In the six weeks leading up to RIDETZ, we will introduce the wonderful, enthusiastic people who make up 2016’s team of adventurers. This way, you can learn about the riders before they leave, and then you can follow along on our blog for updates on their journeys as we post throughout the ride! They take off on June 18th for this once in a lifetime experience. Today, we are thrilled to introduce first-time rider and dedicated supporter of TFFT, Elizabeth Souder.
Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. for the past eight years. I’ve worked in non-profit fundraising for the last eight years at a health organization and an independent school.
In my spare time, I love to hike, bike, practice yoga, check out new restaurants, travel, read and spend time with family and friends. My favorite hike of all time was climbing Longs Peak in Colorado. One 14er down, 57 to go!
I have been fortunate to have many influential people in my life. One person who stands out in particular is my grandmother. She was kind, generous, selfless, and hilarious. She truly lived each day to the fullest.
My friends Maggie and Laura Boorman introduced me to TFFT and RIDETZ. Maggie has served as an intern for the organization for many years and Laura has been a volunteer. Laura mentioned to me last June that she was thinking about participating in RIDETZ and I was immediately intrigued. After learning more about the organization and the work done in Tanzania, I felt strongly that this was something I wanted to make a commitment to in 2016.
I’ve never taken on a challenge like this before. From the personal fundraising goals to the extensive training, this has been a completely new experience for me. When thinking about RIDETZ, I have a range of emotions from nervousness to fear to complete excitement. Since I first heard about RIDETZ, I knew this was something I had to do. This is my inaugural trip to Africa. I hope to return to Tanzania at some point to hike Kili!
My favorite bike spots include The Loop at Wrightsville Beach, NC and The Greenline in Memphis, TN. I also just had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing training rides on the Big Island of Hawaii while visiting my brother and future sister-in-law.