Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ride From Reno- Day 4

Ouch.  No, really.  OUCH!  Not to get too personal, or anything, but when one rides a bike for this many miles, and one's butt is on a teeny tiny little seat for all those hours, and one's legs churn around and around and can develop what cyclists call "saddle sores."  I call them #%@#%^@%^@(  Or, at least that's what I'm calling them this week.  Monday started with a "soreness". Today was a downright "owie" all day long. I spent so much time out of the saddle trying not to exacerbate the problem- argh!  That said, tomorrow is rest day, I'll get it all taken care of, and we'll be off on Saturday.

I don't have my pictures to post quite yet, so I'll tell today's story and post those at a later time.  Today was our day to pause at the top of Sacramento Pass, where we take the time to reflect on and honor those in our lives who have been touched by cancer- whether they've lost the battle, are still fighting it, or have supported others who have done either or both.

It was emotional for me.  On that very mountaintop were 5 very close people in my life- all of whom have been diagnosed, four of whom are "clean", one who's in "watchful waiting" status.  To Mom, 'Zo, Jeff, Steve and Larry- simply this- I love all of you.  You are family, friends, but most of all, you're part of the brotherhood.  Unwilling members of the club, yes, but members nevertheless.

To name just a few of the names I wrote on the road today on Sacramento Pass:

Mom- my Mother is a quiet, strong woman who was diagnosed with uterine cancer four years ago.  I still remember when she called to tell me the news.  I simply talke to her, hung up, and drived to her home where I spent the next few days with her- supporting her, crying with her, and becoming educated on the specific cancer she had.  She's since beaten it, is clean, and next year will be the magic 5 year mark. I love you, Mom!

Mary Burgess- my Granny, and my Mom's Mom.  Much of who I am I owe to the teaching of my dear Granny.  She passed away in 2010 at the age of 99, was an example to all, and spent a wonderful life, while beating breast cancer and many skin cancers.  We believe she had rectal cancer at the time she passed, and were grateful to see her pain relieved, even though we miss her greatly.

Andrea Burgess- my cousin Bob's wife, and my cancer buddy.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer not long before me, and did her treatments at Huntsman in SLC, even though she lives in the St George area.  She, Bob and the boys have been an example to me of the way loved ones pull together to support one another when times get tough, and I love them all very much.

Gene Redmond- my Mom's cousin, and a good friend.  Gene lives in Wendover, and was diagnosed with colon cancer almost 10 years ago.  He drove himself to and from Huntsman from Wendover daily for 6 weeks, and then weekly for 12-13 weeks for chemo.  He's clean now, and a great example to me of strength.

Dad- my Dad didn't pass from cancer.  He never was diagnosed with cancer.  But, he had a son who has cancer, and more importantly, he was my cycling support driver.  He drove for my first 6 LOTOJAs, as well as many other events.  If he were still alive, he'd have been driving for us this year, there's no question about that, so I wanted to honor him while being so grateful that my Mom would step in and drive for us.  I miss you Dad!  You're with me when I ride, and no event like this comes and goes that I don't think of you, and wish you could see me ride yet again.  I love you!

All the other names I wrote had meaning, but I'm not sharing all of them.  These above are my select highlights, and people whom I love greatly.

The rest of the day was long, hot and windy.  We made it, all together, and supporting one another as we do every day.

Tomorrow is rest day.  Most likely a 40 mile ride to spin the legs out and stay fresh, then we wrap it all up with the Huntsman 140 on Saturday.

What an incredible week...

Much love,


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