Unable to find a safe route, we were stumped.
Diana suggested, "why not a ride that the local riders like?" I then thought of doing a loop, starting and stopping at Dell.
The idea stuck. Soon a route was in place and within hours the number of riders wanting to join mushroomed in size. I'm realizing this type of forum is likely a much better way of spreading heart attach and stroke prevention awareness....
We arrived at the campus early morning and soon were joined by 50 to 60 Dell, Intel, and Texas 4000 riders. Best of all Sean Maloney was back on wheels, sporting a recumbent hand cycle. We were also joined by Michael Dell who gave us a warm welcome
Opening speeches were given by Sean, Michael Dell, Amy Brennen, Eduardo from the American Heart Association, and others. I gave my typical safety speech and soon we were off.
Sean and Michael led us all out and the ride was on. Diana and I hung back with Sean and got some good video of him valiantly tackling hills and traffic powering himself only with his arms. Amazing considering his broken ribs and injured shoulder.
Diana and I then continued playing sweeper as we caught the straggling cyclists. Many did not know where the next turns were. (Note to self: next time we will hand out cue sheets, not just email them).
Our sag wagon was busy carrying tired riders and their bikes and helping a rider or two with flat tires.
I stayed with the last of the riders and made sure all made it back safe and sound.
The good news is there were no mishaps and I enjoyed conversations with my niece Amy who rode to honor her dad (Amy, I am so proud of you!), her friend Natasha, and Kevin, a heart attack survivor who is going strong.
Many riders rode further than they thought possible and I heard several cheering over completing personal best distances. This was great and I hope they continue cycling.
There were lots of smiles at the end and that's what counts.
Diana and me, catching up with the pack
Riding with good friend Chris Neher
Amy Brennen, riding in honor of her dad
Here's Natasha, always smiling
Kevin, heart attack survivor and great example of never give up
Ron trying to explain why he took a shortcut
Tomorrow Diana and I face a long haul into Houston. We are currently in La Grange, Texas, following the MS 150 route from Austin to Houston. This is a much more bike friendly route and I'm glad we made the change. La Grange is quite beautiful and I expect we will get some good photos as we ride out from there tomorrow.
Downtown La Grange (see the moon?)