Weather Delays

Date: March 24th, 2017

From/To: Stratford, TX

Daily Mileage: 0 miles

Total Mileage: 1460 miles

Conditions: Not bike friendly

I spent the day in Stratford, Texas due to a bad weather system passing through the area. I woke up around 4:30AM to check the radar. I saw wind and storm advisories all along my route. Great. I decided that 45 mph winds with 70 mph wind-gusts wouldn’t lead to a favorable outcome, and I went back to bed. I woke up again around 9:00AM and started my day.  I didn’t mind the time off, but it certainly felt odd that my legs weren’t spinning. The weather held up its end of the deal, and I was confined to my small motel room for most of the day. I did some reading, I wrote a little, and by late afternoon I even had a chance to enjoy some March Madness. I haven’t been keeping up with the NCAA Basketball Tournament as much as I usually do so this was a nice opportunity to watch some games. Aside from that, it was a simple day in a simple town. I walked around a little after the storms passed, but the wind nearly knocked me off my feet several times, I can’t imagine the potential damage if I was riding.

Today I spent some time reflecting about why I’m on this trip. What intrigued me so much about biking across the country? I’ve been asked many times why I chose to do this and I often say I’m simply seeking adventure and promoting a good cause. Even so, there had to be some sort of ignition, an initial spark that gave me this idea. Where did it come from? I looked back at my childhood and remembered my days as a Boy Scout. I recalled one of my adventures out in Philmont, New Mexico with Troop 341. I spent twelve days backpacking across rugged mountains in the southwest part of the country. I carried 55 lbs on my back, and that was everything I needed to survive, nothing more. I was with a group of nine other scouts and adults.  I was 14 at the time and prior to this outing, adventure was playing around the neighborhood back home. The world away from home was nothing short of a mysterious place, full of unturned stones. When I was out there, I experienced what it’s like to step away from society. It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost like you pressed the refresh button and suddenly you see things a different way. I saw places that many people will never see. I climbed peaks that overlooked a panoramic view of mountains and forrest. I loved it. I now see that’s where my sense of exploration and adventure came from. Scouting provided me with the experiences I needed to understand and take on the outdoors, and even life as a whole. I learned how to embrace challenges that many wouldn’t imagine taking on. I became a leader, a problem solver, and most importantly a teacher. To teach from past experiences is a rewarding experience in itself. Furthermore, scouting taught me to seek out a life full of living. My advice is to take on opportunities, and when those opportunities are not directly handed to you go out and find them. Don’t settle for the minimum because you’ll go through life without understanding what it means to live. When pursuing opportunity, you’ll find yourself venturing down a path that will forever change you as a person. At the end of the path you’ll find your calling. Set fear aside, and quit worrying about how others will view you. If you stand out, if people question your methods, it means you’re on the right track. It may seem at times like the world is standing in your way, but if you look closely you’ll find only opponent you’ve ever needed to overcome is yourself. As Stephen King once said, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

I’ll pick up once again with the adventure to the Pacific tomorrow. Please come back then!

Enjoy The Ride,

-Matt

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