Last night the Laramie community welcomed 27 young riders in the Rocky Route of the Texas 4000 for the 4th year in a row, offering showers, laundry, beds to sleep in and a potluck supper to the cyclists, who are riding from Austin, TX, to Anchorage, AK, in the world's longest annual charity bike ride to raise funds for cancer research, and to spread hope, knowledge and charity along the way. All of them have had direct experience with cancer, either themselves or through a family member or friend.
At some point one of the women who had offered to host said told me this morning, as the kids were getting ready to ride after their dedication circle, that some times the news can inspire such pessimism in her, and this event gave her hope that it's not all bad out there in the world.
These young riders are smart, driven, and committed to a cause, and as another woman noted, if other kids their age are just half as good as they are, then that is really, just good.
Check out the Texas 4000 at Texas4000.org for routes, photos, blog entries, bios and more information. It's quite a ride, and I feel pretty honored to have been able to host a very smart and thoughtful young man last night who has endured non-Hodgkins lymphoma at 19 and again a year later, and who just four years after nearly dying, is making the 4500 mile ride himself.