Kibworth & Smeeton and Kilby WIs
Coincidently, the same speaker appeared at both our February meetings. Rachel Lundy, told us ‘How an ordinary woman finds herself cycling across the USA with eight strangers’.
After a particularly bad day at work a few years ago she took stock of her life and decided that something had to change. She had always enjoyed cycling and had toured the UK and France so decided to try further afield - the USA! Answering an online invitation from a 29 year old American woman who was looking for people to join her on a cycling tour across America she found herself in touch with Jen, who had been planning just such a trip for several years and wanted people to do it with her.
The trip from Maine on the Atlantic coast to Seattle on the Pacific. the East to the West
coasts would cover 3,000 miles, take about 3 months and cost about $4,000 for food and lodging, also allowing for treats such as some meals out and permits for National Parks. It took Rachel one week to decide to take this giant leap of faith.
Rachel told us about the months of training she undertook prior to the trip (which included practising by going up Saddington Hill endless times!); the dynamics of the group (which led to friction at times - particularly between two of the guys) the injuries which she and others sustained; the amazing sights (her favourite place was Glacier National Park) and the interesting people they met, some of whom offered them accommodation.
Rachel’s stories of her trip, illustrated with beautiful photographs, were riveting not only because of their activities but also the developing and shifting relationships among the group. For two of the five men it was a brief experience. Pete left after just one day, realising that no training at all was a bad idea! Frank lasted a week, until his money ran out. He set off with only $100 and oatcakes laced with marijuana, thinking that if he ‘treated’ everyone, they would fund his food and lodging. That didn’t work!
Rachel and Jen were the only ones of the nine who started the journey, to complete the full trip on bikes, which was a tremendous achievement.
Rachel’s closing words of advice for those who have something they really want to do were:
Prepare; be adaptable; keep calm and pedal on, even in the scary times; and finally… never give up on your dreams!
The next meeting of Kibworth & Smeeton WI will be on Thursday 11 April at 7.30pm when Sandra Moore will entertain us with ‘Living Memories of Belgrave Cemetery’.
Kilby WI meet on the third Thursday of each month at Kilby Chapel, contact Ann Stuart on (0116) 240 2514.
New members are always welcome, why not come along as a visitor to try us out?