Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 30: So close and so far away

Get out your map of the United States. Take a look at the top of Florida then put your thumb on the right edge of the state. You are now covering what is left of Frank's ride to Jacksonville. It seems so very close relatively speaking, but what remains will likely be the toughest segment of all.

He started early today and by the time we spoke he had put in a couple hours of riding. The temperature is still in the low 30's and drains energy as Frank's body tries to maintain it's temperature. Whatever was stored up in his 140 pound frame a month ago has been spend along the highways. No longer feeling like he can just "pedal out" at will, he is now envoking his will over the pedals. By car, Central Florida must seem relatively flat, but on a bicycle you notice every degree of incline. Frank has riddent long uphills and what seem to be shorter downhills this morning. He will not be coasting in the last 150 miles.

After our first conversation, Frank called me back "Hey, I wasn't feeling that good this morning, I'm not sure I remembered why I was out here but I ran into this old guy wearing Korean War hat and shirt. The guy was a veteran. I told him "Thank you for your service" and we began to talk. "

By the end of the conversation the Verteran had tears in his eyes and thanked Frank for remembering and for riding. Though the old veteran could not restore the physical energy to Frank's body, he lifted his spirits and reminded him again just exactly why he was out there, which was exactly what Frank needed to keep going. By the end of our conversation Frank commented "the sun just came out, it's getting better". I told him I was hoping it was on his back all day long.

You can find Frank's story at the bottom of Wounded Warrior Project's home page

For the donation page they built for Frank click here
In Arizona donate at any
Jack Furriers Tire & Auto Care

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