When the unexpected happens

Today was day 7 of the ride and so far the days have been gone decently well.  We’ve gotten lost a few times, the weather was extremely hot a few days, and sometimes there were no showers.  But today, so far, has topped them all.

Within five minutes of leaving the stayover we had already gotten lost, 2 miles from out stayover we realized Liz left her camel back at the white house while taking a picture causing a national security threat, by noon we were only 8 miles into the cues but we had already ridden 27 miles (we went the exact opposite direction we were supposed to), and around what was supposed to be mile 23 but was really about mile 50 for our group, it started pouring rain and hailing on us with a tornado watch in the area.

Then we got word that the last 25 miles or so of our day was on a dangerous road with no shoulder, hilly, twisting, and in the pouring rain posing a safety hazard.  So Jaime made the call to shuttle us in to the stayover (good call Jaime).  My group stopped at a bike shop for shelter and my front shifter had been acting funny for a few miles so I had them check it out.

Right when we thought the day couldn’t get much worse, I got news that my shifter was broken and I would need a total replacement for it.  It was supposed to be very expensive and no one had a 105 shifter in stock.  My bike shop at home offered to send me one that I could get under warranty by Wednesday.  This meant a week of no riding.  I would miss the Appalachian mountains and an entire week of the trip.  I felt cheated.  My brand new bike was not supposed to break out of no where and I would feel like somewhat of a failure if I didn’t bike any of the Appalachians.  On the verge of tears I thought about why we were riding.

I had just been given what seemed like some terrible news for my current situation, but putting that news relative to receiving the news about being diagnosed with cancer, or a loved one getting diagnosed with cancer suddenly seemed so insignificant and petty.  I immediately stopped feeling sorry for myself because my problem could be fixed even if it inconvenienced me for a little while, but cancer leaves no promises.  This is one reason why we ride.  Even though what we are doing seems almost impossible and crazy at times, it is nothing in comparison to the hardships cancer brings along.  Riding for the cause is what keeps us going through days like today that seem as if everything that could go wrong does.

I also learned that the people you are with makes all the difference in the world.  The Trial Ends Bike Shop gave and installed an old shifter for me so that I could ride through the mountains with my team, and he even handled my warranty for my shifter so that by the time I get to Chicago it will be there waiting for me and my bike will be brand new again.  They were the kindest people and gave me hope again.  Shout out to my group today… Liz, Tricia, Kenny, Lola, and Shannon who kept so positive despite the knock downs and were so willing to help when I felt so hopeless.

Comments (4)
  • Mary Scott says:

    Keep strong Kristen. Glad you found a solution to your shifter problem. It’s so true that “every day is somebody’s something.” Take care.

  • Kim Miller says:

    I felt so bad today when you called with the news about your bike and the shifter being broke. I knew you would want to continue as soon as possible and not miss the Appalachian Mountains. I am so happy to hear that the Trial Ends Bike shop was so kind to you and gave you that quick fix. Much thanks to them and your team who helped you through the day. I am glad you also realized that in the scheme of things, the bike could be fixed and that cancer patients don’t have that luxury. The cancer patients depend on our love and support and your committment to this cause is very admirable as well as that of the rest of the team. We are so proud of you. Keep positive! It can only get better from here on out. Love and miss you, Mom and Dad :)

  • Kim Miller says:

    I felt so bad today when you called with the news about your bike and the shifter being broke. I knew you would want to continue as soon as possible and not miss the Appalachian Mountains. I am so happy to hear that the Trail Ends Bike shop was so kind to you and gave you that quick fix. Much thanks to them and your team who helped you through the day. I am glad you also realized that in the scheme of things, the bike could be fixed and that cancer patients don’t have that luxury. The cancer patients depend on our love and support and your committment to this cause is very admirable as well as that of the rest of the team. We are so proud of you. Keep positive! It can only get better from here on out. Love and miss you, Mom and Dad :)

  • Donna Almanza says:

    Dear Kristin,

    Thank you for taking time out of your life and doing such a wonderful thing. I read where you encountered the mishap with your bike and your comparison to someone with cancer. I have watched my daughter these past 21 years deal her cancer spreading throughout her body and see the hurt and disappointment with each new finding. I have watched her body change and watched her heart break and her happy spirit diminish and yet I do not know what she is feeling, but her strength is amazing. God bless you and your teammates on your journey and I thank each and everyone of you.

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