As I prepared for the completion of riding my bike across America, I expected an enlightening moment or great epiphany. I reflect back over the past three years and I have discovered the same Barbie, the same person, only with a new perspective on life.
In 2009, I rode the Mojave Desert and into Mingus Mountain. I recall feeling my first experience of extreme exhaustion and feeling doubtful on my ability to continue. It was during the 900 miles over 12 day tour that I looked into my soul and let myself heal.
The day is crystal clear in my mind. I was sitting with two friends and it occurred to me that I was hurt from my divorce. I sat and cried not expecting or even knowing that the pain existed. That year, I left my pain and hurt on the road and received much needed healing.
Last year in 2010, I rode 1400 miles over 21 days and I returned to self. All the clouds of doubt were lifted and I realized that I did not need a fan club or a cheerleader to get me through the hard times. Everything that I wanted to accomplish was inside me. It was my determination, my dream, and a desire inside my heart that would get me through.
This year, I rode 18 days and 1200 miles, enough time to ponder life’s ups and downs. As in life, you ride the road that is ahead of you. If the road stops, you figure out a way to go through it, across it, or over it. If you have a bad weather, be it wind, rain, or cold, you dress appropriately and roll forward. It really is that simple.
Cross country will be in and on my heart forever.