Wed Did it…Together!

We Did it Again!

Last Friday, we finished the final 18 miles and rolled into to a raucous reception in Washington, DC.  Thank you to my friends at Lung Cancer Alliance for the warm welcome and for holding off the rain!  It was a tough final week with bridges out, roads closed, a broken bike, lots of mud and rain for much of the ride.  But with great help, great riding and lots of laughs, we finished Ride Hard Breathe Easy 2018.  

Many Thanks

The ride happened with the love and support from many people.  Thank you to the riders and drivers (you know who you are) and everyone who joined the committees to put this ride together.  And a special thanks to my wife, Beth.  I thought of making improvements to my car, just like you will see below.  And thank you to everyone who has donated this year.  For those who still want to donate, you can do so by clicking HERE.

I Bet We Will Ride Again Next Year

The day after the ride finished, I returned the van up in Lancaster, PA.  I then got a ride from the Uber driver, Melissa.  As the two of us talked, I told her about the purpose of the bike ride and the first thing she said was that her Mom also died of lung cancer.

I am used to and yet still tired of hearing from so many people that they too know someone who has died of this disease.  I see how hard The Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Lung Cancer work every day to make a difference and I too want to do my part for families hit by lung cancer.  We all know the statistics and the need to improve outcomes for patients.  And I believe what we are doing with Ride Hard Breathe Easy is helping.  And if so, we will continue again next year.

In the meantime, lets get ready for November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, when we will ride around the world.  Join the 430+ people on our club in Strava, ride a mile or more and help us meet our goal.

And That’s a Wrap!

Ride Hard Breathe Easy 2018 is in the books!

Almost There!

So Here We are

So here we are in the lobby of The Best Western Plus in Rockville, MD having a beer and sharing some laughs.  Andy, Gus, Pete and I have had a great three days ad excited to finish tomorrow in DC.

Today was another “Adventure” as we got another 71 miles closer to The Finish tomorrow.  It was supposed to be an easy, flat tide along the bike trail.  However, Mother Nature changed our plans a few days ago, roads were out, a bridge was down and roads were flooded.  Again.

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Continue reading “Almost There!”

Roads Flooded, Trees Down, Ride Hard

It has been quite the rain

For the last three days, Andy Hancock and I have been pelted with rain.  We have literally had three straight days of rain.  People look at us as if we’re goofy as we head out each morning to ride for lung cancer patients and their families.  And to put it into perspective, we had six hours of light rain all of last year during 52 days of riding.

Thank you Julie and Janis!

On Saturday and part of Sunday, Andy and I were joined by Julie Scanlon and Janis Fratamico.  They rode some miles on Saturday, SAGged on Sunday and then made the 8-hour ride back on Sunday to NY (BTW, Eagles are 1-0 and Giants aren’t).

The funny thing about this ride is that the rain is not bothering us.  We are here for a purpose and we have gone about 260 miles from Columbus since Saturday morning.  Today, the rain wasn’t as bad, but there was considerable flooding along the route.  Trees were down, streets were closed, trails were filled with debris.  And we never even considered stopping.

We did go to a bike shop, Tandem Connection, for a few minor adjustments and we were warmly welcomed by Lori and Dave Poe.  Thanks for your hospitality and the warm drinks.  Tom McKeon and I stopped there last year and they were just as kind, fixing my tire that gave me a couple of quick flats.

Many people to think about, especially Mom

I thought of Natalie, who we rode for today.  And Marian, Karen and Linda.  I thought of Francis and Deena and John, who I have met over the past two years as we fight lung cancer.  I thought of Evy, whose husband died of lung cancer, and she herself was diagnosed with this disease earlier this year.  And I thought of many other people we have ridden for including Stephen, Gail Ann, Lori, Jeffrey, and of course, I thought of Mom.

I vividly remember how hard Mom fought while she was sick, and how much she just wanted to live, for Dad, her kids and her grandchildren.  Her courage through the toughest of times lives in all of us today, and she continues to inspire me every day, especially when we ride this ride.

At the end of the day, Andy and I met two cyclists who didn’t ride at all today.  It was too messy (they were correct) and they would wait until the weather and roads got better.  They took the time to relax.

The Road for Lung Cancer is Tough

Well, the road for lung cancer patients is often messy, and it is always filled with challenges.  We were determined to do our miles, get closer to Washington, DC and make sure we finish on Friday.  I am not sure what the weather will be like on Friday, but I do know we will be there, wrapping a bow on Ride Hard Breathe Easy 2018.

There is still time to donate

So, if you have not donated yet, please consider doing so HERE.  The money raised goes to Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Lung Cancer Alliance.  They are the best of the best and fight for lung cancer patients and their families every day.

Four more days of riding, and here’s hoping that a little sunshine is heading our way!

E – A – G – L – E – S!!! What Super Bowl Hangover?

What Super Bowl Hangover?

After a long day of driving in support of the riders and then starting the ride home, Jean and I were able to stop in Monroeville (the east side of Pittsburgh), and of course watch our Eagles.  Surprisingly, we really didn’t miss the game. The weather in Philly delayed the start of the game and as a result we were pulled up to the hotel as the kickoff was happening. Can’t say I wasn’t nervous as the game began. How would the Eagles play? Would they be sloppy?
Would the SUPER BOWL LII CHAMPION banner raising bother the players? Would there be a Super Bowl hangover?

Well we all know the answer now. The answers are Good Enough, Yes, Mediocre, and a resounding NO. As the Eagles had to guard against a Super Bowl hangover, I think I am going to have to guard against a RHBE Hangover.

My time as the SAGger with the SWAGGER has come to an end. It was an incredible ride both literally and figuratively. It was highly emotional. There was sadness (listening to all the stories from the tributes), there were tears (I’m not crying, you’re crying), there was A LOT of laughter (what a great group of people), there was frustration (would this damn road even out), there was exhaustion (for obvious reasons), there were moments of fear (what happens during the ride stays on the ride). I will miss the time with my group!

I learned a lot!

The things that I learned on 2018 RHBE Rider:

  • I learned that you are never too old to make new BFFs!
  • I learned that when you put 5 people with strong personalities in a confined space that interesting things can happen
  • I learned that it is impossible to take driving directions from multiple people at the same time (see above point)
  • I learned that Lake Erie is one big ass lake! And… that is one of the smaller Great Lakes
  • I learned that in Cleveland if it is too hot, they close the public pools… and no I have not figured that out yet.
  • I learned that Leah is a machine on the bike – so impressed and a little intimidated!
  • I learned that Leah is fascinated with Amish life
  • I learned that David is quite possibly MORE sarcastic than I am. For the people that know me, let that sink in for a minute!
  • I learned that Leah and Terri Ann are fascinated with cows
  • I learned that David knows how to slaughter a cow. (Yes there were some tense moments there)
  • I learned that Terri Ann LOVES hugs!
  • I learned that Jean loves to stop at wineries for taste testing (ok – I already knew that)

It is really hard to say that I learned something new about Jean other than I am constantly amazed at how lucky I am to walk through life with her by my side!

Tis better to give than receive

As children we are taught that it is better to give than to receive. While that is true, I think we should also remind everyone that when you give of yourself, there are many gifts that flow back to you. Those gifts are more valuable than trinket or bauble. Those are gifts of friendship, love and gratitude, all of which are very humbling and heart warming.

So proud to be part of a winner

Just as the the Eagles turned an impossible dream into a reality by winning Super Bowl LII, I believe that the work being done by all RHBE volunteers is trying to do the same thing – one mile at a time! I am so proud to be involved.

Question for next year???? Will the band be getting back together? Only time will tell.

Oh and one last time… E – A – G – L – E – S EAGLES!!!!!