Eskenazi Health Palliative Care program welcomes Paul Green to the Eskenazi Health Cycling team as he prepares for the Ride to Remember.
Green will ride along side 25 other Eskenazi Health cyclist as they ride in the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN). The ride stretches 160 miles from Terre Haute, Ind. to Richmond, Ind.
These 25 Eskenazi Health cyclists are riding in memory of the patients that the Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program has cared for over the past year. It is also an opportunity to raise money for the contiuation of the growing palliative program.
Green says his favorite training route is his morning commute to work at Eskenazi Health from the Northern Hamilton County loops.
Green says there are three reasons he chooses to participate in the Ride to Remember, One; to remember the patients palliative care has cared for, two; he has an obbsession with anything that has two wheels and three; because he can!
Green’s favorite cycling quote is, “Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” – H.G. Wells
Favorite training ride:CIBA weekdays from Broad Ripple or Butler.Fort Ben loop for hills, Sheridan loop for miles.
Reason for participating in R2R3:Remember Wishard’s Palliative Care patients and their families. Raise awareness about the need for palliative care for ALL patients, including comprehensive bereavement
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…
It’s difficult to believe that our ride ends tomorrow…only 111 miles to the Isle of Palms and the Atlantic Ocean outside of Charleston, South Carolina. At times it seems as if it was a quick trip but then I look over at my suitcase that I’ve been living out of since September 11th and I realize that it has taken us a LONG TIME to cross the country.
After a dip in the Pacific Ocean at Santa Barbara, we rode the Pacific Coast Highway, Angeles National Forest, the Mojave Desert, north into Arizona and the Grand Canyon, Navejo, Ute and other Indian Reservations, Monument Valley, through the San Juan Mountains, the Tusas Mountains and Carson National Forest, across the Rio Grande River Gorge, through Cimmaron Canyon State Park, through Sugarite Canyon State Park onto the Great Plains, thorough the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands, through the Optima National Wildlife Refuge, through Boiling Springs State Park, through the Osage Indian Reservation, through Mark Twain National Forest and the Ozarks, into the Mississippi Valley and a ferry ride across the Mississippi to Kentucky, then across the Tennessee River and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, through Nashville and onto the Cumberland Plateau, along the Little River and into the Great Smokey Mountains, across the Newfound Gap, Blueridge Parkway, Pisgah Forest, Sumpter National Forest, and then tomorrow over the Cooper River Bridge with views of Charleston and it’s Harbor before arriving at the Isle of Palms and the Atlantic Ocean.
I’ve pedaled nearly 3200 miles in order to remember our very special patients, family and friends who will remain with us forever. Another 111 miles on this last day for 111 souls until our finish at the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to the home team for all of their work and for making this trip possible. You’re the BEST!
As we rode our bikes out of Townsend along the Little River, I had no idea what to expect at we made our way up the Great Smokey Mountains to over 5000 feet. But I suspect that Melanie knew. Even after riding twenty miles with cars full of camera toting leaf hunters and seeing this scene, I didn’t have a clue about the road conditions ahead. But why wouldn’t the roads below these trees not be covered with snow? Was I hoping for some type of magical bicycle thaw?
I’m certain that Melanie was smiling down on us. She probably let out a good belly laugh as she watched us try to ride our bikes up her snow-capped peak at Newfound Gap. I was expecting a lot of challenges on this trip but I didn’t anticipate riding my bike through snow and ice. But for Melanie, that is exactly what I did. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
At the end of her mile, it was too difficult to stay on the bike so I walked it up the hill to where our van was waiting to safely transport us down the other side.
I’ve been looking forward to today’s ride for the past six weeks, ever since I received a phone call from Mr. Hilbert “Bert” Joseph Gramelspacher who lives in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. I didn’t know that I had a relative in Poplar Bluff until Bert called my office just before I left for this cross-country trek. At age 89, Bert regularly searches the internet for other Gramelspachers. He reports a couple million hits but apparently follows me since he says that I’m mentioned on most of the Google pages.
During one of these searches, he came across this blog and saw the small map that shows us traveling across southern Missouri. He assumed that we would be coming through Poplar Bluff and called to invite us to visit. Like me, Bert was born in Jasper, Indiana. He left Jasper at age 14 in 1934. I believe that his grandfather (and my great, great grandfather) John was famous for fighting on both sides in the Civil War (changed from the Confederate to the Union side as the tide turned). Bert said that his father, Joseph, was 77 years old when he was born to a younger Schneider. I’ll have to get my family’s help on the genogram.
What a treat to stop at Tom Crutchfield’s home to greet Bert and his new bride, Frieda. Since I talked with him several weeks ago, Bert has had some serious medical problems. He recently spent a week in the hospital and will soon travel to St. Louis for additional tests. Despite this, he put on his Sunday best and made the trip across town to shake hands, tell stories and pose for this picture. Many of my fellow cyclists as well as our Trek crew stopped for tea and cookies. It was a great way to finish a difficult 112 mile day over the Ozark “rollers.”
Worth noting: this blog encouraged Bert to open a Twitter account and he has been reading my posts on Twitter as well. However, he needs a lesson from Chris Sacca to learn how to send tweats. Bert will be 90 years young on December 31st. How many 90 year olds do you know that use Twitter! Keep going Bert! Take good care of him Frieda and I hope to see you both again very soon.
Yesterday’s ride was only 90 miles (I never thought that I would say that) but rain soaked us for most of the day. Despite hard rain and wind just before lunch, Kryptonite Katherine and I were lucky enough to get to the trailer first. We enjoyed our meal in soggy bike clothes sitting in the back of the trailer. When the other riders came in, they said we looked like a couple of stow-aways trying to hide.
The rain subsided enough, to just a drizzle, that we decided to ride the rest of the way into Branson. It was a hilly (7000+ feet of climbing), wet and cool ride even after finding some dry clothes to wear. I decided to ride without socks since I didn’t have a dry pair and my shoes were already soaked. Having 90 patient names in my back pocket gave me the determination to finish the ride.
I couldn’t help but think of the wet, rainy days that so many of our patients had to endure during their life. I imagined our homeless patients who spent many days without a dry or warm place to sleep. I thought of our patients who died in prison where everyday must seem cold and cloudy. And of course, I thought of our many geriatric patients who live out their lives in urban nursing homes with few visitors, family or friends. They must feel soaked all the time.
So, yesterday’s ride was a gift for me to remember these special souls who enriched my life by allowing me to help care for them.
Today’s photo was taken by Nadia Butler and matched what I saw through my rain-soaked glasses as we pedaled into town. You can see some of her other wonderful pictures of Oklahoma on our Facebook Fan page. Thanks Nadia!
After nearly 2000 miles of bicycle riding, we will leave Oklahoma tomorrow. We’ve nearly reached the 2/3rds mark and everyone is intact except for our intrepid guide, Big Wave Dave. Dave took a spill on wet pavement a couple days ago trying to hold our group together. It happened right in front of me and it didn’t look too bad at first.
However, he was unable to resume riding and after xrays in Enid, OK we learned that he had a small fracture in the greater trochanter. No surgery, just crutches for five days and no bicycle riding for one month. For now, he is staying with our tour and cheering us on with his usual gusto. Here is a picture of the Big Wave at lunch today. It was a good day of riding–73 mile “recovery” ride. We have 113 miles on tap for tomorrow.
The tailwinds that helped push us across New Mexico turned to fierce head winds the past two days in Oklahoma. Yesterday’s 125 miles to Woodward, OK far exceeded our most difficult ride to date with 20-30 MPH headwinds the ENTIRE DAY! At least at home on an out and back course or a loop course, the winds will sometimes be favorable. That was not the case yesterday.
Today didn’t start out much better with a light drizzle and then more persistent light rain dampened our morning and lead to the most serious crash of our trip. Wet pavement caused a rider to fall and injury his hip. The rain stopped in the afternoon but the head winds returned, only not as strong as yesterday. Even so, we had nearly 10 hours of riding to cover 117 miles. This was more than scheduled due to a wrong turn for three miles before we corrected our error.
More wind and rain is expected for tomorrow so our streak of good weather is officially over. Somehow, we have to make it across Oklahoma. Here is a photo from yesterday’s ride.
Two very similar days of riding to get us to Clayton, New Mexico today. Yesterday morning after leaving Taos, we climbed through the Carson National Forest for nearly 30 miles. Then we had another climb with a chilly and rainy descent through the beautiful Cimmaron Canyon State Forest. After lunch, things warmed up and we had a smooth, straight and swift ride aided by strong tail winds to quickly arrive in Raton.
This morning, we again started a cold day climbing through the Sugarite Canyon State Park. Despite the effort to climb, it was hard to warm up. We rode across the Johnson Mesa before descending onto the high plains that will take us into Oklahoma tomorrow. Again, after lunch today, we had a fast, flat and wind-swept ride into Clayton. We covered the final 30 miles in about one hour!
We have our coldest start tomorrow mornning, below freezing but we hope for another tail wind and a quick warm-up. Tomorrow’s ride is about 106 miles, then 125 miles on Saturday and 111 miles on Sunday to get us more than half way across Oklahoma. We’re getting very close to the half-way point of the ride and hope to post more patient stories regularly.