Gear Up Florida

Tampa (30 miles)

The team rode to a breakfast friendship visit this morning with UPArc. I was racked today because of a mechanical issue.

After breakfast we headed to the MacDonald Training Center for adults with disabilities. The MTC is a unique organization that truly exemplifies the abilities of all people. They are the sole manufacturer of Florida’s Sun Pass. MTC has a contract with the state to employ people with disabilities to design and create the sun pass. They also provide an art studio and gallery for their clients. Instead of making their artists ‘stay in the lines,’ the organization’s CEO told us they have the artists start with a blank canvas, which reveals their creativity. The artwork is absolutely incredible and is on sale to the public. The proceeds are used to purchase art supplies so they can continue to produce masterful works of art. In addition to a tour of the facility, MTC provided us with a generous lunch.

After lunch we drove to tonight’s lodging at a Tampa school. We made bike shop and Walmart runs before dinner. I got a new chain for my bike and I’m happy to report that it’s now good to go!

Dinner was sponsored by a team member’s family at The Columbia restaurant. It was delicious!

The day’s final friendship visit was to the All People’s Life Center, where we played some wheelchair basketball with the local team, the Tampa Bay Strongdogs. Let’s just say they were a whole lot better than us, but it was a great time nevertheless.

Tomorrow we have a day off from cycling and a second day in the Tampa Bay area. We’ll be making a friendship visit in the morning and visiting the MTC again.

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