O-Hi-Ohh no

Redo: I started my blog from the previous few days, but unfortuantely the computer didn’t load my new entry, so I am just adding an extra day on to this one.

It started, now, three days ago when we were riding from Cadiz, Ohio to Zanesville. The day started off with thunder and lightening which delayed our normal 7 AM departure for half an hour. While the rain poured down, we waited, and at 7:30, while it was still raining we headed out towards Zanesville. This day was filled with rain, leveling mountains into more flattened road, and several flat tires. Not only did my group (Connie, Dana, Fei, and Sandra) get the most flats, 6, getting three myself, but our support vehicle had a flat too. I guess around 800 miles is the opportune time for flats.

Anways, Fei had our first two flats, than I had two. Unfortunately, however, our group ran out of spare tubes that we carried when I got my flats. Being the last group, we had no opportunity to wait for another group to arrive, hoping that they would have a spare tube. To make matters even better we were stuck in the rain while trying to patch some of the flat tubes that had holes in them, hoping that they would get us to the support vehicle about ten miles away.  With no luck trying to patch tubes, we than tried calling for help, but being in the middle of a state park in Ohio we had no reception on any of our phones. So three of the riders went ahead, leaving myself and Fei to entertain ourselves on the side of a highway, freezing from the rain and hoping that someone would return quickly.One funny part of this stop, though, was that when we were trying to patch the tubes we needed a dry piece of clothing to dry the tube before we put the glue on. Although most of us were soaked head to toe, I found one patch of dry shirt underneath my jacket in the shape of the United States. It was a good sign! As the rain cleared, my spirits were lifted when the other three riders came back with news that they got ahold of the support vehicle, which would come with spare tubes! Success!

Finally fixing my tire we were once again on our way, only to find that the road was terribly riddled with potholes and rocks. About two miles later, Dana got our fifth flat of the day. It seemed that we were never going to get to lunch. After another fixed flat we rode the rest of the way to lunch, about two and a half hours after the first group of riders already left lunch.  Later that day, however, I got another flat tire., however, made it through the rain, thunder, potholes, and flats on a crazy day in Ohio. Needless to say that night, once we arrived in Zanesville I put a brand new tire, a gator skin, on my wheel.

The next day, yesterday, was much better! From Zanesville to Dublin we rode on bike paths, and only got moderately lost. The temperature was hot and humid, but was better than the soaking rain that we had the two days previously. On the ride, which seemed to go much more smoothly, besides the spill that Jay took on bad patch of road, all the riders made it to Dublin on an 80 mile day. Leaving the mountains and being welcomed to the plains with mildly gusty winds, we conquered our first leg of our trip.

On our ride yesterday I had a chance to really think about the purpose of this trip and about anything I wanted. I came to the conclusion after talking with a few other riders that this trip is selfish and selfless. Selfish in the fact that I am the one experiencing this chance of a lifetime going across country talking to people that I would never thought possible. I also think it is selfless in the essence that what we are really doing is promoting the idea of cancer awareness. It has been inspiring to me the sheer number of people that we don’t know that stop and thank us for what we are doing. It never really struck me until a few days ago when a woman in a CVS parking lot saw our van and with such emotion thanked us for what we are doing and told us that her co-workers father died that morning from cancer.

It made me realize that flat tires and the rain that we ride through can only last so long. This ride has an end date, but for those who battle cancer they will never really have an end date to their disease. From one end of the country to the other we are all human and have all been affected by cancer. Make each day worth living. Experience. Test your limits. Take adventures and above all love deeply.

With a day off in Dublin, Ohio and a daunting 100 mile ride ahead of us tomorrow, I leave you from the great hospitality of one of the riders houses, Andrew Erikson. With love and appreciation I will see you once again in a new state, Indiana.

 

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