Annie's ride

There are some moments that you think are special. But there are some that are just simply unforgettable.

I had the chance to be a part of a special ride for my teammate Annie and her family. Even though it was the middle of finals, our team prioritized the time to drive three hours out of their way to be a part of it. It’s something that, alone, speaks volumes for the kind of teammates I’m with.

The route was beautiful. It was in a part of Houston that I’ve never been to before, with smooth, flat roads and trees that reminded me of the redwoods in California. It made me wonder what kind of other things we would see on our way to Alaska.

Our rides usually don’t have someone or something waiting for us at the end; when we train, the burden we take is upon ourselves and shared between us. We celebrate the ups and hold each other in the downs. The small wins here and there are what keep us going.

Annie’s ride

Annie’s ride

But as we turned the final corner to end this ride, I saw a sea of people stretched out. With signs held high and smiles on their faces, you could barely hear yourself speak. Every one of them - here, in support of Annie, her father, and Texas 4000.

That day was a lesson on what our biking means to others. Why we ride. Through all the hugs and tears from crossing the finish line, there was a sense of strength and spirit. It was infectious; it spread like wildfire. It was a statement that shouted: “despite the challenges, we can”.

What a moment.