On the Road Again

As the school year starts and the Trekker bicycling club gets going again, delays sometimes happen. Here the group gets an unexpected delay due to a biker getting not one, but two flat tires at once. After the break we pedaled to the pizzeria for some hard earned nutrition. Okay, that last part may be debatable–pizza is not the healthiest, but it is fun to eat! The Higginses are looking forward to another great year of after school pedaling as we lose a few graduates, but gain some really great freshmen! See you on the streets! – Dan

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Chalk It Up to a New School Year

Chalkboard

It must be getting close to a new school year, as Ms. Higgins has the hubby getting things ready for her new students. Joann Higgins teaches math at Urban Promise Academy, a high school in Camden, NJ, that helps students meet their academic potential. This week, Dan made each student a portable blackboard to practice math in a different way. We at Dan Higgins Wood Flooring hope the Urban Promise Academy students have a great first day of school!

Senior trip!

When my wife and I met these students 4 years ago as freshman at Urban Promise Academy, with my wife as their math teacher and advisor, they were “wet behind the ears”, as they say, and entering a new world; high school. I can’t believe 4 years has passed already, as we spent the last few days in Hershey Park for their senior trip! What a blast we had as the rain on Sunday drove the less-hardy guests from the park, leaving the roller coasters open to seemingly just our students. After a late night dinner dreamed up by our two Higgins kids at a gas station store, followed by too little sleep, we hit the park again and road them all over again and then some. Now most people cringe when you suggest taking 11 teenagers to an amusement park, but these Urban Promise young adults made us so proud by having fun while still acting like angels. I want to personally thank the kids, not just for making this trip fun, but for filling Ms. Higgins and my lives with joy for the last four years. As they move on to bigger and better things, prepared by the benefits of a great school and ministry, I hope they will stay in touch with Joann and I, as they have truly become part of our family.

– Dan

Dragon Boating

Ever hear of dragon boating? Neither did I until we started a team with the students from Urban Promise and competed over the last 3 years at the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Regatta. Thanks to some practice and dedication we qualified for the ‘C’ division (out of A through G) and managed to take home the Gold Medal, thanks to some extra effort displayed by both the students and coaches. Great job Urban Promise Students and thanks for letting me be part of the team!

Pedal For Promise

You’re all familiar with Urban Promise’s big fundraising ride, “Pedal for Promise”, now this year we used that training to extend the fun for a few VERY ambitious riders. Unlike the P4P, our “Camden, 2 Capes & 10 cent Skeeball” ride (C2C) was just for fun! Originally planned as a 3-day ride, the weather set us back a day. We left Camden at 7:00 am sharp Tuesday morning to ride to Belleplain Sate Forest to camp, but still had energy and time, so we finished the last 25 miles and made it an hour ahead for the 6:00 ferry from Cape May to Cape Henlopen (the 2 capes). The picture shows our two exhausted riders, Jalisa and Christian taking a well deserved rest in the shade at the end of the ride before the ferry crossing. On the other side of the bay, The Beacon Motel in Lewes was nice enough to give us a suite for the price of a single room, so our “camping” became a hot shower, a waterfront dinner, and an air conditioned bed! The next day we finished the 100 miles by riding to Rehoboth Beach for the 10 cent skeeball portion along with a nice breakfast, some ocean swimming and a slice of boardwalk pizza. The owner of “Beach Arcade” was so excited about us riding all that way to play at his place that he ran home and got us all T-shirts as souveniers!

Then, as in all great trips, it was time to get a ride home thanks to my son’s willingness to come and get us with the van.

I was recently having a discussion with a friend about “Grit”; that unshakeable determination to get to where you want to go no matter what it takes. Though I’m not involved in their schooling, I can tell you that both Jalisa and Christian showed grit when they together voted to make it the extra 25 miles, bringing there total day’s miles to 85 miles! Here’s some stats: 9.5 hour ride start to finish, 7 hours of actual pedaling, 85 miles, approximately 27,300 rotations of the pedals.

THAT’S GRIT!!!! That’s what can help these kids, and many others at Urban Promise who do amazing things, get over the hurdles of life and achieve their dreams no matter how big they my be. Great job!

“Practice makes perfect”

“Practice makes perfect” In this case, practice made some Urban Promise students from Camden ready to tackle a “metric century” bike ride last Saturday, which is 100 kilometers, or 62 miles. Thanks to some help in leading by the Action Wheels bike club, two juniors along with coaches Dan & Joann Higgins were able to make it across the finish line in 4:01:41!!! Great job Christian and Jalisa, our two students who took on this ride and succeeded. They obviously have the grit to do well in life!

Almost there.

Nearing completion, this 40′ x 60′ fort has undergone an almost complete rebuilding, including a 200′ catwalk, with the hard work of lots of volunteers and the supervision and planning by Dan and Nick Higgins. My thanks goes out to everyone who is helping make this happen, especially my son Nick, who has put in countless hours after talking us into doing this project. Many hands makes for light work! Children for years to come will enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labor.