I just returned from an adventure into the past. I cleaned my attic. I’m on the end of life where I want to keep only things that bring me joy or have pertinence to my current life and I don’t want to accumulate more material possessions.
My attic was on my mind before I started my ride across the country, so much so that I wrote about it in a blog called Loose Ends, that, fortunately, didn’t have to be posted. I had sent a draft of it to my friend and website guru, Allison, to post in the event something final happened to me on the ride.
Back when my kids were growing up, life happened too fast, so ideas often got filed. One folder I uncovered in the attic was activities I thought my preteen son might like to do. Do you remember the blog post called “Expect the Unexpected?” Along that line, out of the folder came a clipping about a high school boy who had cycled across the United States! I had filed it for a boy becoming a teenager, hardly for a 67-year old woman.
Tyler Schefter is not a common name, so I googled it in hopes I might find him. I found a Tyler Schefter and a way to reach him — through the Contact Us page on his company website. I emailed him and got instant gratification — a reply within an hour!
Tyler had ridden across the country in 1995 when he was 16. He described the company he went with this way: “It was an amazingly relaxed organization. Basically two college kids and one cell phone that barely worked. Something tells me that none of it would fly these days. No support vehicles, nothing but paper road maps and a see what happens attitude.”
I asked him if the trip had affected his life. Here are excerpts from his reply.
- I learned that even the biggest of tasks is not that big of a challenge if you just wake up and keep making progress everyday. Some parts will not be fun (pouring rain, head winds, broken spokes, etc), but you do what you can and hope for better tomorrow.
- I also learned that all I really need to live can be stuffed in four bike panniers as long as you are surrounded by good people.
- It also instilled in me a love for the outdoors that continues today.
I can identify with all of his points, even though I didn’t use panniers.
Tyler’s business is located a bike ride from my house. I’m planning to visit him by bicycle in the new year.
Best holiday wishes to all of you!