Texas 4000 – A True Inspiration

I had the pleasure of taking part in the Texas 4000 ATLAS ride this past Saturday. As far as rides go, it wasn’t the most challenging. It was 50 miles of rolling terrain that took us from Cedar Park to Lampasas. Compared to other rides I have taken part in, this was more of a social spin than an all out Ricky Bobby “I wanna go fast” adventure.

What made this event special were the students and their realization of what this ride meant. This is a 70 day journey that will take these students over 4000 miles up to Alaska in the name of raising funds for cancer research. They have trained for months and raised thousands of dollars each. But even though they have prepared as best they can, nothing has prepared them for the emotional toll of “the moment.”

The morning dedications where they gather in a circle and dedicate that day’s ride for someone.
Cancer survivors, total strangers thanking them for their efforts.
The generosity of the host families they will meet along the way.
Then there are those lucky enough to have family ride with them on Day 1 and having to say goodbye at the end of the day.

It’s that realization that this is bigger than them and the moment overtakes them. You couldn’t help but see young men and women breakdown as the moment hit them. I can say that I was in the same place. Participating in a cancer benefit ride will always conjure up memories of Dad. But I did what I’ve been doing for months and that was to press on and encourage those with me to do them same. I’ve been tracking the daily blogs from the team and they really are eye opening. You can read them here. Reading their tales of the road has been a true inspiration for me and re-energized me on the bike.

Good luck to the 69 students on the journey. I was proud to have shared Day 1 with all of you. Look out for one another as the roads will be long and at times dangerous. When things get tough, remember why you are in the saddle in the first place.

Original content from iride4them