Stephen Barton and Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent are a couple of young fellas, recently graduated from college, with time and freedom. They decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime - a bike ride across the Fruited Plain.
They departed from Virgina Beach, VA... and based on the news story and Ethan's blog, it sounds like they were taking the scenic route! Definitely not the straightest and quickest course. (And also unusual, I believe, because they were heading east-to-west. Most cross-country bike rides I've heard about begin on the west coast and move easterly. Tailwinds? I don't know.)
As fate would have it, they ended up at a friend's place in the Denver area on July 20th, where they would stay the night before heading into the mountains the next day. And their friend invited them to attend the premire midnight showing of the new Batman movie.
Tragically, we all know the next part of their story. As the movie unfolded, a disturbed individual crashed through the doors, heavily armed, and began indiscriminately shooting at the movie audience, killing 12 and wounding five times that many.
The story for Stephen and Ethan could've been much more tragic... the former, and their host, both sustained gunshot wounds but should recover. Ethan miraculously walked away unscathed.
Just three of uncounted lives that were interrupted, and forever changed, by the insane act of one individual. (And unfortunately, there have never been easy answers on how to protect innocents from totally-random and unprovoked criminal acts. You just pray that they'll be few and far between.)
Their family from back east picked 'em up in Denver, and drove 'em home. The trip will have to be completed at a future time.
"Maybe they would come back to Aurora next summer, depart from the theater itself and make their way to San Francisco, raising money along the way for shooting victims and their families. Maybe ."
I sure hope it works out that way.