I can't ride a bike.

Phew, it feels good to get that off my chest. The thing is, I learned how to ride a bike when I was a kid and was pretty good at it until I had a really bad, honestly quite traumatic biking accident when I was 11. I'm not going to go into all the gory details. Long story short, I didn't get back on a bike for over ten years. And you know that saying, “It's like riding a bike”? Yeah. Well. Riding a bike after not touching a bike for so long…it's not at all like they say. It's difficult and scary and takes a lot of perseverance, but I'm working on it. Slowly but surely.

RAAM
Photo credit: Brian Palmer

While I work up the courage to pedal anything over a mile on anything remotely resembling an incline, I've been hearing some incredible stories of other, truly remarkable bike riders. The Ohio CycleWorks bike team, sponsored by FedEx Custom Critical, just completed this year’s Race Across America (RAAM).  Known as the “World's Toughest Bicycle Race,” RAAM is one of the longest running sporting events in the world. The transcontinental race across america literally goes from one end of the country to the other in the middle of JUNE! Yeesh.

senseaware

I followed this year's race over the last week and a half on SenseAware, a website that records near real-time information and vital data from a high-tech tracking device. With this little gadget, companies are able to keep track of their shipment location, temperature, light exposure and more. I was able to use it to track the Ohio CycleWorks bike team's whereabouts and conditions, like when they were facing 92 degree temperatures and over 50 percent humidity in the badlands of Ohio.

BUT they did it all for Akron Children’s Hospital, and in particular for a little boy named Jake who desperately needed to raise money for a surgery to correct severe scoliosis of the spine. Mission accomplished.

united states bike race

So next time I'm tempted to mutter, “I can't ride a bike,” I'll be thinking of these people and their 3,000 mile journey.

I received compensation from FedEx for covering the use of SenseAware® technology during the 2012 Race Across America. My ideas and opinions relayed in this blog post and any related Twitter discussions are the my own and are not provided by FedEx or its affiliates and subsidiaries.