Today is dedicated to JW and Rebecca who are both currently fighting serious diagnoses with cancer. I’ve also dedicate the day to Harshini’s father, Samy, and Katie’s late boyfriend, Ryan.
We departed around 7:15 am but stopped at a local cafe for a nice breakfast. The air was full of excitement as today is a big day… Naked mile and Patti Anderson!
We chose teams today so Lauren, Elliot, Linnea, Landis, Audrey, Tyler, and I teamed up. About 10 miles down, the naked mile(s) had begun. Some only did a single mile, others much more. Let’s just say two people rode 53 miles with minimal clothing and two others rode 43 miles. We all had a blast.
After we had lunch at mile 57, things got a bit challenging. We rode the rest of the way with pretty intense headwinds. It had gotten much hotter and there was no shade at all. Once again, we had some big climbs. Lauren and I fell behind a bit. In the middle of one hill, we heard the loudest bang I have ever heard in my life. I panicked for a good 10 minutes. At first, I had thought a gun was fired, but realized it was far too loud to be a gunshot. Then I thought an asteroid had hit the earth, but felt nothing. I stared up into the sky, waiting for a big ball of fire to come crashing down. Nothing. Then I thought we were under attack by terrorists or firing missiles abroad. I have never in my life thought my life, or the world, was ending.
When we got to the top of the hill and met some other teams, Elliot explained it was probably “sonic boom.” We rode on highway 50, which became unsafe – no shoulder and cars speeding past at 70 mph. So we pulled over and shuttled to Wildes Road, where our host, Patti Anderson and her husband Mike, met us. They have been amazing supporters of the 4K, going above and beyond to make Team San Francisco welcome in Fallon. We biked with them to their house (they’re avid cyclists) and arrived to community members cheering and a warm welcome with mail from home. Tomorrow is also a Harry Potter themed riding day that I’m planning, so Patti made a huge sign saying “Welcome to the Weasley’s!” She is quintessential Molly Weasley.
I looked through our mail and kept finding ones for me. I counted about 6 boxes, from Al/Sheila, uncle Dennis & Aunt Christine, Jenn Hiltz, GSA, my dad, Ann Pellegrino, Claire & Jason, and my dad. Everyone spoiled me with letters of love and support, snacks, energy bars, baby wipes, and sunscreen. This being our last mail drop, my dad sent me photos of my mother and I when I was younger. I shared the pictures with my team and received heartfelt responses from them all. They agree with everyone else how beautiful my mom was. It was amazing to get love from home, especially in the final stretch of days. The photos of my mom reenergized me. I can do this.
We enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner from community members and birthday cake for Jeff and Landis. One was ordered from Jeff’s dad all the way from Iowa and was custom 4K. The other, Patti made for us – chocolate cake with pink frosting. She got me green gel icing so I could write “Happee Birthdae Harry and Fleur!” (Harry Potter reference in honor of our HP day tomorrow). We also were spoiled with fully cleaned duffel bags. Community members washed everything in them, including the duffels themselves, and arrived back to the house neatly folded and organized. Patti also installed two huge metallic showers out back since she only had two inside. Neighbors volunteered their homes for more showers and floor space to sleep. Patti had the kindest words to share, inspiring us all and reminding us how cancer truly unites us all. She is such an amazing supporter of the 4K and worked so hard for everything to be perfect for our stay. Thanks Patti; we love you!