Total Miles: 4250
Rider: Jan Steinman; 20 years old, Organic Farmer, Non-Member.
Summary: How can I describe the biggest thing I'd done in my life at that point in 50 words? It was fulfilling, frustrating, exciting, anxiety-provoking, educational, stressful, and much more.; Self-Planned
How did ACA Help? At this tender age, I was the group leader and a Bikecentennial employee. We had challenging group dynamics that ultimately caused four to be expelled for safety reasons. Bikecentennial was supportive at every step in handling this stressful situation. I would have done things differently today!
Health Issues: No health issues -- I was probably at my lifetime peak of good health at the time!
Motivation: I found out about this while on my own bike odyssey from Michigan to Colorado. My solitary bike touring led me for a desire to share the experience, so I applied for leadership training and was ultimately assigned a group.
Most Challenging Aspect:I was unprepared for difficult group dynamics. Four people split off and did their own thing, eventually demanding that their food money be released to them so they could travel independently. They disregarded safety briefings, and I could not feel responsible for their safety.
Favorite Experience: I really enjoyed periods when we would meet other B76 groups -- on days off, the group behind us would catch up to us, and vice-versa. Since I had already done a lot of touring, it was all about the people to me!
Least Favorite: As mentioned, expelling four group members was the most difficult thing I had done in my life at that tender age. With 36 years hindsight, I would have done things differently now, but also, they were older, and I think they did not respect my judgement and leadership because of my age at the time.
Tips: These things draw a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. Be prepared to deal with difficult people. I recommend trip leaders be trained in Non-Violent Communication. B76 Leadership Training at the time did not prepare me for our inter-personal problems!
Online Journal: Click Here
Date Entered: Apr, 2013
Photo by Dennis Coello