This is actually copied from my River 2 River blog. I'll be posting here again...
We did what we set out to do and that was raise money and awareness for kids with hearing disabilities. We got the word out that this area of a child's life needs attention. There are over 16 million folks like me called Baby Boomers who have a hearing loss. Some are born with it and others got it from rocking out to their Kiss and Fleetwood Mac 8-tracks. Some, like myself are probably both. Technology is really just kicking in on hearing aids because so many of us are striving to live regular ole daily lives but we get tired of not being able to hear so we pester the companies who make hearing aids and we pester out Audiologist. It's called being an advocate! Find a passion, a cause, a charity and be an advocate! Make a difference. Sometimes making a difference is as simple as a hello to someone and sometimes it's pushing your body until it breaks.
Saturday night our friends and my team mates Rebecca and Chris Irons stopped by our house to pick up a couple of things that had been in the team van. Em was off on a date and Terri and I were about to grill out. We talked them into staying and eating, which wasn't real hard to do! HA! After dinner the 4 of us drove over to Shakey's for "ice cream". It was then Chris and Rebecca unfolded the events that surrounded my struggle to get from Cook's Landing to the hospital. It was really hard to believe they were talking about me. Some things I remember in a foggy sort of way and some are clear, all were tough. I do remember someone pushing me as we climbed the BDB. I do remember a group of guys passing right through the group on the right (you know who you are). I remember the hill by Dillards Corp office that I knew I had to get over. I remember the kids by the hospital on their bikes. I remember a lot of faces from the stop. I remember Keith Moore and Jo Spencer being right beside me talking me through it. Those gave me strength!
The fog: I heard that I ran a red light, that I rode off from Cook's Landing with only Blake riding along while everyone was getting their water refilled. I heard I was tilted to the right. I heard I was almost expected to pass out and there were folks on each side in case I did. I rode the wrong way coming in and rode through a barricade with very little room. I remember Lori taking me to the ER. I remember the nurse was named Emily and always was smiling. I remember Yale being there in the restroom after I barfed.
I also have some very good memories!
There was no rain at the start in Ft Smith! It was 80% chance!
The guy that owns a very respectable bike shop (Champion Cycling) in NW Ark was there to lead us out of Ft Smith.
The funny stuff my family and teammates said on the way to Ft Smith.
Getting cracked up watching Yale taking photo after photo after photo.
The police escort in Ozark.
Talking to Kevin on the Point 94.1 while riding in Ozark. Finding out he played it on the radio.
People telling my teammates they were crazy to do this ride with me.
Friends telling me that if I had called them at 1 a.m. and said I was about to ride the rest, they would have come back out. Now that is true friendship at it's highest level.
People telling me that 1/2 the ride was a major deal.
Telling the team who jumped on outside of Russellville that they smelled good and listening to them laugh. The Ft Smith group was stanking by then! HA!
Hearing Jenn giving some long drawn out excuse why she wasn't allowed to bring her honking horn.
Hearing the same Jenn ask a camero at a stop light in Russellville if he wantd to race and when the light turned green it sounded like he lost his muffler. Brain laughed so hard I thought he's fall off his bike.
Seeing Tom (SoundStart) standing on the side of the road in Conway.
Seeing Erik and the Ride bike shop guys waiting for us in Conway.
Having Rob from Conway pull us into the headwind from Conway to Maumelle.
You see the good memories list is much much longer than the struggling memories.
So what happens now? That's the question a lot of folks want to know. I do know that I'll take a little break from the bike just because. Remember all the day after emails? Well, almost all the ones from riders say, "You've got to get back up on your bike." Oh friends, I plan to do that!
Are you going to ride it again? I don't know about the whole 300 but I will finish the ride. Riding from Burn's Park to Forrest City is only 103 miles. I think I can make it the next 37 to West Memphis. I'm pretty sure a group of us will put our jerseys on and head out some fall morning and knock it out. There are so many scheduled rides for everyone between now and fall that I doubt we could work it in before then. Who knows, we wanted to ride this ride so bad we could be crazy enough to try it again but we'll do it under the radar.
I wanted to leave you with some most awesome news that has come from doing this ride...
On June 28th there was a program named the "George Cobb Amplification Assistance Program"!!! It's a loaner program for kids who need hearing aids and FM devices to succeed in school and in life! So you see my friends, the ride was a success right where it was always meant to be.... all for the kids!