Focus. Look straight ahead. Follow the person in front of you while looking at the undetermined concrete for potholes, obstacles, and needle point objects; optimal for puncturing tires. Steer cautiously to avoid said endeavors. Keep pedaling. Only look past your left shoulder to check on a teammate behind you. Otherwise, never consider turning back. It is far too late in the journey and briskly early in the morning to consider giving up. Especially with only 18 miles to go, perfectly placed on the outskirts of our final destination, Dallas.
Because of this strenuous cyclist mentality, someone had to point out the skyscrapers on the right as we passed the center of the city. With loud electro sound waves bumping my eardrums, it only pumped up my excitement. (Smack to the face) we’re in Dallas?! Where did we start again? How long ago did we start this trip? A wave of reality began to hit my body and vibrate fierce energy.
We caught up with our other team members the closer we got to the city. It was now official; Ride For The Future was storming Dallas on pedaling mechanical steal horses. Compared to our first ride, this last ride as a team was fluid, sparked with vigor, and greased in solidarity.
Unfortunately, a yellow light cut the chain, but we knew we would rejoice as a team at our final destination. After turning right into a monotonous neighborhood road a bright green folded slip laid unclaimed on the rocky cement floor.
“I’M STOPPING! I FOUND A 20!” I shouted to the rest of the autobots. I turned around and picked up a crisp $20 bill. Looks like the universe was paying us back, hooray! We decided to buy icy liquid coated in delcious sugary syrup, known as slurpees, at the nearest 711. It was our celebration for biking over 1,000 miles this summer, getting a meeting with Exxon, and surviving the trek in the brutal summer heat. Slurping of the last reminisce of sticky slush from the bottom of the large 32 ounce cup became my new favorite sound for victory.
Jennifer Weber, a family friend of Sarah Sims, openly greeting us with cooling ice tea, scrumptious pasta salad sprinkled with pesto, and a treasure pile of chewy cookies. Tesla, her pleasant pup, welcomed us with her wet nose and loving licks. Lisa, Sarah, and I went to Sprout’s, a popular grocery store with natural and organic selections, after our fulfilling lunch. Upon entering the store we were greeted by another compassionate person.
Robert Robinson could tell by the looks on our faces, and our ostentatious orange shirts, that we had just accomplished an incredible feat. He stopped and asked if we needed any help and inquired about our organization. After explaining Ride For The Future and what we’ve been partaking in all summer he made sure we were generously taken care of. After ogling over all our favorite foodstuffs, we realized there were some items we could live without because we had to stay within our budget.
It soured my spirit watching Lisa’s contagious smile perish into a pleading snivel when the freshly ground dijon was removed from the bill and set aside to go back onto the clustered shelf. Robert fixed this crisis with a few over simple statements, “I’ll take care of it, no problem. Let them keep the rest of the groceries.” It was such a kind gesture because we already had enough food that his charity provided more color in our fruit basket and more variety in our pantry. Robert’s a boss. Literally.
My perspective of Dallas has changed considerably after the encounters of our first day in town. I’m looking forward to meeting with local activists, organizations, and other progressive citizens within the city not only looking for a change but also working towards and fighting for the change they wish to empower in our society.
Photo credit and Fruit and Veggie display kudos: Lisa Purdy