Today we weren’t allowed to ride our bikes to our destination: Athens, GA. Instead we all piled into our vans and drove there.
Some of you may know the reason for this, but for those who don’t, it is with a heavy heart that I must report this news. Yesterday, at about 4 pm in the state of Kentucky, the 4k family lost one of our riders on the Portland riding team. Jamie Roberts was struck and killed by a vehicle while she was on the side of the road with her riding group. They were stopped and changing a flat tire at the time if the accident. This is the first time in the history of 4k that a death has occurred.
At this point in time, all rides have been suspended for 48 hours in order for riders to cope with this loss, to come together as a team, and to honor the memory of Jamie. 4k staff members have already flown out to each of the teams to provide additional leadership, guidance and support for the next couple of days.
While we are all deeply saddened by this event, Jamie’s family has expressed their wish for each ride to continue. Riding will continue on Monday, which for team San Diego, is a service day. We will be shuttling riders tomorrow to Atlanta, GA.
On a lighter note, I’ve been informed that tomorrow we will be surprising a student who has been affected by cancer with a college scholarship! This is something that 4k does annually on its rides and I think we’re all excited for a positive change in our team’s collective mood. I think we will also be touring Centennial Olympic Park as a team bonding activity since we won’t be riding.
More about today. We woke up late this morning, had some fun at our beach-side campsite, and cleaned out the vans before Stephen, our assigned 4k staff member, arrived to meet us. I got caught taking another nap:
Thanks Michelle! We then packed the vans and shuttled one load of people and bikes to our host. Then I drove back to Clemson with Brianne to pick up the rest of our team. We jammed to all kinds of music and belted out Bohemian Rhapsody and the soundtrack to Pitch Perfect. We had a fantastic time! The ride was about an hour and a half one way, so we had a solid three hours of sing-a-long. We crossed into Georgia today, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a picture with the sign. Here’s one that a teammate took though:
Also, here’s a picture of my dirty hands:
Actually this is relatively clean since today I never even had to fix a bike. It’s becoming a normal occurrence as one of the mechanics on the ride.
Our host tonight is The Church at College Station. When I arrived with the second van load of people, dinner was ready and we stuffed ourselves with lasagna and salad. Afterwards we had a long team meeting and (again) went over riding safety and emergency response procedures with the 4k staff that joined us here in Athens. We took a team picture to send to the Portland team to show our support through this tough time:
No matter where we are throughout the US, and no matter which riding team we are a part of, we are all one family. We are here for the riders and families of team Portland. We are 4k.
4k has released an official statement on yeserday’s accident containing contact information for the appropriate people to field any questions you may have on this subject. I ask that you please refer to them and not to me on this matter. Please still comment on my blog, message me on Facebook, or text me if you have something to say! I also ask that you keep team Portland, and all of the 4k participants in your thoughts and prayers during our journey.