As you read this column, whether it be over a cup of coffee, a bite of lunch during your workday break, or as you sit at home celebrating the beginning of your weekend, I am on the road. I hope to make it entertaining for you.
Today, depending on what time it is for you right now, I am somewhere between Simpsonville and Newberry, photographing and writing about the Ride to Remember, a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research. There will be literally hundreds of cyclists covering 252 miles over three days, ending in Charleston on Sunday. I couldn’t be more pleased to have been invited to participate.
As far as I know I will be the only member of the media along for the ride, literally, covering all three days from the inside of the event. That means lots of story possibilities and hopefully a chance to shoot some action-filled, colorful art to share with you over the next few days. Follow the newspapers’ social media, and for those of you who follow my personal social media, you know you’re going to get an entirely different set of stories and viewpoint.
While I’m looking forward to a working vacation of sorts, I have to be honest and admit to you all I do enjoy participating in charity … yes, I know for some of you who may know me and deal with me on a regular basis this probably comes as a shocker, just have someone hit you with the defibrillator and let’s get past it. I think charity is an awesome thing, when it’s truly charity, but that’s a column for a different day.
For me, this event is going to be a chance to stretch both my literary and journalistic legs a touch, meet some new people (a favorite pastime of mine), and do what I do best … a little psychological voyeurism. I love to ask benign questions and carry on conversations with complete strangers for the express purpose of finding out what makes them tick and most never know it’s happening.
In this case, I want to know what it is that drives these guys to ride their bikes over hundreds of miles to raise money, for one thing, but for another, just a simple answer to why?
Why happens to be the most powerful single word in the human lexicon, and I understand why I do the things I do and no matter the reason, I’m comfortable with it. But, I write a good deal of fiction and I have no idea what makes some personalities function, and this happens to be one group I want to understand better … call it professional curiosity.
So, over the next few days keep your eyes peeled as I spend hours upon hours with complete and total strangers who have no idea who I am, what I am about, or how I like to think and live while delving into who they are, all the while bringing some awareness and much needed resources to bear on a topic that needs more coverage.
It should be fun and entertaining and if you know me at all, I WILL find that one guy or gal who has the most interesting story to tell and will gladly share it with you all. But, keep in mind this is me we’re talking about so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end up being someone with a tale of losing a toe to an unfortunate combine accident precipitated by an irate chicken.