Courtesy of the Akin Foundation
The bike ride, I do not know where to start. Brutal does not even commence to describe it. 130 miles with accidents, rain, hills (or large....very large bumps). All I can wish for is for it to end but we cannot quit because the HLH warriors are no quitters so what an example would we give them. There is no quitting in HLH, so tomorrow on the bike for 120 miles.
In the early morning at mile 20 Sean, HLH/BMT survivor, had to stop cycling as his body demanded a break. As a reminder part of the HLH protocol the patient receives heavy dosage of steroids which can result (and many time does) in major damage to the muscles and bone structure of the patient. Sean receive over 2 years steroids resulting in a hip replacement at a young age. Despite all of this he joined us on this ride and has been riding like Eddy Merckx or Armstrong (then without the steroids). The tole on his knees of this tour is visible and for precautionary reasons he had to take a break. We missed him a lot but safety first for our HLH survivor.
Wow! The day continued rather rocky with a 3 cyclist pile up at mile 35. Cyclist Dennis, 2nd in the peloton, touched by accident cyclist Justin's (1st in the peloton) rear tire. Result: Dennis front wheel did a 90 degree twist smashing him with his bike on the pavement (ouch!!). When you cycle pro (like we do... ) you try to remain in the wind tunnel by remaining at a 1 foot distance from the cyclist in front of you. As a result, Dennis went down hard, cyclist Patrick ran over Dennis bike and crashed in the grass next to the road. Followed by me who figured "I rather eat grass than pavement". Finally cyclist PDidee (like we call him) avoided Patrick and myself but at an inch close ran over Dennis's head. We were blessed that no cars were behind or in front of us as the bikes and the cyclist went all over the place. Regretfully Dennis was slightly injured on his hip and elbow, in addition his front wheel and handle bar were bent not allowing him to get back on the bike. He got disqualified that day and received the day or days off from this fun experience. Tonight we are happy to report that Dennis is alive and well with no bike. But we regret to inform that in the middle of nowhere in Houston Mississippi there is no bike store, so my cycling partner will not be able to get back until we find him a new bike (maybe in the capital of country music Nashville). At the end we all laughed it off but it reminded us that this is not just a little bike trip to the store.
He tooks his fall like a true warrior would because man oh man,
in a split second we all went down but he went down hard!!
Emergency crew Sean to the rescue!
"My hip and my hiney hurt now!"
Verification of the bikes,
let's see who the poor souls are who have to continue the ride.
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, someone in the sky decided to turn on the sprinklers. RAIN!!! HILLS AND RAINS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!! It was the end, I said my goodbyes to my two beautiful little princesses and my fabulous wife and realized that this trip was not just crazy but bordering the insane.
Finally, as if these disappointments were not enough, pro-cyclist Patrick had to leave to go home. Patrick and Justin are the peloton leaders, they are the guys who take the wind and create a wind tunnel for the social and unathletic (that is me) cyclists. Once Justin took off like Speedy Gonzalez and pro-cyclist Patrick left life got bad. Now the sleeping turtles had no choice than to peddle hard.... unlikely after 100 miles. As I am writing this my legs are still making the movements of the peddles as if I was still on my smurf bike. Mama please come and get me!
Hopefully Dennis can join again soon...we need you amigo...we need you!
Finally we all got to destination. Brutal...brutal....and brutal day. I am so tired that I need to go to bed because at 6am we are up again.
Tomorrow a 120 miles, please tell my girls (all three of them) that papa loves them cause 120 miles no way jose will us social cyclist, the ones that look at the pretty birds and amazing decor, survive. Oh!! Look a pretty bird!!!
PS: if I made mistakes in English my apology, not my first language and I am so TIRED and so dehydrated...so tired snnnnoooorrrrrrrr
PPS: we are in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi and the wifi keeps dying on me. Come on! how many times do I need to write this blog.