Day 38 – DENVER!!!

14 07 2012

Day 38
Fort Morgan To Denver
New Host: Central Presbyterian Church
Previous Host: Calvary Baptist Church
Miles: 97
7-3-12
DENVER!!! Today we rode to Denver! I was excited to ride through the city. We left Fort Morgan and headed South West. I know the area we rode through since I lived in Weld County for a short period of time. (when I moved back to Colorado in the 11th grade for a few months) We rode a lot of back county roads, no shoulder and lots of big trucks, most of them gave us plenty of room. My grandparents were in Keenesburg, just north of Hudson, the town we rode through to head towards Denver. I called them and asked if they could meet up, but unfortunately they couldn’t because of doctors appointments. I was bummed, but was going to see them later on. As we rode through Hudson, Kevin got a flat. While we were changing it a car pulled up and asked us if we were okay. I had to take a double take before realizing it was my grandparents! Apparently they were just leaving for the doctors and went looking for me! They didn’t know who was who though. Since we all look like the same to someone who isn’t on our team. At that point I was glad Kevin got a flat so I could see them, and they could see me riding across the country!!!

After that, we continued to roll through Westminster, and finally reached a trail that went right into Denver. It was a nice trail, paved and well kept. After 95 long miles, we reached Denver. Our host was the Central Presbyterian Church, they supplied the roof over our head, we got our own dinner and breakfast donated. We were also greeted by a couple Alumni, Terence, Dana, Chris and Emma! Some had ridden in 2010 and 2011. Later that evening I got to see my sister! We hung out for a while, had a couple cold ones and I just chatted about the 4k, and how great it has been. After that most people were getting ready to explore downtown Denver. There is a lot of stuff to do along Market Street and around Coors Field. I prefer the bar The 1up, which is a Bar-arcade, lots of games to play and fun to be had. We were there for a couple hours then headed back to get ready for sleep.

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Day 35 – Half way through the ride!

1 07 2012

Day 35
From Arapahoe NE to Imperial NE – 103 miles
Saturday June 30
New Host: Crossroads Wesleyan Church Thanks Alice!
Previous Host: Home Stay – Sandra!

What an awesome day to ride bikes! Especially 103 miles!

The day began at 4:30…like it has been. We still have more of these early days ahead of us, but most of the riders are getting used to it. Some are just as slow as usual 😛 Sandra took us to the church were the vans are, hung out for a bit, while all the morning chaos goes on. Filling the water jugs, loading the vans, sunscreen, food, morning dedication circle…the works. We didn’t make it 1 block and I realized I left my Garmin and charger at Sandra’s house. I quickly rode over there, and ran inside quick to grab it. (Sandra if your reading this and heard someone come in this morning it was me!) I didn’t want to wake you up…

We began our ride around 6:20am. At first it looked as if it were going to rain, even though the weather called for hot and sunny..with a tailwind! But to our surprise it started to rain lightly. When this rain met the very warm pavement it felt like we were riding through a sauna. There was a massive cloud above us, we thought a thunderstorm was on its way. But it didn’t do much but spit on us for a while. It remained cloudy for most of the day. The last 30 miles the clouds headed out and left us with the very hot sun. We made a few stops to gas stations this time for cold water and ice. I reminded myself to eat constantly even if I wasn’t feeling hungry.

Today we rode as Team Cupcake again, Jasper, Yoshi, V and myself. We rode really hard for the first 70 miles. We had 15 minutes intervals, we did this because Yoshi has an alarm on his watch that reminds us to drink every 15 minutes (more in between if needed). So we used this as a reminder to change positions in our pace line. This worked really well for our group. We had a lot of strong pulls all day. Since we were only pulling for 15 minutes, it gave each us of 45 minutes of “sucking wind” (basically drafting off everyone else). We got to mile 30 and slowed the pace down from an average of 18.1 miles per hour to 17.7 miles per hour. Either way we were flying. We went up in elevation all day, since we are headed towards the Mile High City!!! A total of 2000 feet of climbing.

We got into Imperial and Alice and the other members were waiting for us! They welcomed us to the town with signs along the way (See pictures). When we arrived we introduced ourselves, and it seems Alice has also been following my blog! She knew that the first riders in usually go for ice cream, so she had some waiting for us!! I WAS PUMPED! How cool is it, that someone follows your blog, and recognizes something like the first group getting ice cream and has some for us? Thanks Alice!

We hung out for a while and talked to the host, then they had prepared an amazing dinner. I was starving by then, and plowed down two servings. I’m sure that I’ll be hungry soon…that usually happens.

During dinner we individually stand up and introduce ourselves. We share our connection to cancer.
As stated on my page, I am riding for My Aunt Sandy, who passed away when I was in the 8th grade. I remember Susie, my mom and my father going through a lot. At that time in my life I didn’t really understand cancer and its effects. I now know what they went through doing that time, through the connects of the other riders and individuals I have met along the way. I am touched by how strong they were, and how strong they are today. I ride for her and the Johnson (susie and sandy’s parents, Sandy’s children and husband) family often, because they are my inspiration to keep riding and get me through the hard parts of the trip. Thanks to my family for supporting me for this ride. If it wasn’t for your help, and dedication, I wouldn’t be able to do this, meet all these people and hear their experience with cancer. We, the 4K, are making a huge impact on the people we meet. I feel that we have inspired a lot of people, and given them hope. Even better, give them a feeling that they are NOT alone, through personal connections and our daily ride dedications. Not only am i enjoying the cycling, but I this feeling that we are giving back to the community. The Portland team, the San Francisco team and Seattle team are making a difference.

Thank you for taking the time to read my daily experience. It seems like there are a lot of people following my (almost) daily blogs. I enjoy reading your comments!

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Day 34 Rest Day In Arapahoe

30 06 2012

Rest Day In Arapahoe with Sandra.

So we (Kevin, Jasper and Zach and myself) stayed with Sandra for two nights. She met us at the Church were we had dinners and Breakfast the day we left. Sandra is really awesome! I love that total strangers open their house to house, allow us to come and go as we need, give us food, and really just spoil us. Sandra shares a connection with us though, she found that she had cervical cancer after her third child, but it was easily removed without any further treatment. She has been cancer free for over thirty years! I am really excited for her! 🙂 She was so kind, made us a really awesome breakfast of egg casserole, fruits, coffee and delicious pastries from a local place on the rest day. We talked a lot, we told her about ourselves.

After that most of the 4k team went over to Nate Swanson’s hunt lodge to check it out, then off to his gun range! It was INTENSE. I’ve never shot trap before. Which is wheen you shoot at clay targets that go flying into the air. We were fitted for 12 or 22 gauge shot guns. I had a 12 gauge, which happened to be one of Nate’s favorite guns, and I could see why. I did pretty well, I think I hit more than half of my targets and at one point hit ten in a row! The best part was it was free! What a great guy! This was the second year he hosted 4k riders and took them to his range. Thank you so much nate!! Check out his site! http://www.huntnebraskainc.com/

The rest of the day was spent hanging out, working on bikes or eating. I had a great time in Arapahoe, now I know why Chey likes it there so much! On my way back home from working on bikes, a kitten had started to follow me. At first I was worried it might be some crazy critter wanting to attack me, then it started to meow and purr…then the rest is history. She followed me all the way, and I played with her in the grass, haha.

Back on the bike tomorrow! Day 35 is almost here, which means there is only 35 days left!

Click on pictures to enlarge…not sure why wordpress doesn’t compress them.
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Day 33 broshi in the Van.

30 06 2012

Broshi: short for Brad+Yoshi! haha.

Day 33
From Fairbury NE to Arapahoe NE – 60 miles
Tuesday June 28
New Host: Home Stay – Sandra!!
Previous Host: First United Methodist.
No map today.

Disclaimer: I have usually biked lots of miles or it’s late at night. Please excuse the following: Poor sentence structure, incorrect use of words, bad spelling or grammar. Thanks 🙂

Since The heat wave day (Day 32) was so punishing, I decided to take it easy and drove the water van with Yoshi. I actually enjoy water van duties on days like today. Only 60 miles, which means we only had two water stops. Usually we try to get people in and out of the stops so that everyone can get to the host quickly. A lot of time can be wasted at the water stop…just standing around. Now don’t get me wrong, the water stops are for fun as well, but not for napping…(Dale & Sohum). But today we decided to let everyone do what they wanted since the mileage was low and we got up fairly early. We had music playing when riders arrived, sometimes Yoshi would play guitar. We also filled up water water gun, which is just to much fun. We also assisted them with filling their water bottles and making sure bikes were good.

The water van is also responsible for chalking the road, so we usually write funny notes on the ground to keep them smiling! When we drove from the first water stop, to the second and then to the host we I sprayed them down with the water gun, while yelling really friendly things haha.

The best part of the day for me was when I climbed on top of the water van, and squirted Colette while she filled her water bottle. At first she thought he camelbak was leaking on her arm..then I got her again and she ended up seeing me that time, it was really funny!

We got to the host pretty early, and got to hang out for a while. In Arapahoe there is an old fashion Pharmacy that has an old school soda fountain and ice cream bar! The town is small, but it’s definitely a cool place!

Nebraska Sunrise!
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Day 32 – Heat Wave.

29 06 2012

I’ll update with pictures and map when I get a better map.

6/27/2012
Fairbury to franklin
98.9 miles.
HOT.
Hottest Bike Ride EVER.
This morning we woke up around 4:00am and we were on the road by 6:00am. The host at CHRUCH were really great! We had a big breakfast, lots of egg casserole. Everything went really smooth this morning, vans loaded quickly, people on bikes and ready before the sun was up! We got up and rolling this early because of how HOT it was predicted to get…and it sure did.
When we have long days, such as today we get to pick our own groups…which I REALLY appreciate. Today was team cupcake! Jasper, Yoshi and I headed out and made it to the first water stop pretty quickly. Z and Chey were in the water van, doing an awesome job! They helped all the riders fill their bottles and fed. Doesn’t sound like much, but it goes a long way when you also need to put on sunscreen, chamois butter, dance, sing, be silly, and whatever else we do. I also had to do some quick front derailleur work to Nellie’s bike. The chain was dropping off near the frame, easy fix!
We rolled in and out of the second water stop at mile 40. It was starting to get hot at 9:30, considering it was already 80 degrees at 6:00am. The locals said this was abnormally hot for this time of year. It was also windy today. Winds were coming from the South-West…while we were headed South-west. Yay!!! (note the sarcasm). Around mile 60, at 11:30 some of the riders were already off of the road because of the heat index was over 100. But we kept going. We continued to stop for water and ice at any gas station we could find, but there wasn’t a lot. We were actually in the middle of no-where. Nothing for miles. I thought we were in no-where land when passing through Ohio, but Nebraska definitely gets award for being “the boonies”. At some point it was kind of cool, on the other hand if anything happened… it would take a while for anyone to get to you, plus Verizon had the best cell phone service. While AT&T was really spotty, this is bad because most people on the trip have AT&T.

We hit mile 75, in Red Cloud NE. We went to Casey’s Gas station for more ice, water, Gatorade and some food…turns out I didn’t eat enough. We got to about mile 90 and it was unbearable. The heat was really bad, but the wind was worse. I can usually deal with one or the other, but when it’s 110 degrees out with a 30 mph head wind, I was ready to be done. The wind didn’t really cool us down much, but when a semi would fly by us, in the opposite direction we could really feel the heat. It was something I’ve never experienced before. Jasper said “IT’S THAT SAME FEELING YOU GET WHEN OPENING AN OVEN THAT’S AT 450 DEGREES”. And that’s what it really felt like. But we kept chugging along as everyone else was getting picked up. The water in our bottles was getting so hot, I didn’t want to drink it. It felt like it had been in a microwave for 30 seconds…which is pretty dang warm. We looked back on it, and it was really stupid to keep going. But at that point we were determined. We started to talk about who we were riding for, and how they have gone through worse and we could do this.

We got to mile 95, which felt like FOREVER. We continuously stopped for shade. I could feel my temperature rising, and the shade only cooled us by a couple degrees. I could feel my body shutting down. There was no sweat since the wind was drying it so quickly, so it couldn’t help to cool us. Blah it was so hot. My legs felt fine and we had a good pace, but when your mind starts to go, it’s a bad sign. We reach mile 97, 1.5 miles from the host. I had to pull over again. I could feel myself get lightheaded, and my mind was in a bad place. I was worrying about passing out, and worse, getting skin cancer, having to go to the hospital. I kept trying to think positive, but all was lost. We stopped for the shade and sat for a while. I told the guys to not let me pass out/ fall asleep. I drank some hot water, ate some GU chomps, and then told Yoshi I was done. I couldn’t make it anymore. So we called the van to come get us…after telling the drivers to not worry about us…twice. We felt bad about that, but really thought we were going to make it. I didn’t want to get hurt, and we made it far enough, for us, the team and everyone we were riding for.
We got in the van, and I was mad. I really wanted to finish the day. This was the first time I had to get in the van because I couldn’t finish the day physically. I was disappointed that I let Jasper and Yoshi down…but I didn’t let them down. They are both awesome friends, they reassured me that if they were not with me, helping them throughout the day, they wouldn’t have made it that far. After I got food, iced up, and sat in an air conditioned room for a while I started to feel better. We talked about the ride, and realized it was kind of stupid to ride that hard in that heat. We agreed that stopping was the best idea.

Shortly after the second van came back, drivers were Sarah and Venkentash (V). They tried to pick us up at mile 95, but we didn’t stop riding. They didn’t like that, they were worried about us. V told us, in the nicest way possible, we shouldn’t have kept going. He’s a pretty soft spoken guy. We thought Sarah was going to scold us. And she didn’t. We got our 10 second speech about how she was worried about us, and wanted us to be safe and what we did was dumb. We knew that was coming, haha. Then all was good.

We had dinner at 6pm. It was a community Pot Luck! Lots and LOTS of food. My favorite was the homemade chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes! Reminded me of my grandpa and grandma, because they made it the same way!  We then each of us talked about our connection to cancer. This church has hosted 4k For Cancer for almost 10 years! They were awesome! Thank you so much!

I decided that night I needed to have a break for day 33, Yoshi agreed and we took responsibly for the water van! ( we always have the best water van stops). I decided to do this because I couldn’t get my temperature down, my head hurt and I had a stomach ache…from eating too much dinner, ha!
Thanks for reading my blog!





Day 27! Sarah is a Beast!

26 06 2012

Day 27
From Des Moines IA to Atlantic IA
Friday June 22
New Host: First United Methodist
Previous Host: Home Stay – John and Diane
Written on 6-26

Our next drop off for goodies is July 4th.
We need donations of chalk, clif bars or similar, suncreen or just gift cards to wal-mart so we can get those items!
Thanks!

July 4
St. John’s Episcopal Church
4K for Cancer, c/o Rider Name
1419 Pine Street
Boulder, CO 80302

rode with Seddy, V, Jasper,

4k in the morning… is somewhat crazy. Even more so when we have home-stays. It’s quite the effort to get everyone focused, vans loaded, bikes ready, food in the bellies, circle started, sunscreen on, cue sheets out, groups made and riders on the road, Sometimes it requires constant nagging…but we finally get it done.

We had to wake up at 445..so early. Diane made us a filling meal of fresh fruit, egg casserole, and the best part…coffee!

We drove from their house, to Shelly’s house were the bikes were stored. After way to long we got everyone ready and on the road, after another cup of coffee there of course, ha. The roads weren’t bad once we got out of the city, big rolling hills and more farms.

Today I rode for Dana Dobbs. I’m sure a lot of you know about him, and what a great person he is. He is an amazing teacher at Broadneck High School, and an awesome co-worker. He sent me a text asking if in dedication for his father who lost his battle to cancer. I was really excited he asked me, because I’ve been wanting to ride for him. Dobbs has been on my mind throughout the trip, because of the struggle his family went through during his fathers battle. Cancer changes lives, but I was happy to bring some happiness to him by riding for both of them.

CORN CORN CORN CORN CORN CORN……cooorrrrrrrnnnnn!! Whenever we see corn, we like to talk about it. So much corn. My favorite conversation is when we act like we have no idea what it is. Japser do you see all those fields?! What do you think that is??! Carrots, Yup those are carrots. No…it’s wheat…wait no, it’s CORN! COORRRNN!!!! wooo!!

We had a pretty good route for most of the morning. There was an awesome trail that went all the way out of the city and into the county. But once we got into the middle of no-where again we had to get on a gravel road. Although I’ve gotten used to gravel roads…some of the other riders are not so thrilled about it. It basically reminds me of mountain biking..which i miss dearly. The gravel roads are interesting because some parts of the roads can get really bad, lots of gravel and hard to pick a good line where you can tell the cars have driven a lot. Sometimes we will have a person in front, picking all the good roads, trying to find a good line. Thankfully no one got any flats on there. My tires of been stellar, Continental Grand Prix 4-seasons. 0 flats *knock on wood* with over 1700 miles. So crazy! (no I’m not being paid to say this, ha)

After we got off the gravel roads, we found ourselves on some really nice roads and lots of rolling hills. SO HAPPY! I love hills. I knew we wouldn’t have them for long, so I put as much energy out as possible, and see if I’ve gotten stronger. I definitely have, and it feels so good!

SARAH EDDY IS BEAST. Yup, beast. She rode with three of the stronger riders today and she kept up the whole time! Some of the hills were flying up, and she was right there the whole time! So when we made it to Atlantic we decided to get ice cream, Sarah earned it. Getting ice cream has become a tradition with whatever group gets into town first since they usually beat the vans or host to where we are staying. We met a really cool guy there, who rides around Iowa, and has also done some longer rides around the country. I enjoy meeting cycling people when we come into towns. They give us great advice on which roads to take, chat with us, and this time bought us ice cream!

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Day 26: Puppies!

24 06 2012

Day 26
Thursday June 21
Rode from Marshalltown to Des Moines – 68 miles
New Host Home Stay – John and Diane
Previous Host First United Methodist Church

This trip is really amazing. It seems like everywhere we go, we inspire a host, or a stranger we meet along the way. Matt drove the water van and found a stellar second water stop location, an ice cream parlor. The owner’s, mother passed away from bone cancer. So she was more than happy to let us hang out in their lot. We hung out and talked to them, and got some free ice cream. There was also a puppy! That made everyone’s day. I grabbed the puppy and had him lay on my stomach; he proceeded to lick all the sweat off my face, haha. The weather and terrain was just as nice. It was 80 degrees out, with rolling hills. It was nice to have a change of pace from the flats of Illinois. I rode pretty hard today, attacking every hill…I was pretty beat by the end of the day. This evening, Jasper, Matt, Kevin, Dale, and myself had a home stay with John and his wife. They fed us well and had great accommodations. I enjoy home stays because we get to make a more personal connection with a host. During dinner we talked about 4k, but we also talk about what we did in college, our hobbies, and what we are planning to do after the 4K.

Again I am trying to catch up, these next couple days will have short posts..only because they blend together, ha.

If you haven’t read the blogs from Dale, you ought to. Here is a day in the life of 4k. (from one perspective) ha.
http://4kforcancer.org/blog/a-day-in-the-life-2/#comment-8202

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Puppy!!
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Shimano shoes rock!
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