posted by Mary Lello, Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 5:28 AM
I want to thank David Brink for writing to me and asking me to post his viewpoint of the ride. That was fun to read and to share the "captains" advantage point with all of you. Brink was amazing. That first mile was a little scarey for me as Jim looked unsteady and kept lifting out of his saddle because that right leg wasn't warmed up nor working well for him (Reese was yelling that Jim was fine, so I trusted this). A lesser "captain" would have been pulled off course and toppled the bike with that eratic movement happening behind them. But Brink was steady, and able to just power up the hills - which is hard to do when you have to keep it so slow!
Brink is an angel ... and a devil. We had 4 people running along beside this bike: myself, MaryMargaret, David Reese and Tim Stiles, the PT guys. On the down hills Brink would look over at me out of the corner of his eye and I'd see this devilish smile start to rise ... and I knew the runners were in trouble! Full out sprints on some of those downhills to keep up with this bike! "Damn you Dave Brink" I would yell, and we would all laugh!
David Reese, owner of Falmouth Physical Therapy, is just an amazing person. He's fun, hysterical, an incredible physical therapist and took this challenge on when I presented it and made it happen for Jim. For 5.2 miles he was yelling encouragement as well as pointers for Jim to keep him steady. He was checking in with JIm constantly and keeping us all laughing at the same time. He's such a gift to us.
Tim Stiles also works at Falmouth PT and is just as amazing. More of the straight man to David's humor he's simply kind and compassionate and works Jim real hard during PT sessions. Both these guys were there on their day off and had to run their asses off beside this bike!
Mick and Marcus Cochran. Mick had emailed me telling me he was going to fly up from VA to be here with Jim on this ride even if we were just sitting on wind trainers in the parking lot. Marcus, his son, drove up from RI to be here as well. I was asked to keep this a secret from Jim - which was incredibly hard for me to do because I was so excited with their coming! Saturday morning they showed up early for coffee. Jim was still dressing upstairs and I asked them to just come up to see Jim. To see the look on Jim's face when the Cochran's walked into the bedroom was, well, priceless! We've always shared some of fondest memories with the Cochran's and this weekend was no different. Can't thank them enough for coming to support Jim this way. (Hey Jude, we missed you. Next time you better show your pretty face!)
MaryMargaret also ran along beside. She is my best gal-pal who has been an amazing support system to me through all this. She is truly a sister to me, just not by blood. I'm not sure I could have survived this whole experience with brain cancer without her. I'm so grateful for her friendship.
And then the pelaton of riders who just wanted to ride along with JIm regardless of how far or slow he went. ALL of them people we have spent many miles in the saddle with: Art Davis, Mark Z., Jeff Bradley, Matthew Faulkner, Alice Grant, Terri D. It was so important having them there even though Jim couldn't see them he could feel and hear them and he'd shake his head in disbelief that these folks were there to ride with him!
A few non riders showed up at the start to just offer encouragement and to see Jim get on that bike; Kristine and Jacob Watson and Willo Wright. Jim was amazed by this show of love! Stacie Daniels was here too. She extended her stay with us in order to be here for this event. She drove the car behind us just in case we needed to stop and get Jim home. The car back there with the flashers going also kept other cars from coming too close and going around us too fast. OH, and Stacie lifted some of the daily grind off my shoulders for a full week. That's a wonderful gift to me!
There were a lot of other friends who were there at the start for Jim and had signed up to ride the NDY event. It was a gorgeous day and many of them have told me they had a great ride and a wonderful lobster bake after. Many who had not done this ride before have said they will do it again next year - and the dollars raised go for a very good cause.
And then all of you in the background who have read this and offered silent prayers for us or emailed me or written messages here with encouragement and "Hoo-Rah's" when reading about the ride. ALL of this buoy's us up. We ride an emotional roller coaster (in tandem!) in this house most of the time but this incredible support team that you all offer us is simply amazing and deeply felt by us.
Thank you all!