For the first time in six years, 2,500+ miles and thousands of people fed through the efforts of Bike Out Hunger – Texas, we had our first rain cancelation today. We tried to fit in an altered route, but then the storms and the tornado warnings came – which several caring motorists told us about on our way to shelter with the SAG support vehicles.
This extra time off the bike helped me realize just how much food I and these fellow cyclists take in to be able to ride 500 miles a week with 28,000 feet of climbing. It takes energy (food) to ride. It also takes energy (food) to do well in school, to do well at a job and even to live life.
While I have been trying to fill my stomach to replace the extra 4,000 calories burned in a day, I’m still reminded of those who don’t get to look forward to a supper at home after a hard day. During the ride, I think about the big supper I’m going to eat, how good it will taste and how great my body will feel as it replenishes itself and grows stronger. The other thought is I’m fortunate enough to have reliable access to food when many aren’t.
The need for food is similar, yet the alleviation of hunger is vastly different. I’m hungry for food to replace energy used during cycling while children and parents are looking to replace energy used at school or at work. I know I’m going to eat and I know I’m going to have leftovers. Too many in our state don’t know if they’ll have food at home or when they’ll eat next.
One thing that keeps me pedaling (in addition to my stupid competitiveness) is I know I have a choice. I don’t have to ride hard. I don’t have to ride at all. I can simply stop my bike, get in the SAG, rest and begin eating. Stopping early is another luxury that is not shared with those in need of food. Heading home early from school or work because of hunger doesn’t solve the problem if hunger dwells at home. So, I choose to continue pedaling. Not because I’m trying to mimic their pain, but because by riding, encouraging other riders and raising money for the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, we are actively ending the cycle of hunger.
Help us fight hunger by donating. Here’s a link to the event page. At the bottom are names of cyclists. I ask that you sponsor me, but honestly, I don’t care who you sponsor – just join the effort.