• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2022
  • Hometown: Austin
  • School Year: Sophomore
  • Major: Biochemistry

Why I Ride

My dad and I rarely see eye-to-eye. He has a brash personality and a strong sense of independence, which he gets from his mother's side. Growing up, my father was especially close to his DaYi, or maternal aunt, who raised him while his mother worked in the city to provide for them. My impression of his aunt always gave off baddie-grannie vibes. She lived independently into her 90s, even after being diagnosed with both Alzheimer's and lung cancer. It wasn't until her memory started to really deteriorate that my father decided it was time to see her before she started to forget him.

He booked a ticket for mid-February of 2020. My father's DaYi lived in Hunan, a province adjacent to Hubei, where the city of Wuhan is. He never made it back home.

I don't remember my great-aunt, but I do remember my father sitting down at the dinner table, poking at the leftovers with his chopsticks. Instead of his usual cheer and gusto, all I heard from him was:

"DaYi is dead."

Her lung cancer caused severe complications when she got sick. It hadn't been even a month since his flight was supposed to take him home to see her.

I ride for those who have lost family to the pandemic, for those who have to grieve alone, for those who still remain separated from their loved ones. I ride for a world where no one has to lose someone they love to cancer ever again. I ride for all the precious little moments we share with family, for your loved ones, and for you.