It seems like so long ago, when Rebekah and I where being driven to the beach May 1st for our trip departure. I must admit my nervousness overpowered any other feelings that day, especially when sitting on a loaded bike for the first time. I’m sure I didn’t instill a lot of confidence in my parents when I was wobbling around and insisting to take practice loops in the parking lot before I hesitantly biked off. Thankfully, it was a pretty flat day because it took me until mile 25 to build up enough confidence to move my hands from my handlebars to shift gears. And let me tell you, I was more than thrilled to make it to our first destination.
Our schedule has been pretty fixed thus far. Every night we have a place to stay, with a warm shower and food waiting on us. It’s been really nice, and hasn’t gotten to tiring yet being in a new place with new people every night. But after doing some heavy climbing in the Pennsylvanian mountains, we decided, for the first time, to diverge from our planned schedule and change route. On the way to Camp Harmony, in Hoorversville, PA a guy stopped to talk, and told us about the Allegheny Gap Trail, a trail that goes from DC to Pittsburgh. Although it would add 30 miles onto the trip, we decided a trail definitely beats mountains. And, we were super glad we made this choice! The trail has some gorgeous sites and is pretty flat! The following day, we biked the 30 miles out of the way, to get on the trail, and then biked another 70 miles on the trail! Our first century!! 100 miles in one day!! Rebekah has done centuries before, but this was my first! Then when adding up the miles that night, from the last two days, I kept getting a total of 1001 miles. I had to do the math a couple times to make sure I was calculating correctly, because I couldn’t believe it, we did our 1st 1000 miles! Whoo hoo!!
Since May 1st, I’ve learned a lot about biking. How to dismount off my bike by standing on my pedal instead of remaining on my seat, how to switch hand grips without swerving to much, how to change gears at the right time so I don’t get stuck on a mountain in high gear. There’s still much to learn, I haven’t been able to figure out how to mount my bike easily without my pedal in just the right spot, or how to start my bike on an uphill, I still get mixed up with which directions my gears should go, and drafting is still something that makes me nervous more then helps me. And every morning, I’m still a little tense when taking those first few pedals when taking off.
It’s a little funny, because I still don’t consider myself a biker. There’s still so much to learn, and I still have a ways to go before my bike becomes my new best friend. But, 1000 miles is definitely a step in the right direction.
This weekend we’re headed to the Young Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren. One of our first big stops along our journey. I think for Rebekah and I, this landmark has been one we’ve been looking forward, and at times has been a distant goal. And now we’re here! The first weeks have been a whirlwind and often times have seemed unreal, but with the combination of going to this conference, biking a century, and hitting 1000 miles, this trip is finally starting to sink into reality.