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Go Ahead! Flip a Coin

"It took a coin for us to relax and enjoy a place instead of pushing further on that day."

After two and a half weeks at home, Adam and I left for part two of our 50 state bike tour. The farewell was calmer than our welcome home a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday and we left Madison as a group of 3.

Adam's dad decided to brave a few days on the bike with us and rode with us to Jamestown, RI. For the first time, we finally had another rider with us! My father-in-law usually spends his days in a predictable routine of either working in his office or playing golf, so coming on a two day bike ride was a bit out of the ordinary for him.

He had been asking us for weeks if we would be going to Jamestown because he had friends there he wanted to call if we were. But for weeks, we had been avoiding giving an answer. To someone who has always had a game plan, it was probably tough for him not to know where he'd be heading.

By the time Tuesday came, we still didn't have an answer for him. There were so many variables. Was two 50 mile days going to be too much for him? Would the weather cooperate? Could we really get our bikes over the Jamestown bridge? The answer was, we just didn't know but as soon as we figured it out, we'd let him know.

As unplanned as it was, Adam's dad had a blast that day. We spent a leisurely day riding 50 miles into Mystic and got there around 4:00. We grabbed a little ice-cream and debated whether or not we should ride another 10 miles to Westerly. Mystic was a beautiful place to spend the night, but we all felt good enough to try for another ten.

We were torn.

I think my father-in-law started to embrace the spontaneity of traveling by bike when we decided the only way to make the decision was to rely on the toss of a coin. Adam's dad was totally blown away. He couldn't believe we were making this decision based on the toss of a coin!

I took a quarter out of my pocket and could see the intense desire my father-in-law had in his eyes to be the one to flip it, so I offered it to him and he gladly accepted. It took him three tries to catch the coin because he was so excited he couldn't hold onto it as it descended.

On the third try, he caught it with heads up. We were staying in Mystic.

It could have been tails and my father-in-law's reaction would have been the same. He was just thrilled to have left that decision up to a coin.

His excitement over the coin toss gave me a little hint as to how people may perceive our trip. Though we've never relied on a coin to decide anything before, why not? I'm sure the coin would be smarter than us sometimes.

It took a coin for us to relax and enjoy a place instead of pushing further on that day, and it took a coin for my father-in-law to understand the spontaneity of this bike tour and why it has to be that way.

I wonder, now that it's been a few days since we've parted ways, if he's left any other decisions up to a coin. We haven't.

Christy and Adam are currently in Maine. To find out more, check out their blog at http://giveabike.blogspot.com/ or their Facebook Page at https:/ /www.facebook.com/giveabike. To see where they are, you can check out this map at Track My Tour. Christy will be writing occasional stories for Patch as she and her husband make their way through the U.S.

Madison Patch is proud to be the Connecticut sponsor for Adam and Christy's trip. If you'd like to sponsor their trip, visit this page on their website.

Paul J Coppola May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM
It was a blast biking with Adam and Christy, much more relaxing than I ever thought (as much as 50 miles per day on a bike could be when not used to it), but what really excited me was the freedom and spontaneity of being with them and just enjoying the surroundings and the people we encountered. Idid love the coin toss and a total extreme from my usual decision making, but much more fun. Have to try it some more and would love to join Adam and Christy again somewhere, maybe by a coin toss!!
Pem McNerney (Editor) May 19, 2011 at 01:04 PM
So interesting! Sometimes it sounds like biking all 50 states would be an arduous task, and I know Adam and Christy have had rough days. But when I saw them over their break, it reminded me how relaxed, free and spontaneous they are. They are the embodiment of positive mental attitude. I can see why you would want to join up with them again on their ride!
Carol Pilis May 19, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Casey & I have travel without plans on many occasion, even island hopping in the Caribbean and people thought we were crazy. "What you don't have reservations!" It was great fun and we met so many locals that as Christy & Adam have found, were delightful, helpful & shared places to visit that aren't on any guide book but were wonderful.
Pem McNerney (Editor) May 19, 2011 at 03:32 PM
What a great idea!
Christy Coppola May 19, 2011 at 04:16 PM
It is such a great way to travel. Yes, you have to put a little faith into the fact that you will find a place to stay and sometimes it can be unnerving, but if everything is planned, you could miss out on some fantastic opportunities.
Pem McNerney (Editor) May 19, 2011 at 09:54 PM
A little faith can go a long way. =)

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