IT’S WHEEL DIP DAY!!!
This morning we woke around 5:15 to start getting ready for the day and our wheel dip! We packed up our bags, ate breakfast (apple pie with a side of apple? Why not!), filled the coolers (trying to make you proud on Cooler Crew Tay 😘), and cleaned the host. Since it was our host for leader & rider orientation and 3 stories, we had quite the mess to clean up and make it look better than how we found it.
Eventually we got downstairs and had our route meeting and town facts for Marathon. I did our NC2SD14 cheer to get the team fired up and ready for our first official ride! They finally got to experience Rally Aly and why that’s (one of) my nicknames.
My crew rolled out and of course managed to miss a turn on the 1 mile ride to the beach...and forgot to chalk (I’m usually never the first group!). But all was well and we made it to the beach and I took a Polaroid of my bike on the beach in Key West while we waited for the rest of the team to show up. Carly
put her feet in the water and this was her first time on a beach!!
I also took a few moments by myself to stand out on some (slippery) rocks/coral and let go of some of Dad’s ashes. Zack gave me the idea and I felt he was right and that Dad would’ve loved that 💙 I noticed Aiden was also taking a moment to honor his mom and we were able to share a tear-filled long embrace. I know they’re proud of us and are always with us ❤️❤️
By then, the rest of the team showed up and we dipped our back tires in the ocean! We took lots of photos and a few of us even ran (or carefully waded) into the water for more photo ops. Of course I had to be one of them—my mom also said “I hope you dance” when presented with opportunities like this, so of course I had to take it!
We then regrouped and I ended up rolling out with Noah, Jess, & Benson. I was pumped to have another enthusiastic alum with me and for the bike trail! It was a beautiful flat ride on a
bike trail—we are so spoiled! Lots of GoPro footage was taken 😊
Around mile 15 I was starting to need snacks and was already starting to get hot. The next 15 were a bit painful (perhaps I was a bit hot & hangry? 🤷🏼♀️), though for about 5 miles Noah and I had a great conversation about our faiths, jobs/desired jobs, & how lucky we feel to be on this trip. He’s precious and we even share a love for CS Lewis!
Eventually we made it to lunch where we ate in CVS parking lot of course (bc the Walgreens is wack!) and enjoyed DM-ed pizza Raffi managed to score us! I took a few breathers in CVS to grab some AC and just walk around a bit.
About an hour later we rode out for an additional 10 miles where I got my first official on-the-road flat! We were on a bridge (wide shoulder!) and I found a wire sticking out of my tire 😒 I managed to change it in about 5 minutes and we were off again. Unfortunately the leadership team decided it was best for us to shuttle the 7-mile bridge—a portion of
the ride I was looking forward to! However, I do understand where they were coming from (smaller shoulder, nowhere for the van to pull over to help if a rider was in distress, it’s the first day & people aren’t as comfortable yet, etc.) so we choose safety bc safety is sexy! We got dropped off at a parking lot I was familiar with since I was just here in June and ate just down the street from there—so crazy! We ride the last mile+ to the host, Church of Christ in Marathon.
We were welcomed by the kind hosts Sue (from NJ!!) and Tom and we’re accomdated with showers and AC. While I waited to shower I attempted to DM some dinner for tomorrow since we won’t have host dinner provided. After showering, I went out with a crew to practice driving the van as some of us 23+ year olds will help drive the lunch van—something I’m not upset about as I think this would be a fun way serve my team! 😊
We went back to the host and enjoyed *accientally* vegetarian hoagies from Subway, cookies & brownies (were so healthy!!), and coffee with Reese’s
creamer 😍 The hosts were so kind and nice to talk to! We have a dinner presentation and then “Mr Marathon” also have a presentation on Marathon and what the affordable housing crisis looks like here, esp post Irma and in light of all the vacation rentals eating up the housing industry down here. I was able to chat with him and had the idea of possibly having a crew from PBA do a workshop fall/spring break trip down here so we exchanged info & said he’d would be more than happy to accommodate them or B&B the next time we’re in town! Being on the inaugural year of a new route is exciting as you help build these connections!
Tonight we then pulled some mattered (yes mattresses! Told ya we’ve been spoiled today!) and had a girls sesh as we caught up on social media, blogs, etc together. It was nice to have some down time and to just chill—and I didn’t have to have FOMO while writing my blog 😊
They’re all asleep in the other room now and since we have another 5am wake up call tomorrow, I think I may go join them... ☺️
Tot: 3.071s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 13; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0396s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb