By Terry Bourgeois – Contributing Writer
Sunday night, I closed the day one update implying that Bear Mountain might be a challenge for our Empire State Ride heroes.
Well, it didn’t even faze them!
I actually had one of our cancer survivor riders ask me after we got over the Bear Mountain Bridge when we were going to actually go over Bear Mountain!!
Terry Bourgeois is spearheading the Empire State Ride. Learn more and donate at empirestateride.com.
Read more about him and his mission here.
Read his first blog item from the ride here.
Read more updates at refresh.buffalonews.com.
I continue to be amazed at the determination of these riders as they tackle the terrain. We had a few personal bests today. Retired U.S. Marine Corps pilot Les Christian rode the furthest he has ever ridden in a day. The good news for Les is that he gets to break his personal best again on Tuesday!
We will have approximately 90 miles as we head to Albany from Stony Point.
The team development theory of storming, norming, forming and performing held true Monday as the riders with common riding abilities started to stick together.
Tuesday’s forming stage will be important, as we will likely start experiencing some headwinds after Albany as we move toward Utica. When you have headwinds, it is very nice to be able to work as a team and have someone in front of you to provide wind resistance.
The overwhelming aspect of Monday’s ride was the sheer beauty of the route. Major features included the Bear Mountain Bridge, the Duchess Rail Trail, and another trip over the Hudson via the walkway over the Hudson. We also had beautiful rest stop near the Mills Mansion at the Staatsburg Historic Site.
While this is the third year that I have ridden from Manhattan to Niagara Falls, I can say that we have perfected this route thanks to the artful planning of Bike Eternity’s ride director, Mr. Greg Edwards. We maximized the use of safe back roads and bike paths as much as possible to our evening stop at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, N.Y.
In my last post, I promised to finish my story about Carlos M. Torres, who I rode with Sunday. Carlos is a 38-year-old Army veteran who is currently a restaurant manager in Buffalo. Carlos has dedicated this ride to a very dear friend who he reverently calls Gunny. Gunny was a Marine gunnery sergeant who took Carlos under his wing several years ago. Gunny died from pancreatic cancer, which took his life only two short weeks after it was discovered. Throughout this trip, Carlos has been leaving some small special belongings of Gunny’s at select locations along the journey, combined with a brief memorial.
Carlos has been another great person to ride with this week.
Albany here we come! The next update will most likely focus on Wednesday's ride from one of the other riders sharing her cancer and Empire State Ride Journey with you. I can’t wait for you to read it.