Buena High grads take long bike trip
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- Sitting in his family's Hereford home two hours prior to hitting the road, Mohammed Hansen already had his cycling gloves on.
"Did you sleep in your biking gloves?" Gordon Scott asked Hansen.
"I feel like I'm peeling off skin when I take them off," Hansen said.
After spending 75 days covering more than 3,000 miles on a touring bicycle, Hansen just feels better with the gloves on.
The two friends looked much different than they did in September, when they left Anchorage, Alaska, en route to Naco, Ariz. No longer clean cut, Hansen and Scott were sporting plenty of unkempt facial hair, with clothing chosen for its function, not its aesthetics.
Facing the fulfillment of a fantasy the friends have been fixated on since their senior year at Buena High School in 2008, Scott and Hansen were reluctant to bring it to an end.
In fact, after reaching their final destination at the U.S. border with Mexico in Naco, Scott and Hansen planned to find someplace to camp one final night.
"We're just dragging it out," Scott said.
Hansen liked how Scott's father, Phil Scott, had put it.
"We're on the last couple pages of a really good book," Hansen said. It's exciting to finish it, but they don't really want it to end."
Last week, after logging the last of the trip's 3,239 miles, the friends knew it would be over.
"There's definitely lots of emotions going on. It's weird to know we are so close to being done," Hansen said.
The trip has already encouraged them to start thinking of future adventures they might not have thought they could do before.
"It's very invigorating," Hansen said.
Scott has been amazed by the support he and Hansen have received throughout the trip, via messages from old friends and colleagues and through hospitality offered by total strangers who gave them a shower and a roof over their heads for a night.
The cyclists were welcomed by more than a dozen friends and family members when they arrived in Sierra Vista. Scott said everyone was impressed with what they've done, but the weird thing is, now that they're nearly finished, it doesn't feel as impressive anymore.
"Sometimes it does. Yesterday it did. Sometimes it's just like we rode our bikes for awhile," Scott said.
That's part of what they found empowering: The trip made something so big become something so attainable. That's a lesson Scott and Hansen hope to apply in all aspects of their lives.
They also hope to pass it on and inspire other people to follow their dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem, Hansen said.
The Buena grads hope to return to their high old school and give a presentation. They already spoke at a school in Ventura during the trip and made a stop at Valley View Elementary School last Wednesday to present to Scott's mom's class.
They want to "focus on underlying messages that apply to any part of your life. It's not really about the bike trip," Scott said. It's about following your dreams.
"You can do it and don't doubt yourself," Hansen said. "You're made of a lot more than you think you are."