Atlantic Ocean!

On Thursday October 22nd, we finally pedaled our way through Charleston, South Carolina and across the Cooper River over a fantastic bridge giving us our first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean. Oh, Happy Day! After a quick stop at Poe’s Tavern (as in Edgar Allen), we rode together, 16 strong in our Trek Cross Country jerseys to the Boardwalk at Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms.

It is difficult to describe the depth of emotions, but happiness was near the top. Now that the trip is over, I can admit that I had my doubts along the way. Most of these were before I left for California but I also seriously considered calling it quits during the first week. The Mojave Desert was beautiful but it wasn’t a lot of fun. I don’t think one is supposed to ride a bike across it. The desert begs for another mode of transportation: an airplane comes to mind.

But I had to get to Poplar Bluff, Missouri to see Hilbert Joseph Gramelspacher. At that point, we were more than half way and I knew that I could make it to Nashville for another day of rest. We only had seven more days of riding and some flat terrain ahead once we cleared the Great Smokeys and the Blue Ridge Mountains. How I love the flats…

I know that I could not have completed this trip without our intrepid Trek guides, Dave “Big Wave” Edwards and Eric “Mr. Bill” Berkas. Also, Tara “the not-so-tender-tenderizer” kept our muscles supple enough to pedal each day and finally, sweet Bet who never failed to arrange everything with a smile. Thousands of thanks to each of them for their tireless efforts and impeccable professionalism over thousands of miles.

Each of these 3280 miles was ridden in memory of a particular person. During the past 40 days, Drs. Lyle Fettig and Rafael Rosario continued to care for the dying poor in Indianapolis with expert help of Mary Smith-Healy, Karen Estle, Judy Hetzel, Brenda Mason and Christine Slater-Turner. Our labors of love for our patients do not stop with the end of this ride. I look forward to joining the home team on Monday. The journey continues because it’s about how you live.

Finally, I’m certain that I could not have found two better people to ride with than Katherine “Kryptonite” Dayem and Mike “Smash Mouth” Hobin. These two excellent cyclists have become even more excellent friends and I can’t wait to ride with them again. I am missing them…

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