Why I do it

3 04 2009

Today I realized why I am doing this trip.  I think living in LA can give one a skewed view of the world.  We started today by spending some time talking and riding with some school kids from Caliente.  They were a rambunctious group with a lot of energy.  It was obvious that they had been waiting for this day for a long time.  We must have had 75 kids riding along with us as we rode them to school from city hall.  We then had to backtrack to where we ended the previous day.  We had a guest rider come along with us today.  Noah was a former decathlete star at BYU who wanted to do his longest ride ever.  The day started with a pretty long climb.  It became apparent that Noah was struggling.  He decided outside Caliente to leave us, but he would not be forgotten.  We then got to the small town of Panaca, NV., population 800.  Harry, a local paramedic was waiting there for us.  Although it was not a scheduled stop, he said the kids at the local school had been waiting to see us come thru town (ok, likely waiting for Phil).  All of a sudden a mass of kids was riding towards us.  They were excited to ham it up for the camera.  I rode along a cute girl who said that her dad lived in California.  When I asked where, she said, “Main Street”.  When we pulled into town, many of the locals were waiting with signs for Phil and money for the MS cause.  The kids rode with us until the end of town, when Harry then offered to drive behind us to the top of the climb to keep us safe.  By this time, we were way behind schedule.  Again, the Airstream came to rescue.  We spent another couple of hours behind it to eat up some miles, but it was not enough.  We got to the second to last peak at 7 pm.  The temperature was in the 30’s and it was getting dark.  In perfect timing, Noah reappeared with his family.  He wanted to ride into Cedar City with us.  So in the dark with the Airstream leading and Noah’s family lighting the way from behind, we raced for over an hour in the pitch dark to get to Cedar City just after 9 pm.  It was great to have Noah with us.  When we arrived at the hotel, food was waiting courtesy of the local Chamber of Commerce.  So back to where I started.  I live in LA where neighbors that I have had for years barely look up to say hello and today we had people from different communities stepping forward to help us achieve our goals.  We had the innocence of youth happy to have and adventure coming thru their town.  Through very simple actions we were touched and were able  to touch those we came into contact with.

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2 responses

3 04 2009
Mike B

I’m looking up and saying “Hello.” … and I live in L.A. I’ll do it more often from now on. Thanks for the inspiring posts Ben.

3 04 2009
sandra h

of all your notes,this touched my heart the most…it makes me stop and think

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