Welcome to Rider Spotlight, a series of blogs to introduce you to some of the riders on the Rodman Ride Team TextLess Live More 2020.
Joe Levitan, brother of Merritt Levitan, will be heading up his own mini team in Vermont this year.
My name is Joe Levitan and I am a member of Textless Live More’s 2020 Rodman Ride Team. In the summer of 2013, I lost my eldest sister Merritt to a distracted driver. She was just eighteen years old. On the cusp of my twenty-first year I am beginning to gain a newfound understanding of what the phrase that has been ingrained in my mind for the past seven years means: TextLess Live More. These four words seem to have found a way into every aspect of my life.
For me, Living More is the mindset that I bring to the events that unfold throughout my life. Living More means being open to everything the world throws at me no matter if it is good or bad. Living More means taking initiative and understanding that beautiful moments arise at a much more frequent rate when there is some effort behind your actions.
Earlier this summer I spent two weeks exploring the Mad River Valley with my best friend in the world. We discovered secret swimming holes, mind-altering vistas, and delicious burritos. A moment that stands out from the rest was when we stumbled upon two Adirondack chairs in the middle of the woods with the most beautiful view either of us had ever seen. The exact moment we sat down the sun emerged from within the clouds and graced our eyes and the mountainside below with golden light that appeared to have come from the most sacred of places. There is no doubt in my mind that both of us will remember that moment until the day we take our last breaths. We were Living More. We were living Merrit’s Way. We took the initiative to go explore that mountainside instead of getting glued to the television or stuck scrolling through our phone screens. It is for moments such as the one on those chairs that I choose to Live More.
I participate in the Rodman ride not only to honor Merritt, but to raise awareness of the dangers that coincide with distracted driving. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me and my family on my worst enemy. I ride with hope for a brighter future. A future where brothers don’t have to lose their sisters and fathers their daughters to a meaningless text message. I ride with the hope that our society will stop living behind lenses and begin to appreciate mother nature and the beautiful creatures that live in it. I ride with the hope that my family’s story will reach a teenager on the other side of the country and make them think twice whether to answer that text. I ride for all of us. Come join me.
Join Team TextLess Live More here.