July 21st through July 24th, I embarked on my second Pan Ohio Hope Ride. We took off Thursday morning from Cincinnati and started our adventure by tackling 83 miles of mostly shaded trail to the University of Wittenberg. I, and a dozen of the other nearly 450 riders, camped on the lawn in front of the student center – a fantastic place to be since 5:30 am breakfast was only a few steps away! The following day, we gathered to take a group photo and then rolled out on a 68 mile adventure that was interrupted mid-morning by an hour of intense thunderstorms. I huddled with about 100 other riders under a tent canopy at Monroe Elementary School, where we munched on Swedish Fish and literally were “Singing in the Rain” until the course re-opened. After a lovely tour of downtown Delaware, Ohio, I spent another warm evening camping on a university lawn – this time at Ohio Wesleyan University. The third day was the longest (92 miles), the hilliest (3530 elevation gain, including 2 nearly 1000 foot hills) and the hottest (115 degrees on the asphalt at 2 pm). I was one of fewer than 100 riders to finish the course (which was then closed for safety reasons), a feat accomplished by leaving at 6 am, massively hydrating, staying under max pace and paying close attention to my body. The final day, we were heading home! I rolled out of the College of Wooster with a number of my teammates around 6:30 am and enjoyed a serene 75 miles into Edgewater Park, arriving on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie a little before 1 pm.
Thanks to your support, my 328 mile adventure raised $2048 to support cancer patients and their families by providing housing, transportation, food and other services that are essential to traveling to major medical centers for care, but are not covered by insurance. Our team – Mind Brain Social Club -raised nearly $85,000 and total fund raising efforts for the 2016 Pan Ohio Hope Ride have now exceeded 917,000! Thank you to everyone that donated! I can’t wait to do it all again next year!