Aug 16, 2011   //   by ascary   //   Blog  //  65 Comments

Hello all, if you are reading this, you are true friends of Vidas de Esperanza and believers in all Vidas is doing.  Thanks for sticking with me and Vidas through all of the trials and tribulations we have suffered these last couple of weeks. The struggles these last few weeks have been more than I ever thought I could handle.   And you have been with me all the way and I thank you for that.

Tonight I was supposed to be blogging from 200 miles somewhere outside Ixmiquilpan Hidalgo in Mexico.  But I’m not.  Sadly, I am sitting in my office at home, typing this message and wondering how to make sense of the breakdown of A Ride without Borders II. It seems that this ride never really caught a break.  First I was delayed one day because of a bad back, then my knees slowed me down to only about 80 miles on average for the first 5 days (at a time when I had hoped to be able to cover 120 to 130 miles a day).  Then the heat slowed me down even more so that I was only able to complete a 130-mile day once.  Finally though we made it to the border at Loredo.  Things were finally looking up!  The good feelings were fleeting, however.  We soon learned that the border was too dangerous to cross…  Not wanting to risk having our cargo of toys and tennis shoes stolen or confisgated and definitely not wanting to risk being kidnapped, attacked or worse, we had to turn around and come home.  While I know in my heart, this was the right decision, it was still not an easy decision as I knew so many people were counting on me in Mexico and it felt like I was letting them down by coming home.

So, after all of this, I came home  a little disheartened to re-charge my batteries and come up with a new plan of attack.  We decided that I would pack up my bicycle and fly to Mexico.  Then I would bike from Queretero to Ixmiquilpan, arriving as planned on August 18th just in time to give away the toys wheel chairs and shoes that we had originally planned to drive across the border.  One huge hurdle was trying to figure out how to get the wheelchairs, toys and shoes to Mexico– but here things got better– big shout-out to Sports Endeavors in Hillsborough, NC– the soccer company agreed to ship all of our donated goods to Mexico City via Fed Ex for us and (get this!) agreed to pay for about half of the shipping costs.  This was fantastic news and Vidas and I are greatly endebted to Sports Endeavors for stepping in and helping out at a time when I thought all was lost.  So, I dropped all the stuff off at Sports Endeavors yesterday (Monday) and came home to pack my bags for the flight this morning.  I even had taken my bike in to a local bike shop and had it dis-assembled and boxed for the flight.  And I had called US Airways to be sure I could take the bike with me on the flight.  It appeared that I would be able to salvage at least the last few days of my ride.

I got up this morning and packed my car.  Liz took me to the airport and dropped me off.  I got up to the ticket counter with my carry-on, my suitcase to be checked and my boxed bicycle.  I put the bicycle on the baggage belt and was instantly told by the un-helpful US Airways attendant– “sorry sir, there is an embargo right now in Mexico and we cannot allow boxes on the plane.”  But, she then cheerfully told me– you can fly Delta to Mexico and take your box.  So rather than transfer me to Delta she just refunded my ticket and sent me down to the Delta counter.  Amazingly it was true, I could take my boxed bike on the Delta flight.  Go figure.  I guess the Mexican embargo applies to US Airways only… However, because my ticket had been refunded, I now would have to purchase a day-of ticket to fly to Mexico.  Not cheap– if I wanted to go, the ticket would be $1600 plus $400 for the bike.  Needless to say, that was too much.  I knew I couldn’t do it.

I called the people who were waiting for me in Mexico…

I told Juan that I was sorry but we would have to postpone my trip– Vidas just couldn’t spend  over $2,000 dollars just to get me there so I can ride my bike.

Juan is the director of Vidas in Mexico and he is in charge of putting all of our events and trips together for us in Mexico.  He told me that he completely understood and that he would be happy to work with me to re-schedule.  He is still going to give the toys away however and the Fed Ex’ed boxes of wheelchairs and tennis shoes will still arrive this week.  So at least the supplies that so many needed and were counting on will get there… I had to take heart in that fact.  And, so, with the last strong breath of air I had for the day, I told Juan that I would not be flying today, that instead I would be staying here and figure out a way to keep moving forward.

I have learned a lot from this ride.

The must valuable lesson? that I am not always in control, that I can only do everything I do with all the love and passion I have for what we are trying to achieve and that even the most well-intentioned plans do not always work out.

My hope? that those who so strongly believe in me can understand and continue to believe in me and what Vidas does.  I have learned much about doing business in Mexico– the next time, we’ll be better prepared to deal with whatever Mexico throws our way.  We will keep trying to make a difference..because it is the right thing to do.

Sincerely yours,

A tired, and disappointed but very much willing to try again man,



  • “Consider it pure joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work…that YOU may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” -James 1:2

    We all love you, Ascary 🙂

  • Sometimes you learn more by not-doing than doing! The supplies made it down and that is the most important thing. You did a great on the ride and made every effort to finish the it. Accept the results with peace and gratitude!

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  • This mission was not a failure and your efforts have definitely not gone unnoticed! There is much to be said for someone as dedicated and passionate about humanity as you and your crew have been the past several days ~ not to mention the past and future missions with Vidas de Esperanza… May God bless you All and the people in MX <3

    "Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success"

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