What’s that re ally mean? well, it goes back to how far ahead of our planned schedule that the C3 team has become. With so many strong cyclists in the group, we tend to ride more miles than expected. As we were sitting at IHOP this morning, and Flat stanley was about to knock down a stuffed french toast breakfast, we were talking about how we should deal with this situation. Between bites of cream-filled, strawberry and whipped cream topped french toast, Stanley whispered to me “Go back to the future”.
Of course, what this meant, was that if the Dots just rode the distance that we are capable of riding, we would go from a half shift ahead, to a full shift ahead. So, it was decided (with buy-in from Team Boss Ron) that the Dots would help slow down the overall forward progress of the C3 team with an unconventional ride along the Natchez trace.
So, What is the Natchez Trace. Lots of historical stuff surrounds this road, and we get so busy on this ride in our travels that we sometimes don’t take enough time to appreciate the significance of the countryside through which we ride. Part of this history is about keeping the Nation together in the early days. It was a pony express route that connected the towns together and kept that sense of togetherness that people feel when they are part of a nation.
Today, the Natchez trace is a National scenic road that is frequently travelled by folks who are on vacation and by many bicyclists. It really is a beautiful road and we always enjoy riding along this road. The C3 team rides for over 400 miles along this road, and each team will get at least one shift on this road. Some teams – Purple Power I think, will get two shifts on this road.
As we rode today, Lisa, Kelly and Taylor caught up with us. Lisa took many photos as we rode along in our little formation. Then, Taylor slowed down the van (I happened to be on the front of our peloton) and she told me that she wanted to do a short interview with each rider. The question she wanted answered was “Why are you doing the ride?”
One by one, we each pulled up next to the van and Lisa was hanging out the window with her video camera. I was not able to hear what my team-mates said, but my response to that question was along these lines:
I am riding for my many friends, family and loved ones who have suffered from the effects of cancer and for those who have lost the battle with cancer. And, because I can.
This occurred many miles into today’s shift. By this time, we were feeling the effects of our efforts. This means our legs were feeling a bit sore, and mentally we had to work hard to maintain our efforts. To help the team stay motivated, Brandon told a motivational story, then a little later, I had one of my own. These stories were based on our own personal experiences and certainly could help with motivation, however, a little while later, Ed gave us the best motivation – “This hurts a lot less than Chemo”.
As a cyclist, there are a lot of really cool aspects to this ride that I could write about, but that would be missing the point of our mission out here on the road. One very cool aspect that translates to both the cyclist in me, and the guy who is working to help find a cure for cancer was the teamwork.
The Dots really came together today, even more than we did yesterday. Everyone did their share of the work for today’s ride, just the same as we all worked hard to raise money to fight this disease. With teamwork like this, I am sure we can make a big difference.