Rest Day/ Blog Day

Today is our rest day here in Rochester, MN, home of the Mayo Clinic. Our rest days are the perfect time to catch up on our blogs after many days filled with riding, eating, and sleeping. It doesn’t happen often in my experience to have both an internet connection and the energy to recount recent events, but today I have both. You can also count on several other riders posting today, so feel free to catch up with the team.

As we cover all of these miles, I have a hard time remembering which way to turn when we get lost or if the stayover has showers that night. But as I learned this morning, I do remember some things. After sleeping in until 8:30am, I got dressed and set out for a coffee shop to update this blog. As soon as I stepped out of the door I remembered where the closest coffee shop was and how to get there, instantly. It’s a weird feeling because I’ve only been to Rochester once before, exactly one year ago, but I remember this shop and other restaurants and buildings as well. In fact this whole trip has been a bit eerie when it comes to the memories that come back to me as we ride. Sometimes I feel like not much has changed between the last time I was at one spot and now, other times I feel like a completely different person. This trip has certainly been a learning experience, and I’m a little worried because it seems to be flying by so fast right now and I want to enjoy it for longer.

As far as the riding part of our trip, we’ve approached the rolling hills of Wisconsin and Minnesota, which I find a pleasant change after riding through the flat geography of Illinois and Indiana. Although our home state was a great break after riding through the Appalachians, I’m a big fan of hills. Wisconsin was nice because there are stretches of flat roads broken up by a hill or two which give us a challenge and something to overcome. Riding through mountains for my second time has been a complete 180 degree turn for me. Last year I complained about their difficulty and how they never seem to end, but this time around they have been my favorite part. The sense of accomplishment that I get after climbing for miles is hard to match. There are times when I felt that I couldn’t pedal one more time, but I always end up thinking about the cancer patients who remain so exhausted from treatments that they are bed ridden. My exhaustion is from being outside and pushing myself to my limits all day, but for the cancer patients drained of energy, it is a struggle just to keep going every day through the harshest of treatments. There is no way we will ever be able to emulate the difficulty of undergoing treatment for cancer, but I think these mountains are the closest experience I will ever have. That is the reason that both last year and this year I vowed to never walk my bike up a mountain, I may have the luxury to get off the bike and take a break, but the patients we ride for don’t have that option, they have to keep fighting everyday.

Comments (1)
  • Colette Whicker says:

    Conor…i liked the ending of your post….its the simple things that we so often take for granted…i have spent time in radiation oncology working with cancer patients and you summed it up correctly…our good health is something we rarely realize as a jewel…living life in a healthy state is truly a luxury…Colette Whicker (jordans ma)

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