Welcome to my blog ladies and gentlemen. My name is Javier Cabral and I’m sure you’ve read my short biography, but if you haven’t feel free to. One word to describe this day and possibly this whole trip is swag. Swag is confidence, greatness and your own uniqueness that nobody can replicate. The reason I say swag is because while on this trip, I’ve learned about different people that I didn’t really know well, but had small conversations with in school. I noticed that everyone is actually the same in their own way, but they each have their own swag. Some brag like Tevin, and some just keep cool and let action do all the talking. In this trip I quickly made great bonds and friendships that I will hold close to my heart, that will never be ripped apart.
Well anyway, lets talk about my day, July 8 which is Day 8 of the 2011 Ohio Underground Railroad Bike trip! I had a rough night sleeping which led to a rough morning, but with the care and humor of my friends with their craziness it is hard to stay angry. I tried to make the best of my oatmeal with the power of creativity and hope. I mixed it with Craisins, Cheerios and peanut butter. It was the most terrific and awesome failure of my life. It wasn’t awful, but it was bad enough.
Afterwards we got our bikes ready for what was supposed to be a 46 mile ride and God sent us a gift from the sky. It was called thunder and rain. It looked like there was going to be a storm, but it wasn’t raining at all when we left and my teacher wanted us to keep on riding until it rained. She is the boss and we must do what she says so we started our escapade with a little chant that went a little like this. “Make it rain, make it, make it rain.” It might sound corny, but it’s the corny things in life that make it fun and relaxing.
As soon as we started riding we hit one of the biggest hills of the trip. Hills to bikers are like war. You ride and you ride and the fatigue builds on you. You want to give up, but you can’t because everyone is depending on you to get up there and at our pace (Swag Nation Pace) you have to be quick or you will be left behind with a teacher and you don’t want that. So our funny little Jamaican, Romario Jones, fell on his way and luckily we “made it rain, made it made it rain”. Joaquin had to pick us up and drive us to the next campground. It was a gift from God to have this shower handed to us because we were all so tired and really needed it. By the time we got to the campground, the sun was shining outside so we had to ride anyway because Rachel doesn’t like us to have breaks and wants us to ride until we turn into dust. She’s the boss and everyone has to follow her crazy directions. We rode about 15 miles and it gave me time to think about my life and find my biking pace.
Afterwards we got back and went to the Oberlin Historic Society and I learned that people there used to protect runaway slaves. We were told a story about a black man who was kidnapped by slavecatchers and held outside of Oberlin and people from the town worked together to free him. Oberlin also has the first college that allowed African Americans and women of all colors to attend. We also went to an old school house and got to play with toys that kids played with in the past. It was pretty entertaining. I gave Liz, our tour guide, our group picture to show our appreciation.
We left and got back to the campground and played a game of basketball. I learned that my anger is short tempered and ended up getting into a little fight with my close friend Tariq, but I regained my calmness and squashed the problems we had on the court. We then took showers, had dinner and our usual discussion. I was the discussion leader and I asked about technology because during our ride we saw Amish people that don’t use electricity at all. Most people said they couldn’t live without it. Then I asked about what people will take with them after the trip and the one thing that struck me the most was the idea of friendship because I feel like everyone on this trip is now part of my family. Tomorrow I have to be the bike boss and lead Swag Nation back so we can use our technology and eat fat food =P. Goodnight , I am going to sleep because I will need it tomorrow.
Javier Swag Cabral