A week ago the members of the Michigan Darfur Coalition received an email to inquire whether any of us would be participating in The Ride for Refuge. Chuck Breen, who just recently lost his battle with Melanoma led our team for this event in the past. He raised nearly $800 to help kick off the Charlton Breen Refugee Assistance Fund. This year Ginny Mitchell is our team captain and I just signed up to ride too.
I am a little nervous about this challenge. I am not an experienced rider. The most I have ever ridden has been in my friend Jenny’s spin class. That was over four years ago and that bike was nailed to the floor. The Ride for Refuge can be as little of a commitment as a five mile family ride or as long as a 60 mile jaunt through Grand Rapids.
I have thought about it and decided that I am going for 60. Apparently that is about a four hour bike ride.
My friend Jacob Atem was carried through southern Sudan by his older cousin for miles to a refugee camp seeking sanctuary. He is now building a hospital to meet the medical needs of the people of Sudan. Abubakar has had to learn English on the fly. Not only to function as a new American but so that he can courageously share his story for the sake of the people he had to leave behind. I thought walking the streets of Chicago for leisure and entertainment was going to kill me.
I emailed Ginny tonight to let her know that I was in. I dusted the cobwebs off of my bike, plugged in my iPod and brought my journal for another mini expedition along the way. I’ll tell you more about that later. It included this….
…but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.
On my maiden voyage, I discovered a few problems already.
Hitting my face, landing in my eye and generally giving me the heebee-jeebees.
I think I need some sunglasses.
Not like these show stoppers.
As per usual, built for style and not function.
Hey, Lance! Got any glasses I can borrow! While your looking for those, I could also use a pair of those padded shorts. If my Va-Jay-Jay was sore after a couple of miles it may be time for some padded shorts.
I also committed a serious biker infraction. I forgot my helmet! Obviously, the safest combination is bike, bare skull and an iPod. I want to survive this experience in tact so from now on I will be covering my cranium.
I am looking forward to training with my sister in law Leah. She is awesome. She is also a much tougher girl than me. Always a lady, unless the Red Wings are losing. However, for now, it’s just Ginny and I. Send me an email or just visit my profile page if you would like to participate. I promise I’ll ride in back so that when I wobble I won’t knock other team mates over. Unless you need the comedic relief to keep you motivated. In which case, I would take a slow and uncertain lead.
Cross my heart,
Read the next post; 5 Reasons to Ride for Refuge.
In memory of Chuck Breen, for his dedication and tireless efforts for the people of Sudan, MDC has established the “Charlton Breen Refugee Assistance Program Fund (CBRAPF).” In August of 2009, the Michigan Darfur Coalition launched CBRAPF to assist refugees from Sudan who are living in Michigan. Our goal is to help them become self-reliant. Assistance is provided on the basis of the refugee’s long term goals and our determination of how we can best help.