It seems that some of my cycling plans for this year may be shifted a tad. I found out late last week that I am headed to Europe for a few months for an Army public affairs mission. Since I don’t know exactly what it will be like, I’m excited but sort of afraid I won’t have time to ride my bike! Since I like to be optimistic and always hope for the best, I’m going to assume that I’ll have a chance to ride.
Now that we’ve settled that matter, I have looked around where I will be and it looks like I’ll have some fabulous places to explore!
MapMyRide has tons of routes posted by other users that I can use. I hope to see beautiful countryside, mountains and old castles. I don’t know how far I’ll be able to go or what sort of traveling I’ll be doing, but I look forward to this adventure. I will pick up my Ride2Recovery, Warrior Ride and Operation Shifting Gears work when I return at the end of autumn.
Until then, I need to get my hands on a bicycle while in Germany that I can use and maybe sell before I return home. Anyone know of a good 48 cm road bike I could use?
Okay, so I was trying to write about my adventures each night, but I got too tired! The adventures kept coming and they wore me out in the best possible way.
On Thursday, we rode from Glen Allen, Virginia to Williamsburg, Virginia which was 62 miles. The air was cool and it was drizzly most of the morning, but cleared up later in the afternoon. One of my personal goals was to complete my first Century Ride – 100 miles in one day. Since the opportunity came up that afternoon, I went for it.
I typically ride somewhere between 15-16 miles per hour in a pace line, but this was lead by a high-speed, low-drag rider named Bruce. We did this at an 18 mph pace and there were some hills to contend with. I had to dig down deep in order to get through this ride.
As the miles started picking up, and I got closer to my 100 miles, my resolve was that much deeper that I was going to finish this ride if it killed me. And, I am proud to say that I did.
Finishing my first century was just one of the highlights, though. Through each town we passed there were school kids who greeted us with flags, hi-fives and cheers. We took one of our breaks at the New Kent Elementary School. There we were greeted by school children enjoying lunch. They let us use their parking lot and opened their school so we could warm up, use
the rest rooms and walk past hundreds of kids saying “Thank You” and wanting hi-fives like we were celebrities. I can’t explain the joy these kids brought us. We were thankful for all the support we were receiving – both as veterans and as cyclists.
Not only that, but we were lucky to have Pro Cyclist and U.S. Olympian Cyclist Dotsie Bausch and her husband Pro Cyclist Kirk Bausch with us for the week. They coached us, chatted with us and rode the entire challenge. They were simply amazing. I can say that I was coached by an olympian and my water bottle was retrieved by a pro cyclist! I kind of dropped my water bottle while we were riding one day when it was rainy. Kirk shortly after rode up and handed the water bottle back to me. Too cool!
There is so much more to say, but there are other posts to come. I met some amazing people this week and I’ll never forget this experience. Nor will I forget how lucky I am. Please check out this video and remember that we really have no excuses.
The week ended with a concert at Patriot Week at Virginia Beach with The Band Perry and we were VIP guests of the USO. I am proud of my accomplishments. I am thankful for the new friendships. And most of all, I am grateful for all of the support we’ve gotten and continue to get.
I hope to join these great men and women again in the fall for the Minuteman Challenge from Massachusetts to New Jersey!
The USO/Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Day Challenge wrapped up Friday afternoon in Virginia Beach, Va. The USO’s Sandi Moynihan was there to chronicle the event. Congratulations to all the wounded, ill and injured troops who made the five-day trek from Washington, D.C.