Day 27: Kansas City, MO to Lawrence, KN
Total Mileage: 51 miles (plus 6 more)
Today’s ride was in dedication to Sarah Clayton, mother to one of the cantor’s I accompany for at St. Columba. This one is for you Debbie 🙂
So today was the day we finally crossed into the dreadful Kansas headwinds and heat. So far, I’ve ridden everyday we crossed into a new state, even though our host was about 5ish miles from the MO-KN border. The way the van schedule was planned, looks like I’ll be crossing all of the state lines on my bike, which is something I hoped for since the beginning of the trip. Within the first 5 miles of getting out of the city, we got lost and had to wait about an hour for the watervan to reroute. In that hour, groups went to find coffee, others explored a bit, and I took some pictures to kill time.
Today’s team name: Team Minnesourriland with Lauren, Abigale (4 times in a row), Zac, and Danny Cicada. The wayteams were picked today was based on geographic locations. Since there are more people from Maryland than any other state, they were divided into two groups, one paired with the girls from Miami and the other paired with the guys from the Midwest. Lauren, Abigale, and I are from Maryland while Danny is from Missouri and Zac from Minnesota. A great team full of strong riders. At one point, we were 15 miles ahead of the group behind us andarrived at the host an hour and a half before the next group rolled in. With only 51 miles for the day, we decided on just having two water stops and eating lunch when we arrived at our host, First Baptist Church in Lawrence.
What made the day special was our veryfirst scholarship presentation to Adam Reeves, an incoming freshman at the University of Kansas (KU). This is the inaugural year in presenting scholarships to young adults that have been affected by cancer across the country. Team San Fran is presenting two scholarships this summer: one in Lawrence, KS and the other in San Francisco, CA. Being one of the service coordinators, my job is to organize a very small, informal ceremony for the young adults that were awarded the scholarships. It just so happened that the day we arrived in Lawrence was Adam’s second day of orientation at KU,which wasperfect timing. After emailing a couple orientation leaders and getting in contact with the right person, I had a location and time set for the ceremony: 4PM in front of the Union at KU. Big thanks to my friend, Rodi, for getting me in touch with Sarah and Heidi, who I met up with during the ceremony. Thanks to their help, we had the media involved.
A little about Adam! In December 2012, his mother, Angel, was diagnosed with stage 2, triple negative breast cancer. Being the oldest of 6, a lot of responsibility fell upon him when his mother and father were preoccupied with appointments, especially when his mom was receiving chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Words from Adam, “Our household is large and rather chaotic most of the time. In the end, the thing that holds us together is the hard work and persistence of my mother. With her diagnosis came the realization of how vital she was to our daily lives and with her incapacitated by chemotherapy treatments, my family had to quickly adapt physically, emotionally, and financially.” What made the day even more special was seeing Adam’s mother at the ceremony, who found out from a biopsy 10 days ago that the doctors didn’t find any more cancerous tissue in her breast. We included Adam in our dedication circle and told him we’d be dedicating our rides to his mom tomorrow. After we presented him with the scholarship, we told him to hop onto one of the road bikes to see how it is to be a 4Ker, a perfect way to end our day. This is what the 4K is about and I’m glad to be a part of such a wonderful organization.
It just so happened that we were in Lawrence the same time the Tour of Lawrence was going on. It’s a three day cycling festival, and the first day featured circuit racing. Unfortunately, we missed out on the street sprints cause we took too long eating and cleaning our bikes. We did catch the live music and mini block party in downtown Lawrence though!