Until now, whenever I would hear the word "reunion," I would think of one of two things: high school, or unlikely. High school is obvious, and unlikely because - honestly - how often have we been a part of circles that have vowed to stay in touch and plan a reunion, and then never did? Or maybe you did, but the group was so out of context it was awkward and forced, as the part of your lives you shared and had in common have come and gone...
That latter was something I feared a bit when the 2008 Ride:Well Tour ended. I didn't think it would happen, and that was devastating. Then when it looked like it might, I was a bit afraid that it would be awkward since we didn't have the Mother Falcon, and no one would be riding their bicycle all day, every day. Fortunately, this turned out to be as far from the truth as possible.
This past week, 15 of the 18 members of our 2008 Ride:Well Tour traveled to a neutral location: Boone, North Carolina. We stayed in beautiful mountain homes donated to us for the weekend. Homes that allowed us adventures from games we played at camp to time around a circle as we took time to update on each others' lives. We ate and slept and hiked and biked and laughed and cried together. The staple that holds this group so close: we prayed together.
Ride:Well 2009 Reunion is far beyond words I can express on a page, but I can say I am blown away by how incredible this group works together, even under differing circumstances. One teammate even said, "I'm so glad I still like you guys when we're not on bikes!" Hilarious and true!
This weekend also left me thinking 24/7 about the 2009 tour. As 1 of 2 from the 08 R:W Team going with the 09 R:W team, I began to think logistically about the tour this weekend. I need a better bike, gear, time to train and fundraise, etc. The list is endless, and I am incredible thankful for the thoughts and advice the 08 tour has been able to share with me as I prepare for this incredible journey. That, and it gave me something to look forward to when several mentioned heading to Red Oak, Texas to meet the entire 09 team. I can't wait!