Day 23 Memphis TN

We escaped the smell of our “brand new” hotel room in Brownsville, TN as early as possible Wednesday morning with a goal to ride as far down Highway 70 as possible. Memphis was only 64 miles away and would be a a shorter than usual day for us. We would have kept rolling towards Little Rock across the Mississippi River but we couldn’t pass up all the BBQ and the Memphis Grizzlies treatment.

A friend of mine that I met at a sports based youth development conference in New York works for the Grizzlies Foundation running their mentoring program and youth development through something they just launched called GrizzFit, academically, socially and physically fit. This guy is a “Legend”, a word he often uses to describe people who are passionate about helping the youth and their community through sport and mentorship.

He is a legends my mind not only because loves Street Soccer USA and took us in for the night but he takes the time to have lunch with two 8th graders each week who were in his program last year. Joel has a sweet apartment on the river but that’s not why he left the more exciting west coast in Santa Barbara. It’s for the kids!

It’s so great to talk with coaches who are on the forefront using sport based youth development and sport for social change because we get to share ideas and our passion for helping others grows stronger as we share stories about the kid’s we are having a positive impact on.

He showed us around the river park and then we stopped at a random bar downtown. I looked over at the table behind us and there are about 6 guys who all went to college with me in Fayetteville, AR that I had not seen in years. Felt surreal to bump into them and hear how supportive they were of the ride. There is about to much more of the same love to be shared in Little Rock. Can’t wait to see so many good friends and my family this weekend!

Come hang at Stickyz on Saturday night after I ride the Big Dam Bridge 100 race. Help me spread the word about Street Soccer USA and pledge some $ for each mile I ride on Saturday’s Big Dam Bridge 100 race.

It’s one of my only two days off with my family and I feel bad for doing a 100 mile race takin time away from
them. Its an early race and I hope without the panniers ill fly through it in 5-6 hours. Some friends will be there too and I know my mom will be screaming from the sidelines so it will all be worth it. Thanks to Nicole and the CJRW crew for getting some temporary tattoos made! If you see me at the race ill give you one to wear for the race.