As the days pass and the Palmetto Peloton Project’s Challenge to Conquer Cancer ride gets closer, I can feel the momentum building within the team – and within me.  I can tell that the ride is starting to have the correct effect on me because of my maturing view of the ride.  This year’s event will be more meaningful than ever.

Last year I did have a desire to remember my friend Mike.  It was the first thing that moved me to attempt the ride.  However, another driving factor was simply the epic nature of the ride.  It was another one of those things that I could do to push myself on the bicycle.  It was another “notch in my belt”, so to speak.

This year as I draw near to the event, my mind spends much less time thinking about the actual riding and more than on the people for whom we are doing it.  This has been even more gripping in that we have lost two of our warriors within recent days.  It makes the ride seem so much more urgent.

The funny thing is that I almost feel as though somehow reaching Austin will bring an end to cancer.  It is as though we need to get on the road and make it to the finish line before someone else has to face the pain.  Of course, that isn’t how it works.  Yet, that is the spirit with which I find myself approaching these long hours in the saddle.

The desire to ride is driven by the hope that the money raised will be one of many drops in a bucket that will overflow and see a quenching of the fire – or at least a portion of the fire called cancer.  The more I think of that possibility, the more excited I become about the ride.  The more plans I finalize, the more I recall the awesome experience of lining up for the LiveSTRONG Challenge ride with so many survivors and warriors surrounding us.

I will remember those warriors we hoped would be with us and those who will.  One of those who will not be there was featured in a recent article in the Anderson Independent Mail.  I believe the article captured the spirit of our ride well.

— Cyclists participating in the Challenge to Conquer Cancer relay will honor a late Anderson man by taking his bike along with them on a trip to raise money for cancer research.

Scott Shuey, who died of lymphoma on Oct. 5, was a physical therapist for Shuey Physical Therapy in Anderson. His wife, Kim, said he had been looking forward to participating in the second annual relay, which begins on Oct. 18 and is sponsored by the Palmetto Peloton Project in Greenville.

Kim Shuey said her husband’s lymphoma was diagnosed on Sept. 11, 2008. She said that thinking about the gesture to take his bike along brings her to tears.  Read More…

Here is the update on my fundraising.  I am now up to $2100!  I am so appreciative of those who have given — especially Lora McCaskill, the wife and best friend of my buddy Mike.  I’m not only riding for him.  I’m riding for her and little Grace.

Here’s hoping this ride as it begins and finishes will be part of the momentum to a new phase of success in fighting this disease.