Here is a breakdown of the group of riders.
There are 55 full-tour riders.
Nationalities represented: 15
4 South Africans
1 New Zealander
Another thing that is interesting is that several of the riders (mainly 4 of mixed nationalities) have been communicating via Facebook over the past two months sharing wisdom, asking questions, joking around with each other, and generally wishing each other well in our packing, training, and travels. We have formed a sort of electronic primary group (for all my students reading this hopefully this will click with you!-if not, you will be tested again when I return!). What I am wondering is if this electronic primary group will actualize into a face-to-face primary group for the duration of the trip. Hmmmm...what is the hypothesis here, students? :)
One more observation to share. For months, I have been looking at the profiles of the full-tour riders and gathering information from their biography for my research. In my mind then, I have been imagining riding with these people and only these people (besides the staff members and occasional section riders). Just recently four more people have added their profiles and I have kind of had a weird reaction. For longer than a second, I thought "hey, what are these outsiders doing adding to our group?" Hmmm...I find that very odd because this is a gut-level reaction. To me, this type of feeling may shed light on the discussion of in-groups and out-groups and how powerful they are in our minds. To any of the new riders that recently added and who may read my blog, please don't take this as a personal offense! I will welcome you in Cairo!
In another blog, I will address the sectional riders and 10 support staff that will also be riding with us every day (well, at least most of them...hopefully not the cook though because I hope "Mad Dog" Miles will be preparing our food instead of riding!).