Welcome to the 2007 Dream Ride Blog. My name is Dan Healy, and along with Eamon Aloyo, Chris Well, and Walt Scheirer, we have organized the rides that will be taking place this summer. Honestly, I have never really blogged much so I’m not really sure how to get this whole thing started, so bare with me.
I expect by now, you have had a chance to look through the rest of the website and understand what the Dream Ride is all about, so I suppose I will explain how I got involved with all this and why I’m helping to organize this ride. I have always enjoyed riding my bicycle. I grew up in a pretty rural area of Pennsylvania and so my primary form of transportation was my bicycle. When I was in Junior High, I participated in a bicycle camp which rode from North Conway, NY north into Vermont, Canada, and then back down to North Conway. We covered about 60 miles each day and by the end of the ride I was amazed to look at a map and see how far we had really gone. I believe it was at that point, looking at a map of the United States and tracing out the route that I began to contemplate what it would be like to ride all the way across the country. I believe thats what got the idea in my head, and there it sat smoldering for many years. Last year, while taking a class at the University of Colorado at Boulder I saw an advertisement for a cross country bike trip advertised on chalk board. It immediately grabbed my attention and I wrote the website address on the back of my hand. That night when I got home I immediately looked up the site and read through all of the content. It was at that moment I knew I would be participating in that ride. I signed up for the ride, raised the money to participate, and made my way to Seattle. About sixty days later, 4000 miles, and many, many, many pedal strokes, I dipped my tires in the atlantic ocean, having completed my dream of riding my bicycle across the country. Of course thats only part of the story.
The ride I participated in, like this ride, was raising money to help combate many of the ills that face the world’s population. I have always felt simpathy for the suffering in the world, but I had never taken an active role in curbing the suffering because I always was looking for a panacea, the cure-all. I guess in my mind if the effort didn’t address all the problems then what was the point? It was during last summer’s ride, that I came to realize there is no panacea, and that in order to change the world, we must take on the problems of the world a little at a time. It was very much like riding my bicycle across the country. While I don’t like to admit this I had attempted to ride my bicycle from Harrisburg, PA to Boulder, CO the summer before and had failed miserably after only riding for 5 days. I believe that part of the reason I failed was because i kept thinking about all of the riding I would have to do in order to accomplish my goal, and mentally that killed me. If you try and take on everything at once, you’re pretty much destined to fail. However, last summer, I was able to successfully ride across the country because I only ever took on the mileage and the distance that had to be covered on that particular day. In the same way I learned that to solve global poverty, or the aids epidemic, or the lack of education throughout the world, the problem must be taken on a little at a time. In that way, day by day, you can slowly begin to change the world around you. This is my understanding of the purpose of the Dream Ride. We wamt to give people the opportunity to learn how to take on big huge problems a little at a time. Of course you also get in great shape, meet amazing people all across the country, make life long friendships with your fellow riders, aquire a great story to tell at dinner parties, get awesome bike short tan lines on your legs, rediscover how amazing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can taste, eat more food than you’ve ever eaten before in your life and not gain a single pound, see several mountain ranges, the great plains, the lakes of Minnesota, the hills of Pennsylvania, several great US cities, and so much more…(ps I’m being a bit biased since I’m focusing only on the cross country ride, but the two week ride will be an equally amazing undertaking. It has been designed to be just as challenging as the cross country ride, while riding through interesting towns both large and small. If you have any interest in doing either one of these rides, but feel some hesitation, please email myself or one of the other organizers and you’ll soon be convinced that an undertaking like this is completely worth it.)