Day 8 – Ride Across America

Being a counselor in the GTG program is an incredible honor and privilege. I feel truly blessed every day to be able to join kiddos in their pain, anger and confusion. My hope is that our program can be a small part of their healing process and that they can find comfort in knowing they are not alone on their journey. – GTG Counselor

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Dear Readers, Today is a rest day for us and our bodies need it! Nonetheless, it is a busy day with laundry to do, a thorough bike maintenance and cleaning, a brisk walk of 2 miles, a visit to the bike store for new gloves and few other items, cleaning our water bottles, visit Francois in the hospital, stretch and catch up on sleep. Most important, it is a time for me to talk with family, my partner and friends. And, since the first day of the trip, eat enough to satisfy my exercise induced appetite.

We have covered 847 miles ( about 25 miles less for me due to the ambulance ride yesterday). We’ve done 3 of the 5 days of more than 130 miles/day. Tomorrow is a ride of 137 miles to Las Vegas and May 25th is a ride of 137 miles to Dunkirk, NY.

Recovery from exercise is an important factor in muscle care both in building muscle when training and in preventing overuse that can reduce muscle output. The device I use to follow our course and keep track of my performance data recommends rest recovery of more than 24 hours based on age, miles ridden and cardiac output. So, except for today and the rest day in Springfield, I will not get the full recovery recommended. So, keep a steady pace, eat and drink well and rest whenever possible.

On this day of rest, I feel grateful for this wonderful opportunity to see the country by bicycle. I am supported by family, friends, my partner and you, the readers of this blog. I have received education from the Growing Through Grief staff and we can share with readers the quotations the team has gathered from students, teachers and family members. The Park Nicollet Foundation team, especially Paul Danicic, has helped me organize the fundraising effort and given guidance on the blog and communications. The Communications department of HealthPartners has arranged interviews with Cathy Wurzer and Eden Teller. And, many others have helped me along the way. It brings me great joy realizing that we are all working together to raise money for Growing Through Grief.

An update on Francois. He will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow and will take a train back to New York. The bilateral pneumothorax is a contraindication to travel by air for weeks. After many months planning for this trip he is disappointed, but accepting of what he must do. We’ll miss his humor, his French accent and his colorful clothing.

Now, some additional photos for your interest. And I’ll hurry off to sleep for a 5 am breakfast.

Thorough check both inside and out of Jen’s rear tire following a flat. I found the little wire from the steel belted radial tire of a semi that went through her tire. We are just inside the NM border
Leading Judy on the road to Sedona
Jim doing mechanics on our bikes this morning. The most experienced, patient and thoughtful mechanic I’ve ever met.
Cleaning bike, chain, gears, checking spokes and wheel rim at insert of spokes looking for cracks. Apply new lubricant to chain. Hotel parking lot, Albuquerque.
Taking flight near Sedona, AZ
Getting ready to ride in van past road construction, yesterday.
On the road to Gallup, NM

Finally, when you can, please visit YouTube and check for a video on Bugs Bunny and Albuquerque. An old time cartoon favorite and appropriate for this leg of the trip. “I should have taken a left at Albuquerque!”

8 thoughts on “Day 8 – Ride Across America”

  1. We are really impressed by this ride you have undertaken. Best of luck! I remember several of my students years ago who lost parents and how my recent loss of my father helped so much in our healing processes. Phyllis and Bob Porter


  2. I can’t think of anyone in greater need of rest than you and your fellow cyclists. Have a great day.


  3. Happy Rest Day!! Glad to hear Francois is recovering from the fall. I hope this upcoming week is full of fun and adventure:-) I will be reading along – enjoying the post so much!!


  4. Jeff,

    Each of your summaries is great. Sorry to hear of the accident of one of your fellow riders. Lucky for him you came along!

    Being a very amateur bike rider, I can just imagine the discomfort you are enduring on such a long ride. All the more respect for what you are doing!

    Hope you got recharged well on your rest day. I’m sure all of us working with Habitat for Humanity on Thursday and Friday this week will be talking about your adventure.



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