Day 1 of the 3000 mile journey. We woke up at 5am, even earlier than the roosters! After eating breakfast, everyone headed out to the Chinese Consulate. They denied to see us and to see our letter, which took an emotional toll on some members of our team. On the bright side, we went for our first team ride today! Everyone was very shaky and unstable on their bikes…hopefully we will learn to get better. After the team ride, we went for a bathroom break, and saw a playground right next door! There, our team showed their playful side, climbing the jungle gym and tumbling everywhere. Afterwards, kind practitioners from L.A gave us a cake to send us off! Thank you 🙂
We started to drive into a mountain. Once we reached a suitable pull-off, our first team of bikers left (Team A!) They were all nervous about how to use their gears and about biking up a mountain, but they did it! As Team A was biking, Teams B and C did an hour of exercises while they waited. It was a beautiful environment, being so high up in the mountains. As Team A finished their shift, the two other teams cheered them in, and Team B left for their turn. While waiting for Team B, Teams A and C had some fun mini relay competitions. Once again, when Team B finished riding, the rest of our members cheered excitedly! Team C got to start off with some downhills, but they also finished their ride uphill.
Our first night camping! It is so cold tonight, and everyone is walking around in the dark with layers of jackets on. There is a fire roasting, and some members of our team are helping with dinner. We do not have nearly enough flash lights for everyone to use, and we are not used to this cold weather. It is hard to set up camp, but eventually everyone found their sleeping bags and a place to sleep. At the dinner fire, our team huddled around to talk about how we felt about the first day. Those of us who gave up on the biking said that they felt bad and will try harder tomorrow. The others said that they are excited for the rest of the journey. We look forward to fulfilling our mission!