Day 10: Ashtabula to Cleveland

The church at Ashtabula provided a delicious coffee cake to supplement our oatmeal this morning. We then took off for Cleveland in chilly and windy weather. Our ride today was dedicated to Jan’s nephew who is fighting brain cancer. Her story yesterday was very moving, and she was touched when we told her we’d be riding for him and thinking of her. It was only a 53 mile ride, so we did one rest stop at mile 25 and rode the rest of the way to our stay over.

Our rest stop was in a parking lot of an unused building, and a kind man named Gary came across the street from his house and offered us water and his bathroom. Some of the group got to talking with him and learned that he has experienced a lot of loss due to cancer. His mother, aunt, mother-in-law, and niece all lost battles with cancer. He agreed to share his story and we did a portrait in his front yard. He was so honest about how difficult it has been coping with his loss, and I really respect that he was willing to talk with us. One piece of advice he gave was to respect the patients’ decisions and wishes. I thought this was interesting because I always tend to think that we have to be encouraging and positive. But sometimes really the person just needs to be told that their decision to undergo or forgo treatment is the right one for them if that’s what they think. Or that giving their best is enough.

After our rest stop we rode the remaining 28 miles to Cleveland. Dakota managed to receive a food donation from Chipotle, and we all enjoyed burritos for lunch. Needless to say, everyone was very appreciative of the phone call she made.

We are very excited to have a rest day tomorrow and to have the opportunity to have a few extra hours of sleep. We will be going to University Hospital for an event day. More to come on that experience!



Comments (1)
  • Janice E. Kelley-VanOrd says:

    Brian said he was honored to have a ride dedicated to him. Thank you so much! And just for the record, I lost three sisters to cancer, not two, as well as a niece. Next year I hope to be a little more involved with your group, now that I see how you do things. What you are doing is wonderful!

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