It’s Called ENDURANCE Ride

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It was a hard day.

It started well enough. As the 6 am airhorn started the 14th Annual Endurance Ride, it was 63 degrees, with south winds at five miles an hour. For the first 25-mile loop the birds were singing, conversation was lively, confidence high—life was good. By the second loop the winds had picked up significantly. By my third loop the temperature passed 90 without bothering to stop and chat. Winds were gusting between 20 and 25 mph.

Pride is a sin, so i am confessing to you right now the wee bit of pride i hold in the fact that i have ridden at least 100 miles in every Endurance Ride. I know at some point my streak will have to end, but i’m only 50! I should have a few more good years in me, right?

But after 75 miles i felt like a puddle of sour pudding. On the heels of a cool spring that barely made it out of the 60s, these 90-plus temps sapped me. And the wind! Even when it wasn’t blowing in your face, you had to grip your handlebars like a fundamentalist grips a Bible at a Nick Cave concert. Two riders’ bikes got blown over!

My friend Judi and i decided to do the shorter 10-mile loop since we couldn’t face another 25. It was still ridiculously hard, and when we got back we both said that maybe this was the year we stopped at 85 miles.

But then two things happened. One: Al from Somavida Pain Relief Center did something to my hamstring that i would have considered miraculous if not for the regularity with which he and his colleagues perform “miracles.” (Call me old-school, but you can’t really call them miracles if they happen every day.) Two: Judi walked up to me and spoke the words i was feeling. “I’m not ready to give up.”

The last time i heard those words they came from Franklin, and he wasn’t facing heat and high winds. He struggles against addiction that has ravaged his body, depression, a system stacked against him, and a childhood history that offered him a series of increasingly bad options. He’s back out on the streets, “in his madness,” unable to turn from the things he knows are killing him. But when i asked why he keeps faithfully showing up at Emmaus, he simply said, “I’m not ready to give up yet.”

So, unable to give up, Judi and i did another 10-mile loop, bringing us up to 95 miles. The winds were still high, but the strength from my renewed hamstring helped tremendously. Then we both kept riding up and down the quarter-mile driveway until our odometers registered 100 miles.

Yes, it was hard. But it can’t begin to compare to the struggles almost all of our men face. Thank you SO much for the prayers and support you give to Emmaus. They allow people like me to keep walking with men like Franklin for as long as he’s willing to keep trying.

Our Endurance Ride fundraising site is still up! You can still support us at https://www.grouprev.com/EnduranceRide2017-andi-and-al-tauber

kiss

One of the rare moments Andi and i saw each other on the ride.

2 Comments
  1. Thanks for persevering.

  2. The heat melts me, too. Congratulations on tapping into Franklin’s inspiration to meet your goal.

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