Be Not Afraid

Do I get scared when I’m riding? Sometimes.

DSC01463When I was in my twenties and riding across the Midwest, I rode solo and through areas where the corn was so high you couldn’t see anything else all around. My mind would play tricks on me and I would imagine all kinds of things jumping out at me. It didn’t help that a film based on Steven King’s Children of the Corn was released in 1984. I didn’t even have a cell phone to call for help if I found myself in trouble. They didn’t exist yet.

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I’ve ridden in parts of the country where storms come up seemingly out of nowhere and are fierce as all get out. I remember one time coming back home with a friend from the South Bend, IN area. A storm rolled through and a huge lightening bolt hit the ground about 25 feet from where we were. I didn’t think I could run so fast. We left the bikes and ran into the truck stop that luckily was near by.

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Years ago, I was riding on a remote country rode in Ohio late at night. Unfortunately, my bike light ran out of juice (back up batteries were used up as well) and it was difficult to see anything. The moon was not bright that night. I can still remember the odd clomping sound coming at me from a distance. I was so relieved to finally see the dim light on the Amish buggy and be able to connect the sound to the horses hooves.

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I’ve reached 62.3 mph coming down a hill on a bike. That can be a bit scary on a 25 mm wide tire! It’s exhilarating at the same time, though, so scary hasn’t stopped me.

My bike has slipped out from underneath me when the rear tire hit sand on the shoulder while climbing a mountain road – I fell into traffic coming up behind me. An angel slid me out of the way. It has happened on wet railroad tracks as well. I’ve since learned to walk across wet tracks. You don’t have to tell me twice!

I’ve been chased by dogs and was once bitten.

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I’ve been on roads where triple semi trailers have passed so closely that I swear I could have reached out and touched them.

Since Mr. SAG now calls me Wrong Way, you know I’ve been lost!

All of these experiences were scary but we can’t let scary stop us! If I had, I would not have accomplished what I did this past year. Happy birthday to me! Since my last birthday, I’ve ridden across America on the way to 7,632 miles (about a thousand more than my previous best when I was 27). That includes 40 centuries (100+ Miles), or if using metric, 68 metric centuries (62+ miles) and 210,340 feet of climbing (7 1/4 times the height of Mt. Everest). That’s way more climbing than I’ve ever done since most of my previous riding was in the Midwest.

Along the way, with your help, I’ve raised over $12,000 for organizations like Bike the US for MS, The Great Cycle Challenge, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Tour de Fox for Parkinson’s Disease and Tour de Cure for Diabetes Research.

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Song of the day:

Don’t let fear stop you. Ride on!

Lighting the Night

I was blessed this week to be part of an ‘IncredibLLS’ team that walked to light the night to raise funds for leukemia and lymphoma research. We raised our lanterns to honor those we have lost and to celebrate those who have survived.

I walked because I lost a dear friend to leukemia several years ago. Gail was a PT I worked with in the first clinic I worked at in California. We were in a small space and our office and treatment areas were cramped, but if you ask any one of us who worked there, it was the best place we ever practiced, because of the people. Gail was part of that team and she was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.

I walked because Danielle fought bravely and survived her battle with leukemia. She taught us all what true faith is and how to face struggles head on with no holds barred.

I walked because I could. And I’m proud to be part of a team that raised over $5000.00 for leukemia and lymphoma research.

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Song of the day:

Next up: I’ll be riding for 24 hours next Saturday (September 23) to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. You are welcome to donate by going to this site: https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/MicheleArnold

Ride on!

 

Awareness

The Cambridge Dictionary defines awareness as:

nounUK /əˈweə.nəs/ US /əˈwer.nəs/

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 – for Molly

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – for Danielle

American Heart Association – For Dad

American Cancer Society – For Mom

Pink Heals – Napa Valley – For Jennie

Neurofibramatosis Network – For 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 – Go Penni!

American Heart Association Cycle Nation Event – Go KP and Andi!

Best Buddies Challenge – Go Shaully!

Avon 39 – Walk to End Breast Cancer – Go 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 – Pamper yourself

Lucky Guy Bakery – Yummy post ride (or anytime) snacks.

LuLa Roe – Comfy clothes

One Beaded Sister – Good 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!