Every journey has a beginning

It all starts tomorrow. For those of you who are just tuning in, tomorrow morning at 7 o'clock (West Coast Time), my father Ralph Wagner and I will be dipping our rear wheels into the Pacific Ocean as we officially start our 3,400 mile bicycle ride across the United States. It will be a 5 week long journey, with Ralph and I tackling an average of 110 miles per day in the saddle. We start tomorrow from Costa Mesa CA, and finish in Amesbury, MA.  

How do I feel about this massive undertaking you ask?  

It is a daunting feat to say the least. I never really appreciated the sheer length of this trip, and I don't think I fully will until I am at its end. Even during all those months training indoors, the countless spin classes and Harry Potter marathons (thanks Dan Marks, I'll get those back to you ASAP) there's just something lost in translation from sitting on a motionless stationary bike in my basement for hours to getting out in the California sunshine and seeing the world in all of its enormity pass you by from the seat of your bike.

There will be climbing hills and plunging valleys, scorching deserts and endless vistas of empty fields. I will have to push myself both physically and mentally beyond anything I have ever done before, in every environment imaginable. There will be rainstorms, heatwaves, and angry drivers who hate cyclists. I will be tired beyond imagining then still be forced to keep going forward, knowing all the while that the next day I will rise at 5:30 A.M. to do it all over again.  

In short, I am intimidated and have more than a little anxiety behind these eyes. 

But nervous or not, I know that once I get on that saddle and start riding, I will not be alone. I have my father by my side, my family back on the East Coast wishing me all the best, and some of the best friends anyone could ask for who have supported me from the beginning. 

Not to mention the other riders undertaking this event, many who have blogs just like mine. They come from all walks of life and from all over the globe to tackle the same hills and endless miles as me. We have a guys from Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Germany. All have different levels of skill and endurance, but we all want the same thing.

To see this journey to its end.

Danielle Rivenbark