Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 48

Day 48  was to South Bend in MI. Another day, another state which are dropping like flies. We had to wake up at 5:15 to get ready and my day didn't start out the greatest. My jersey didn't dry and was wet and my stomach was in knots. We had breakfast served by Mr and Mrs. Butterbaugh and they served us some amazing egg omlette with sausage.

I rode with Chris today on our 67 mile ride. At the start my knee was clicking and was hurting as well but it subsided in a while. We rode at a good pace until 5 miles from our sponsored lunch when it started to rain. Bad luck I guess to start with a wet jersey and end with one too.

Lunch was sponsored by friends of Spencer and they had some amazing food for us to eat. I also took the time to teach Dan how to ride my bike as he wanted to tomorrow. He was an absolute natural at it. I was jealous at how good he was actually because he might be better than I am.

After lunch we cycled to Western Michigan State where we had our lodging in the dorms. After showering and having some free time I worked on my bike to clean it and adjust it for Dan to make sure everything would run smoothly for him. At around 5ish we headed downstairs to enjoy a dinner from the family of a rider in 2006. We enjoyed mac and cheese with cheesy potatoes and so much great food. It really brought all our spirits up high from being sick and tired.

Many of the guys went out to see a movie afterwards but I was just going to finish preparing for tomorrow as crew and being ready to get out of the dorm rooms quickly. I also spent some time cleaning up room on my phone as I've taken too many photos and was running out of space.

Day 47

Day 47 was to South Bends Indiana. We had to wake up at 4:30 as riding in the city would be near impossible so we needed to rack ourselves out to an easier area to ride. We enjoyed our breakfast a little bit outside of the Buckingham Fountain where we took our team photo and started off from. I road with Collin and Alex today.

Today was about 90 miles with a friendship visit in between. I have never been first before and today was the day. I really sprinted and worked hard to push myself way beyond my limits. We got to lunch first at 45 miles first but we had to stop 3 miles before it because the vans were held up by a broken train! We were able to pass all the semis trying to turn into the mess so we had to wait for the vans to get free and pass us to mark the next few turns.

Lunch was at Michigan lake and we enjoyed a lunch sponsored to us by a PM from 1992. I didn't jump in the lake but many others did, I was just anxious to get on the bike and get back to riding to make first.

After we enjoyed our relaxing rest we heading back out where I was aching but I would not be stopped. I made it to lodging first with 10 minutes to spare before the next paceline rolled in. We were staying at St Joseph School and it was very, intense in how beautiful and new it was. I was excited and took a victory shower before we headed to our dinner with the Knights of Columbus. They served us spaghetti and afterwards Collins mother sponsored ice cream for everyone.
After ice cream I headed back to lodging where I went to sleep as many of the team did because we were all pretty shot.

Day 46

Day 46 was also in Chicago! We woke up at 7 am for our friendship visit at The Envisions of Chicago. We spent some time with clients with a range of mental disabilities and I also helped clean out a grill. Something I thought I wouldn't do for a long time. We also grilled for them which was pretty awesome. Some of the guys got to help set up and help clients through a bicycle course. They got so excited after they completed it. We also spent time rocketing an aerobics ball into the sky with a parachute thingy.

We then headed back into the city where we had more time. I took a cab to the hotel my sister was staying at and my brother had gotten me a Chicago Style hotdog which was delicious. We then headed to an architectural tour of the city by boat on the Chicago river which was interesting and allowed me to see a lot of the city in a quick manner. Afterwards we walked around until they stopped at a place to get dinner and I waited until I had to go head back to go to our sponsored dinner. I said my goodbyes and I really didn't want to leave my family but I had to. I really want to go back and spend more time with both of them when I am able to. Not to mention Paula and Katie, they are my family as well.

We walked over to Genos East for pizza and the place was really cool. The whole restaurant walls were covered with peoples names and writing! We hung out with Eric who had done the first JoH ride back in 1988, the first official one that is. He had some great stories and also I learned the company he works for owns my cites' mall! The world really is small. We headed back to lodging and learned of a super early wakeup so I prepared for the following day and quickly went to sleep. 

Day 45

Day 45 was to Chicago! We got ready in the morning around 7 am for our breakfast  to which we had yoga afterwards. This was funny as 35 guys tried to balance in ways we couldn't and you could hear grunts and sighs of relief as we stretched. Afterwards we quickly got into our jerseys and had a Kids on the Block for the children visiting the YMCA for summer camp.

We racked up and headed to our stage up at target. We waited around a bit and I was anxious to arrive and see my family. So after heading out we got in double paceline formation and arrived at the Victor C. Newmann center where we had lunch and hung out with some clients. I saw my family and they were so happy to see me and I couldn't stop smiling. I was made fun of for my tan lines but I was glad to see them. They had to leave to bring my sister-in-law Katie to work but I would see them in the city a few hours later. After our visit we headed into the city where we were dropped off at Millennium Park for a couple of hours. I met up with my family and we walked around and talked before I headed over to our sponsored dinner at Club Lago.

Our sponsor basically picked the most amazing Italian restaurant to eat pasta and soup. It was really good and afterwards we headed to lodging which was this amazing golf resort called the Eaglewood Resort and Spa and it was in Itasca. I decided to go to Dave and Busters and Reggie joined me to which we met Kyle, Jason, and Baeu there. We bought 10 dollar cards which gave us 180 minutes of free play! We played until closing and then I passed out as tomorrow was an early wakeup for an action packed day!

Day 44

Day 49 was to Glenview IL, which meant we worked out way back to Illinois. We woke up at 5:30 and prepared to be racked out of the city as there were too many turns to mark.
The ride today was a quick 70 miles and was really enjoyable. The ride was quick as out legs were nice and fresh so mostly everyone averaged above 18.5 MPH and spent very little time at crew stops.

We arrived to lodging at the local YMCA which was absolutely amazing and beautiful. We set up downstairs for our lodging and showered up to which many of the guys took naps but I took time to talk to my parents, girlfriend, and my brother who I was going to be able to see tomorrow along with my sister! I was super excited to get to see them in Chicago.

After our naps we had a BBQ outside the YMCA in which we ate some delicious food and danced the night away, well except for me. There was a cool jungle gym and I was looking after a parents child Christian. We was such a sweetheart and I loved spending time watching over him!

After helping the sponsors clean up some of us went to a sponsors house where we had s'mores over a bonfire. Afterwards we went to bed and were excited for what tomorrow was going to bring to us. Obviously I was excited to see my brother and sister.

Day 43

Day 43 was our eight day off and we woke up around 7ish to get ready an action packed day. We had 4 visits but first we went to the Independence First office in which Kathy works and got to use more adaptive tools. After that we headed to Gaenslen elementary school where we spent some time with children and had a Kids on the Block puppet show.

After that we went to the Holy Trinity Church where we hung out with some of the clients and played kick ball, and raced solving puzzles. It was a really good time and some of the clients were really killer in their attitude and how enthusiastic they were.

After this visit we had a small amount of time until the next one so as a van (more so truck) we headed to CVS for some caffeine. After that we headed to an Olympic Training Facility where we played.... Wait for it! Wheelchair Hockey! There weren't enough chairs so I had to wait to play but when I did it was really fun and the few clients who came to play with us really enjoyed playing with us even though we were so bad. Matt and Jeremy kept checking me and knocking my stick out but every single time I couldn't help but to laugh.

After loading up the wheelchairs in some trailers we headed to Nicolet High School where we got to play wheelchair basketball after setting up and eating dinner. I played a couple of games but I ended up rolling around the school chasing Abigail and Kate, two twins we met who are un-diagnosed, around as they were on special bikes with Steven and Luke. It was really tough rolling around in the wheelchair and my arms were killing me.

We helped clean up and headed to lodging where I showered really quickly and prepared for our ride tomorrow which was to be around 70 miles but we felt like we've been off the bike for a year when it was only 2 days.

Day 42

Day 42 was our sixth of seventh day off. Our wakeup was at 11. Most of the guys who didn't go out woke up at 8 or so. I called a couple of people and worked some things out and enjoyed relaxing before enjoyed lunch with the Moms of America (And Dad) which served us pulled pork sandwiches and also had adaptive eating utensils for us to use.

Afterwards we headed to a bowling ally where we played games with clients from the Spina Bifida Association. There weren't many clients so I played with Matt, Sam, Michael, and Josh in which we were always doing strikes in a row and having a great time.

After that we headed to a Yacht Club to hang out with the Harley Davidsons family. I sat with two friends who were breaking out the jokes and we had a great time. Sadly it was raining so they couldn't take us out on the boats they had planned to do but we still had fun. After dinner we headed back to lodging all giddy for tomorrow and what we were going to get to do.