I decided to write Tadpole Diaries to invite insight into my life and to illustrate how and why Bikefrog came to be. But before I get there some recognition is due:
I can’t believe how far this whole project has come. Perhaps it is early to start thanking people but I really could not have done any of this without the advice and support of my friends all over and, of course, my family. From listening to me rant about cycling to discussing the details of my trip, you have all been insightful, inspiring, and incredibly patient. A year ago Bikefrog was conceived on a random evening out of the simple need for a name. While the name was random, the idea behind it developed over a three year period starting the day I decided my next milestone in life: bike across America. Those closest to me know all-too-well my relentlessness when it comes to achieving my milestones; it becomes my obsession.
From the beginning I knew the tour from east to west coast was going to be the adventure of a lifetime. To my surprise, coordinating this project and each addition to the team has been a journey in its own. I’m elated to bring together a diverse yet passionate group standing behind my initiative to accomplish something much larger, together. With all that being said, for our first blog post on the Frogblog it seems appropriate to list a few milestones (not Bikefrog related) I am looking forward to the original members of the team completing over the next year (They’re going to hate me for this!):
(This is in order of each person joining Bikefrog, the story of how we all met will come later!)
- The first one is easy… Eliot, achieving ultimate caveman status after not cutting his hair or shaving his face while we tour the country! I am laughing just writing this. There are going to be whole weeks we don’t shower, definitely not sharing his tent!
- Ahhh Hannah… my lovely sister. I’ll make this easy for her. Just keep track of the cap to the Fireball when you’re hiking…Love you!
- Clay, we have lots to accomplish together, but I know nothing will get in his way attaining this milestone over the year… making the absolute lamest dad joke the world has ever heard #MICdrop
2017 is going to be a year none of us will forget, but a year I am excited to ride through together! A quick shout out to the new members of our team: Mikhale, Scott, Frank, Dylan, and Andre…it has been an honor and a beautiful coincidence that we have all crossed paths in life to bring awesomeness to the world!
Now a little about how this all started:
I think it is pretty clear that as an organization we are pretty stoked about biking. That was not always the case for me. Overtime I became fascinated by the magnitude of uses there are for a bicycle and the endless benefits it provides to the individual and to society. Initially my bike was just a means to survive in New York as a seventeen year old. After graduating from college I had accomplished the major milestones I had set earlier in life, and never considered what I wanted to accomplish after college, I really had no clue what I was passionate about.
Like most children, I had tons of things I was interested in growing up…yet biking definitely wasn’t one of them. Growing into my teen years brought with it an eagerness to adventure into the world and see, well, everything and anything. Limiting myself to a bucket list seemed counterproductive, I wanted to see the world’s cities and everything in between! After leaving my childhood home I had the opportunity to visit and live in a handful of cities. I was so excited to feel like and live like a urbanite, something I had only seen in movies growing up. It isn’t as glamorous as I had imagined.
Life in Brooklyn as a recent college graduate was unreal! I was biking everywhere, making art, and managing a bar. It seemed like a dream, and to this day feels like it was. Yet, I had no direction, no goals, and for a while that was pleasant, then it became terrifying. In a fury to keep my sanity I decided to write a goal down on my mirror. That moment I pledged to myself to start making life decisions toward achieving that next milestone, it was three simple words: Bike Across America. And before you ask…yes, even I thought this was crazy.
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