Four months ago, I left New Jersey with my camera bag and a baseball cap to follow five cyclists on what would become a 1,615 mile trip down to Florida. Leading up to the journey, there was some concern for how conditioned the riders would be for the hot summer days in the southeast. Most of them had never touched a road bike before, and the task seemed daunting even for those who wouldn’t be pedaling their way down. Brendan McCartney did his best to put those concerns to rest by putting in the miles when he could, learning to clip-in, tackle hills and handle centuries all within the span of a few months. It put into perspective that even the largest achievements are within reach through grit and determination.
On the morning of one of the earlier group training rides, I pulled Brendan aside for a portrait. He was only a few weeks away from a bike ride that we originally thought would be 1,500 miles long, and he told me that he did not feel prepared.
Photo: Ramon Dompor