Here are some interview questions that were asked for Conrad and Albert–here’s an opportunity to get know your cyclists on a more personal level!
1) What do you do now?
Conrad Baer (CB): I am a graduate student at Boston University, studying deaf education. I am about to be a student teacher at Rocky Mountain Deaf School for my internship in Spring 2019!
Albert Blake (AB): I am a full-time graduate student at Gallaudet University, majoring in Masters of Public Administration. I also have a full-time job at Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) as a Residential Educator. In my spare time, I serve as a coordinator for MSSD bicycle club.
2) Why pick ASDC as the charity to support?
CB: We chose American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) as the organization to fundraise because the organization’s values align with our vision. We believe in sign language rights and education for deaf children, and ASDC practices this. It was an easy, natural fit for us.
AB: I have always been passionate about doing things with deaf children and students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, such as coaching, directing, and working with deaf people. I always want to find ways to give back to the Deaf community. ASDC is the perfect organization to support because I love serving for deaf children. ASDC has a lot of ideas to help deaf children, and this trip will be a great way to collect funds for ASDC!
3) Why bike across America?
CB: I loved biking growing up. My father biked across America in summer of 1982, and he told me stories about it when I was little. It soon became my dream. I love adventures, and this would be one awesome opportunity to experience! When I think about the trip, I get giddy! Imagine traveling across the United States with just a bicycle, powered by our legs? How cool is that??
AB: I’ve always wanted to bike across America ever since I became a freshman in college. Conrad and I actually had plans to bike across America in 2013, but that fell through as Conrad had an opportunity to play international deaf basketball competition–that was too good for Conrad to pass up, so we tabled our plans at that time. But in March 2018, Conrad FaceTimed me and asked me if I was interested in retrieving our old dream to bike across America, and I instantly said yes. This is one of bucket list things that I have always wanted to accomplish, AND to do this for deaf children? It’s a dream come true!!
4) Name the biggest lesson you learned in 2018.
CB: The biggest lesson I learned in 2018 is to just live in the moment—enjoy what you have at hand instead of spending too much time thinking and worrying about the past and future. You should treasure every moment you have in this world!
AB: Just be grateful for what you have now. It’s simple, but that was the biggest thing I learned in 2018. Some people may never have same opportunities or things I have. It’s a powerful reminder for me to be grateful with what I have and to continue to seek out for opportunities and achieve them.
5) Name one thing you look forward to the most during the bike trip.
CB: I look forward to bike across the Rockies!
AB: I can’t wait to explore! I’m so curious to see what is out there! I can’t wait to see new people, places, parks, scenic views, trails, and try new things! It’s going to be one amazing summer that I cannot wait to start treasuring!
6) What will your diet look like on the trip?
CB: To be honest, I have no idea, but I am expecting a lot of oatmeal and pasta!!
AB: I’m a heavy eater! I love to eat and eat! I have a high metabolism, so I’d be vacuuming my refrigerator anytime, without warning! This trip will be a challenge for me to learn how to manage my diet and making sure to eat food that is high in protein and carbohydrates. Staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water and eating food rich in carbs is going to be my formula for dietary success. Here’s how I picture my meals to look like:
Breakfast: oatmeal, eggs, bagels, and coffee
Lunch: Peanut butter and banana sandwiches and trail mix
Dinner: Pasta, canned chicken, salads, and hopefully maybe some salmon
Snacks: Granola bars, fruit, and Gatorade
I know there are going to be meals where Conrad will be full, and I’ll get to eat more by cleaning out his plates, ha ha ha!
7) What’s your favorite quote?
CB: “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine.
AB: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” – Yogi Berra
8) Name one small-known fact about yourself.
CB: I was born on July 18, 1994, the same day when Brazil won the 1994 FIFA World Cup!
AB: I LOVE to chew on ice. Seriously, I could do that everyday. Once, I cracked my tooth after chewing on some ice, and I had to get a filling! But even with that, I still find myself chewing on ice these days.
9) What’s your favorite photo, and why?
CB: This is my favorite picture.
[Image Description: Pink-colored clouds and blue sky are gleaming in the sunrise, where the buildings and trees are cloaked in black, and the lake has a reflection of the sunrise, making it look symmetrical.]
I took this photo with my iPhone, and I didn’t beautify the picture by adding filters. This is as natural as it is. You could see the reflection of the Angor Wat Temple in the water.
I love sunrises. It’s a perfect representation of what a new day looks like. We all occasionally have bad days, but watching sunrises help us to move on.
Angor Wat was the most majestic temple I have ever seen. It was my good fortune that the sunrise happened to be there, cloaking the atmosphere with a breathtaking view.
That was the best sunrise I have ever witnessed. I prefer sunrises over sunsets because it takes dedication to get up early and go somewhere where you can have a good view of sunrises. It could be tough sometimes especially when you just woke up, but seeing the allure of a sunrise always is worth it. I can’t wait to see more of these sunrises during the trip! I’ll be sure to snap photos of them!
AB: My family is everything. My family comes first. I am thankful for my family. They made me who I am today. They are the most important people in my life. They’re always there for me when I need them.
[Image Description: On the top, Albert, in red graduation gown, is embracing her sisters (in teal green shirt and peach-colored dress respectively, with a proud dad in blue beaming and mom in gray blouse. In the background you see people, along with a brick building. In the bottom picture, you see a smiling family looking directly at the camera. From the left, there is Albert’s dad, in gray long-sleeved shirt, two sisters (one is in black, and other is in gray-black patterned shirt), a toddler wearing a shirt that has various shapes, Albert in black Gallaudet shirt, and mom in maroon shirt.]
10) What is your mindset entering the trip?
CB: The entire purpose of this trip is to serve the deaf children. They’re our future. Our Deaf community will be theirs. So, that’s my mindset entering in this trip!
AB: Four things: 1) Have fun, 2) Make memories with Conrad during this trip, 3) To do this for deaf children and for the deaf community, 4) To enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity!