Immediately after lunch today, I got a message from a friend of mine who was a team leader on a Bike & Build trip last summer. Apparently one of his riders from last summer was leading a group on the Northern U.S. route this summer, and their group was riding through Cleveland today and were a little bit lost. I grabbed a spare bike map from our bike planner, hit the pavement, and met some of the riders in front of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We ended up going to get lunch and I did my best to satisfy their request for cheeseburgers. Apparently after riding 60 miles in the morning, nothing sounds better than a cheeseburger!
The four riders I ate with (mind you, this was my second lunch of the day) were really cool. I know "cool" is one of those generic, somewhat-meaningless-by-this-point terms (along the lines of "nice"), but really, there isn't a better way to describe them. It was really inspiring to hear their stories and their tales of the trip so far. I had been considering applying for the trip for next summer after talking with my friend; meeting with these riders just reaffirmed my decision. Screw the traditional backpacking across Europe trip, I want to bike across the country!
1 year ago