What an amazing past week it’s been! We have completed two centuries, seen some of the most beautiful mountain ranges, and ridden through the greenest of fields. We’ve talked to more cows than humans, mastered the art of scouting out the tallest bush we can find to pee behind, and eaten more pb&j’s than we dare to confess. We’ve experienced head winds and we’ve been pushed by some tail winds. We’ve slept in churches, hotels, and some of the most hospitable homes we could’ve ever hoped for!
The weather has been beautiful since being in Idaho. We’ve had nothing but sunshine! Our burns are finally being soothed with aloe vera and multiple cans of sunscreen, and thanks to our sponsors, we have all the supplies we need to stay healthy and covered! The people we have met along the way have definitely been a highlight. They have encouraged us greatly whenever we talk about the cause and explain why we are doing what we are doing. Sometimes it’s a brief conversation at a gas station or in a restaurant, other times we get a little more time to have conversations with people we grab meals with, people we get to spend the night with, or people who email us questions about the ride. Multiple people have felt compelled to donate to the campaign, which has been awesome! Some offer advice on route details, and others are just happy to meet people who care about fighting the water crisis.
The route has consisted primarily of backroads and old highways, all of which have been flooded with beauty and kept us safe with a wide enough shoulder to stay out of car’s ways (for the most part!). We’ve ridden along the Snake River, next to thousands of cows, horses, goats, sheep, and through countless miles of open fields.
Our drivers have been nothing but amazing. Hannah and Ashley have perfected their leapfrogging skills and usually stay about 5-15 miles in proximity to us at all times. We’ve had Subway AND Dominos grace us with free food, as well as multiple families feed us with meals that have fueled our bodies and given us strength to ride hard. Shoutout to the drivers who spend all day asking (as uncomfortably as it can be) for people to house us, feed us, and care about the cause the same way we do!
This last weekend we had our first rest day in Boise, Idaho. It came at the perfect time. We were a van full of exhausted, sleep deprived, burnt out girls whose bodies were wondering what in the world they signed up for. John and Martha, our hosts in Boise, restored our tired bodies with beds, showers, and some of the most amazing food! John rode the last 30 miles from Vale to Parma with us, teaching us how to pace line (which will totally come in handy when we hit the midwest!). We have plenty of time to work on it, but learning to trust riding on the tire of one another will definitely take some getting used to. John and Martha were the most gracious people we could’ve found for our rest day. They gave us gourmet meals, plenty of dessert, and great conversation. Our rest day was exactly that, a rest. We enjoyed good coffee, sleeping in, and the freedom of not suiting up in our bibs when 8 am came around.
We are learning what our bodies really are capable of. The rolling hills, the climbs, the wind, it all makes for a great test to prove what we can do. Some days are harder than others, mentally and psychically. We are learning what it looks like to function as one cohesive unit rather than individual cyclists. Our bodies are teaching us when to be gentle with them and what they require of us in order to do the hard work they do. We’re still figuring it out, but little by little, everyday, we are taught more. We are listening more. It’s beyond encouraging to know we have people who are concerned about how we are doing, people who are cheering us on and believing in us, and those who get more educated about the global water crisis when they hear about Ride for Water. We have been able to talk to some incredible people and show them why caring for people matters.
All in all, we want to leave you with a thank you! Thank you for following us along this journey, thank you for your encouraging words that have given us strength to continue, and continue to keep us in your thoughts as we strive to inform people on the global water crisis! We are riding across America because it matters. It matters to those living without access to clean and safe drinking water, so it matters to us because we have the ability to do something about it. Let’s learn to take care of each other and continue to fight for the right’s of one another.
We are safe, we are healthy, and we are learning oh so much! Post again soon.
The Women’s Team