Letters, Part 1: To the Crew
I reached a critical point. Hit my threshold. It had nothing to do with physical exertion, and everything to do with gratitude.
This feeling started to overwhelm me while I was sitting in a room at Six Penn Kitchen. The room was filled with people—excited people. Only four women in the room were about to ride their bikes across the nation, ready to claim victory against “America’s Toughest Bicycle Race,” yet there were other eyes more wild with excitement than these riders, nearly bursting with anticipation. They were the crew.
I’m very nearly at a complete loss of words. But of course, I have just a few.
Patty said it best—we [the racers] are in the spotlight, but these are the real heroes. These people have so unselfishly devoted their time, talents and resources—and what do they get in return? The perks are so many, for sure—a week without the promise of a shower, living out of a duffle bag, cramped in an RV (which will no doubt smell of roses), and committing themselves to the task of making sure that four women in spandex who have been stinking up their vans don’t sleep through their shift or attempt to ride off into the sunset without every precaution being considered.
I shake my head in disbelief! Who so willingly gives up their vacation days to suffer these conditions? And not only that, but to take on the mantle of an ambassador for the team and the charity it represents on top of their own daily responsibilities in their own lives. This is incomprehensible! Yet, there are thirteen of them. A proud gaggle of do-gooders.
No number of sweaty hugs will cover my debt to them. I promise that despite what challenges lie ahead for me on the road, I will ride in a way that reflects their belief in me, and I will ride to honor the sacrifices they each made to make the journey possible.