Friday, June 23, 2017

Today was the last day of our stretch through Nevada and Utah without a day of rest. Needless to say, I don’t think that there was a person on the team who wasn’t nervous and didn’t have at least some form of injury. However after the brutal headwinds on the ride yesterday pushed my paceline to our limits, I felt determined. 120 miles is farther than I had ever ridden on a bike, it was intimidating to be sure but we decided to just take it one crew stop at a time. Cycling over a hundred miles didn’t sound do-able but 10 miles at a time I could do. For the second time of the trip, I rode with my fellow Boilermakers. I knew it would be a tough ride and I knew I would be comfortable riding with them. We started out stiff from all the compiled miles of the previous week and we definitely started to hit a wall between our snack at mile 40 and lunch mile 80. My lower back felt like it was about to explode and 10 miles to lunch Ambrose had to rack for a mechanical. Maybe Ambrose’s frustration fired us up, but we put our heads down and just kept our feet spinning from one stop to the next.

My back loosened up as we approached the city we got to catch our breath at plenty of stop lights. At last we arrived at the church with the knowledge that we would have an off day to relax and all three of us finished with a smile on our faces. We even found out that Ambrose was later able to finish the ride. Later that evening we were hosted by a the family of Jack Roy, a Pi Alpha, and had our fill of delicious Mexican food. This ride taught me to take challenges in the moment, and to keep pushing until I have nothing left, no matter how much I think I have left.


Mark Thorn

Purdue University