This week two separate biking groups made or will make stops in Brownfield to rest for the night before continuing their cross-country trek.
Apogee Adventures sponsors, what they call a camp for teens. Only in this camp, you take off on your bicycle with around 20 other teenagers and two sponsors for a ride across the country. The group started their ride in Charleston, West Virginia on June 28th, and will end the adventure in San Diego, California on August 7th.
According to the Apogee Adventures website, “Apogee offers outdoor adventure travel to teens and young adults. We provide students with well-designed hiking, biking, community service, writing, photography, and language programs to spectacular locations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Caribbean.
“We travel in small, supportive, co-ed groups led by dynamic, responsible, and well-trained leaders. In this nurturing and wholesome environment, students learn about themselves and others through physical challenge and volunteer work. Traveling by their own power, students will achieve new heights. Apogee’s primary goals are for students to have fun, form lasting friendships, and to develop strong values.
“We want our students to return home with a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that carries over into all aspects of life.”
One would think biking across the country at 16 would certainly give you that sense of accomplishment and self-confidence you are looking for!
One group arrived in Brownfield on Wednesday, late afternoon. The second group will arrive sometime Friday. Calvary Baptist Church opened their doors to give the kids a place to shower, relax and sleep.
Charlie, 16, one of the teen travelers, stated, “We have stayed in all kinds of places. Churches, school buildings, just wherever they will take us.”
Talia, who is also 16 stated, “People are usually very nice to us. It is great to meet people all across the country.”
Charlie is from near New York City and Talia is from Connecticut. Other members were from Seattle, Washington, Vermont, and everywhere in between.
The kids start training for the adventure in April. “We are given guidelines for how many miles to ride each day as we train,” stated Charlie. “We gradually work our way up to be able to cover lots of miles in one day.”
An example of “lots of miles in one day” would be that from Brownfield, they were traveling on to Tatum, New Mexico to spend Thursday night. That would be 60 miles. In one day. On a bicycle. In the summer. Not for the faint of heart!
They stated that for the most part, drivers are courteous to the group. Although there are occasions where drivers have run them off the road. Talia stated, “In one town we got a police escort all the way through the town, through lights and everything. That was kind of cool.”
The ages of the riders are from 15 – 17, and they are away from home for approximately a month and a half. They are also required to give up their cellphones for the duration. “We do get to call our families once a week,” stated Charlie.
One of the leaders of the group, Grace, who is from Atlanta stated that towards the end of each day, you can tell the group is growing tired. “Our legs get tired. Sometimes the heat makes us tired, but we are driven by the fact that we know we have to reach a certain spot each day.”
There is also a support van that travels with the group.
The kids said they enjoy watching the landscape change as they ride and they do feel that sense of accomplishment. “It is a good feeling each day to look back at how far we have come and to look at the map and see us getting closer to our destination,” stated Talia.
They have only had to ride through a couple of thunderstorms, the kids said.
What a great adventure! If you are interested in more information about Apogee Adventures, click https://www.apogeeadventures.com/about-us/
Good luck to these young adventurers as they do something that, for most of us, would only be a dream.