Well, the long anticipated weekend has come and gone. What a wonderful weekend it was! The work was worth it! The heat--if the riders didn't complain, we didn't either!!
320 individuals participated--whether cycling or volunteering. A tentative count has it at about 280 cyclists covering 110 miles over 2 days from Bethesda MD to Gettysburg PA. I am sorry to say that I was not able to take pictures, but will be posting links to sites that will post them.
So many different people rode. "Angels" to an ambassador; Injured to non-injured; Sailors to Soldiers to Marines to Coast Guard to Air Force; Generals to Privates; Civilians to Milbloggers :-); people of all ages.
Here's some things from YouTube--and yes, I tear each time I look at these. These were forwarded onto me from friends--thanks!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqIFjwMmR20 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Sb2F3_gh8 Oh, and here's a video that was aired on the DC Fox News Friday night http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/local/042409_injured_soldiers_bike_ride
I am glad that we have been given this opportunity to work this event. So much good comes from an event such as this. The bonding between riders and volunteers can not be explained. For those of us that return every year--it's seeing old friends and catching up. To those riders that were recently injured, it shows they can still do things they did before they were injured. At the end of the very first ride I worked on, a young man who had lost his leg in Iraq and had just finished 110 miles, looked at me with the biggest smile on his face and said "L, this is the first time since I lost my leg that I felt normal".....You betcha we work to make that happen for all our warriors!
I am proud and honored to be working with the fine group of people who put on this event. Thank you!