Hellp All !!! Today was aq very special day !!! We have ridden full circle on our journy hich began last Sunday ... a 359 nile journey around the Southwetern corner of one of the most bautiful places I have eve been !!! It hasn't all been a party as there were many hardships and hard timsd face3d this week. Major decisions were faced and standing up tall to those decisions is the ONLY ay one can face them and also face the world !!! So lets get started on todays journey ... including decision made, plans set and lets see what,if any, goals were achieved this day and/or week !!!
The ride tomorrow was going to be the longest ride of the week, 83 miles fom Naturita back to our starting point in Montrose. Many of the folks had miles to driv upon our return so "group decisions" were made to SAG a ways into tomorrows ride before we would unload our "bikes" to complete this truly hard and epic journey !!! Certainly there are those folks that might saythere is nothing EPIC about this journey but if it could be done in another person's shoes ... One's determination of what epic is ... one's opinion may greatly change !!!
I chose to ride with my companions and friends, Matt and Myles, two paraplegics that had a quick wit and insatiable desire to keep moving ... characteristics I look for and desire in people !!! My other friends made this week, Bobby and his son Lucas, saged in to the top of the Dallas Diivde because they had atleast a 5 hour ride after finishing today to get to their reservations. We stopped first in Placerville to unload Matt, Myles and myself andsaid our so longs to Bobby and Lucas. I have a good feeling that our paths will definitely cross again !!!
The climb for today began almost immediately but the gradiant of steepness was almost negligable but the length was 13 miles. So, nearly 2,000' in thirteen miles ... Unlike our climb out of Euray a few days ago where we climbed close to 3,500' in 12 miles ... The odds for a successful climb at this point were definitely in our favor !!! The only excitement in the early point of this day was when a motorcycle poliuce officer pulleed between Matt and myself and advised us thatwe needed to stay entirely within the bicycle lane, Honestly, we seldom had more than our left rear wheel over the line and that was due to debri and rocks within the lane ... but the law is the law and better than getting a ticket we just said "Yes Sir" and the officer drove on,
Then we reached our second Aid Stop for the day, just ove the top of the Dallas Divide at 8,600'. And then our fun for the afternoon began in ernest !!! We all ran diffeent speeds on downhill runs so we decided to get back together closer to he bottom of the run. Myles took off first and Matt motioned me to go second. Within 300 yards, I was hitting 40 mph and quickly passed Myles. soon there after I hit my top speed for the weekend at 52.6 mph ... not the fastest I have eve traveled on a bike but stikk a fir rate of speed !!! Matt caught up to me at the end of the "big hill" and later Myles joined us as well. Even more fun was about ready to begin !!! Although the three of us had ridden together some during the wek ... our travel speeds often separated us from each other,
But today was different, Tody we stuck together in a three man hand crank pce line rotating frequently off the front to help keep our speed up !!! Matt first took off after a young lady ho was riding quite well so we quickly caught onto his wheel and kept "the machine" churning along !!! About seven miles outside of Montrosse Myles pulled up beside me and in a moment's notice ... PSSHHhhh ... Matt hit some debris and flattedone of his rear wheels. Matt was already there and I rolled back to them to keep a watch on approaching traffic as we were right on the side of the road. Another Adaptive Assistance Voluynteer soon joined us as Myles qyuckly set off to change the flattted tube in his left rea wheel, As I was at the back watching traffic another young girl came riding byt and asked if I had been hit by a car ... to which I responded, "No Ma'am ... I've always looked like this" !!! She continued to roll on andI shook my head wondering just how bad I might really look !!!
A BTC mechanic soon arrived on the scene and took over the job of replacing the tube and shortly thereafter we were rolling again !!! This time, Ron continued to roll with us taking the point and was averaging about 17 mph the ret o the way back to our starting point !!! And just as we made the final turn toward the school, Myles flatted again but this timw he kept rolling until we all crossed the finish line !!!
One observation I can make of today's ride is that often times when things in our lives seem to be rolling so smoothly there can come an obstacle which can change our day in the blionk of an eye ,,, Like Myle's first flat tire ... still miles from the finish ... just when things had been running so smoothly all day !!! But Myles NEVER got excited or lost his temper ,,, He simply unhooked himself from his trike seat lowered his body to the pavement, pulled out his toold and began replacing his tube so he could continue his journey, Just like an M.S. exacerbation in our lives hitting us when things sem to be running so smoothly ,,, Is it proper for us to react negatively or simply to contact our Dr, to determine the best course of action to take night be, I KNOW WHIUCH ONE IS THE EASIER CHOICE !!! But really, which one is the best for us in the long run ??? I believe you know too !!!
And then we may be hit by a second setback shortly after the first. I too know how easy it is to give in ... when you are so close to your goal !!! Myles had that second flat a few hundred yards from the finish but instead of pulling to the side of the road he chose to keep riding to achieve his goal of crossing the finish line at the Bicycle Tour of Colorado !!! A second hit is at times far harder to take thn the first hit ... especilly when there is little time in between those hits, Once gain I ask you ,,, which is the best chioice ti make ... to pull over to the curb abd simply say "I quit !!!" ... or to persevere forward and achieve that gol youmay be looking for !!! And I say again ... I know which choice I would like to make !!!
But making choices is an individual matter unless we have family or friends that "get it" to help steer us though "stormy" times !!! And that may be where you may need to reach out to a friend like one you may have at the Roanoke Valley M.S. Support Group. And if we don't have the answers ,,, we can help to connect you to theright folks that BOTH "get it" and "have an answer" But to make sure we keep this goup going ,,, we need to help support it !! Please consider making even a small taxdeductable donation to the NSAV today and mail it to the address of the facepage of www,msride,org
And once again I thank each of you for following this journey and hope in some small way it may have helped or encouraged you or someone you know in some small way !!! Thank each of you for your time and contributions to the MSAV ... But resy assured ... the journey is not over for the guy ... Not until we find a cure for this ugly disease ,,, M.S. ... the disease that robs so much from so many ...
And I'm NOT done ... just done for tonight ... so please come back tomorrow "for the rest of the story" ... Rest well My Friends !!! Kenny