I visit a website called www.crazyguyonabike.com. It's a website where you can post your bicycle tour journal for everyone else to read. It's a very active community. I happened upon an already completed journal of a family of four who had done a 9,300 mile tour over the course of one year (the twins 3rd grade year). I saw that they were from Boise and we already knew we were moving to Boise so I emailed her.
I found out through the emails that they were planning another trip. This time they would be biking from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (the farthest point North) to Ushuia, Argentina (the Southern most point). Once they reached the end, their boys would be in the Guniess Book of World Records as the youngest people to bike the Pan American Highway. They would be leaving a few months before we were to move out there...but they were possibly going to come through Utah as they made their way to Mexico. We talked and she agreed that I could ride with them for a few days. I was super excited about it. But, my bike accident made sure that didn't happen.
Since I was living in Boise, I was thinking I would meet them when they finally got home. Well, we didn't stay long enough. They finally got home 2 months ago. It took them nearly three years to complete the journey. They boys are now 13.
The first 500 miles of the trip is on the Dalton Highway, an unpaved road that has one gas station. So they had to carry all their food for those 500 miles.
I followed along on their blog www.familyonbikes.org. It is a great read and makes me wish that I could take a similar trip!
Since coming home, they've been to several conferences and one of them was here in Atlanta. Tonight, they were at Stone Mountain for an impromptu presentation. I left straight from work because I HAD to meet them, but Nancy especially.
She and John are both very friendly and it was a lot of fun visiting with them after the presentation. It felt like I was visiting old friends...but then I have been reading about their daily lives for years so in a way, I was.
The woman taking the camera took a long time to snap the pic and I just started talkng to her so not a fan of the pic of me, but oh well.
Each of the 4 of them took turns talking about life on the road.
The boys introduced the 4 family members and discussed each person's roles.
John talked about the challenges they faced. And Nancy wrapped things up by talking about the lessons those challenges taught them. She summed it up by saying that we should all find what we are passionate about and to live life the way that we think is right for us, even when it is against the norm.
I really enjoyed listening to them talk and seeing their pictures, even though I've seen them on their web. They are definitely an example of what can happen when you consistently take small steps toward a goal.
Finally, I got to meet them! Who knows, maybe someday we'll live in the same town again (at the same time) and I'll even get to take a ride with them after all.