Miles and Miles

The feeling of getting on a bicycle seat after riding 140 miles is not a pleasant one. The last rest stop at the Scenic Shore 150 is about ten miles from the finish and about 100 miles from when you could last feel your legs (and your seat). But there are Jolly Ranchers, bananas, and Gatorade to get you through, not to mention your team. Seven of us conquered this fundraising ride to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my dad, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 1997 when he was 40 years old. This year, in celebration of 20 years since his diagnosis and 60 years on this earth, we brought back the tradition we have continued off-and-on since 2001.

As we rode through Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon, it was fun to think about all of the things we experienced together over the last two days. Some were fun: riding along Lake Michigan, relaxing in camp chairs after the first day, eating a lot of good food and snacks. Some were less fun: riding into the wind for 15 miles surrounded by flat Wisconsin farmland, getting back on that bike seat after lunch, pedaling up the millionth hill. And some were just…experiences: getting soaked through our tent when we were trying to sleep on Saturday night, putting on wet clothes when you are already wet, walking with leg muscles that feel like they are on fire.

150 miles are a lot to spend on a bike seat. 60 years are a long time to be alive. 20 years are a long time since a cancer diagnosis. 7 people are a lot to corral after lunch. But the time we spent together and the money we raised will hopefully allow more 20-year survivors to ride 150 miles with their friends and family. I love you, Dad!

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5 thoughts on “Miles and Miles

  1. theapplesinmyorchard says:

    What an inspiring story! I love Sturgeon Bay. We were up on Door County last summer at the end of June. My teenager and I were talking about getting back up on a bike the day after riding in a race like the Toure de France! Ouch! But, then again, those altheletes train for doing that. What you did is far more impressive! Congratulations to both you and your dad!

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  2. Amy Warntz says:

    Andrea, I read and reread your first two sentences. I am in awe of your achievement. What the mind can conceive the body will achieve. Your dad is one lucky person. Congratulations!

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  3. Denise Krebs says:

    Wow, Andrea, what a significant slice of your life. All the best to your father and to this great team of supporters who are making a difference.

    You really put so many images and experiences into your words here. I feel I was able to experience some of it along with you–the on fire muscles, the being wet in sleep and clothes (yuck), but the camaraderie also comes through. Lovely.

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  4. Ms, Brooks says:

    A great account and (another) great accomplishment, Andrea. It’s great to see you supporting your wonderful father and paying it forward to others who will need help. And it warms the cockles of my heart that you spend time back up in your home state of Wisconsin. Ride on!

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