On July 22, Gus and I biked from home to Nickerson State Park, a whopping 122.6 miles. We did the same trip last year, but we were even less prepared this time around, and I almost cried climbing the first in a series of hills around mile 90. I was dead, but not much more dead than I was around mile 50. I started the ride because I thought it couldn’t hurt to try (I was wrong – it did hurt), and I kept going because I knew I’d regret giving up. I had less fun than I did last year, which might mean I was in more pain, or just less excited because I’d done it before. I saw things but I didn’t register anything; I was in my own head the whole time. My fingers twitched for the next two days.
The three of us then spent two weeks in one of my favorite places in the whole wide world, where sand speckles the roads and worries disappear (temporarily). We swam with the doggo, read in our hammocks, and toasted vegan marshmallows for s’mores.
We came home yesterday and volunteered at the Pan-Mass Challenge in Wellesley. And today, I rode my first PMC ride, a 50 (actually 46.4) mile loop from Wellesley to Foxborough and back. It was so much fun. Having volunteered four times, I’m familiar with the PMC’s positive energy. But it was something else to ride in it. I chatted with some folks along the way, including two Kims and two Bruces, and even when I was by myself I was having a blast (and hoping someone would pass me so I’d know I hadn’t gotten lost).
We rode to fight something bad (cancer) with something good (positivity, fundraising, free food). On the hills, we thought of our Aunt Helens and our Uncle Steves. I loved every minute, from the little kids shaking cowbells on their front lawns, to the conversations with strangers, to the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before we find a cure.
To all who donated — thank you.
This only made me more determined to ride the full PMC, Sturbridge to Provincetown, 192 miles over two days. The fundraising minimum of $4800 is intimidating, but I’m going to do it.