On the third day we found acceptance. Not only the acceptance of the others but also the acceptance of ourselves. So the skilled set a speed test for themselves and shot off averaging 28K an hour over 100 k.
Those of us at the other end realized that we could simply have a nice day and we did coming in hours later. It was all OK. Any way any one of us wanted to ride this was ok. I did not feel like doing 102 k and so I took the soft option and did only 55. The soft option was designed into the whole design!!!
Behind all the freedom of the design was very careful consideration for what would drive the optimal environment. We were a group but the space for each of us to do exactly what they felt best was there. Now in the safety of the mood of acceptance in the entire group it was safe to be who we really were. No one was going to criticize the fit for wanting to go fast. No one would criticize the weak for going at their own pace.
Everyone could be themselves. What a feeling! To be ourselves in the context of a community that accepted that. Hey I could even have a wiz by the side of the trail and have 5 women ride by cheering me on!
Campbell says it best: “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” That night we all stayed up even later. We had music, we danced! We drank. We told stories around a fire (actually 3 candles). We returned to a communion that all humans had lived in for 4 million years.
The next day – Redemption. We awoke changed even more.
Today, our last, we decided innately, with no conversation, no vote and no debate that we would like to spend this precious day together.
So, as the pictures show you, we spent the day in community.
We dawdled. We chatted. We laughed. We looked around at the beauty of our landscape and wondered. All the veneer of polite society vanished. Much of the conversation was about our poor private parts. We reached out to each other. We cried. We knew that we had been part of something special. Now the shepherds were hardly needed, we all looked out for each other. Even the most injured, got on her bike for the last few k. She had to finish this in community.
We finally arrived at East Point in triumph.
Imagine feeling like that!!