May 18, 2012

An alumni's thoughts on 4K;

An alumni's thoughts on 4K;

For the close to 100 riders we have leaving Baltimore in two weeks, I want to just leave you guys a few notes and some of my thoughts:

Reflect on yourself now. Really just look at yourself and say goodbye. Not in a bad way either. I mean it in the best possible way. Your life is never going to be the same, you are about to embark on the most important journey of your life. The 4K is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

Slow down. This is not a race across America. I made the mistake of pedaling hard every single day and racing from water stop to water stop. Slow down and smell the roses. America is a beautiful country, so be sure to stop at the small store in the middle of nowhere.

Your teammates are probably going to be some of the weirdest people ever. But then again, it takes 90+ crazies to decide to spend 10 weeks on a bicycle to ride over 4000 miles. Cherish them. There are going to be days where you love each other, and LOTS of days where you will be at each others throats. Remember this: you're a family. At the end of the day, your team is all you have on the 4k.

Try something new. You're going to be going through some pretty remote places and cities you aren't familiar with. You're going to encounter cultures that are different than you, but take it all with a grain of salt. Give in and try the Elk burger, or enjoy the huckleberries that the random homeless guy gives you.

Don't stop talking about the 4k. Every city you go to, its going to be 25 or more riders coming in with matching gear and people are going to be wondering who you are. Be friendly and spread the mission. Explain the 4k and give them more information. The wider we cast our blanket, the better.

Remember why you are riding. There were MANY days where I wanted to just throw my bike and not ride anymore (it happened, team seattle can tell you about it) you just have to remember why you are riding. I guarantee to you that whatever you're upset about at the time is much smaller than the reason why you ride. When things start to go sour, just remember who you ride for and take a minute to decompress. The cause is much more important than the fact that you've eaten peanut butter and jelly on smashed bread for 6 out of 7 days that week.

Share your story. All of your friends who are at home will be looking forward to seeing your trip across America. Be sure to broadcast your story for everyone to see. Let them know you're alive and let them know about the people you meet. You will be amazed at how many strangers you will meet who have been touched by cancer. You are going to be a huge source of inspiration for all the people you meet.

Prepare to see the best and worst in each other. Prepare to become stronger in every sense of the word. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Welcome to the 4K for Cancer, you're in for the wildest journey of your life.

I am very proud of you all... and most importantly, THANK YOU for what you are doing. You won't hear it enough in my opinion. This is a huge undertaking. Thank you.

Cycle. Inspire. Unite.

Ali Samadpour
Team Seattle 2011


Posted by vsrinivas at May 18, 2012 01:37 AM