Finally … a tiny little break! 2017 may be my busiest year of “post-retirement” yet! I’m taking ONE day off to sit down and catch up with this blog, then get back to work for the next gig.
I just wrapped up “Gig 1” (of two) for Adventure Cycling this season … the first being the classic “Southern Tier” tour … a van-supported crossing from San Diego California to St. Augustine Florida: 3200 miles in 59 days.
I did this same tour as a new leader in 2015 with a wonderful mentor and great friend, Paul Osika. This year, I was the tour veteran, and introduced a new leader, Doug Lukach to the ropes of running a tour.
And it was an easy tour!
Why? Because we had a group of riders that blended and bonded and worked together so well, that it was a real joy to watch. I could not have asked for a more easy-going and friendly group. Oh sure, we had some really tough days mixed in with the easy sweet days. But this gang worked through everything as a team and never once appeared to have lost sight of the real goal … to have the most fun ever!!
And, there was dancing … lots of it!
If you’ve followed me, or “US” on Facebook, you’ve seen a great show of images and stories of the trip. But I’d like to mention “The Last Day” … the BEST day for a tour leader. Why is that?
The last day is special. Even for a tour leader for whom a cross-country tour may seem “routine”, the last day of the tour is the most rewarding. This is the day that you see a group of people, who most likely might have been complete strangers on one coast, have become such great friends by the end that they are hugging and kissing and crying together in joy, sharing the accomplishment of a huge, challenging adventure together.
Many will have become lifelong friends, but ALL of them will remember THIS day as one of the greatest days of their lives.
And I get to watch the whole thing. How cool is that?
Enjoy the last photos of the Southern Tier 2017!