Hello Midwest

I haven’t journaled in a long time, mostly because I’ve been exhausted from biking through the Appalachian Mountains.  It’s been an incredible experience so far, but the days have not come easily.  Riding up really long steep hills is something none of the team is used to since we’re all from the flattest region of the country.  Although the last week was physically and mentally demanding it was rewarding and stimulating at the same time…not to mention, the scenery was beautiful.  Waking up every day at 545 is becoming extremely easy and I’m still amazed by all of the kindness and generosity that we have encountered at each and every stay over.  Everyone warmly welcomes us into town and i think I’ve eaten some of the best meals of my life this summer.

I’m starting to really love riding and it’s pretty cool to see the different group dynamics that happen between 28 individuals.  The people I’m surrounded by are amazing and it’s still exciting getting to know everyone on a different level.  Head winds or mountain tops are nothing to worry about when you’re riding alongside great people.

Two days ago I ran into a man who was outside of his car holding up a sign with his wife and little girl that said “family in need, anything helps” I decided that instead of spending my spare cash on some McDonald’s ice cream, I’d walk over and give it to the family in need.  (Ive been eating way too much ice cream lately anyway).  While talking with the man, I found out that he had been diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to quit his job because he could not bear the physical stress that it put on his body.  Because of appointments and other surgeries he was continuously behind on paying bills and continues to struggle.  He explained the hardships that cancer brought on and said that it’s embarrassing to talk about.  He told us that he hasn’t been able to get a lot of the medication he needs because even transportation to the doctor costs money and he’s more concerned about making sure his little girl has a place to sleep at night.  It’s eye opening to think about just how prevalent cancer is. I’m hopeful that the efforts we’re making now will have an impact in the future.  Cancer is all around us but maybe it’s connecting us in powerful ways that we never imagined.

Comments (5)
  • eleanor archer says:

    Hi Shannon: I cannot express to you how proud your uncle Al and I are that you are doing this ride. We continue to pray for a safe and fun trip and that won’t change but you are truly an amazing young lady. I have read the blogs of others and know you aren’t telling of all the scary things that have and will happen. God love you. Aunt Eleanor Archer. P.S. See you in SF.

  • Martin says:

    Congrats cuz on your journey! Keep up the adventure!

  • Megan Cleary says:

    Yayayay you’re going to be in Illinois tomorrow :). So proud of you, Shan. I can’t wait to see you on Tuesday!!!! Also Thursday….maybe Wednesday. Lol

  • Cindy Respeliers says:

    I’m sure today is a great day for you….FAMILY!!

  • mike reinhardt says:

    What a great adventure your on. Very few have done what you and that great group of friends are doing, we are all very proud of you. I know your Aunt Kathy Jo rides with you. Cant wait to see you all in Missoula. Be safe

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