Originally published on the Palmetto Peloton Project's Ride to Austin blog site.
Those emotions I was talking about… somehow, I was able to keep control of them as we departed from GHS Cancer Center this afternoon. I was deeply honored by many of my friends who came to see us off this afternoon. As the riders lined up with the warriors in the front, followed by the survivors and then the rest of us, I actually got a little choked up. I struggled to keep tears from forming in my eyes.
As we rode away, through the lines of friends and family who came to show their support, those emotions came on very strong. What did I say – repeated exposure is going to teach me how to understand and deal with these emotions. There is no problem there – they keep coming up.
I was very bummed that I didn’t have enough time to get a photo with one of my warriors. I only met him today for the very first time – He’s a cute little guy only 8 years old. I think he liked that his name was on both my arm warmer and our team van. He wanted to take the magnet with him. It was very touching.
I hoped to spend more time with my friends who came to see me off. I’m not even sure I was able to thank all of them. Time rushes by so quickly – both in life and in this journey on which we have embarked. Thanks to Yukie for the chocolate chip cookies, to Silvia, Elise, Steve, Hoot and Janet, Gavin, Courtney, Debbie, James, Savannah – you guys made our departure very special for me today. Sometimes I forget how many friends I really have. Thanks for reminding me.
Special Thank you to Gavin for the excellent surprise we found in the team van when we got off the bikes – you’re the man. Perry says the 2nd tuesday of February will now be considered a national holiday to Celebrate GAFranks day.
Our first shift on the bike was pretty interesting. We had to stop many times to allow traffic to pass while we traveled along Hwy 88 and we got a little turned around during our tour of the Clemson campus. As we turned on to Hwy 76, the wind seemed to kick up a little.
Thanks to Bob Kramer for riding along with Team Polka Dot today. He pulled us along at a great pace for a good number of miles.
We traveled a little over 47 miles in our first 3 hour shift. That is about what our route planners mapped out for us, so we met our goal. I thought it would have been easier to cover more miles. It’s the stops that kill our average pace. We’ll have to continue to work on that.
Tonight we are headed to Cleveland, Tn to find a hotel. Tomorrow starts the first of our 6 hour shifts. We’ll ride from 6am to noon. I think it’s going to be cold in the morning, so I’ll definitely be bundled up.
Good luck to all of the teams out there tonight – Yellow, White, Pink, and Green.
jd Team Polka Dot