Day 1: NYC to Beacon

Today was the first real ride day! We were up by 6, van was (supposed to be) packed by 6:15, we ate our oatmeal, and were ready to go by 7ish. Every morning before we ride we dedicate the day to someone. We take turns doing this, and these people can be anyone in our lives that has experienced the challenge of battling cancer. Today we dedicated our ride to a family friend of mine, Gigi Kimball. I asked that we dedicate the ride in hopes that she would continue to heal as well as feel strength and peace.

After our ride dedication we made our way to Central Park, where Joe McDonough greeted us. He is the founder of the organization B+ (Be Positive), which is an organization in which kids help kids fight cancer. I4K donates some of what we raise every year to this great cause, and it was a great way to kick off our ride and an excellent reminder of why we are embarking on this crazy adventure.

We logged 65 miles today to Beacon. It was a very challenging day as it was very hot and very hilly. However, everyone succeeded! There were no big injuries and everyone took some amazing photographs and video.  The route was absolutely beautiful. There were many breathtaking views, the first being from George Washington Bridge. It is fun to think about starting at a bridge in the east and ending at the Golden Gate Bridge in the west. The bridge overlooked New York City and New Jersey. The view really exemplified how expansive the city is. I’m used to the Chicago skyline, which pales in comparison. Shortly after the bridge is when the real climbing started, and I felt like I was willing my legs to just keep pedaling while I was huffing and puffing. The great thing about climbing is that at some point you go down. The descents were so fun and rewarding. My group got up to 36 miles per hour on our way down one particularly steep descent. I’m glad to report that our team is exceptionally positive and supported each other through burning thighs and beating hot sun. If the first day is any indication, it is going to be a fantastic summer.




View from George Washington Bridge

Right before crossing into New Jersey


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