Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Final 30 Miles - Roger's Ride

Breakfast at 7am
The final leg of Roger's Ride started Sunday, Oct. 9th at 8:15am.  It was cloudy and looked like rain.  Sure enough within 5 minutes it was raining hard...really hard.  The cyclists kept pedaling through it all, as they headed down highway 90 towards Jacksonville Beach, through flooded streets.
Jerseys all laundered and ready!

Getting "GU'd" up.
Sue (Roger's sister) and Frank getting to know the cyclists.
Chip and Tanya - Thanks for your help!
Thanks for all your help too, Roger!
Randy getting his pillow all set so he can sleep on the ride.

Finally the rain stopped.

Bridge in downtown Jacksonville.

As we got into downtown Jacksonville, the rain subsided and the sky cleared up.  The head wind remained strong, but they kept pushing through it all. 

Jon leading the pack with Roger's front wheel.
At about 10:15am the riders came over the inter-coastal waterway bridge.  You could see the excitement in their eyes as they were almost finished with their 300 miles.  The cyclists let Jon and Steve lead the pack and Roger's front wheel was the first to reach the beach. 
Steve close behind.

 You could feel Roger's energy in the riders as they finished this emotional journey and finally help us finish Roger's Cross Country Ride.

The rest of the family were waiting to welcome the cyclists at the end of the ride.  It was a very emotional ending to the the 3 1/2 day journey, for everyone.  

Bob Graves provided the closing remarks of inspiration and talked about Roger's mission statement - 1 John 3:17.

"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"   He talked about how Roger used his gifts to help others and encouraged all the riders and everyone involve to learn from how Roger lived his life.  He recommended that everyone learn from the legacy Roger left and continue to help others throughout their lives.

 Vicki also shared some thoughts she had about how inspiring and meaningful this ride was to her and Roger.  It was comforting to be at the end of the ride with the Grooters/Schurke family members and all the cyclists who took the time and effort to help us finish Roger's Ride and help us build awareness for sharing the road with cyclists and paying attention while driving.  
Vicki led the whole group down to the beach for the official tire dipping ceremony.  Another emotional moment to bring finality to the ride.  Meri and Bob Wilson also dipped their tires.  


 This was a huge accomplishment for everyone who rode the 300 miles!  We laughed, cried, celebrated, hugged and several dove into the heavy waves of the Atlantic ocean.
The riders all showered and we ended the day and the journey with a delicious lunch with the help of Sue (Roger's sister) and Frank Flanagan and Josh (Roger's Son) and Stacia..  Then back in the "short" bus, cars, and trucks with  trailer for the long drive home. 

Ready for the long ride home!
Words cannot express how meaningful this whole experience was to Vicki and the entire family.  A big THANK YOU to everyone involved!

Here is a link to a story about the ride from the Jacksonville news:

Day three: Cloudy and a torrential rain storm for about 1/2 hour.  
Distance:  30 miles

Headwinds:  Winds from the east in the high 23+ mph with gusts up to 40 mph!
Speed:  18-20 miles per hour, final average 17.9
Time:  Approximately 2 1/2 hours

To all those reading this blog...PLEASE pay attention when you are driving.  Share the road.  It only takes a moment for something tragic to happen when you are distracted in the car.

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