The email simply said: “I hope you don’t have plans for April 7 – 11.” I read it and screamed.
I personally know three people that have injured or killed others while driving and I know several others who have been victims of drunk driving accidents. I miss those who are no longer with us and those who survived are shadows of the people they could’ve become. I am also a participant in the sport of triathlon bringing with it inherent risks. I will be out on the roads cycling for countless hours as I train for my IronMan in November. Anything I can do to mitigate my risk I will do. These are some of the reasons why, along with a friend, I started Bike Key Biscayne to promote safe cycling in my community; and all of this combined made my decision to apply to the GEICO Road Safety Bike Tour a no brainer.
The application was lengthy as anyone who is interested in cycling would drool at the opportunity of being taken care of while riding for four days across the state. What you have to show is your commitment to the safe driving cause, and I can honestly say this matters to me a great deal. The application also consisted of a qualifier ride. In my case, I rode with one of the past participants. Though I knew her, we both wanted an honest and objective evaluation as I do not want to get into something that I won’t be able to complete. Four hundred miles is intimidating enough to add to it any insecurity about my riding skills.
But then there was my life to think of: my kids, my work and my training. I have never been away from my kids for that long, and it is testing week at the Florida public schools so I will need to work on not taking guilt along for this trip. Joe, my faithful cheerleader, committed to “figuring things out” on the home-front. I know he has no idea of how to do that but yet I believe him whole heartedly. On the work side, even before I applied to the ride I spoke to the School Principal (I’m a teacher). She was wonderful and said not only did she support me, but we could get the school involved in raising awareness. Finally on the training side, what a confidence boost to begin my IronMan training in June after having completed these four hundred miles in April.
So when I got the one sentence email hoping I wasn’t busy April 7 to 11, I screamed because those days were open. I was waiting to fill them up with a difficult yet rewarding challenge, and now that will be one very busy week. I am committed. Florida GEICO Road Safety Bike Tour … this is my official RSVP!