As of today I have been gone from home for 47 days and logged 8508 miles. The route I have traveled seems so big but the time has sure gone by pretty quick. After Chris flew home from our rendezvous in Boston I headed to Maine this past Monday and then into the rest of the new England states I had not been to. New Hampshire and Vermont are very beautiful. There was the annual motorcycle rally going on in Laconia New Hampshire but I opted to avoid it since going to rallies is no big deal to me seeing and working in Sturgis for so many years.
I have now turned the corner so to speak and will be headed back west now. Tonight I am staying in Dubois Pennsylvania and will go on to Morgantown West Virginia tomorrow. Right outside Morgantown is where many of my ancestors on my mothers side were from. I want to check out some of the country around there and maybe visit a cemetery or two. From there I will head to Ohio to take in another sprint car race or two during Ohio’s “Sprint Car Speed Week”. I miss home but I still am not going to push it just to get done. I am still having a blast meeting people and seeing areas of the country that I have never been to and talking about Rare Cancer. I have now been in 29 different states and I will probably hit 7 more by the time I’m done.
I am holding up rather well. Riding everyday certainly has it’s challenges. I have days where I feel a bit wore out physically but there are also days where I feel my mind is “off the mark”. I’ve had days where I have felt like the interactions with other people have not gone well but then the next day, BAM! a ton of wonderful people again asking me questions and I get re-energized again and down the road I go feeling wonderful. I am also feeling much more comfortable on the bike than when I first left. The experience in that 8000 plus miles has built my confidence level up for sure. (not to the point of being un-safe). I am cornering the bike better and it feels good to ride. Today was the first time however that I came close to hitting a deer. I saw him standing on the side of the road in the tall grass and I got to my brakes pretty quick. I gave a quick toot of the horn and he turned into the ditch but then immediately turned back across the road. I missed him but the oncoming pickup clipped him and he went down. There have also been some rough two lane roads with major pot holes and vertical cracks which can reek havoc on a motorcycle especially the ones that your tire can fit in. It makes me realize that I am one tiny mistake or incident away from the ride being over. I constantly tell myself, “keep your head in the game Patrick”. I have been pretty lucky as far as weather too. I’ve been wet a few times but not bad and yesterday I rode from Saratoga Springs New York to Binghamton and it rained almost the entire day. Needless to say the picture taking was not as good but I did stop in Cooperstown New York to see the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. It is a neat little town and obviously buzzing with tourists and baseball fans. I may stop in Canton Ohio to catch the NFL Hall as well but we’ll see how that goes.
As I drive down the road (especially this week) I’ve been thinking what I will do when this ride is over. Will it mark the end of Ridin On with Rare Cancer? Will I do more rides? What else can I do with this campaign? What more can I do to help raise awareness about Rare Cancer? How can I financially keep this going? Should I throw some kind of celebration or event upon my return? These are some of the questions rolling around in my head as I Ride On down the road. For now I’ll keep enjoying what time I still have left on the ride. One things for sure is that this has been one heck of a good time and I have ALL of YOU to thank for that. Without your support and following the journey it would have been done long ago. So for now, lets all keep Ridin On and worry about the questions later.