“Every time a meteor comes close to the earth, we all think about the end of the world – but our internal soundtrack doesn’t turn off. We’re also thinking about pizza or passing a slow tractor or making a turn, and for a magical instant, our lives seem to be in conversation with the stars.” — Elif Batuman
Some things happen for a reason, and my sense of direction is horrible. I’ve mentioned this before, and it happened again today. With a smile on my face, I rolled from the rarely peaceful Adventureland park.
It won’t be long before the rustle of leaves and bird’s chirps relent to excited screams and metallic roars from the amusement park attractions in the distance. I hope to be long gone by then.
No sooner was I off the Adventureland entrance than road crews detoured my route. After five miles of questionable decisions, the limited number of paved roads mostly made for me and a few lucky ones, I heard the fortuitous celebratory tone of my Garmin and looked down to see, “Course found!”
I didn’t know how it happened and, at the time, could not be convinced that it was part of a bigger plan. Much to the contrary.
Without delay, I may not have met these friendly gentlemen. Back on the route and moving well, I came across this patriotic mural on a downtown Newton, Iowa building and couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity.
Steven and his friend pulled up to inquire why anyone would be taking a picture of their bike leaning against a building in their town. My story enchanted the men, and they charmed me with their interest.
I gave them a DIRT Dad Fundo sticker (although I forgot to take a picture), and they shared some local knowledge in return.
Newton is known for its small-town charm to the locals, but one big thing to the world and my new friends were stunned by my ignorance. The attraction was a few turns outside town, and they showed me the way.
I found it cute when one man warned, “There is a big hill up the way, and you will probably have to get off and push it up!” I sped off with the smile back on my face.
Iowa International Speedway was a unique and impressive site to my Long Island-based crew and me. I imagined the massive infield and grandstands packed with howling fans as the cars screamed around the oval. Too bad we were a week early for the next race.
The timing may not have been right in this case, but my earlier delays and rendezvous with locals set me up for a highlight.
Our overnight destination of Malcolm, Iowa, is celebrating a milestone in one of the best ways they know how and the spectacle blessed me. Over 250 tractors of all shapes, sizes, ages, and operators adorned with flags, flowers, and family stretched the country backroad for miles as far as the eye could see.
The scene added a few more miles to my day when I u-turned to ride alongside the parade and talk to the farmers and their families. Getting kinda lost is okay if it happens for a reason.
The Kellogg RV park exuded the charm the farmers passed on during our brief conversations. More than a few boasted about what I would discover when I arrived.
I’m no authority, that’s for sure! What I do know is sometimes things happen for a reason and it’s okay when it does!
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Thirty-Seven—Jason Wild
Here is what Jason had to say—”It would take a lot of words to truly convey what cycling and DIRT have meant to me over the past few years – but to keep it short, they have helped me become a more active, balanced, and better person. In the last six years, my journey has been one of occasionally riding my hybrid bike…evolving into running to get more fit, finding Zwift and DIRT, exponentially increasing the number of runs and rides I do, to training for (and completing!) marathons and triathlons. The DIRT community has been huge in keeping me motivated and inspired to keep striving for more. Giving back through DDF really helps bring everything full circle…we are all striving to do our best with family, careers, fitness, etc; and sometimes we need a little help from our friends. Kudos to you, Chris, for all you do to help make that happen!
I would like to donate to DDF in line with my triathlon race on July 10th. Zwift and DIRT are a big part of my journey to the start line of that event.”
Amount Raised to Date—$8,119
Thank you, Jason! I hope you had a great race!
Now off to Oxford, IA!
To support Chris in his effort to raise awareness of The DIRT Dad Fund, the non-profit he created to assist members of the worldwide cycling community, check out this link to learn more.
Find out where you can pledge a donation and subscribe to The ZOMs newsletter to follow along on the journey.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!