Sunday, May 13, 2018

After a long 4 days of orientation, the Gear Up Florida team finally set out for Clewiston, our first destination. After a delicious breakfast sponsored again by longtime supporter and Ability Experience Board member Philip Hamilton, the team lined up in a double-paceline fashion to be escorted off of the FIU campus by local police. The 94-mile ride consisted of quite a bit of rain, and a challenging distance, longer than any typical training ride. Though for some cyclists the ride consisted of outrunning a rainstorm and for others it consisted of endless flat tires and too much time in the saddle, the team was in high spirits as every cyclist was able to complete the ride safely. Special thanks to Mr. Andrew Denucci, who sponsored our mid-ride sandwiches. They fueled the final 35 miles of the trip for us, and it was an extremely generous gesture. Lodging and showers for today was sponsored by Clewiston Parks and Recreation, and organized by Ms. Joanna Gutierrez. We appreciate their time and support in accommodating the team. Once settled into lodging, the team travelled to eat a well-earned chinese buffet-style dinner, sponsored by Mr. Matthew David Robbins. The team definitely got their fill there, and embraced the all-you-can-eat nature of this meal. It was definitely taken advantage of.  We’re headed 85 miles to Fort Myers for our first friendship visit tomorrow! The team is very excited, and we hope that the road conditions and weather will be in our favor as we gear up for the next day of the journey.

Jared Chan