All the planning, fundraising, begging and hours of peddling have paid off. Tomorrow Sandi and I board the bus that will take us to Sunday River to ride the 180 miles in the Trek Across Maine!
We are riding as part of the Gold's Gym team of Bangor. And it isn't going to rain at all. At least that is what I keep telling myself. I am willing the little rain icon on my iphone weather app to change to sun. I am checking in non-compulsively every hour. It's only Friday I'm concerned with. The weekend looks beautiful.
I would imagine that for people that aren't us, this wouldn't take so much effort. But for us, trying to negotiate the logistical maneuvers of being without our kids for four days, making up clinical hours and trying to fundraise every last penny it costs to do the Trek as well as the actual fundraising minimum, this is no small feat.
Each rider must raise at least $500 to do the Trek. If you don't meet the goal, you actually have to give the money yourself. I worked hard to raise the entire $1,000 for Sandi and I. But then a whole bunch of last minute donations came in I actually raised about $1,200! Thank you so much to everyone who donated, big or small, to help us get there! That is a lot of money!
Adding up the other expenses, here is what I came up with for the two of us:
Trek registration= $120 ($60 each)
bus tickets (to the start line in Bethel and from the finish line in Belfast) = $120 ($60 each)
team jerseys = $68 together (the cost after proceeds from a bake sale and a donation from the gym)
overnight lodging at Sunday River the night before we depart = $140
That totals $448. Plus we had to take the hybrid tires off Sandi's bike in favor of road tires. And we also have to pay for our meal at Sunday River. Other than that the Trek puts us up for free in dorm housing the other two nights and feeds us the whole way through, including lobster at the finish (for real). It is an incredible deal really.
Now I don't say this to discourage anyone from doing the Trek. I say it so that I can brag to you that I also raised all of the money to cover our expenses!! For a family of four in their twenty first month without a primary income, frivolity is not our main practice. If we were going to do the Trek, I was going to figure out how to afford it.
First off, I put my skills to work and baked like I a mad woman for the team bake sale.
Maya and I helped with the team car wash. We did a silent auction at the gym. (I got some really generous donations from local businesses that I greatly appreciate!!!) We also had a team yard sale which made me clean out my closets (and the kids their room) plus I got donations for that so I was able to recoup a lot of money for expenses there.
Then, all that remained was the fun part: riding my bike. I have ridden and ridden and ridden some more. I truly love to ride my bike and find such solace out there on the road, whether with people or alone. I've ridden a bunch of times with my friend Chris and it was really nice to have company and chat the miles (and the hills) away. I've ridden alone and loved that no one really knew where I was or could find me. Most recently, Sandi began her training (with 2 weeks to go until the Trek, all that her crazy clinical schedule would allow) and I have gotten to ride with her. It feels kind of illicit for us to both be out on our bikes together. Like...ummm, isn't one of you supposed to be home with your kids?
It has been just like old times. Trish watched the girls for us last Friday so we could do the 50 mile loop to Bucksport and back. Heaven, I tell you. Heaven.
I'm totally ready for the Trek. I'm ready for the time away, I've trained hard and am now resting (ish) and I'm halfway packed. Sandi has cranked out a ridiculous number of miles in less than two weeks and makes it look easy to just hop on a bike and ride 50 miles.
Day 1 is 67 miles. We've got all we need.
I'm really psyched to get out on my bike and get to ride so far with the support that is the icon of the Trek Across Maine. I'm really looking forward to the energized feel and comaraderie that is so palpable at the Trek. But, shhhh.... don't tell anyone that the Trek is really just a way to get Sandi to myself for a few days. The cycling is just a bonus.