an inspiring story by Jeff Osterink, a Team Orphans Virtual Ironman member
My dad died just over a year ago. April 1.
One of the tangible things that I was able to do to help out my mom, was to clean out the garage and my dad’s workshop. I paid for a large dumpster to be dropped off at the house. I was in a throwing away mood. I think we all were. In my dad’s shop, I found his old bike- a 1970’s Fuji 10 speed.
I picked it up and walked towards the dumpster. I was going to throw it away, but then I stopped and decided that I would restore it and keep it. I brought it home with me that day and put it in my living room. I took it completely apart and over the next couple of weeks brought it back to working order.
Then started riding it around……a lot
At some point I had an idea that I would like to do something sort of epic with the bike.
I wanted to go on a trip with it. I started adding bags and storage on the bike.
Then I reached out to a close friend and invited him to share this vision with me.
We decided to bike from a cabin in Kalkaska, MI up to pictured rocks in the Upper Peninsula.
He bought a super old bike and fixed it up.
We slept in the woods one night, cheap hotels the other nights. We carried all of our gear and food with us. So many stories and memories.
My only super bright shirt was my Team Orphans Virtual Ironman shirt.
Kind of gross, but I wore it every day of the trip. I washed it a couple of times in sinks along the way.
But that was the interesting part– lots of people asked me about my shirt and what it was all about. It was fun to talk about it. My most memorable experience was hiking the trail from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls at Taquamenon. A younger couple crossed paths with us and asked a lot of questions about my shirt. They were looking into adoption, and talked to me about it.
Thank you, Jeff, for your story. We’d love to hear from other Virtual Ironman members about something in your life! There’s still plenty of time to join the 2017 Virtual Ironman Team. Sign up at https://www.teamorphans.com/virtualiron/