Day 66: Maupin, OR to Bend, OR

Today’s ride was dedicated to Leon and Justin. Leon is the husband of Cari’s mom’s college roommate, and Justin is their son. They are both battling prostate cancer and are remaining incredibly positive throughout the entire process.

We had another very hot and pretty long ride today: 91 miles almost entirely uphill into Bend, OR. We took frequent water stops, pulled over into restaurants and gas stations, and found as much shade as possible to help the day go by safely! We also had a wonderful ice cream donation from Cold Stone Creamery that made the last 20 miles so much better!!!

Tonight’s stayover is at the Foundry Church which is in the beautiful, downtown part of Bend! There are so many restaurants and shops nearby that we are all excited to explore on our rest day tomorrow! We are mega ultra thankful to Marie for finding this stayover. Our original plan was going to be camping in our tents in the parking lot of a local cafe due to the fact that we could not find an indoor stayover. Marie made a couple of calls and made this happen, including in-house laundry and a ton of room for everybody to spread out. We are SO thankful and happy to be here.

I have got to tell you all about Zihao, who is the team favorite. Seriously, it is impossible to not love this kid. He is absolutely hilarious and can make anybody laugh at any time, even on the hardest of days. If he senses that someone is down (they don’t even have to say a word about it), he will offer to help in any way that he can and will bring people back up by asking them questions, telling stories, or just being his hilarious self. Even when Zihao himself is not having the best day, he is still enjoyable to be around and will never, ever take his not-so-good day out on other people. He has an extensive knowledge about basketball and I know that I have personally learned a lot from him and enjoy hearing him talk about something he is so passionate about. Zihao would be the perfect person to have on your team in any sort of situation because he would always be positive and reliable, and everybody on this team especially knows that. I’m thankful that I have gotten to know Zihao on this trip, and thankful for his reducing fractions (today is day 11/13!) and discussing prime numbers with me.

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