It's a trippy thing, leaving a parent on the side of the road in the depths of South Dakota's nothingness. "Trip of a lifetime" is how he described it when I first caught up with him in Warland, Wyoming. "Do you have matches? Sunscreen? You're sure you know how to search for campgrounds and gas stations on Google Maps?" Words of a worried son.
The Gregory is halfway through biking across America. He's had a support vehicle for the first half, but as I turned around two days ago, he loaded his panniers and set out on his own.
He's trained for it for years, and dreamed about it longer. Nobody plans more meticulously, or does it more frugally than The Gregory. Those panniers, that Trek 300... they're older than I am.
It's been immensely rewarding to see him tackle the biggest mountain pass of the trip, to roll in at the end of 96 miles in 103 degrees, ready to go see a movie with me. We took in Mount Rushmore, weathered a tornado at Devil's Tower, and perused the Badlands together. Spending a week and a half cheering on the guy who, for me and my siblings, went deep into learning how to coach and ref soccer...to be on the sideline for him, cheering him on, feeding him a steady stream of sliced white bread, stale marshmallows and V8 juice... it's been awesome. And immensely rewarding. And it's been motivating. Makes me want to redouble my efforts to pursue the life I really want to live.
So, if you're in Minnesota this week, listen for the classic rock blaring from the Bluetooth speaker on the back of the cyclist wearing the lime green jersey he got for free from his previous employer. If it's The Gregory, he'll be singing along with the bass line. He'll be going slow and steady, admiring this year's crop of pronghorn calves, and watching for turtles he can help to cross the road safely.
When you see him, do me a favor? Give him a little extra space when you pass, would you? We're anxious to get The Gregory back.
#cyclist #adventuredad @trekbikes @v8juice #bikeacrossamerica #stalemarshmallows