This morning started with the same early wake-up call… 5:30 am. But this time, the church we stayed at provided coffee, the first thing on my mind when I woke up. We completed our chores and picked teams. AK, Emma, Carolina, and I made up Team Meow Meow (and yes, we spent the day with cat puns and noises).
We gathered in the parking lot for our dedication circle, where the Warrenton Presbyterian Church Pastor joined us. He dedicated the day to us and his two friends in California who are battling cancer. For me, the day is dedicated to a cousin who is a 2-year survivor of breast cancer.
We took off, through the many farms of Virginia, seeing cows and horses. About 10 miles into the ride, we saw this fluffy, large, white dog innocently sitting by the road. As we passed, he darted after us, specifically me. I pedaled away for my life, and just when I thought I lost him, I turned around and he was about 3 feet from me. There may have been some screaming and freaking out.
We made it to the next water stop at a shopping center in Culpeper where Chik-Fil-A donated 31 sandwiches. Carolina and I ventured off to find more donations – Tropical Smoothie Cafe donated flatbreads and a bunch of delicious fruit smoothies for us. They are also raising money for Camp Sunshine – dedicated to young kids with terminal cancer.
We continued through themany hills of Virginia, making our way to an incredibly steep one that just kept climbing up. After a lot of tough pedaling, we made it to the top where our team cheered us on. Lunch time. IHOP pancakes. Yes.
We also passed the Midway Country Store where the 2013 San Francisco Team stopped last year.
And continued climbing hills. Did I mention Virginia was hilly? Our team began to have a hard time, with AK dealing with a bad back tire and knee. But she kept pedaling through each hill. By this time, in the sun all day and up since 5:30 am (We biked until 6:30 pm), we were all exhausted, both physically and mentally. And as we rolled into our host for the next two nights, the First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, I got emotional. How challenging it is to fight hill after hill and provide support to your teammates, while being up since 5:30 am. I just kept thinking of my mom and and her struggle.
We were greeted with amazing lasagna, salad, garlic bread (which seems to be a recurring thing), and lots of sweets. I’ve never been more thankful for a meal after such a tough day.
Now for a team meeting and then a drink with the team!
WE ARE 4K!