There are two things that I feel very strongly about:
- Travel and
- Supporting a cause
So why not combine the two and have the adventure of a lifetime?!
At the beginning of 2016, I let myself be talked into signing up for a 140 mile bike ride along the Big Sur coastline in California. The point of such a big ride through one of the most beautiful, yet scary, roads in the U.S. was to raise funds on behalf of ADRA International. More specifically, for the school ADRA Lebanon opened in 2014, for refugee children.
It honestly wasn’t too difficult to make my decision. The only reason for my hesitancy was because, quite frankly, I’m not a cyclist. But, no matter how much I tried to say “no” and ignore the desire to go the word “adventure” kept creeping up in my brain. So finally I came to the conclusion that if going through this adventure will help me procure much needed funds for children who will be forever changed by it, then why not?! I’m in!
I had this great big plan of training throughout the summer so that when I got to Big Sur I’d be riding through it like a pro. Yeah, that didn’t happen at all. The most I did on a bike before heading out were 11 miles. Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous as I arrived to the meeting place.
It was nice to see that not everyone was an expert rider and there were a couple other beginners in the group. We did our best to stick together, motivate each other, and watch out for cars! The first day was incredibly difficult, but doable. The second day was another story. The second day felt like death might come either by hills, cars, or cliffs. I actually started out that day by having to get into one of the support vehicles because I just couldn’t do it. I even cried because I felt like such a failure. But that’s okay, because eventually I got back on the bike and continued cycling with the rest of the group. The third day was absolute bliss. The rout was changed to 26 miles instead of 40 and to flatter ground. Everyone was elated!
The 3 day Big Sur, California classic for ADRA was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, and I couldn’t be happier to have accomplished this feat! Through this physical challenge I was able to raise just a bit over $2,000 USD for ADRA Lebanon’s school; and as a group we raised over $50,000 USD! Our mission was accomplished.