Posted by: nierluap | September 2, 2011

Why I Do it again and again and again

Today I received a telephone call that a man I had dinner with on my ride was diagnosed with a lymphoma. Unbelievable. Two days ago my website closed to donations and the final total was $33,847. I thank everyone for their support and contributions. When I finished I knew that sometime in the future I would do another ride and then when I received the news tonight it confirmed the need for us to be able to say, I know someone who had a lymphoma, but no big deal because we have a cure for it. On a personal level when I finished I knew I was in the best physical AND mental shape of my life. Things were clear. Being back for 2 1/2 weeks I have gone on many rides on my road bike which feels like a piece of cotton candy compared to my steel touring bike and have maintained my weight loss for which I am happy. Being back in the real world has been an adjustment, although I have worked 7 days that I thought I would be off I loved it. I still like practicing medicine, but am embarrassed at the business practice and lack of ethics in the corporate practice of medicine. I heard today of 2 anesthesiologists in a very small town being displaced by a corporate entity, for what? I received a call from a nurse anesthetist in the midwest about a so called management company taking over a 2 person practice in a small town and displacing people, for what? This is what I have returned to see and the world of medicine wonders why the government and the public say we need health care reform. Greed has consumed the practice of medicine and it is nothing but ugly. Why has this happened? To quote one of my former partners, ‘Whenever they say its not about money, ITS ABOUT MONEY” I loved my summer and how it made me feel. I really don’t like what has happened with advent of the corporate practice of medicine. Sorry but I need to keep writing, so maybe…

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Posted by: nierluap | August 15, 2011

FINAL THOUGHTS FOR NOW

I don’t think the scope of my ride has sunk in yet. Intellectually when I think of 3700 miles on a bicycle I know it is a great accomplishment, but right now I look at it as I simply accomplished a goal I set for myself, and that is what I was supposed to do. Every night when I was in my hotel room I would look at the bike and did think it was cool that that hunk of steel was transporting me across the country, and when I turned the corner on 31st in Virginia Beach my transportation and I were one, seeing the people and the happiness on their faces was just so cool. I thought about so much on this journey for while I met so many people, I only traveled with 3 every day- me, myself and I and we talked a lot. At times it felt like it was aloud. I learned many things, that I only wished I could have learned at a younger age, but then again I wasn’t ready. I learned aside from good health both mentally and physically which we all need to survive, what is most important begins with Family and Friends. We choose our friends and I have been blessed to have some friendships that go back to kindergarten- Norm Rosen, some to Mumford High School- Michael Freedman, Ray Deitch, some to College- Spade, Neil Colman. Some from the last “few” years and way to many to mention except for Linda Bourdon who was with me as my sag hag for the 1st 17 days of the trip and daily provided encouragement as I rode. Everyone has been so supportive while I was on this trip, through the blog, facebook and email. From day 1 I could look forward to riding to French Lick Indiana, albeit 7 weeks away. Ray flew into Indianapolis from Albany, New York, while Michael and his beautiful wife Nancy flew from Detroit to Indianapolis and the 3 of them then drove 2 more hours to French Lick for a great weekend. Think about that. Y’all read Spade’s schtick every day, and Norm was always there for me. Neil, my pledge brother from Sigma Alpha Mu was there with electronic encouragement. My Family could not have been better. This has brought my 6 nieces and nephews certainly closer to me, and Lisa and Joey became addicted to my SPOT- gps locater, that they were my guardian angels. Lisa, Kenny, Joey and his son Jimmy drove to meet me in Wierton WV a little over a week ago. The only real reason to go there is DeeJays Barbecue and ribs. Ask Barry Dayton, he lived there and will concur. My brother Allan and his wife Arline have been behind me. My ex-sister in law Sheila, the mother of Jay, has been unbelievably helpful not only in fund raising but in her unwavering support of me. , My cousins in Ohio and Maryland were always there. Last but not least my kids Earon and Kate have always been there and while they like many people said are you crazy, as only your kids can do, have been great. I could look forward to seeing E in Chicago, and then my stay at Kate and Pete’s Flowerdue Manor B&B made that day.

After those two F’s(family/friends) I learned that finding a balance in your life is so vital. Finding something that you can do that provides personal satisfaction while doing good for others. My association with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society goes back to 1967 when in Detroit it was the Children’s Leukemia Foundation that our fraternity sponsored a week long event:Sammy Week for Leukemia and I was honored to be the chairman. 44 years ago we raised $5000 on a college campus. Think about it, that was a lot of money then. Back then leukemia was a death sentence, but as Jimmy Valvano said, never give up. Now the vast majority of leukemia patients survive. In 1992 I ran my 1st marathon for Team in Training, a new program started by a great group of people. The day before that marathon I visited the Holocaust Museum in DC, and simply said if those people who survived the camps could go through years of living hell I can get through a simple marathon, and I did, and did several others. Team in Training since its inception has raised over $1 billion dollars. Think about that and I am glad I could be a small part of that success. Hodgkins Disease now is so treatable. My nephew Jay and grand nephew Daniel are two prime examples of why we never give up.

Some of the lessons from cycling I learned along the way might be silly but go with me on this. Shoulders on the road became so important to me. When I had shoulders on the road, be it 2 lane, 4 lane or interstates I felt safer. Think about each one of us, if we didn’t have the support of shoulders either literally or figuratively, going through life would be so much more difficult. We love shoulders. I learned in 10th grade geometry the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, but not in biking. Sometimes taking the shortest distance is more dangerous, and we have to work to get where we want to go, not just get there the fastest. This is so applicable to our world today, but I think I get it, you have to work, put in time and you will accomplish your goal. Well it makes sense to me. Think about young adults today when they get in the business world. So many don’t want to put the time and work, instead they say show me the money.

These are just some of the things this ride has taught me. I’m not going to give out awards so the interim ones I did a month or so ago will remain just that-interim. I have been overwhelmed by hearing the praise from so many people, that I just don’t know how to respond except to say thank you. I feel so lucky to have a good passion gene given to me by Sidney and Saretta. Some things you are born with, some are learned. I was born with that gene and I am glad it is there. Over the years passion can be misinterpreted, but to find success in whatever you choose to do in life you need passion. For me without that passion, whether at work in wanting to be the best anesthesiologist and treat every patient as a VIP, or on the golf course wanting to shoot 68 and take money from my opponents or riding 3700 miles on a bicycle I can honestly say I want to be the best. I know I will never accomplish that, but even now at my age that is my goal.

Finally one more time:THANK YOU TO ALL!

Posted by: nierluap | August 14, 2011

SAN DIEGO TO VIRGINIA BEACH 3700 MILES!

What am I going to do tomorrow. My legs, arms, tusch and neck get a well needed rest. I will go weigh myself to see if I lost weight, try for a massage, get a haircut (that’s fast), pay bills, go to the office. How unexciting. Today was not like any other day. Smoke was the 1st thing to deal with leaving James City, about 20 minutes into the ride it started to rain and did so for the next 2 hrs. Finally after leaving the Colonial Parkway, the rain began to subside, but worse, I had to deal with the shoulder on 17. As I passed WalMart I was almost hit by a pickup truck towing a huge trailer. Believe it or not once I reached the relative safety of Jefferson Avenue it got better. Pleasant ride to McDonalds on Mallory to meet Peter who shuttled me to Ocean View. However in Mickey D’s yes I met another person who was interested in what I was doing. She had a great job, driving around checking cell phone reception. Where was she this morning, none other than Jamestown, about 2 miles from where I was. Oh well. Riding down Shore Drive was more Hampton Roads cycling. Not good. As I approached Atlantic Avenue it started to pour, lightning and 30 mph winds in my face. Amazing that was how the Tahoe ride was, rain and rain. So what goes around comes around in reality. But as I got a few blocks from the Hilton, the rain stopped, the wind stopped and yep the sun came out. Very nice group of people, including Channel 3 news, Josh, Joanie, Hope, Elaine, Linda, Stephanie and so many more. What was also cool was all the people there who didn’t know me and they stood and applauded. The best high ever. You know I made my way to the ocean, made it official with the bike in the Atlantic and coast to coast was a reality. so many people to thank, so much more to say so tomorrow will be one more with final thoughts. I have to repeat it, just the best experience of my life except for March 27, 1979 and May 2, 1982.

Posted by: nierluap | August 14, 2011

14 August, 2011 22:34

Posted by: nierluap | August 14, 2011

14 August, 2011 22:33

Posted by: nierluap | August 13, 2011

A NEW RECORD- 110 MILES

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Tonight I am again at a nice B&B, Flowerdue Manor in James City County, and thankful to be there after a full day. The owners were gracious to make me dinner as I was a later arrival. It turns out one of the guest for dinner also was in Fredricksburg yesterday, but she arrived via automobile, not 2 wheeled transportation. I feel remarkably well after enduring 4 thundershowers in which for 2 I was absolutely drenched, 2 I had shelter. This was my 1st time on the journey having to don the rain gear and I was still drenched. However that was nothing compared to dealing with the frustration of a road detour. Near Glendale Va, there was a detour sign. I along with multiple cars and their GPS’s went down this road. After awhile it didn’t seem right, so I went back to a nearby store and the owner assured me it would be ok. So idiot me goes back, sees a bridge completely out, then I tried to go through the woods only to see a full creek. Cut my leg, dragged my bike and somehow no tire puncture. Overall, an extra 8 miles, only to return and this time talk to a local woman who said, “Oh, all the bikers take that road “,as she pointed to a road about 100 feet away. Thank you very much and off I went. Many miles later as I crossed the Chickahominy bridge, the one I’m on in my profile picture, I swelled up with this enormous almost surreal feeling of what an accomplishment I have almost completed. So near to my home, but one more day. Tomorrow my ride will be plan B. It turns out the Great Dismal Swamp fire is causing air quality alerts, and Surry across the James and Suffolk are on alert. Thus I will ride to the Hampton Roads Bridge tunnel, put my bike on a car and go across Hampton Roads that way, and resume the ride in Oceanview. Turns out the Surry ferry crossing is 5 miles as is the HRBT, so I’m going across the same distance of water before I resume riding. From there the ride to VB will be ok, and VB has no air quality alert. My mileage at the end will be about 3700.

Posted by: nierluap | August 13, 2011

13 August, 2011 22:28

Posted by: nierluap | August 12, 2011

ALEXANDRIA TO MASSAPONAX

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It was good to get to and even better to get out of Alexandria. Legs felt tired right out of the chute, but the ride must go on. After passing Mt. Vernon the road goes through Ft. Belvoir, not sure why. This route fortunately has a lot of signage, bike route 1 and that’s good because the number of turns was a lot, so following the instructions was tedious. Stopped at BP for lunch and some college guys were handing out freebies, candy and water. We spoke a bit and next thing this guy wanted a picture with me. That felt good. Off I went and this route was very circuitous taking me into Fauquier county and the busiest 2 lane road of the entire trip. No shoulder, no apparent town where coming from or going but a near endless stream. By 545 I was finally approaching Fredricksburg, out of water, tired, no store for 40 miles, when in a parking lot I see a truck with an awning. It was called BEACH FRIES AND SO MUCH MORE. As I walked up thinking only of a beverage the woman in the truck and I struck up a conversation about my ride, literally 10 seconds and she says can I buy you dinner. Tired, hungry, thirsty, sweaty but, well yes I said. I had the Big Kahuna Grilled Chicken sandwich, easily the best I have ever eaten. The owners Eddie and Kim Crosslin were fabulous. They also wanted pictures, and this whole event sucked out all the stress of the day. I can’t explain how great this was, no pill or drink could even come close to making me feel that way. A few hours later after checking in at the Ramada I honored possibly my last dinner away from Williamsburg by going to the Waffle House, yes this IS America. 88 miles today taking me past 3500. 2 more days.

Posted by: nierluap | August 12, 2011

12 August, 2011 22:02

Posted by: nierluap | August 12, 2011

12 August, 2011 21:55

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