TransAmerica Route 2016: A tough ride into Richland, Washington

Today while riding my paceline played the hot seat game where the middle man was in the hot seat and had to answer questions. I learned a little bit about Sean and Scott’s siblings, families, and we also got in some fun facts about each other. Mostly, they were ice breaker questions, like celebrity crush, favorite food, etc. We came to a consensus that cereal would be the best meal to eat forever because there are so many varieties and that Carrie Underwood would be the ideal celebrity crush.

We had a solid stretch where it was windy and it was just too loud to talk. We were just grinding away for 45 minutes to an hour. I kept on telling myself to just get to the next crew stop and then I get a break. When it got silent, you could tell everyone else in my paceline was struggling too. I put in words of encouragement because I knew others would give me the encouragement I needed when I get down. Optimism could be contagious; it’s a big thing, so I was really trying to push that. Positive attitude is vital for the mental part of our rides, and realizing that this is a team game makes a world of difference.

We got chased by a dog pretty early on in the day today. I didn’t even know what was going on. I just kept on hearing Sean yelling “Go home! Go home!” After a while, it finally stopped. We decided that the safest way to handle those situations is to yell “go home” and if that doesn’t work, squirt water at it and cycle faster. You don’t have to be the fastest in your paceline, just faster than everyone else!

It’s not very often that we get to have a sponsor provide us with breakfast, but today was a real treat with some delicious french toast and sausages. a big thank you to Mel and Brenda Brink for once again organizing food for us today.

Riding into town and the overall arrival was pretty cool, but I feel like it was a good learning experience for us all. I think that as we grow into better riders, we will get better at it. It feels powerful to roll through town in such a large group.

Pulled pork is a favorite food of mine. For us to get to eat it twice was just incredible. I’d really like to thank Ryan Weld for sponsoring that delicious lunch after arrival into Richland.

This was the first Friendship Visit that was a little bit more energetic. Instead of a cookout type deal, it was a dance party. It was cool to see different sides of people in our group. There are of course people you’d expect to be dancing, but it was great seeing some of the not so outgoing people getting out there and strutting their stuff. It was a great experience overall. It showed us not to worry about the little things, and just have some fun; sometimes you just need to stop being self-critical and let loose.

There was also a time during a Smash Mouth song where Jarel, one of the friends I made on the visit, laid down the sickest rap ever. It came out of nowhere. It kind of made me want to be a little more direct in approaching some of the participants. There were people there with a lot of different personalities that I think that I would have liked to learn a little about. I started the visit a little tired and reserved, and it took a little dancing for me to open up and get out there. Looking back on the visit, I wish I opened up earlier, and will push myself to do so in the future.

I’d like to thank Judy Westsik for both organizing the Friendship Visit and for the delicious food and everyone else at the Arc of Tri-Cities for receiving us so graciously.

In addition, I know that on this trip, clean laundry is a luxury, especially when someone else volunteers to assist you. Ms. Nancy Peterson was our hero today because she was able to do a couple of loads of laundry for the team. Thank you so very much!

Considering everything this summer, I really want to push myself to learn more about what I know about people with disabilities and how I interact with them. I think it’s somewhat natural to at first be reserved and cautious in how you approach someone who you might conceive to be different, but with a little effort, an experience can really change your perspective. In the future, I want to be a role model and show people how they can treat others with disabilities. I hope to really learn those skills this summer.

I’m tired, its been a long day, but I’m very excited to be tired all summer long. It’s going to be a memorable and rewarding experience; one that will be very much worth the exhaustion.

Go Purdue!

Photos From Richland, Washington