A lesson in perseverance

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When local columnist David Freeze announced his intention to ride a bicycle all the way across the country this summer, it sounded like a formidable challenge. And when he offered to send daily updates with photos to publish in the Salisbury Post, editors were happy to accept them.
But it wasn’t until he dipped the back wheel of his bike in the Pacific and set off, sharing his experiences day by day, that the real magnitude of what Freeze was attempting became clear to those back home. It was a long solo journey through all kinds of terrain and weather.
Post readers were right there with Freeze as he covered more than 4,100 miles, climbing steep mountains and crossing windy plains, going through cold rain at one point and, just days later, heat so fierce that sweat dripped off his elbows.
Those who followed his travels sent up prayers and emailed encouraging messages. Many of us worried about him. We could envision him, sharing narrow roads with wide trucks and going long, lonely stretches without any place to buy food or water for miles and miles.
Speaking of food, while we read of his adventures from the comfort of our desks and easy chairs, Freeze was burning 7,000 calories a day, hauling 25 pounds of supplies and pedaling 10 hours a day.
We learned a lot about the country, and we learned a lot about Freeze — including what he likes to eat. Pancakes, Pop-Tarts and pizza. Brownies and bananas. And ice cream, ice cream, ice cream. Though Freeze was not much of an ice cream eater before the trip, the frozen dessert hit the spot like nothing else on this trip. He even started using the phrase, “my first ice cream of the day.”
Hence the decision to serve ice cream at a reception for Freeze on Wednesday. The Post invited readers to come congratulate him on successfully completing the journey, and they embraced him like family. He had dipped his front wheel in the Atlantic on Sunday, showing us all what it means to tackle an audacious goal, persevere through all conditions, keep a positive outlook and reach the goal. Thank you, David Freeze, for taking us all along for the journey.