Rest Day – Champaign, IL

A rest day. It was great today waking up without the alarm at 5:15 am, looking at the clock, being able to turn over and going back to sleep. I guess that extra hour or so I got this morning made me feel like a teenager sleeping through to lunch. Breakfast at 7am seemed like brunch and everyone else looked like they were all feeling the same.

At lunchtime I met a great couple from Chicago, Don and Mary Brown. Don has had Waldenstrom’s for around 16 years, and they made the visit just to say hi and wish me well which was a great lift for me. It means a lot when you meet others who totally understand what you are dealing with and have been there themselves. Don looks great and like me is taking on WM with a positive outlook. All three of us chatted about Waldenstrom’s, cycling and life over a nice lunch at Destihi.

Then it was back to the hotel for a nap, and later wake for more food with the ‘three amigos’. I have to say that two apps on my phone have helped the four of us on rest days. First ‘Trip Advisor’ where I search restaurant by ranking and pick one of the top few. Next click on Uber app and wait for car, go eat, Uber back and we are all happy. In Champaign it worked a treat and I had three great meals at Seven Saints (ranked 1), Destihi (3) and dinner at an Italian Biaggi’s (7). For four guys now classed as seniors we ate well in Champaign and managed to negotiate the world of living by app.

Believe it or not we have only 15 ride days left to Boston and we should be hopefully dipping our wheels in the Ocean two weeks on Friday. I am truly thankful to all those who have donated. There is still plenty of time for anyone else who wants to help us raise funds for research into curing/treating this incurable Lymphoma. I know from a couple of people that they didn’t realize the need to refresh the blog page or use the links from FB, so if you know others read your FB maybe you could share the links sometime so they can see I am posting every day. If there are any tech savvy people who know how I can get the WordPress site to auto update/refresh let me know as the guys helping me tell me it is working properly but many say it isn’t! Ah well, only a minor frustration!

Tomorrow we cross into another state (Indiana) and then head through Ohio to Pennsylvania, for our last rest day in Erie. I am sure that like all the other weeks so far we will have some long and testing days ahead, yet it seems the closer we get to Boston the more determined I get to overcome whatever is in front of me. In the early days of the tour I sometimes wondered if I could climb a mountain in front of me or keep going into a headwind. The great thing now is that I simply tell myself I have done this before and I just knuckle down and get through it. If you have followed me all the way across America so far you will know that at every hotel I get to there is a card waiting from Deirdre, with details of what I have just ridden that day, an inspirational quote and a note from her. These cards keep me going. often brightening up a hard and tiring day. Two of the quotes have stuck in my head for a while now. Ironically the first is from Lance Armstrong, “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.” The second many will know and is from Vince Lombardi, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, It’s whether you get up.”