I never understood why it was so interesting that my mom rode her bike from Pittsburgh to Delaware with me back in 1998. The ride was 366 miles and it took us six days. It killed me that we only covered 60 or so miles a day and I frequently rode ahead several miles, then back to mom, then back ahead over and over for six days. I was very proud of my pace and the distance that I covered. I was proud of the fact that I took a train home the day after we arrived so that I could compete in a regional swimming championship meet. I was 15 and thoroughly convinced that what I was doing was quite impressive. So why did everyone get so much more excited when they learned that my mom, age 50, was riding with me?
Now she’s done it again. This time she didn't have an arrogant teenager whisking past her and repeatedly leaving her behind. Her trip was twice as long as it was the first time, 20 years ago. She rode over more mountains, through worse weather, and occasionally, alone. This time she wasn't 50 years old, either. And this time she had hundreds of people watching her, all of whom would have asked “why?” if she hadn't finished.
All of those challenges and her response to them - or the fact that she doesn’t even always consider them challenges - are what set her apart from that teenager. He was a pretty good athlete but he lived in his own head. My mom knows why she did this bike ride and it’s not to impress anyone. It’s to raise money for a cause that she has believed in and fostered for almost all of the 20 years that have passed by since our first bike ride.
This time the ride was to raise money for Circle Camps. And this time, even I am impressed.
Sandi Lando Welch
Founder, Executive Director,