Today was a very eventful day starting with me honoring Pastor Ben as a member of our 2017 TransAm team. The first 20 miles or so were ridden on a bike path north of town with a picture perfect view of the Grand Tetons. We were all so easily distracted by one of God’s most beautiful creations. This part of the ride sparked a deep desire inside of me for exploration of nature and myself. As we proceeded the route, we climbed a mountain pass that was fairly challenging. We stopped for lunch midway through the climb, and we were told by our crew chief, “Big Mama” of a grizzly bear sighting down the road a few miles. As soon as I heard those words leave his tongue, we instantly refused any more mosquito bites by getting back on our bikes to see this bear.
A few miles later we found the grizzly bear 10 feet to the right of the shoulder-grazing the green fertile plains of the bright and vibrant summer. He was a teenager probably weighing around 500 lbs. Further up the road at the peak of the pass, we stopped at a large ice patch. I threw a bunch of snowballs at Silly Sam. It felt like a game of dodgeball between two men who were acting more youthful than their middle school versions. We finally got to the petite and Wild West town of Dubois. Talk about killing 3 birds with 1 stone-we showered, washed our crew vans, and washed our clothes all in one spot in town. Our day was followed by a very scrumptious dinner. The baked potato laced with chili, ham bits, sour cream, shredded cheese, and mushrooms was a hit! After dinner, a couple of guys and I hit the local saloon, where I came across a successful company owner in Nashville named Rick. I asked him for advice on becoming a successful and happy man. He told me, “listen to your heart.”
Author: Matthew M. George, Cyclist (Beta Eta Chapter, Florida State University)