Sep 2016 21

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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

 

 

 

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