Welcome to Day 1 of KAA's the Great Bike Challenge (GBC)! The bikers donned their shiny black spandex, climbed on their bicycles, and began their 47.9 mile ride from Old Orchard Beach to Freeport.
What a great group of people to hang out with this week! Oh yeah, there are some real movers and shakers riding together this week...but in this group, we're all here for a purpose--to raise money and awareness for Kids Across America Kamp. We're all here to help inner-city kids have a chance at a better life. All of us believe that there is only 1 thing that will give those kids a better life...or anyone, for that matter. And that 1 thing is to have a relationship with Jesus.
All the money we're raising this week is all to help our campers, our inner-city kids, have a chance to meet Jesus at Kids Across America Kamp.
Now...that's not to say these movers and shakers are singing Kumbaya all week and taping Bible verses to their bicycles. Oh no--there is some hard riding, some sweating, some gearing down to get up tough hills.
Mostly, though, what I am noticing this week are relationships. I see groups of bikers sticking together, chatting while riding, stopping together--either to enjoy a beautiful view, or grab a cup of coffee. Nearly all of these bikers already knew each other, and most of them have been on GBC rides before. They are here to raise money, but they are also here to enjoy each other while riding.
The relationships are what make this ride.
Okay, I'll be honest--the scenery ain't to shabby, either!
After a ride through beautiful downtown Portland, everyone pulled into Loring Memorial Park for a picnic lunch.
But, since they are the only kids, I keep reminding them to be sweet, be polite, shh, quiet down a little, settle down now, come here--hold my hand now, shh wait just a minute...
Or else--you know--
After lunch was the beginning of...Well, actually I shouldn't say what it was the beginning of for me. This being a family-friendly blog and all.
Let's just say...I got lost...a few times...and I wasn't very happy about it. My family laughs (at me) that I am directionally challenged. That is kind of an understatement, actually. But, to my credit this time--there were a LOT of turns--many times every 2 miles. Finally, I gave up trying to stay on the bike path. I just plugged my end destination into my BELOVED GPS, and just turned where the sweet lady told me.
How did I feel about being lost numous times? Well, since I shouldn't exactly SAY IT right here...I'll show you:
So, dear brother, sister, and mother--all of whom called me, and I didn't answer--THIS is what I was busy doing! I promise to call soon!!!
How does a girl unwind in Freeport, Maine, after being stressed all afternoon long?
Um, HELLO? You all know what Freeport is the home to, right???
L. Bean. That's right--L. Bean! Or...just maybe the silly girl who edited the picture so perfectly chop chopped one of the L's. Poor L.
Found 2 darling denim skirts for 2 darling girls.
For a little joy-riding
And then, some seriously yummy dinner at Gritty's! Sorry...no pictures of everyone gathered at the tables overflowing with food. I only took a couple of quick ones--and during dinner when people were chewing! (novice photographer!) I have a strict policy not to post unflattering pictures of anyone...(unless they are either of my brothers...or my sisters, if they are mean to me! ) I promise to post lots of pictures of our fun group tomorrow!
And I ordered my first-ever lobster roll. YUM! (Okay, I am a dork. I actually googled "lobster roll" on my phone at the restaurant before ordering--just to make sure the pictures of lobster rolls looked good. I like to be an informed order-er! And, also, I am a dork. I know.)
Okay, also...something terribly embarrassing happened to me at Gritty's...I mean something MONUMENTALLY blush-inducing, how do you explain to your children, embarrassing... I'm not sure I am ready to tell about it here. I am SURE it would be inappropriate to tell...but, I'm always game for a laugh or two. And, even though it was embarrassing to me, I'm sure it's funny. And I'll be able to laugh about it in a year...or ten... Just have to decide whether or not I want to tell this story in mixed company. My dad does read this blog, you know! (Hi, Dad! Miss you!!!)
Enough chattering from me! Check back--and I'll tell you all about Day 2--with lots of biker pictures, too!