Day 13: We had a service day in Knoxville at the Ronald McDonald house. I learned a lot about what they do as an organization and how they get no funding from McDonalds. It’s interesting because I always saw it as a McDonald’s thing (currently typing this blog from the McDonalds) and now I’ll throw a buck or 2 in there if I ever go just because it was real, the charity has a face to me now and so do the families who stay at them.
Jamie Roberts: As most of you have now heard a sister was taken from the 4k family on June 13th. Jamie Roberts who was and still is part of the Portland ride was struck by a truck while changing a flat on the side of the road outside of Lexington, KY. She was pronounced dead on scene. I barely knew Jamie, however when I met her she seemed like a generous and joy filled person. I remember her smile the most. It hit me kind of hard knowing it could have been any one of us and that what we are doing out here is dangerous. It took me a few days a grieving to realize I had actually met her before the 4K had even begun. She was an assistant coach at CUA in DC and I remember buying her and some girls from the team drinks one night at a bar in College Park. It’s the little things you remember that make you remember just how small this world really is. My love goes out to her amazing family, team Portland, and all of the 4K family who are forever changed by June 13th 2014.
We shuttled to Jamestown and then onto Smithville and didn’t ride in respect to Jamie and her family.
Both were pretty small towns with nothing to do. Brian Satolo (aka 4K Dad) came out with the team to offer support. He bought us a german steak dinner and also some DQ ice cream the next day. Thanks Dad!
First day back on the bike after the tragedy was an experience. I just bought a Brooks saddle and starting to enjoy the best investment to my ass I have ever made. We rode only 30 miles and stopped at mile 20 to take a picture for Jamie because she is the 20th member of team Portland. At mile 30 we stopped and shuttled the rest into Nashville to just kind of break the nerves. Before we shuttled we were treated by this local community of Carthage, TN. The local owners of a public pool gave us pool access and food and drinks. It was truly such a fantastic simple donation from a small town that made our day better and we all went from saddened spirits to one of the best days of the trip. We swam and played beach volleyball and just random shenanigans for about 5 hours which really helped get our mind off anything but just being in the moment. We felt like celebrities because the local kids asked us for autographs.
We ended the day with an out in Nashville for night life. I have never loved a city so much. The country music coming out on the streets from every bar and just singing along. The atmosphere was amazing. The team had one of it’s best bonding days so far.
Day 17: NASHVILLE:
We had a service day at the Hope Lodge in Nashville. We learned about patients who stay there while getting cancer treatments and made Lumineer bags for them. Met a ton of volunteers who really ran the place. After service we explored the town. Ate at Puckett’s which had amazing BBQ and got more stickers and things for my bike.
Day 18: Nashville to Princeton, KY
120 mile ride.
WHAT A SCORCHER. 100 degrees all day. Flat and nothing for miles. It was literally all farm lands. A lot of people broke spokes this day including myself. I broke one on the front and because of van complications I rode on it and opened the brake up for about 60 miles. I bent the spoke around some others so it was ride able. Around mile 109 I broke a spoke on my rear wheel which astonished me. I couldn’t finish the ride so I had to shuttle in from there. Century was completed though and I was happy to be first in the shower when we got there. The poverty I saw on this day was kind of astonishing. Just to imagine living out in the places we rode through just baffled me. I don’t know if I could. The whole day was chaotic with vans with one girl going home (Down to 30)
Day 19: Princeton, KY to Marion IL
I drove this day in the water van. It was a 105 mile day or so. Hotter than the day before. Temperatures over 100. We were making water stops left and right like ever 10 miles for people. It was just flat and open for miles and some hills in between and then flat and open for another like 40 miles. No trees, no shade, nothing. Some people were really hurting after. Some had to shuttle. Most made it. This was back to back century rides so it was rough on a lot of people.
Day 20: Marion, IL to Farmington, MO
102 Mile ride (Yes that’s 3 days and 327 miles with 75 tomorrow making it 400 miles in 4 days)
We crossed the Mississippi river and ate lunch right on it. Not much to say besides flat in IL and very hot again and once we got to Missouri it was hilly as hell and still just as hot as the previous days. Today I learned that Missouri is not flat. Around mile 90 we rode on a gravel road for 2.5 miles with no other way but to just beat most through it. There was no other way around. I biked most of it and walked other parts. People were generally careful. After the gravel we had a water break and lightning and thunder started to ring out on top of us at mile 92. We decided it was best to leave the bikes and try to get cover down the road. I stayed behind to watch the bikes and was picked up by the van just as the rain was pouring down. There was 10 that stayed who had to wait for the other van with me so we were huddling together. The rain was kind of nice because it cooled everything off. We decided it being so hot and because of a re-route with 26 miles to go still we shuttled in after the rain storm. We probably wouldn’t have made it safely in time after the rain had drenched the mountain. Everyone got in tonight round 9pm exhausted and really happy for such a gracious host staying up late and feeding us. Today is 70+ miles into St. Louis, MO and then a well deserved rest day with a team birthday for Rachel Wasserman.
We are really excited about the upcoming month. We have a coordinated with Team Portland and when we meet up with them in Boulder, CO we will be having a 4K Prom. The girls as the guys from the other team and because of both teams having 2:1 Women to Men I am potentially looking at 2 dates for 4K prom haha. I can’t wait as I never went to my HS prom and have never been to one so it should be tons of fun and I’M SO EXCITED. The theme from what I’ve heard will be thrift shop clothing hahahahaha.
Goodnight world. I’ll keep everyone as posted as I can and since this McDonalds is about to close, pictures tomorrow in St. Louis.