Another wonderful day despite one stretch of gusty cross-winds after lunch. We left Eureka this morning with warm temps and immediate uphill. The crest of each hill brought a sense of accomplishment, especially the last hill, which was followed by the reward of a great downhill ride. Once again I saw a band of brothers (and one sister) band together when the going got tough. Each person in the group contributes something unique: there is a group who battle it out to get to the top of each hill first, and yet they are the same people who never seem to tire, regardless of the wind, the heat, or the grade. There are people who have the ability to not only maintain their own pace, but be on the lookout for others in the group who need a block from the wind. I have so much respect and gratitude for these men.
The going certainly got tough for me a few times today. I thought of a good friend of mine who met with colon cancer at a relatively young age. This ride would be right up his alley, but I’m not sure he has the ability to do a ride like this due to an ostomy surgery he had when his cancer was discovered.
Never having done this ride before, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I envisioned days of warm weather, blue skies, and great riding. Aside from a bit more wind than I anticipated, what I focused on has become a reality every day so far. I am envisioning us all rolling up to the doors of Hunstman Cancer on Saturday, under the same blue skies, with a couple hundred other people who are passionate about this cause.
I have a somewhat less technologically advanced set up on my bike than most of the other guys. I am not “GPS-enabled” as they say so the only stats I know are that my max speed is pitiful compared to Jason’s, I have single-handedly won every one of the hillstop sprints in the Women’s Division (haha) and I have been given yet one more day to be grateful for. Tomorrow at the top of Sacramento Pass we will all pay tribute to the friends, family, and loved ones whose names and memories we have been carrying with us for every mile of this ride. To those people whose names have been with me personally – tomorrow’s ride is for you.