I didn’t mention this in yesterday’s post, but I will not be doing the 2010 Ride for Mike route alone. The beautiful redhead will be my support driver. She will be following me and supporting me from our Honda Fit along the way.
I call that love! It has been a hard year on her. I know it was very hard for her to be there the day I crashed. If I let my mind wonder, it can be dangerous. Both my wife and children were there the day I broke my neck. My oldest son was one of the first to arrive on the scene. I don’t think very long about what it would have been like had I been more badly injured… or worse.
However, Annette is a wonderful woman and she understands her husband. Sure, she lets me know that it is going to be hard for her to get used to me getting back on the bike, but she understands that I do not intentionally seek danger. The statistics are in my favor. Fear of something that probably will never happen shouldn’t keep me off the bike.
So, not only is she allowing me to get back in the saddle, she is also going to support me as I cover the 700 – 750 miles from Memphis to Raleigh. Wow! That means some long days traveling along at 15 to 25 mph! I think that has got to be harder than riding the bike.
What will happen is we will leave from Memphis with her driving the car and me following on the bike. The car will have a flashing light, extra bicycle, and decals alerting drivers that a cyclist is in the area. We will communication via two-way radios and the car will be equipped with Internet and GPS so Annette can navigate and prep for the trip ahead. Once we reach Corinth, I will continue alone on the route while the beautiful redhead gets us checked in at the hotel, etc. She will then drive to meet me at the target stopping area. We will then go back to the hotel together.
The next day we will start the route for Day Two – Burnsville, Mississippi to Somerville, Alabama. We’ll take the car together back to the point where I stopped the day before. Then we start to cover another 100 miles or so to the east side of Decatur, Alabama. We’ll do the same thing we did on Day One when we passed through Corinth.
It is going to be pretty hard to avoid riding on two-lane divided highways in this section. However, they are not Interstates. These roads remind me of some of the ones I’ve traveled on when riding from my parents’ home to Fayetteville, NC. It is also similar to the roads we had to ride on at times during the Challenge to Conquer Cancer ride last year. It certainly makes the role Annette will play with the SAG car that much more important.
The good news is that as I work through these routes, I’m starting to get excited. This is going to be doable. At least for these first 200 miles the terrain will allow for some good speeds. Just a little over 500 more to go.