When I first contemplated signing up for the ride there were two people that helped me make my decision, my father and Walt Disney. I overheard my dad mentioning to my uncle how I was training for this big ride, at the time I was still contemplating it, but well after hearing my dad say it I knew I could not disappoint him so I started filling out the registration form. I had trouble hitting the final submission key though on that form, so to take a moment and really think about it I decided to visit Facebook. Low and behold what should I see but a quote from Walt Disney himself, " The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." So rather than keep talking about doing something great, I went back and hit the submission key.
Training has become a love hate relationship for me lately. I love getting on my bike and just riding through the countryside. It doesn't matter where I am,either around home, or in Vermont or in Central New York. There is nothing in the world compared to the simplicity of just pedaling and really being part of your surroundings. The hate part of my training is simple, I hate the fact that I can't get on the bike as often as I would like. Life has a funny way of getting in the way all the time.
I have met many wonderful people along the way. The other day I decided to get a quick ride in before some meetings, the trail wasn't that far away and it looked well marked, those are some famous last words. After receiving some last minute instructions of where to get on the trail I started pedaling along the Erie Canal, that right there is pretty cool to me being the history dork that I am. As I was pedaling I could imagine the boats floating down the canal with the mules pulling them along on the very path I was pedaling. After pedaling for a while I realized I did need to head back to attend the meetings, darn life for getting in the way once again. But in typical Lori fashion I realized I had made a wrong turn, or missed a turn. I could have just turned on the phone and looked at a map, but why do that when there was an angel sent to me to give me directions? Dave is a retired gentlemen that travels between Florida and Utica throughout the year and most mornings you will find him out riding his bicycle. When I asked him how to get back to the Campus, he said "not only will I tell you but I will take you there myself," and that he did. You see I did not miss a turn, the turn was gone; it was under construction and to all appearance was impassable, but not for Dave. He showed me where to go through the fences, carry over re-bar, ride along abandoned trails, and to finally arrive at our destination. When I set out that morning I only envisioned riding along where history had occurred, but instead I was rewarded not only with history but with an angel where one was not expected. Thank you once again Dave, without your help it would have been another ride, but instead it was an adventure I will look back at with a smile.
When I first signed up to do the Tour des Trees I would lie awake at night wondering, " What am I doing, What was I thinking?" There were so many nights of insomnia that I wondered if I would ever sleep again. The looming thought of first getting a bicycle to do the ride was over daunting and then to actually raise $3500 during this tough economical time for so many people seemed impossible. As I laid awake every night though I would say a silent prayer, asking for support, for assurance and most of all sanity to complete this endeavor. He heard my prayers and he answered.
Now as the date is fast approaching I realize that I may not be completely ready physically, but my bike is ready and I truly have learned how many friends I have in this big world. I have reached my fundraising goal of $3500 and I could not have done it without all my friends who believe that trees are the answer and they do need our support. So as I start pedaling this Saturday at Niagara Falls, I will not be alone. Riding along with me will be all my friends who contributed financially and physically, which I would like to thank Vicki for all those morning chats at the gym as I dragged myself for over eight months. When I reach the moment where I don't think I can keep pedaling I will hear all of you cheering me on and somewhere deep down I will find my reserves and I will keep pedaling. But if you should be in the area, could you possibly give me a gentle push? I would appreciate it very much.
Thank you once again to everyone that has supported me, not only do I thank you but our future generations thank you because through your support we will have trees for them to enjoy.