Our bodies were sore and we are just flat out tired after doing 200 miles in two day but we still woke up at 7 am for breakfast at the Red Lion in Grants, NM ready to take on another day. Weather seemed fine for the day and our goal was to get at least 60 miles done to Gallup, NM and maybe even a little further to Mentmore. Crossing the Arizona State line would have been nice but there just weren’t any towns right past the boarder.
We rode about 50 miles with only one stop at a Denny’s (3 out of 4 of our last meals were at a Denny’s) for lunch and then another 20 miles to Mentmore just past Gallup and Red Rock Park. It was a hard day with some hills, high winds and loose gravel shoulders but it still feels like living a dream. The big reminder for me that this trip is a once in a lifetime experience was crossing the Continental Divide.
The Great Divide is massive and splits the entire continent! To see it up close and from a bicycle knowing you climbed up to 7,225 feet with your own two feet and not in a car is pretty motivating! I can now keep on pedaling with the mentality that you can achieve your biggest dreams if you work hard and have people to support you along the way. It might be scary at first and it’s definitely going to be difficult but we are proof that you can do anything!
Cycling was not always a love of mine. It want until I moved to NYC that I started really riding. It quickly became my preferred mode of transportation and not just something I did once a year in Arkansas. I have had this dream of biking across the country to raise awareness for Street Soccer USA for over a year now. I knew I had to it once the idea crept in my heart. I felt this same feeling in 2010 when I decided to raise awareness about the Homeless World Cup and volunteer at the Paris 2011 HWC.
I saw a documentary that my good friend Matt Perry recommended and for a year I worked hard to raise money to live my dream of experiencing what I saw happening on the ESPN documentary. I wanted to help people change their lives through the sport I love but it ended up changing my life.
In just a few days Street Soccer USA men and women from all across the country will be flying to Santiago, Chile to represent the USA and celebrate their hard work on and off the field with players from 44 countries. For many of the players it is a dream come true that they have been working hard to realize for years. I’ve been to two of these events, Paris as a volunteer and Poland as a coach, and I can assure you that all the players, coaches, volunteers and spectators attending the tournament will grow so much and might even be a life-changing experience for most.
I wish I could be there with them but luckily the Homeless World Cup and Street Soccer USA both do a great job of covering the action for all of us sitting at home (or sitting on a bike on the road in my case). I hope that if you’ve never had that feeling that made you want to get off the couch and do something great that this moment will come into your life soon. Be careful though because they come in the form of watching a documentary, reading an article or just walking down the street and being inspired by something random.
Follow you dreams and be amazing by the journey. Today we cross the Arizona State line!!! 15 more days to San Francisco!