Wow, what an STP we had! 29 riders, 9 1-dayers, most of 2-dayers doing their first STP, and one super-champ doing his first in the 1-day team. The weather played mostly nice, and the temperatures were perfect for the northwest ride. A few incidents near the very end, but they were small difficulties in the face of our enthusiasm! Kudos to each and every biker in the team!
Every STP is unique, every STP rider has their own story to tell – a personal achievement, a sense of accomplishment, a triumph over pain, a hesitant exploration of something new, a never-ending wanderlust, communal bonding, “Mom you are the strongest / Dad you are the coolest,” Gossip Girls / Bike Buddies (you know who you are ;) ), “Doctor's orders” (that's mine :) ), “I can eat anything I want” (ahem, mine again :) ), and many more … What makes every STP unique is the mixture of these stories, a “bhel puri” of emotions and experiences that we share along our journeys. Now imagine taking these stories and multiplying them to the 9000+ riders on the route. That collective sense of achievement is what makes TeamAsha possible.
TeamAsha is our team, is our home-on-bikes. Doing what we love, and doing it for a worthy cause, is a dream few manage to dream, and even fewer dare accomplish in the daily grind of the modern life. The TeamAsha biking program is our way of helping us realize our dreams, and helping others less fortunate than us realize theirs too. TeamAsha is not the so-called coordinators, it is each one of the team members - the bikers, their families and loved ones, who make it possible - each person an integral cog in the gears that make the ride smoother.
So thank you! Thank you for taking a step out of the ordinary life, for daring to dream that nothing is impossible, for pursuing that dream, and for helping out a good cause in the pursuit of this dream. We can never be completely deterministic about the effects of our actions, but if your contributions help someone realize their dreams, it is not a mean task. Imagine a future-doctor, a future-engineer, a future-artist, a future-citizen whom we have given birth through our contribution. When all is said and done, fund-raising is just a number, but raising lives is what counts! I speak for Deepali and Arvind too when I say that we have been humbled by the good wishes that have found their way to us, as the riders have expressed their joy after completing STP. Riding with this bunch is not just a pleasure, it is a privilege! And we hope that this journey continues onwards, season after season, mile after mile...
Stay fit, have fun, change lives!