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Tale of a Bike-A-Thon

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By An Anonymous Participant

    Chuck Langlois grins at me and says, “If I can do it, you can do it!” How can I say no? So here I am at 8:30 on Saturday morning, registering my 51 year old body and dust covered bike to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  I note with chagrin my spokes are festooned with cobwebs.  It’s been about 20 years….

    Mile 1: I am riding behind Kenlie, Chuck’s niece, who is being treated at St. Judes for synovial sarcoma.  I watch her 2 sturdy legs pedal her bike, and marvel at the miracle of St. Judes, which through God’s grace has saved one of those legs.

Mile 2: Pass an entire family – dad pushing stroller with toddler, 5 year old pedaling his training wheeled bike, and 7 month pregnant mom walking too.  What a great way to spend time with the family and teach your kids great lessons on giving.  Hats off!

Mile 3: I stop at the checkpoint to watch Chuck finish his 1 mile loop.  He has to stop 5 feet from the line, his foot has slipped off the pedal again.  When he crosses, business men walk up with $100 checks.  When they’ve finished, he’s smiling a $3,000 smile.

Mile 4: Swapping stories of the road with Roxanne and Earl Atkinson.  Can’t believe I have the breath! Pass Clif Richardson, walking behind his biking grandson.  At least my bike generates a breeze…

Mile 5: What great people live in Central!  Friendly folks wave and cheer us on as we pass.

Mile 8: Following a garbage truck.  It takes a right while I continue straight on.  Rats! I’d hoped to draft off of it.

Mile 9: Little boys who started like Lance Armstrong are now red faced and sweaty, doggedly plugging along.  Yet they don’t quit – they know what they’re biking for.

Mile 10: I celebrate with a chocolate chip cookie and reapplication of sunblock at the check in.

Mile 11: Tony and Judy LoBue whiz by on their snazzy tandem.  I am SO getting one for next year, that way I can ride in the back and maybe no one will notice I’m not pedaling…

Mile 12: Starting to flag.  Leg muscles feeling it.  Chuck’s face floats in front of my eyes. “If I can do it, you can do it!” It’s becoming my “I think I can” mantra…

Mile 13: Wow those lawn sprinklers sure look cool and refreshing.

Mile 14: “If I can do it, you can do it. If I can do it, you can do it”…

Mile 15: Understand now why bikers get those specially padded shorts…

Mile 16: Chuck calls a halt, it’s so hot that the kids risk dehydration.  I’m disappointed! Can you believe! Hoped to get 20 in.

    Watch as an elementary student takes prize for most miles – 18!  Another lady claims her prize as oldest biker – 69! Spence Smith’s little granddaughter claims her prize for youngest biker – 3! I can’t wait for next year.  Hope to see YOU there – to quote a great guy I know, If I can do it, YOU can do it!

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