Well, the journey is complete and I am here in San Francisco with my beautiful wife, Beth. It has been an amazing 52 days of riding, and a very special nine months getting ready for Ride Hard Breathe Easy.
The first blog was on November 2 in County Mayo, Ireland, from the property where Mom was born. We then had (many) calls to plan every element of the ride. We started from SAP on August 24, and there was the consistent generosity of time, money and heart from over 100 people since the beginning of this ride.
The riding was 3,553 miles. We climbed over 136,000 feet, rode over 1.1 million pedals and saw stunning scenery, especially in Colorado, Utah and California (and the Clown Motel in Tonopah).
I got to see this amazing country, feel the warmth of people SAGging and the kind support from people we met in every state. I can still visualize our first day from SAP, the ride in PA with tunnels and bridges, the gravel roads, the majestic mountains, the cows, corn and winding hills.
Most importantly, I felt the love and magic and Mom and Dad every day. There were two things we couldn’t control (weather and transportation) and that went off without a hitch. During the 252+ hours of riding, we had just six hours of rain. And the many flights to meet me, and the miles to meet people went off with no problems.
For me, I had the pleasure of getting to know the 13 groups of SAGgers in a way that I can’t explain. You have to experience it and I feel more connected to each of them for their love, cheering and support.
Mom and Dad always focused on the importance of family. They told and showed us every day. Beth knows this, Johnny sees it, and Karen, Pat, Tom, Dan and Bob embody it every day.
I am glad Ride Hard Breathe Easy is done, and proud of what we accomplished. I am also so grateful for the support over these 52 days from those people impacted by lung cancer. We all saw, and felt the importance that the daily tributes meant to so many people. I cried every day (OK, I am a baby), thinking about Mom, Dad, family and finishing. And I just wanted to hug my son, kiss my wife and see our family.
Seeing Johnny on Facetime during the ride warmed my heart, and I cried. Having Beth as a SAGger (which meant for those days “Sexy Ass Girl”) was incredible. And having Bob, Dan, Tom, Pat, Karen, Kevin and many nieces and nephews come to San Francisco was the culmination of a fantastic time.
Of course, there is plenty of work to do for lung cancer patients, and Kathleen’s Krew will be there in memory of Our Amazing Mom. Consider donating at www.rhbe.org.
Thank you for making sure a very difficult task was great fun! Every. Day.
Ride Hard breathe Easy, 2017 is in the books!