I’ve been in Athens two days and it is just beginning to settle in where I am and what I am about to do. Chillier than expected and WET, getting on the bike with all of my gear is a bit daunting this morning. I’ve ridden around town the last couple days and the streets are crazy! So after I get a couple more supplies and some food I’ll take a train out of Athens and hop off in the suburbs. Then west I go, likely stopping past Corinth. Sometimes it takes stepping out of our lives to appreciate how much we have. I’ve never had such a great experience of saying good-byes. So many send-off meals and drinks, kind and really sweet words, and the way my community has gotten behind this Habitat for Humanity project is astounding! For anyone having doubts about humanity try raising funds for something you believe in. Your inner cynic will run in fear! A couple experiences that have helped prepare me for this trip are on my mind this morning. First, I keep thinking about my test run from. Indy to Bloomington a couple weeks ago. I’ve really enjoyed my solo time touring, but there is nothing riding with buddies. Such a blast! I’m also really grateful for a volunteer experience I had with one of Indy’s unique non-profits. For the last couple months I was lucky enough to volunteer with FreeWheelin Community Bikes. For those that don’t know, FreeWheelin empowers young people through bike maintenance education. In return for showing up and participating the kids can earn a bike of their own. Simple concept and effective. I got to help out in the store front preparing donated bikes for sale. Certainly got more than I gave. http://freewheelinbikes.wix.com/freewheelinbikes Now if this thunderstorm would wrap up, I’d get this tour started.