The ride was beautiful and mostly flat in the beginning of the day. We stopped to take pictures in a wheat field.
Lunch was a mixture of treats. My friend Eliza talked about how, when she was a kid, she thought that when you ate junk food, if you ate healthy food immediately after, they cancelled each other out. That had become a running joke for us as we usually eat lunch with an apple in one hand and cake in the other.
Some Cheeto-loving friends we made at lunch.
I didn't feel so great after lunch but Marcus stayed with me the whole day and made sure I kept going. I was so happy when we finally got to the host after 74 miles.
Today was a tough day for everyone. After our 6th straight day of riding, everyone's bodies and minds are worn out. We are looking forward to having free time tomorrow even though there is not much to do in Decatur, AL.
Tonight was also hard because June 6th is the anniversary of Christina Genco's death. Christina was a leader on the SC2SC trip in 2011. She was killed near Scottsboro during the ride after a car hit her while she was standing on the shoulder of the road. She is one of two fatalities that Bike and Build has experienced. Both were due to cars and both were not the faults of the riders.
As a cyclist, I understand the risk that I am taking being out on the road everyday. I will be honest when I say it really scares me when I think about the possibility of the other riders or me getting into a car-related accident. However, if we let fear hold us back, we wouldn't be able to see everything we've seen and we wouldn't be able to affect the communities we stop in like the way we do now. Life is too short to be worried about all the things that might happen. All of us will just be as safe as we can be when on the road and enjoy the ride.
We had a candlelight vigil for Christina tonight and then a dance party in her honor. She was an amazing individual who touched so many lives even though she was only alive a little longer than 20 years. She was charismatic and a team-player and she had a spunky, positive attitude that was contagious. I wish I had had the opportunity to know her. She is SC2SC's guardian angel and I know that she is keeping us safe. We ride for her!
-Christina Clarke Genco