In the beginning…

Whew! What an AWESOME 4 days it’s been! When I think about the fact that I met all these people in Nags Head less than a week ago, it absolutely blows my mind. I’m so thankful for the friendships I’ve made thus far and I can’t wait to become even closer to my teammates. I’m SO happy that we still have miles and miles to go because I’ve loved every second of my time on this trip, and I can’t even let myself think about this having to come to an end.

Since I’ve been MIA these past few days due to no phone service in all three towns we were in (thanks for nothing, AT&T), I have a bit of recapping to do. I’ll try to share what I feel is most important and spare you the boring details.

Day 1: We all dipped our back tires in the Atlantic Ocean and started our journey!!!

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The first day was about 70 miles to Swan Quarter, NC. It was a mentally tough day for me. Flat roads in the middle of nowhere were pretty boring and I was ready for a change in scenery. The landscape definitely improved as we made our way into Swan Quarter, which had many more cute little farm houses! When we got there, we were served dinner by the church members. We got to set up hammocks for a bit and just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after our first day.

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Day 2: We rode about 30 miles to Belhaven, NC! Felt good to have a short ride on the second day!

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The people of Belhaven took us in with open arms!

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I had the pleasure of getting to spend the day at the house of a lovely older couple named Dewitt and Jan, who welcomed us into their beautiful home right on the water!

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We got to take warm showers and do all our laundry, as well as eat delicious food prepared by Jan (her lemon pie was TO DIE FOR!). We also got to take a boat ride with Dewitt…

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Shortly after the picture was taken, the boat broke down, with an impending storm staring us down in the distance. We called someone at the marina to come pull our boat in, so everything turned out okay. We returned to the house to listen to stories from Dewitt and Jan about when they first met and other funny stories from their past. We ate a great meal at the church and went to a local bar at night, where we decided that we would play a game called buffalo for the rest of the trip… If someone catches you drinking a beer while holding it with your right hand, they will yell “buffalo!” and you have to chug the remainder of your beer. I’m excited to see what stories come from this game.

Day 3: The ride was about 50 miles to Greenville, NC, home of East Carolina University. The day started out with Amelia, “regular” Ryan (as opposed to “leader” Ryan), and myself singing Billy Joel classics. Later, regular Ryan, Tim, Meg, Tyler, and me found ourselves in a pace line going 17-18 mph for 20 miles or so. Totally didn’t plan it but it felt great and we were kicking ass!! After lunch, we found a flea market to stop in and browse around, but we didn’t find anything good. We cruised into Greenville and spent the night at Covenant Church, which opened up their huge youth room to us. We spent the night playing ping pong, fooseball, dodgeball, and spike ball! When else do 20-somethings have an excuse to play goofy, childish games like that with one another?! I laughed so hard I cried when Conor (debatably the manliest man on our trip) got taken out HARD in dodgeball by Sean (the skinniest guy on our trip). A couple of Bike and Build alumni, Dre Antono (SUS’11) and Brandon Casper (CUS’12), decided to hitch a ride from Raleigh to Greenville so that they could ride with us to Wake Forest the next day!

Day 4: After my first good night of sleep, we headed off on our longest ride yet – 84 miles to my hometown of Wake Forest, NC! The day started our awesome because Dietlinde (pronounced Deet-Linda) and I were cruising through country roads, having great conversation about our families, beliefs, and things that influenced us to do this trip. When we stopped for lunch, we saw ominous clouds in the distance. It soon began to pour rain for about 15 minutes. We cruised in a pretty big group through Wilson, NC and soon hit some rolling hills as we pulled into Wake County.

We all keep chalk in our pockets to write arrows and other fun notes to each other while we’re riding. My favorite chalk notes of the day were “YOU LOOK FABULOUS” written at the top of a killer hill, and then later an arrow pointing forward with a note that said “Kim’s house” right beside the Wake Forest town limit sign. Both made me so happy!!!

My family got the pleasure of hosting my entire team for dinner at my house. My friend Anna Stokes (B&B alumnus SUS’09) made us DELICIOUS pasta and my mom provided several beverages, both for hydrating and dehydrating.

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It was an awesome night and I’m so happy to have been able to share my home with my new B&B family!!

Chapel Hill bound today! An easy, but maybe hilly, 39 mile ride!

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