Day 1 was celebratory. We gathered at Herndon Park in Durham right off the East Coast Greenway. After a busy night of preparation seeing familiar faces from our friends in Atlanta brought a lot of comfort. Old friends of mine from the ECG like Dennis, Debbie, Vanessa and the Durham Bike Coop Rob became new friends of the youth riding this tour. There were also some new faces coming from our Spoke’n Revolutions team as well as the BRAG Dream Team having new members so for now each group of youth stick to their familiar.
After introductions, team stretches and a rules of the road talk we were on our way taking the back entrance onto the East Coast Greenway. At 8am we almost needed a traffic light to get on the path it was so busy. We are a bustling group of 21 youth and six adults making an impression as we winded our way on the Paat Ta Freedum. It was good to see the smiles on faces of the people going by and the greetings of hello. One gentlemen suggested we get on the road. Ha, we’ll be there soon enough.
The Kindness of Others
First tour day mishap took us past the Sharon Harris nuclear plan. With the change in road names and the additional ten miles we were now just over an hour off schedule. By the time we were 7 miles outside of Erwin, NC that mishap turned into good fortune as often things of this nature do. As “fate” would put it we ended up meeting the Cole family of Buies Creek at the intersection of US-421 N/E Cornelius Harnett Blvd and Old Johnson Farm Rd. They invited us to their home for water and a rest stop. Who could turn down such awesome hospitality?! We were greeted with smiles, fresh watermelon (a great treat for ANY cyclist) and great conversation.
We arrived at the Erwin Volunteer Fire and Rescue in the heart of Erwin, NC. Their being in the heart of Erwin must be intentional because they also are the HEART of Erwin. The hospitality is overwhelmingly good and welcoming. We were treated as family visitors from out of town. Things could not be better.
Forgive me for not having photos at this time (and this day in age – I’m pitiful) but I promise to be back to my old self by this afternoon with photos and comments to boot. Psst, the kids get journals today, they don’t know it, yet. Hehe