I just joined 175 other cyclists for the 220-mile Tour de Pink cancer charity ride. It was a great event for a critically important cause. I won't wax poetic about what it all meant to me but, to answer one person's question: 'Yes, it was worth all the pain and agony and, yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat.’ So, here are some random thoughts and shoutouts about my epic adventure:
– Helmets off to Matt Purdue (pictured here along with erstwhile Peppercommer Trish Taylor and me) for organizing the tour. This is the sixth year that riders have set out from Hershey, Pa., struggled to climb the heinous hills of Pennsylvania Dutch country and finish two-and-a-half days later in Bridgewater, NJ. Matt and his fellow organizers have raised $2 million for cancer research in the tour's six years.
– The survivors. There were about 40 survivors who rode alongside us on various stretches. Whenever my neck, back or legs hurt, I just had to glance at a survivor to suck it up and keep pedaling.
– Don Middleberg for donating $500 to support me. Don's always been a hero of mine (he created a great dotcom agency and chose the perfect timing in selling it). See you at the Kitano, Don.
– The friends, family and co-workers who pledged money. It all helps.
– The Mennonite school kids who would stop in the middle of their baseball game, step out of a 19th century-like existence and cheer us on (Trust me: it was like watching an episode of 'Little House on the Prairie').
– The Tour de Pink support crews. We had unbelievable support teams who carried our luggage, tuned our bikes and fed us along the way.
– Valley Forge National Park. I'd never seen it before. It looked cold and bleak in early October, so I can only imagine the wintery conditions of 1776-77.
– My trusty assistant, Dandy Stevenson, who made sure everything had been arranged in advance ('Not to worry,' the Tour de Pink people would say, 'Dandy took care of that for you').
– The other riders, who were incredibly supportive and only too happy to help with advice, suggestions, etc. The cry of 'car back!' is still ringing in my ears (That's a warning from the trailing rider that a car is rapidly approaching from the rear).