We started our day by attending mass at a small church in Sturgis Michigan and began our bike ride at approximately 10:30 a.m. All of the riders felt good about how their bodies have responded to our first days ride. It was a nice sunny day so we weren’t concerned about rain. However, it wasn’t too long after we started the ride that we discovered this was the day we were going to be tested by the wind. On a good riding day we could average anywhere between 12 to 15 miles per hour. Today we averaged more like 8 to 10 miles an hour due to 30 – 35 mile an hour gusting winds hitting us in the face for every minute of our ride. It took everything we had to fight the wind and reach our destination about 2 hours beyond what we expected. All of the riders felt good about being able to respond to the challenges of the day. However, Joe DeLamielleure probably described our feelings the best by stating that he would rather go up against Mean Joe Green 5 days in a row instead of riding a full day in the gusting winds that we faced today.
Our trip had a number of wonderful sights from special architecture, to Amish horse and buggies, a special breed of cows that were totally black with a large white section across their stomachs, and blooming flowers like apple blossoms and beautiful purple red bud. There was also a fresh fragrance of honey suckle through many areas of our ride.
We were joined by another great supporter of our bike ride named Spencer Moore. Spencer is a special person who serves as a staff member of Indians C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors). Spencer served 42 years as a police officer and is very passionate about his work supporting widows and orphans of police officers. Spencer’s passion comes from being a member of the Cops cycling for C.O.P.S. However, his passion has been inspired by a terrible tragedy that took place a few years ago when he was a member of a cops cycling team where two of his partners were killed during the bike ride and he was the only survivor. Spencer was seriously injured as a result of the accident and has committed himself to supporting families of police officers that have had to face some type of loss. Spencer is spending the next few days with our bike time arranging for safe travel throughout Indiana. He followed our team today driving the second vehicle driving behind the riders. We are deeply grateful to Spencer for donating his time to ensure that we have a safe trip throughout the state of Indiana.
Joe DeLamielleure continues to wear his red football helmet made by Xenith designed to prevent head injuries and concussions. Joe has seen too many NFL players have significant head injuries and dementia later in life and wants to ensure that everything possible needs to be done to prevent this from happening to any football player at any level in the future. The helmet is quite heavy. I expect Joe’s neck will increase by 2 inches by the end of the bike ride as a result of his wearing this special helmet.
We continue to have media interviews and run into so many wonderful people who are interested in our bike ride and the purpose behind it. It is heartwarming for our riders to see people from various communities who are so excited about the bike ride and the difference it will make for abandoned and neglected children. The look in people’s eye and their best wishes continue to inspire us as we prepare for the daily challenges of the bike ride. Once again, we are anxious and ready for Day 3. As our coaches always told us, 90% of the game is attitude.
Written by John Shinsky