The First Day…

night rideApprox 120 miles of riding, 13 hours 22 minutes, close to 100 pounds of gear, bike, pack, and water weight…

Day 1 is in the books!

As I was riding away from Railroad Park in Birmingham, AL it was sad to leave behind all of my wonderful friends and family. At the same time though, I had an overwhelming feel of “I’m really doing this! It’s real now!

Pretty soon though my thoughts turned to the very pressing issues of navigation, hydration/nutrition, and survival.

Riding a bike for 13 plus hours gives you a whole different perspective on time and distance.  Minutes turn into hours, hours into days, and days into weeks.  And mistakes are punished! Running out of food because you were in a hurry and skimped on your food packing is something that you can easily punish you for 20 miles or more which seems like forever! Yes, experience is a harsh but very effective teacher and she quickly teaches you to be a very quick learner!

Some of the highlights of the day were the people that I met. The man in Blountsville who had seen my story of the news that morning and offered words of encouragement along with becoming a supporter of Neverthirst. The two teenage boys who approached me on the side of the road during a food break at a church who asked about my journey. We ended up talking for 10 minutes about going for your dreams in live and living a life of purpose. Finally there was the kind lady that I met at a gas station 50 miles into the trip who kept telling me how proud she was of me for what I was doing and that she would be praying for me every single day of this journey.

After only one day, I’m starting to believe that it is the people I meet during this journey who will be my greatest memory.

As for my struggles… The hardest part was the hours I spent around the Lacey Springs, AL area riding in the dark on a two lane highway. There was no shoulder and cars would fly by at 50 plus miles per hour.  Where the shoulder SHOULD have been, there were waist high weeds.  My survival strategy became  get on the road and peddle as fast as I could , turning my head to look for headlights behind me every 5 seconds. When the headlights got someone close I would have to run off the road into the waist high weeds and wait until the highway was empty again before I would drag my heavy bike back on the road and start peddling/looking over my shoulder again.  It was during this time that I really began to feel how real this adventure is now, and just like in regular life, it’s up to me to do what it takes to make it successful.

One of the high points of the day was definitely when I crested a big hill that I had been crawling up at 5mph and could finally see the city of Huntsville’s lights in the distance.  It ended up still being a couple of hours before I arrived in the city at my destination, but it felt good to finally see with my own eyes the goal that I had been visualizing in my mind and chipping away at mile by mile all day long.

Today has been spent eating, doing a fundraising event at Iron Tribe Fitness in Huntsville, and doing a couple of TV and newspaper interviews, and eating some more! I’ve been blown away with the hospitality that everyone has shown me and i’m almost worried that it is going to have me spoiled for the rest of the trip 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll be up early and heading towards Nashville. I am still deciding if I’m going to try to do it all in one shot or break it up into two days. I’ll probably just see how the first couple of hours feel and make the call at that point.

Thanks again to everyone who is supporting The Waging War On Normal Bike Tour For Water! I’m so excited to continue working towards our goal of raising $100,000 for Neverthirst.  We need your help! Donate, contact Neverthirst about hosting a lemonAID stand, tell your friends… There are so many ways that you can help. The over 4,000 children who are dying EVERY SINGLE day need your help. Just contact me if you would like more ideas on how you can help make and impact and we’ll put you to work! 🙂

Please go to this link to make a donation today! Every single penny helps!!

Spread the word!

– Robert

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