and Dorothy Anderson, Lindahl Grant Sr, and Bob Howard. And then there is the support I received from the Richland Church, which has been humbling and inspiring. I also had the support of people from around the country who have written me emails, responded to my blog, and sent messages through the website. And then there were the people I met throughout the country who opened their homes and their lives to us. So it was a fitting conclusion to this to have the full support of the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring. It was a lovely reception that included interviews with a reporter from a FOX affiliate and the communications department of the NAD. I met Alison Weir from the National Diaper Bank Network who spoke at the reception and Sung Kwon who is the head of Adventist Community Services at the NAD. With people like this in my life, how could I not find my way? Now it’s time for all of us to be part of a support team for someone else!
This ride might be over, but the journey is just beginning. On September 22 I will be speaking at the Richland Adventist Church to discuss the lessons from the ride and where we go from here. Check out our church website at http://www.myrichlandchurch.org for more information on that event.
Trip Stats: Total Miles- 3,473.4 Hours on the Bike- 276 Contacts Made- Too numerous to count Lives Changed- Mine for sure.