Tim Stout, Houston Barber, Kennedy Pearl, Tim Melton, Kimberly Justus, Michaela Grundy, Karen Pearl, Chris Schmidt, Adam Crowe, Charles Pearl, Nathan Rome…
I can’t thank these great folks enough for their awesome generosity by donating to help fight cancer on my behalf. I also want to thank my employer and service manager for providing me with a new cycling jersey to wear at the event. I was talking to a friend last Friday night at the Frankfort High football game when someone overhead me mention the Bike To Beat Cancer ride and ask how much of the money I raised actually went to fight cancer. My answer was honest, I had no idea.
To be even further honest, I originally signed up for this event for somewhat self-serving reasons. I was in need of getting more consistent with my cycling after a month or so of very seldom riding during a hectic period that involved selling our home in Georgetown and buying/moving into a new home in Frankfort. I found myself a little overweight, out of shape and yearning to get my cycling and fitness groove back. But now I also found myself in my old hometown and missing the guys I’ve always had to ride with in Georgetown. So I decided to make good on an offer I had previously received from my friend Nathan Rome (a Frankfort cyclist) and out of the blue one day, I just got online and signed up to join his team and do the Bike To Beat Cancer ride. Now I had commitment, which is sometimes just what I need to get in gear!
I informed Nathan I joined his Frankfort Team Just Cycle for the Bike To Beat Cancer event, which was started by Julia King an elementary school teacher. I knew Nathan had joined the team to ride in honor of his wife Shannan, who has battled cancer and is now free of the awful disease! I lost all of my grandparents to some form of cancer and I have a cousin in Etown currently battling cancer for over 2 years. I decided in my mind, I would ride in their honor and I raised more money than the goal I set when I registered.
4:30am the morning of the ride came early, considering I didn’t get into bed until around midnight the night before due to the football game lasting longer than normal. I was tired but excited to meet the rest of my team and anxious to get riding. I had only one other century ride under my belt this year, and it was the Redbud Ride all the way back in April. In fact, I couldn’t recall riding more than one ride since then over 60 miles (and that was in May). All I had heard for several days prior to the event was that we would probably get wet as rain was widely predicted. After a hot shower, I filled my coffee mug and placed it in a bottle holder on my bike. I grabbed my duffle bag and hopped on the bike and rolled down the hill in front of the Capitol building to Nathan’s house. I was met by Nathan, Lucas Barkley, Casey Anderson, and Shannan. We picked up Jen Miklacvic on our way to Julia’s. There we met the rest of the team…Rosie, Julia, Kelly, April, and Michelle. After a brief breakfast social gathering, we headed for Louisville.
The sun was rising as we pulled into the parking lot, and we got our gear ready and headed to the starting point. As I sat in the mass of cyclists waiting for the official start, I began to observe all the people and I thought about my cousin John in Etown and how he was originally told by doctors he had something he didn’t want and it was going to be an uphill battle that they didn’t expect him to win. Over two years later, he’s surprised them by still battling and when I thought about the chance of rain and lightning on this ride, I made a mental commitment that I would not give up until I had completed the century ride. I would fight through adversity and discomfort just like John has, although mine would be no comparison.
I’ve participated in tons of organized rides and even more solo rides on my bicycle, but I’m not sure if I have ever ridden in a more meaningful ride. It is very emotional watching the cancer patients and survivors as they get to start the ride before everyone else and I can’t imagine the courage and strength they must have. Our Team Just Cycle all began together and stayed together for the first few miles as we left town. Our team participated in all three routes with some riding 35 miles, 65 and the 100. Lucas, Nathan and I nearly stayed together for the entire 103 miles. We met up with Kelly and April with about 10 miles to go, but then we split and finished separately when Kelly missed a turn and Lucas and April doubled back to find her while Nathan and I strolled in together.
Along the 100+ miles route, we found some wind, rain, a few rolling hills, and plenty of awesome volunteers that cheered for us as if we were winning the super bowl. I’ve never been a part of that type of “rock concert” atmosphere, but I witnessed it at some of the triathlons where I’ve watched friends compete. I must admit, I like it! Immediately after finishing the ride, we all signed up for next year’s event and I’ve already been thinking of some new fundraising ideas. To answer the guy’s question from the football game…100% of ALL the money raised by the participants goes ENTIRELY to research at the Norton Cancer Institute!
Before we departed Louisville, our team gathered for pizza, wings, beer and salad at Wick’s Pizza in Middletown. On our way home, we stopped at Pie Kitchen in Shelbyville for pie, cake, and ice cream. So what originally started out as a self-serving bicycle ride event, also ended that way! But in the middle, I was filled with gratitude by the humbling experience of the ride, the awesome volunteers, the satisfaction of helping fight cancer, the overwhelming friendliness of my new friends and teammates, and I can’t put into words how gracious I am for the gifts they gave me… I’m honored to call myself a member of Team Just Cycle and I encourage any of my cycling friends to consider joining us for this event next year! Next year, I will have an official team jersey too. I have now cycled more miles this year with Nathan than any other cycling friend and while I dearly miss riding with my friends from Gtown, I’m very thankful for Nathan and the others in Frankfort that have welcomed and joined me on two wheels.
Cheers ***** KP the Masher
I sat down Sunday evening with my friends Shannon and Nathan Rome in their living room and had pleasant conversation the way neighbors used to do on front porches across the land of the free. You know, back in the “good ole days?” We talked about everything from high school days to our careers to bicycling to my relocation back in my hometown of South Frankfort.
Once again, all of the tell-tell signs are evident that my bicycling pastime has been a backseat priority to other things in life as of recent. It isn’t difficult to look up my Strava account and see the lack of activity, or notice that this is our first blog post in a while also. It’s certainly not due to a lack of interest that I’ve been missing in action this season, but as life sometimes goes, my bicycling just hasn’t been atop my list of priorities. That list has been consumed with life: work, selling, buying, and moving out of and into homes, and all the fun stuff that goes along with that whole process, oh and did I mention work. I’ve also been struggling a little with my knee surgery recovery. I know I need to be much more consistent with my therapy and strengthening exercises, but it hasn’t been a top priority either.
Enough with the excuses, it’s again time to create a priority shift and after discussing a late summer cycling event with Nathan, I decided to sign up for the “Bike to Beat Cancer” event in Louisville in September. I’m very excited to get rolling on the bike again, but even more excited to join Nathan’s Frankfort based team for this grand century ride. My most excitement comes from the feeling I have in knowing I’m doing a part in helping to fight cancer. What an awful, nasty disease that has probably touched every single person in America in some way, or will at some point in their life. I only wish I could do more.
So on behalf of all my family and friends that either are currently battling or have ever battled some form of cancer, I vow to go the distance for you and hope to raise as much money for research as I possibly can along the way! I truly know the pain and agony I may experience on my bicycling century ride will never compare to any of the pain you all have been through. I would like to personally ask each and everyone of my friends and/or RAM Cycling followers to please consider making a donation on my behalf in the “Bike to Beat Cancer” event benefitting Norton Cancer Institute. … $5…$10…$20……$25…$50…$100….whatever you can spare, I am very gracious for your support and I’m sure cancer patients throughout the area are so very thankful, as well.
If if you would like to make a donation, it only takes a moment. Please visit:
I recently spent a week at Nags Head, NC on the Outer Banks with my family for our summer vacation. When I was in high school, my parents moved us to Plymouth, NC a small town in the eastern part of the state (on Hwy 64 about an hour from OBX). While living there for nearly 9 months, we visited the Outer Banks and many of the beautiful islands and lighthouses along the eastern Carolina seashore. This was the first time I had returned since our brief residence 25 years ago.
The area is more developed (as expected) now and it is definitely a popular vacation spot. Unlike vacationing in Florida, we didn’t see any other Kentucky license plates, except for a group of friends from our church that were staying up the road from us in Duck, NC. Of course, when I visited the area in high school, it was never during the summer vacation timeframe. My activities included walking the beach, swimming in the ocean, fishing on the beach and offshore, and bicycling!
As far as the cycling friendliness of the area, I would give it a B grade. As is the case with most east coast areas, it’s flat and the wind is always blowing in one direction or another. We stayed in a cottage directly on the beach, so my typical route was to ride north and south (out and back) along the roadway. There is a nice paved, wide walking path in the place of a side walk and there were many folks of all ages using it for walking, jogging, or bicycle cruising. The actual road was pretty wide and had a decent shoulder area that many road cyclists used daily, like myself. There were some spots where the pavement could use some work, but all in all, it was not too bad.
Along the beach access roads, the drivers were very bicycle friendly. I’m sure it helps that it’s not a road too busy with businesses (there’s another 5 lane highway parallel with all of the commercial traffic users). On my last ride, I did venture off the beaten path a little by traveling west across the sound bridge into Manteo and then rode out near Wanchese, a small east coast port town. Obviously, I encountered much more traffic on this journey, but I had no close calls. I used the wide shoulder crossing the bridge but used the road en route to Wanchese and back, and nearly all vehicles passed very safely.
I would like to return again someday and venture out a little further, maybe all the way down the Outer Banks and board the ferry over to Ocracoke Island (probably wanna catch a car ride back home). The scenery, though mostly flat, is very beautiful. The native landscape includes many sand dunes, lots of local vegetation, lots of cypress and pine trees, water views of the ocean, sound, canals and swamps, and a good mix of modern and ancient architecture. Also good confirmation that OBX NC is a decent place to visit (or live) with a bicycle, is the many strava segments that showed up on my rides. I was very pleasantly surprised to place a top 10 overall on one of the bridge segments (considering I’m not in great shape right now).
In closing, I would also recommend planning an offshore trip if you enjoy fishing. The Outer Banks area is full of a wide variety of fish to catch both in the surf and offshore, and plenty of different species are always migrating through at various times throughout the season.