A first yesterday! I have spoken with numerous newspaper reporters the past three years with FCBA, I’ve been on two studio TV shows, and I’ve been interviewed by television reporters numerous times. Some time during an interview, or after an interview, I always ask the interviewer for a donation to Fuller, saying something like, "I’m still short of my goal” or “another rider is still short of their goal". Well, yesterday a newspaper reporter finally gave a donation. He was holding his camera with one hand, searching thru his pockets with the other hand, changing hands with the camera, but only finding pieces of paper in those pockets. He went back to the other hand again, and as he pulled out more paper, a dollar bill fell on the floor. “Ok,” he says, “looks like that’s all I have,” and he picked it up and gave it to me. I hated to take his last dollar, but I was not about to give it back. Nice guy!
Yesterday evening at the grocery store we met the sports reporter for the same newspaper. While he was asking questions about the ride of ‘Just Kurt’ and me, Kurt noticed a woman half listening to the conversation. She later drove up to our van out in the parking lot, got out with her check book, and asked if it was all right to give us a donation, and if so, how to make out the check. She wrote a check for $100 and told us we still had time to cash it at the bank down the street. We told her that would not be necessary, as we would send it to headquarters to be deposited. Nice lady!
This morning I was riding alone on the backroads, when I noticed a truck coming toward me, going rather slow. The truck passed me, and I kept an eye on it behind me, as the driver turned around and drove back toward me. After the “speech” the other day from the guy who stopped at our rest stop, to “warn” us about the rednecks in these parts, I was starting to get a little nervous. There’s nobody else around! The driver caught up to me, driving slowly. The passenger window was down, and the driver looked over at me as he drove alongside, asking me how far we were going. I gave him a quick response about our charity ride ending in Vancouver, BC. He then asked how far we were going today, so I looked at my route sheet, and told him to Atoka, OK. I think he asked me to stop for a minute, but I wasn’t about to do that, although I didn’t feel nervous anymore. He slowed down, creaking along, while I pedaled on. I decided to pull over into the oncoming side of the road, and he slowly caught up to me. I got a business card out, held it out for him to grab, and saw him open his wallet. He handed a $20 bill out the window to me. I think this is a Fuller Center first, to get a donation on the fly. He wished me good luck, I thanked him, and we went on our way. Another nice guy!
The best thing one can bring to this adventure is a strong mental attitude, keep it, and strengthen it as the ride progresses. Because of various factors (some beyond my control, i.e., medications). I arrived in Savannah unprepared both mentally and physically for this bike adventure. If the mental attitude is strong, the physical will take care of itself; if the physical is strong, the mental will not necessarily take care of itself, I’ve determined. I’ve ridden these miles before, I’ve ridden these miles in this kind of heat and humidity before. I separated my shoulder on the way to the 2011 ride, but I was still sharp mentally. My mental attitude was fairly good last year, though I lost it for a day or two on the West Coast ride. This year my trip to the ER on our first practice ride dropped my mental attitude way down, and I’m still struggling to get it back, but it’s a tough road (pun intended). So I will continue to ride, but only as far as my mental edge will carry me.