A few weeks ago, I told you about Voop and Arathi _ two girls from Boston who were biking across the country to Boulder, Colo. They had broken down in the northern Catskills and again outside of Oneonta, where I met them.
Well, I got an email from Mike in Margaretville the other day. He gave them some help with bike problems, as well as many words of wisdom and encouragement. As it turns out, I was wrong. Much to my surprise, they made it.
I was going to say it's amazing that two girls who never rode more than 10 miles reached their final destination. But it's not that amazing. It's true that they started out with little experience or know-how, but they had determination and a dream.
Arathi told me, "There's truth in the statement 'fake it till you make it.'" She went on to say, "It goes to show you how much humans can accomplish if we just put our minds to it."
Arathi and Voop were very fortunate to run into Mike in Margaretville. He is a veteran bicycle tourist who has taken several extensive trips. He shared his biking journals and photos of trips such as the Around Lake Erie by Tandem in 2007 and the Erie Canal Tour in 2004.
Mike told them that "you become very resilient and able to deal with the problems the road has to offer. When there is trouble beyond your expertise, you can find someone willing to help you out of a bind."
Arathi told me that it was "the little lessons here and there from people from all walks of life that fueled them the whole way. It wasn't about the biking at all. It was about meeting people, seeing the country and getting a greater understanding into the similarities and differences of everyday life for so many Americans."
Mike criticized me for my comments about proper planning and preparation. To some extent, he's right.
Sometimes we spend too much time getting ready for a trip, and that takes much of the adventure out of it. Sometimes life has to be spontaneous. How many times have we given up on a dream because we weren't quite ready or we were told, "Oh, you can't do that." Remember when the world was flat?
Arathi summed it up when she said, "I think its important, at the end of the day, to pursue your dreams regardless of how qualified you think you are to actually achieve them."
I remember the day I told my wife I was going to backpack 125 miles across the Adirondacks. That confirmed her belief that I was crazy, but I've always said that insanity helps you cope with life. So one day I started out and it became one of the most memorable things I've ever done.
We have to live our dreams before life becomes too boring. When my dad was dying, he told me, "Do everything you want to do while you can because life is over before you know it. I can't believe 91 years have gone by so fast. Don't wait until it's too late."
Biking to Boulder will be one of the highlights of these two girls' lives. They lived their dream. So what's holding you back?
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at email@example.com.