Day 27/28: MIN-EH-SOTA

MY B. I feel like I personally let people down when I miss a day of posting so I apologize for that.

Alert Guinness Records, we actually made a 7:15 roll out time yesterday. Proud dads Tyler and Zach beamed as our group circled up to start the day.

Yesterday’s ride was “the most casual 80 miles ever” as Dylan put it. We crossed the state line into Minnesota and spent our rest day in Rochester. Pretty small city. Weirdly strict rules on apparel in dive bars. ANYWAYS riding into this state was really beautiful and all the rolling hills looked incredibly nice. We only had two large hills of climbing but my group talked the whole way through it (who would have thought debating which states are part of the Midwest could be a conversation that could distract you from a 20 minute uphill climb).  Hotshot phone caller Julissa finessed us all free Chipotle yesterday AND pizza so we all loaded up.

Being the home of the famous Mayo Clinic, which specializes in cancer services, we visited another Hope Lodge. We learned that due to its proximity to the Mayo clinic, it is always at max capacity of about 60 people and their caretakers. We got to meet with a brain tumor support group. Robin, our tour guide described the Hope Lodge as “a bubble of good. Our saying here is that if we can spread the good that comes out of this place to the rest of the outside, the world would be an amazing place”.  Robin also told us that she had amazingly, “not met one grumpy patient”. Things like this highlight the insane resilience of people experiencing cancer.

As the team gathered in the kitchen area, a woman who overheard us giving out elevator spheel came up to us in tears and thanked us for what we are doing. It is moments like these that capture the effect our team really has, and it makes all the long days’ worth it.

From speaking with people in the support group, Robin, and even a waitress at a restaurant we visited for breakfast, it is easy to see the warm vibe that Minnesotans give off and it seems to be a very welcoming place. Bob, one of the gentlemen of the support group even said he had left Georgia for Minnesota because the people in Minnesota are better.

After that, a few of us got to sit in on a Portrait with Bob. Bob described Minnesota weather as “winter, winter ending, construction, and almost winter” He said that when his doctors found a tumor on his brain 9 years ago, he used his sense of humor as a way to cope. He told us that he had even named his tumor Fred, and when he learned that cells in the tumor were dead, he organized a “Fred is dead” chant a la Wizard of Oz in the chemo center. Bob was truly an amazing person and I felt so lucky to have the chance to sit in on during the portrait and hear his story.

After the Hope Lodge, many us of spent the day eating out or catching up on some sleep in Zumbro Lutheran Church where we are staying. Tomorrow holds our second century ride to Minneapolis with the promise of another rest day!

Eh *Minnesota accent*



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