Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Peace Ride Wrap-Up: One Month Later

It only took us a month to wrap the inaugural Peace Ride tour up in words. From Shakur himself:

The Inaugural Colorado Peace Ride is in the history books, and in one word, it was amazing. Some events offer amazing scenery, some events offer physical and emotional challenges, some events offer the chance for great camraderie, some events offer the chance for personal growth, some events offer the chance to feel so supported that you can't find enough words to express your gratitude. The Colorado Peace Ride offered them all.

From the moment riders began streaming into Fort Lewis College, they were surrounded by volunteers whose mission was to help them cycle over some of the most challenging terrain in the universe and raise money for the Sophia Peace Center. The volunteers did everything from check riders in to help them get settled, to sweep debris off the roads we were riding on, to standing for hours in the Colorado sun waving bright orange flags so riders would know where to turn, to serving every kind of food imaginable at the many aid stations along the route to setting up the camps at the end of the day, to arranging music and a movie and dinner and transportation into town, to providing medical care, to providing mechanical support for the bicycles, to driving every inch of the route with cars full or water and Gatorade and pretzels and finding riders in need, to transporting riders to the aid stations when they couldn't go any further - every last need was provided for. It's not clear when the volunteers slept. But rumor has it that they did.

On top of being cared for like a rock star, the riders were treated to the most amazing scenery ever. There is nothing quite like screaming down Red Mountain Pass into Ouray through enormous canyons at highly inadvisable speeds after climbing 3 incredible mountain passes to a height of 11,000 feet. If you haven't seen the photos and videos online at www.thepeaceride.com, check them out because words truly can't explain the grandeur of those mountains.

The most spectacular thing to see at the Peace Ride was watching how a group of 140 riders and 30+ volunteers from around the country and Canada could come together and form a family in 4 days. Riders helped and encouraged each other over 240 miles of intense cold then intense heat then up steep mountain passes then down the other side, volunteers supported one another as they put in 18-hour days in the same cold and heat (it was 30 degrees on the morning of the 3rd day in Telluride!), riders opened their hearts to the mission of the Peace Ride and shared their dreams for peace and set intentions each day for how they were going to turn those dreams into reality, and the ministers from the Centers of Light held us all in their loving embrace and guided us each step of the way.

Not one person left the Peace Ride without feeling a sense of hope for humanity. If we could come together like that and create more peace on the earth in just 4 days, what could possibly stand in the way of truly living in peace?

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