Last year my Challenge was to ride 1,000 miles in August and Jeri and I matched all donations during this time. It was fun, difficult, and successful. Then I rode 165 miles in September and 166 miles in October.
This year I’m going for consistency. I rode a healthy 592 miles in August, climbed 14,449′, and averaged 16 mph. I feel good and am definitely stronger. BUT the weather is already starting to change. Tough to keep up this pace in the rain, wind, cold, and dark.
The Triple – Average 20 miles, 500′ of climbing, & 15 mph
The Double – If I’m on schedule, Jeri and I will match your donation to my LiveSTRONG account through October. If I fall behind, we will match your donation to my LiveSTRONG account at a 501c3 of your choice.
If you want to get in on the action, just make a donation using the link below. I’ll post my progress every Saturday or Sunday. Thanks in advance!
The Road Rider
Having just spent 4 days on Mackinaw Island it was impossiable not to reminisce about “simpler” times. No cars on the island so only horses and bikes. And of course walking. The houses and hotels are big and very open so that the breeze can blow through. And at night when most of the day only visitors are gone, it is quiet, slow, and peaceful.
But. I could still get to the internet. The roads were paved. We did have air conditioning in our hotel room. And I was only 2,580 steps from a Starbucks. So it really was not the “simple” life. We were just pozing.
As I biked around, over, and through Mackinaw Island I wondered what Mary thought of that “simpler” time. I don’t think she is old enough to pre-date cars, but I bet there were some horses around when she was a little girl. I imagine she, like the rest of us, think fondly of times when “things” went slower. When not everything was a rush. When writing/receiving a letter was the way we communicated long distance.
But back when she was a little girl cancer meant The End. There were no successful treatments and even worse no hope. Mary, like much of her family, is battling cancer with modern day treatments which bring with it that hope for more days with family and friends.
So Mary here is to the thought of days where things moved slower and letters were written and not just typed on Facebook. AND where we can benefit from today’s resources like modern medicine and Starbucks.
The Road Rider
RAGBRAI – Day 6, Post 4
I Ride For: Janice
I am now sitting in front of my tent for the last evening of this trip. All my “work” for the day/night are done. Bike is ready for tomorrow. Bed is ready for tonight. I am clean. And my super-secret clean clothes for the bus ride home are on the top of my pile. The LiveSTRONG staff is cooking hamburgers for dinner, which means I do not have to bike again until tomorrow.
The setting for tonight’s camp is awesome. We are literally camping on the runway of the local airport. We are on the top of a hill and can see for miles in three directions. From where I’m sitting I can see corn, bean, and wheat fields. I can see trees in between the fields and most likely creeks. It is sunny and warm with a perfect breeze keeping things cool and dry. It is super peaceful.
I looked for places like this all day to write exactly this message to Janice. She has had little peace in her life in the last 15 years. Hers was one of the thousands of homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Then as they were trying to recover, cancer dug in. It has been one thing or another ever sense. Very little peace and quiet even for a moment.
Today I found a park that was empty, but by the time I had gone to get a bottle of water it was packed. I was biking along with lots of others, but it was pretty quiet and then one bike after another came by with loud music. Seems like wherever I turned, there was a distraction. Until this evening.
Now it is peaceful. I am so lucky to be in this camp with these people. I hope/wish Janice can find her peace wherever and whenever it reveals itself.
The Road Rider
RAGBRAI – Day 6, Post 3
I Ride For: Anne
It is 1:30 pm and I am sitting at a Hardee’s about 2 miles from our camp site. I am here because there is shade and air conditioning, they have food and ICE, and they have Wi-Fi that is not yet overloaded. The little towns like this one will be completely swamped by cell and Wi-Fi by 6pm. There is one more reason why I’m here now instead of later: while my butt is always a little sore by this time in a ride, I actually have a saddle sore. I will not go into any more details here (one R rated post per trip is enough). I am NOT sitting on my bike seat to bike the two miles back here later.
So in the last 6 days, I have been able to sample a double cheeseburger at McDonalds, A&W, and Hardee’s. (All in the name of finding free Wi-Fi of course. Ha!) In highly educated opinion, A&W was the best. This may have been influenced by the root beer. I guzzled the first ice cold frosty mug. It was great. AND IT WAS A GLASS – GLASS. No plastic bottle.
So how can I spin free Wi-Fi, saddle sores, fast food, and root beer into an I Ride For:? I cannot really do it. Anne is a best friend of Margo. Margo is the mother of Jimmy. Jimmy ran out of time a couple years ago, but not before he and his sister were the first cancer story I ever heard 20 years ago and got me really started at LiveSTRONG. Their Dad (Margo’s husband) is Dan, who I would like to get on RAGBRAI someday. And I bet Dan would appreciate the air conditioning and Wi-Fi if he were here. It’s a stretch but the best I can do.
Anne, from what Margo wrote me, you are a care-giving machine. I bet this makes it tough to be on the other end. My Mom does a weekly radio program called “Wisdom of the Wounded” and her advice is, you will actually be helping others to let them help you. If you can, give them a job. There is always vacuuming to be done, lawns to mow, cars to wash, food to be bought or prepared. At a minimum, tell Dan that it would really help you if he did RAGBRAI in 2018 with that weirdo from Michigan that sent you the flag.
The Road Rider