My name is Peter Dyke and I am today’s guest blogger. I came down to El Paso today with Dave Falter and Mark Osmond to ride with Steph and crew because we needed to….all for our own reasons. But clearly, the number one reason we share is that we wanted to support this noble X-C cause known as The SC.
I packed for the SC last night and my 23 year old came into my room and took a shot of me sitting on the floor with my new helmet adorning my unremarkable noggin. He then tweeted the goofy shot to Steph. It was my first role as a tweetee. Thus began my SC.
I think there has been enough talk about beer in these blogs. I am all for the celebratory post-ride beverage, but it is time to class up the SC. You see, I don’t drink beer. I get strange looks and comments because I don’t drink beer, but I do enjoy wine. I was pleased to see Steph is sponsored by Flickinger Wines so I would not have to suffer through carbonation and flatulence. On a related matter, I am moving my family to Virginia in June. We are following our middle son, I suppose. Proud to be headed to the Commonwealth, I picked up a well respected bottle of Virginia Viognier to share with the crew. I thought some grape would be a great way to help Steph move beyond the beer routine. Running late to O’Hare as usual, I could not check my bag. TSA decided they would prefer to see me deposit my bottle in the bin with all the Swiss Army knives and breast pumps. The fine wine of Mr. Jefferson’s VA will have to wait. I sure hope the beer is cold.
Riders performing as bloggers comes as no surprise to me as one of Steph’s gifts is listening to what others have to say. Stepping back to the year of the injury, he was supposed to have attended my wife’s bday party (we both knew him at Miami U). Instead, he had a date with some concrete and very capable paramedics. When he did not show, my first reaction was disappointment which evolved into fear and concern. As we witnessed his recovery, hard work, trips up tall buildings, our wonder mounted. Do you remember the day he walked out of the RIC into Margaret Ann’s arms and into the front seat of that A8? I could not make it to RIC that day, but I watched it on You Tube….about six times. The wonder and respect continue to present day.
Shortly after his fall, I took all three of my boys to Wrigley for a game. They made a poster with Steph’s name on it so Comcast would run it on tv. I don’t know if they ever did but I do know Steph has a large crew of people that care for him. I talked with my boys that night about the Challenge ahead for Mr. Stephan. It was a sobering conversation.
Talk about a Challenge. What does the ‘C’ in SC mean? Possible answers include, 1) Steph’s physical challenge to ride 3000 damn miles to be sure. 2) His call to all folks to join him and experience first hand what a cross country mission ride is like. 3) The enormous challenge of raising 7 figures for RIC. He still needs help on that front btw. And 4) I might add the call by Steph to all of us to push beyond our own comfort limits, because he and Margaret Ann have, and it can enhance your life in ways you may not comprehend.
Right before my son tweeted my likeness to Steph, I was going through my gear. My old bike pants did not fit so Amazon had shipped me an upsized pair along with some yellow gloves and a blue helmet. I went with blue as I did not want to look “too yellow” for fear of giving my colleagues another excuse to give me a hard time given the “Lance wanna be” syndrome. The new pants looked ok, but when I put them on I realized they were not padded where required. Seriously, who would make bike pants that were not padded? So, Amazon, DON’T CALL THEM BIKE PANTS. They are shorts! So now, instead of my wife being the one looking for a drug store to find some Maxi pads, it was me. I guess Amazon Prime has its limits.
The crew is on schedule and staying in Las Cruces NM tonight. It is 5 PM in El Paso. It is still over 90 degrees and we are ready to join the team….stay tuned, stay STEPHSTRONG.
– Peter Dyke