Barrington Reads: Bob Lee shares the unexpected discoveries he experienced on his “Rides for Three Reasons”

November 10, 2014

The Barrington Area Library, the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation, Barrington 220, and the Barrington PTO Presidents’ Council make up Barrington Reads. "The Pilgrimage of Harold Frye", by Rachel Joyce is one of the books the group is championing this year in addition to "How Children Succeed", by Paul Tough. 


A Ride for 3 Reasons is a series of self-supported solo cross-country charity bike rides by Bob Lee of Barrington, IL with the purpose of raising funds for Cancer Research, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Research, and to elevate the public awareness of Hospice

This past Sunday, Barrington Reads invited local resident, Bob Lee, to speak about his "Rides for Three Reasons" journey across America and what it taught him about himself and the world. Bob Lee related his amazing journey to the character of Harold in Rachel Joyce’s story. Harold is a man who had been living a rather ordinary life, who then sets off on foot to deliver a note to a friend who is dying. In the book, the story chronicles the different characters Harold meets, his personal growth and the discoveries he makes about the world along the way. Harold notices the miracles in some of the smallest, easily overlooked details.

Bob related well to Harold's story. Starting off on his first Ride For Three Reasons, Bob thought it would just be a long bicycle trip to raise money and awareness for the three charities close to his heart. In his presentation, he shared pictures and stories of the many interesting people he met along his path. People he would never have met if he had not set off on his rides.

The small roads and highways along Bob’s journey brought unexpected beauty that he captured with his camera and shared with the group of over 40 people who came to hear him speak. His experiences were much more than he anticipated. His rides changed him and the way he now looks at people and the world.

Bob repeatedly spoke about the “goodness of people” and “how beautiful the world is”. Bob’s stories reflected an obvious love and caring attitude deep within him, which initially spurred him to start his journey to support the three causes dear to him.

As he shared his personal cause with those that he encountered during his rides, he radiated real joy and purpose. Bob shared glimpses into the lives of friends battling ALS and Cancer, some of which met him along his journey. As we heard about their stories, we were compelled to care about them, too!

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unlike Bob's story, Harold’s story is darker, with more internal battles to work out. The length of his journey gives him plenty of time for introspection and personal self-discovery. 

The opportunity to hear Bob Lee’s story was a positive perspective to reflect upon Rachel Joyce’s story. A reminder that in our lives our journeys are of our own making. We should not wait to start living, sharing and taking chances!