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AFN Kunsan – Bike Riders On The Storm

AFN Kunsan – Bike Riders On The Storm


DANIEL LEONE, A STAFF SERGEANT ASSIGNED TO
THE 8TH FIGHTER WING AT KUNSAN AIR BASE, ENJOYS A GOOD CHALLENGE. THAT’S WHY LESS THAN A
YEAR AFTER PICKING UP CYCLING AS A HOBBY, HE TOOK ON THE FLECHE, AN ANNUAL 24 HOUR LONG
DISTANCE EVENT THAT COVERS OVER 240 MILES. LEONE AND HIS TEAM TRAINED FOR WEEKS IN PREPARATION.
BUT EVEN WITH ALL THEIR TRAINING, THERE WERE STILL SOME BUMPS IN THE ROAD.
I REALLY DON’T THINK ANYBODY EXPECTED WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN THAT NIGHT. WE KNEW IT
WAS GOING TO BE SOME WIND AND SOME RAIN. CERTAINLY NOBODY EXPECTED IT WOULD BE AS CRAZY AS IT
WAS. THE WEATHER BECAME SO SEVERE, THE TEAM DIDN’T
KNOW IF THEY WOULD FINISH ON TIME OR AT ALL. I WOULD USUALLY STAY IN THE BACK AND I COULD
LOOK UP AND SEE ALL 3 OF THE GUYS WERE RIDING AT THIS ANGLE, BECAUSE THE WIND WAS COMING
FROM THIS DIRECTION AND THEY’RE JUST TRYING TO NOT GET BLOWN OVER.
NEARLY 24 HOURS AFTER THEY LEFT THEIR STARTING POINT, THEY REACHED THE FINISH LINE. THEY
WERE THE SECOND TEAM TO FINISH AND HAD 45 MINUTES TO SPARE. THINGS MAY NOT HAVE GONE
AS PLANNED, BUT THAT’S JUST PART OF THE EXPERIENCE.
IT’S THOSE UNEXPECTED THINGS THAT COME UP WHICH CHALLENGE YOU AND WHICH WE EMBRACE.
YOU KNOW, WE DON’T SIGN UP TO SAY OKAY THE TROPICAL STORM IS GOING TO BE HERE NOW WE’RE
GOING TO BIKE THROUGH IT. WE SIGN UP FOR THE RANDOMNESS OF IT. WHERE YOU’RE EXPECTED
TO PERSEVERE THROUGH WHATEVER HAPPENS TO COME YOUR WAY. IF EVERYTHING WAS PLANNED OUT, IT
WOULDN’T BE EXCITING. IN THE END THEY COVERED OVER 240 MILES, ENDURED
60 MILE PER HOUR WINDS, POPPED 2 TIRES AND ULTIMATELY, CROSSED THE FINISH LINE AS A TEAM.
SENIOR AIRMAN CAT THOMPSON, KUNSAN AIR BASE, KOREA.

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