Monday, June 21, 2010


I failed at my challenge. I did not play tennis or go running in the past seven days. I did, however, go for 6 bike rides, play a hot and hard game of soccer, and play frisbee. I am satisfied with that.

On Saturday morning, I took the best of these five bike rides. I rode downtown to Freedom Plaza with Ingrid and Brendon to volunteer for DC's first annual 5k Pancreatic Cancer Walk. I became involved in this through my friend Kathy, one of Ingrid's best friends. Her dad, Daniel Rocha, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2009 and passed away this past April. The walk was a huge success, there was a great turnout. This event was interesting in comparison to other, more popular, cancer events such as the Susan G. Komen race for the cure. Fewer people have suffered from Pancreatic Cancer than breast cancer but the ones that have have been less likely to survive. The survival rate of pancreatic cancer is right around 5%. While people rally around breast cancer and other, more common, diseases because nearly everyone knows at least someone who has been affected by it, it was apparent that most of the people at Freedom Plaza Saturday morning were there because they had lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer. Not to say that either diagnosis is any easier to cope with, I have no place to say such a thing, nor do I think it. I am simply commenting on how this group seemed to be more close-knit based on the sense of loss that nearly everyone there shared. I am also suggesting that, despite it's being less common, pancreatic cancer awareness needs to be raised because it is so incredibly hard to beat and, therefore, needs to be better researched and funded. Bringing this walk to DC was a step in the right direction!

That aside, it was just really nice to be on a bike at 6:30 am before the sun, and most human beings, had fully risen. It was so cool out. We had a pretty brutal ride because some of us (MYSELF NOT INCLUDED!) were in bed until ten minutes before we were supposed to leave and we left about 30 minutes before we were supposed to be downtown... for a ride that usually takes closer to 50 minutes. We were unprepared and were pumping tires and adjusting handlebars up to the minute we left. Brendon rode Josh's bike which was about 4 inches too short, which led the seat to drop back and nearly fall off halfway through the ride. Ingrid and I were pushing it like never before only to turn around every few minutes to find that Brendon was nowhere in sight. Ingrid and Brendon traded bikes along the way, I'm not sure what this solved but gave us an excuse to rightly yell at Brendon for being too slow. Despite the complications, we made it to Georgetown in record time. While cruising along Constitution Ave's many potholes, my bike water bottle from Gainesville flew out of Ingrid's water bottle holder onto the street and cracked in several pieces. This could have been way worse, we're lucky that no cars hit it.. or us. We ended up being only 5 minutes late and still had plenty of time to get all the set up done we needed to.

On the return trip, Brendon opted for the metro and Ingrid and I had a quick uphill ride home. We ran into two friends riding the opposite direction on the trail, one of whom, Ben, is joining on Ragbrai! Good old Ragbrai, only four and a half weeks away!

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