MAA – Day 32 – Solo Ride?

Day 32 – a ride across Massachusetts – pretty, but HUMID! I found it as tough to climb in the humidity as it was at higher altitudes. I even dipped my toe, so to speak, in Connecticut and Rhode Island. CT was for about two minutes – literally. It was only for about a half mile. Rhode Island was a little longer – maybe an hour! But, I rode into them, so they are part of the history of this journey. ūüôā Rhode Island didn’t have a welcome sign, or any sign for that matter. When I entered, the sign was covered because of road construction. And when I left, there were no signs. I’ll improvise.

 

When we got into the campground Рwhich is FULL for July 4th weekend Рwe had a great visit from Lydia Comfort Dog and her team of which I am now an honorary member!

 

This adventure is almost done. So has it been a solo ride? I may be the only one out on the road on a bike, but I certainly¬†haven’t been¬†riding alone!

Out there with me:

God – Soli Deo Gloria! – I’m pretty sure He intervened a few times (or at least one of His angels did)!

The SAG Team РI absolutely could not have done this without them! If I had tried, it would have been really, really, really, really hard! And it would not have been nearly as enjoyable!

SAG Base – Christy K back at home who connected us with all of the Comfort Dog Teams along the way and made sure we had shelter everywhere and kept the SAG Team sane.

LCC Comfort Dog Teams – Aaron, Cubby, Moses, Eddie, Joy, Katie, Barnabas, Gracie*, Shami*, Anna, Lydia, and soon to meet, Obadiah. You were there at the right time, every time providing comfort, shelter, food and friendship!

Tom J – The one who kick started my journey by pulling me back into good health and inspiring me with stories of his own adventures trekking through the Sierras.

Jena T – Always there with a smile, positive attitude, encouragement and interest.

My¬†St. John’s Lutheran family who supported, encouraged and prayed every step of the way.

My KP staff, Sharon and Theresa who made me laugh and held down the fort.

Andrea, Aka. East Coast Support Crew Leader – and my sister who happens to have MS and inspired this ride to be so much more than just a bucket list check off.

Penni and Jennie – My cross training buds who motivate me to get across those state lines. It’s all about the bling – and so much more!

Felix who makes me feel like a lucky guy!

Kathy W, who tried desperately to implant songs in my head.

Everyone following along and commenting/liking posts or just sending good vibes.

All of the Good Humans I’ve met along the way.

Everyone who has donated to the cause.

Everyone following who has MS (or other). I ride because they can’t.

So thanks for coming along! It has helped me more than you know!

Song of the day:

Ride on!

* 7/6/17- Addendum – I almost forgot Shami and Gracie! How could I?¬† ūüė¶¬† Shami drove an hour to greet me at 7 am to make sure I had a great day! Thanks Shami! Love you and Toni! ūüôā And Gracie got us through the hail storm in Iowa!

Awareness

The Cambridge Dictionary defines awareness as:

nounUK /…ôňąwe…ô.n…ôs/ US /…ôňąwer.n…ôs/

Knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time based on information or experience.

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Great Cycle Challenge

Today I am taking a short break from my quest to bring awareness to the needs of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) patients and research to raise it for a variety of other causes. Most of these have crossed paths with my life in one way or another. What is daunting is there are so many that create unwanted change and heartache for too many. What is daunting is that God uses so many opportunities to show us how to have faith, love for one another, and to grow.

Today starts the sign up for The Great Cycle Challenge 2017. I participated in this event for the first time last year, and as a promise to someone who has inspired me, I will be riding to raise funds for cancer research, specifically for children, once again in 2017. This will actually run concurrently with my ride across America in June (this one’s a virtual ride), so I am pretty sure I will meet the mileage goal. Molly Widner is someone who left this earth way too early but in her short time here, she was a huge model of faith and courage and has left an indelible mark. ¬†This one’s for her!Molly

If MS or pediatric cancer aren’t your thing, there are so many other organizations who need your help. About 8 months ago, I rode my bike 10 miles every hour for 24 hours and called out one every hour. If you missed it, here are some¬†of my favorites.

Great Cycle Challenge 2017 Рfor Molly

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Рfor Danielle

American Heart Association РFor Dad

American Cancer Society РFor Mom

Pink Heals РNapa Valley РFor Jennie

Neurofibramatosis Network РFor Tom and Laura

The Pathway Home

Wounded Warrior Project

Lutheran Church Charities – Comfort Dogs

Make a Wish

Compassion International

Napa Humane Society

Samaritan’s Purse

American Diabetes Association

Lutheran World Relief

Fisher House Foundation

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Of course there’s always… Bike the US for MS

 

And another option to make a difference…other folks raising funds for good causes:

Napa Valley Community Connections – Mentorship program for at-risk youth – Go April!

Milan’s Medical Fund¬†– Feel better Milan!

Organ Donation Awareness Run РGo Penni!

American Heart Association Cycle Nation Event РGo KP and Andi!

Best Buddies Challenge – Go Shaully!

Avon 39 РWalk to End Breast Cancer РGo Cathleen!

 

After all the heavy heartedness of looking into these, you can relax or feel comfy by connecting to any one or all of these if it moves you:

Victoria Bartelt, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant РPamper yourself

Lucky Guy Bakery РYummy post ride (or anytime) snacks.

LuLa Roe РComfy clothes

One Beaded Sister РGood looking jewelry

Irwin Family Vineyards¬†– My new favorite…The Bull

And save the date…April 18. I will be partnering with the Hop Creek Pub to host a dine and donate benefitting Bike the Us for MS.

Thank you for being good humans!

Ride on!

Why do we fall?

I recently saw the The Lego Batman Movie. I have to say, it’s my new¬†favorite! If you haven’t seen it, go. You will have fun! It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes too (even though it’s from a different Batman movie):

“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves¬†up.” (Thomas Wayne – Batman Begins).

We all fall at times. It’s what we do about it that builds our character. I tried to instill this notion in my daughter as she was growing up. Hopefully it had something to do with the wonderful person she has become. She turns 20 this week – officially an adult – even though she rails against that thought most of the time. Has she ever fallen? Sure. She has fallen both literally and figuratively. She fell when I toppled her from the snow sled when she was two. She toppled when I had her take the training wheels off her bike when she was five. And she fell many more times that had nothing to do with me. Every time she did, though, she bounced up and yelled “I’m OK!” She “fell” when she wasn’t put in the game, or wasn’t given a part in the play or didn’t get the A or didn’t get to go Around the World. Every time, though, she bounced back and tried again.

She got put in the game and helped seal the win.Cheers

She got to be the main character in one of her favorite stories.15980420955_9574afa4df_z

She got many A’s and received a presidential scholarship for college.

And she applied again, and next year will be participating in the Concordia University – Irvine’s Around the World semester program.IMG_2323

Unknowingly, my daughter has taught me a lot about what you do when you fall. She has been one of my main supporters and motivators along my journey back to me and moving forward to achieve a long held goal of riding across the country on my bike.

It took a while, but for me, it was about not staying down in the pit of poor health habits. I had to climb out little by little, step by step to recover who I wanted to be. I learned to enjoy exercise and in particular, cycling again. I learned to have a healthy relationship with food and lost the weight that plagued me for years. I learned that I could trust people in the dental profession and allowed them to recapture my smile. I learned to practice what I preached Рyou have to pick yourself up after you fall. And it feels good!

Ready to ride on!

 

Progress

Progress.¬†You’ve got to love it! When I was born, titanium dental implants didn’t even exist. When I was in elementary school, CT scans weren’t available. When I was in high school, MRI’s were just starting to be used.¬†And coronary stents¬†weren’t deployed until after¬†I became a physical therapist. Heck, even personal computers and the internet weren’t around until a few decades ago. I had to use a typewriter to write my research thesis in college! Progress. I do love progress.

Progress is defined as forward or onward movement toward a destination. Synonyms include advance, breakthrough, growth, headway, improvement, and journey. I hope that progress defines my year.

I hope to advance toward my goals. Later this year, June to be exact, I hope to ride my bike across America. I even hope to ride at least 100 miles per day (about 40 consecutive centuries). I will be raising funds to help end multiple sclerosis (MS) along the way through Bike the US for MS.

I hope to breakthrough the wind. Headwind has always been my nemesis. I curse it as I ride. Some days the wind can be so strong, it feels like you are standing still. I’ve learned to pedal at a higher cadence (about 90 RPM) and ride in the drops which really do help you cut through the wind easier.

I hope to make headway with many things and show some growth. I happen to be on vacation in San Diego this week. A little spring break with our daughter. I’ve learned here that I have made some headway in terms of fitness improvement and that makes me happy. The leading photo for this blog is of the screen on a treadmill at the Worldmark where we are staying. Anyone looking at it might think it’s a great slow/average run. I think progress! When we were here a year ago, I had trouble maintaining a 4-mile per hour pace. Now that feels like a fast walk. When we were here a year ago, I watched from the cliff top while others discovered what was in the tide pools. This year, I had my own adventure.

I hope that I improve as a cyclist and as a person. And I hope to discover many exciting things yet to be revealed on my journey.

Ride on!