Changing Lives and Bringing History to Life, One Revolution at a Time!

SnR UGRR Tour 2011 ~ June 30 Ride Day 15

Corydon, IN to Hanover, IN (Madison, IN) 82 miles!

I cannot express how truly and overwhelmingly PROUD we are of YOUR children, OUR Youth Cyclists! On this day they have done something more phenomenal than accomplishing this grand and monumental Underground Railroad Tour. That’s big. By no means should you get me wrong on that but after traveling 78 miles from Corydon to Madison the Youth Cyclists had to climb the last 2.5 miles UPHILL.

Today was also the first day where the Youth Cyclists were actually chased by a couple of dogs that unquestionably, meant to do harm. All other dogs along this whole tour have been stopped by being given a forceful command of STOP. But not this time. Bob pulled out the “Halt” spray but was disappointed that he did not get one of the dogs in the face with the liquid.

ItzaYANA, my faithful ride partner, was the last of the crew but never wavered in attacking this very large and long hill. As we passed her she was, as usual, smiling thru the difficulties of the uphill ride. Itza is strong, resilient, dependable and overall a great kid who will become and even greater adult.

Chris has been steadfast in his concern for his fellow cyclists which I appreciate to the utmost degree. He’s my occasional ride partner; tagging along with me and Itza.  There’s not a day that goes by where Chris doesn’t lighten the mood with his presence or laughter. As a matter of fact, it fills the room with joyous laughter. All the women (over 40) seem to fall in love with him. He’s quite the charmer.

Houston is the quiet warrior. Slaying all in his path with just a whisper. Soft spoken, he’s quite vocal on the road and keeps the camaraderie amongst the group. Watching him hammer up a hill reminds me of the Tour de France cyclists. Houston’s funny, insightful, and a great guy. AS we peel back the layers on his unique character there’s always a pleasant surprise awaiting. 

Ibn is our true court jester. SnR amplification personified. He has unbridled strength, composure, exuberance and introspection all balled up into one young adult. He amps up the group when needed. Tends to their needs when riding in the van and ever the supporter and enforcer. He is a welcome addition to the team and plays a very much needed role.

Jeimy is strong. I would say she’s one of our strongest riders. If not for her knee injuries she would be there right along with Itza. She’s taking it easy because of the stress on her knee. So, she has now faithfully taken over the role that Ife played in being Suepinda’s right hand person. Whatever role Jeimy plays, she plays it well. She gets along well with everyone and has the best laugh. Yes, better and less shrill than Chris’.

Kyvon is, for the most part, the life of his party. Its been an interesting two weeks to understand his personality. Now that I understand him better I like him even more. As I said before, there has not been one day where he has not fallen off his bike (while standing still). He has grown a great deal within the time he’s been on the tour; as they all have. Of them all, and this is tough to say, he stands high above the rest as he was the last to join and has gone on every ride but two. The first for cramps and the second for fatigue. He completed the 80 miles with the rest of the team and lived to tell about it.  Way to go, Kyvon!

Mahlique is one of the stronger cyclists in the group but hangs back to be with his boys. He’s a natural on the bike and sets a good pace for the others.  He has the ability to power ahead if he needs to and climbs the hills with a strength and speed the belies his size. He’s grown at least an inch since the tour began or is it his confidence that makes him look taller?  I don’t think there’s anything Mahlique does that he’s not good at. I can’t wait to see him at 25!

Marshall is a strong cyclist, indeed. He looks natural on the seat of a bike and powers up hills and down straight-aways at lightening speed. Sometimes far ahead of the rest of the team. When he rides with no hands and his arms outstretched I see the freedom that only the open road can give you.  That is the confidence that one carries on in life. Stretch out your wings, Marshall, let loose and FLY!

All of you parents, I know, are extremely proud of your young adults, as we are. Thank you for allowing them to spend their summer with us. And those of you who are not the parents of the Youth Cyclists but are the wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic cheerleaders, thank you for being there, donating your hard earned dollars, energy and love for this group of extraordinary youth. We hope to bring them back as healthier, more enlightened, more insightful, more caring and more MORE than when you left them with us as a result of the experiences of this tour. We are a very long way from where we started. True to form and statements made by others who’ve made such treks the first two weeks were “interesting”. As we move into week three (can you believe it?) it is becoming second nature to get up and get on the bike. My seat still hurts but none the less, still easy to do. And guess what, its 11:45pm and most are in bed. A week ago we’d be telling them all to go to sleep. Things do change, if not overnight, they do change.  21 days to make a habit!
Spoke ‘n Revolutions Youth Cycling UGRR Tour 2011 ~ Visit the nation’s National Parks. 
Let’s Move Outside!

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