Thursday, March 11, 2010

12 Years to the Southern Tier

It took Patti Hall 12 years to finally do our Southern Tier cross-country bike tour. It was 1998 when she read this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and she's been hanging onto it ever since. She gave it to me at the start of this year's tour in San Diego last week.

It was Barbara Manger who biked across the country and wrote about it 12 years ago. As she explains, "Every journey is about more than the journey."

She used the tour to raise $28,000 in the fight against breast cancer, and as top fund raiser on the tour, she won a Terry bicycle. She gave it to a friend who didn't have a bike and who's since become an avid cyclist.  While on the tour, Barbara came up with the idea to create a nonprofit to expose children to art. Twelve years later, her non-profit Artists Working in Education operates mobile truck studios bringing art and art-making materials to Milwaukee youth. Just last year, she got together with friends she met on the tour and they all biked the all-female, metric century Cinderella Classic bike ride together. They still keep in touch.

And finally, 12 years later, she's inspired Patti Hall to do the tour. "I hope she has a great time - I did!"

1 comment:

Jackie Marchand said...

This from Sue Rapp:
Hi Barb
I don't know if you remember me, but I did the WomanTours trip in 2004. You saw an article in the paper about me and my fund raising for breast cancer and called me just before I left for San Diego. We met for coffee and you gave me the best advise of all my preparation for the trip. You told me to make sure I had A & D ointment with me!!! Actually you gave me a lot more very helpful advise and I am very late in thanking you.

Since that day I have gone on to cross the country several times in several different directions; have traveled with WomanTours to Argentina and Chile and am scheduled to ride in Italy this fall with them too. That one trip in 2004 turned out to be life changing for me just as you had predicted. I never in a minute thought that would be true that day in the coffee shop. Like you I have kept in touch with some great women who I met on that first trip. Our friendships have found us gathering at different places all over the world. That is for sure the "extra" that came totally unexpected when signing up for that first ride.