I See You Riding
Riding his bike has given Bill a sense of freedom, discovery, and challenge for the past 50 years. Project I See You (“ing”) has given Bill excitement to know that people, especially women, are being seen in ways that make a difference in their lives. For Bill, merging ISY and riding beautifully combines something that brings him so much life and gives more life to our women. Bill’s vision and generosity are inspiring, so much so, that I have taken up his challenge and will be joining the “ride” myself (on the second of his 3 days). I have always really enjoyed riding too, and am ready for the challenge, though this will be a first for me, at age 51, to ride this far - from Masonville to Hygiene Colorado (35 to 42 miles). And, two or three other women may be joining me, joining Bill in joining together the good of riding with ISY. (See what you have done already Bill in getting others to connect something they love for themselves to benefit something they believe in)
I had a conversation with Bill a few weeks ago about this “Front Range Ride for Project I See You”, his love of riding his bike, and his motivation for making this great effort.
Here is what Bill shared of his story and wisdom on the matter:
I am hugely thankful every day that I can still ride. I turned 70 years old in March this past year, and I constantly realize what a gift this is to have strength, motivation, and the ability to continue riding my bike. To utilize something I love for myself and bring benefit to something outside of myself. To connect my love and vitality for “riding” to encourage a group of people who make it their mission to empower people around them. The values of Project I See You are my own values. The work of ISY matches my own mission that – “you matter”. The name of the organization, Project I See You, I think is so great! What does a kid do? They say ‘watch me’ and what do we say back to them? ‘I see you’. Everyone wants to be seen, and everyone needs to be seen, and it makes us feel important and powerful. I have felt seen by Project I See You and am excited to do something that helps them get what they need to keep going.
“The values of Project I See You are my own values. The work of ISY matches my own mission that – “you matter”. ”
A Passion for Riding
“Right then he put out a challenge to me to ride 10,000 miles in a year, and this began a new way to ride, that gave me a different enjoyment, strength, and love of riding my bike.”
In 1972, when I was 20 years old, I transferred from Wheaton College to the University of Minnesota. I noticed my roommates bike leaning against the wall. This was 50 years ago now; this bike was top of the line for “it’s time”. It was a “Schwinn”, and it had 10 speeds. I asked him if I could take it out for a ride, and he said, “Yes, sure”. This was the first time I had been on a bike since being a boy riding around my neighborhood. I took the bike out, downtown even, and I remember riding for a while, and enjoying so much the independence and seeing new things. I can recall that ride, even now, and how much I like the feeling of riding a bike.
Another thing that happened was Julie, my girlfriend at the time, and I were close to getting married. Some good friends of ours wanted to buy us a wedding present and it was suggested that bicycles would be a unique gift, seeing as though neither one of us had a bike, and I had been really enjoying using my roommate’s. These friends of ours generously purchased two 10 speed bicycles for us as a wedding gift. So it was, around 50 years ago, I discovered, (or should I say re-discovered since I do remember really liking to ride my bike as a kid) that I immensely loved riding a bike.
Then, about 16 years ago, in 2007, my son-in-law, asked me, “how many miles do you ride in a year?”. In that moment I had no idea the answer to that but was intrigued by the question. Right then he put out a challenge to me to ride 10,000 miles in a year, and this began a new way to ride, that gave me a different enjoyment, strength, and love of riding my bike. Also, that next year I did “clock” 10,000 miles on my bike.
Project I See You and Riding
There are a whole bunch of good things that “riding” has brought to my life:
“When I’m on the road it feels like I can go anywhere. And with the wind on my face, and the smell in the air, I get to feel the world around me as I go. ”
Connecting with a sense of childhood freedom. When I’m on the road it feels like I can go anywhere. And with the wind on my face, and the smell in the air, I get to feel the world around me as I go. I also love being able to ‘power myself’ and feel my body doing the work to make myself go. Finding new roads, seeing new things; lots of discovery that give me a sense of being alive. There have been times when I’ve been out “touring” for days and weeks, and each day is filled with this discovery. Riding my bike gives me a place to experience awe and feel wonder, as well as keeping me strong and healthy.
I have ridden my bike on several different occasions for charities and things I believed in. I am excited for this 3-day ride because I have never ventured on my own to create the route and do all the work that goes into the ride beyond just riding. Also especially, like I said earlier, to be supporting an organization whose values match up so well with my own values. I really want people, women, to be seen in a way that changes their life for the better.
I am and will be deeply grateful to keep riding my bike. I love it!