This morning I woke up pretty stiff. I haven't really been able to stretch and recover; especially last night. My legs feel very tight and heavy. Under normal circumstances, I would have massaged out my legs after a long ride, or even a cold bath to help get rid of the lactic acid. It was a bit overcast in the morning, but at least the temperatures were going to be mild.
I didn't think today was going to be too difficult, but I do have a few stops along the way. To start off, I had an interview scheduled before I left with the Corry newspaper, The Corry Journal. Theresa also coordinated two interviews in Erie. I also was looking forward to visiting with relatives of Theresa's that live in Erie. With that in mind, I wanted to get on the road as early as possible.
We met Jordan Schrecengost, the Sports Editor/Reporter for The Corry Journal and several other area papers. He reminded me of a lot of people I grew up with. He certainly takes a lot of pride in his home town. We spent about 30 minutes with him, and he wished me luck as I headed off.
Today was the day I would be saying good bye to Route 6. While Route 6 goes all the way to the Pennsylvania/Ohio border, I want the day to end in Erie since we have family there. I will turn north when I get to Edinboro , pedal into Erie, and to the end of the Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie. I will then be off to my wife's cousin who lives close by. This detour off Route 6 will actually be a longer distance than going to the border.
The cycling today turned out to be harder than I expected. I think it was a combination of yesterday's ride still in my legs, and I wasn't mentally ready for the amount of climbing I encountered. The first 25 miles was nothing but up and down. None of the hills were as long or as steep as what I encounter the first 2 days, but they were one after another and they quickly took their toll.
Even though the ride was tough in the beginning, I was still enjoying every pedal stroke. Around mile 15, I passed through Union City, a town I have gone through many times over my life. At mile 30, I entered Edinboro and was ready to stop for lunch. I was happy to find another Subway. I am beginning to feel like a spokesperson for Subway. I ordered the same thing every time, and each time I left feeling good and recharged, so thank you Subway.
Now it was a short 20-mile ride to get to the entrance of Presque Isle State Park, where I will meet my wife and the reporters. I have to tell you the amount of press this ride has gotten is incredible. I am so thrilled at how we were able to get our message out, and bring attention to these two diseases. A few miles from Presque Isle, it was starting to sink in that I was going to accomplish this trek. It was a very surreal moment.
It was a welcomed down hill rolling to the entrance of the park. To make it even more special, waiting with Theresa to greet me was her cousin Danielle and her husband David; some of my favorite people in the whole world. I didn't have much time to chat, as there were lots of people to talk to and share my message.
My first interview was with Eva Mastromatteo of Erie News Now. She really spent a lot time with me, and the end product was fantastic. I can't thank them enough. Check out video on the left. I filmed it on my iPad, so excuse the extra dialogue in the background.
I then met with reporter, Gerry Weiss from GoErie. It was a great conversation with him as well, plus he is also a cyclist.
All that was left now was to complete the day's final 12-miles: the trip around Presque Isle and on to David and Danelle's backyard for the night. Those 12 miles were some of the most enjoyable of the trip. After the excitement of all the interviews and cameras, I was once again alone on my bike. The sky was incredibly blue and each rotation of my pedals made me grateful for this journey. I made one stop at the tip of Presque Isle for a photo, and it was non-stop to the house. I felt very much at peace. My thoughts were on my son, my daughter, my dad, my mom, my sister with MS and my other siblings. I was also so grateful to my wife, Theresa. Having her share parts of this journey with me was special. Without her commitment, there would have been little, or no publicity.
I arrived at the house and had one last task - to pitch my tent for the final time, shower and then spend quality time with family!!