As I did in 2011, I have accumulated some stats on our ride.
- 406.62 gallons of gasoline
- 59lbs of ice
- $53 of cheese
- $119 of cold meat
- 3 flat tires
- 12 rides joined the 4 primary riders throughout the journey
- Not enough homemade Banana Bread
- Many home cooked dinners
- Countless new friends
We didn't eat nearly as much peanut butter or pretzels as we did in 2011. I think it is because the temperatures were cooler.
We had bikes on the ground approximately 1,488 miles of the 1,800 route miles. We rode 82.6% of the mapped route miles. Pops and Carl were with us at least 80% of those miles. These two amazing men rode 24 of the 27 days. Think about that - a 67 year old man with PD and a 53 year old man with PD rode 24 of 27 days and covered more than 1,000 miles. If that doesn't give ya goose bumps or bring a tear to your eye, then pinch yourself.
According to my GPS, over the 27 days on the bike we put mustard on 70,897 feet of elevation gain. This is an average of 2,625 feet/day. We climbed the most on day 21 with 5,827 feet of gain. Gain means the amount of feet we climbed - not taking into account our descents. These are not net gain amounts (ups minus downs), this is just the ups. Yes, had a lot of ups on this route.
I have been asked several times how much we raised and if the ride was a success. Regarding the funds raised - although this is important to the ongoing success of the organization, it is not the main reason we rode. We rode to encourage those impacted by Parkinson's.
Regarding if the Ride was a success. I think we need to ask the Parkies if it was a success. Are Pops and Carl a motivation to other Parkies? Did they show that Parkies can do anything they set their minds to do? Did we encourage those we met and give them the motivation to keep fighting?
Success will not be measured by the money raised, the miles ridden or my sense of accomplishment.
Success will be measured by Parkie lives impacted, encouragement given and the impact on the lives of those who didn't know what PD was before they met us.
What is next? We are working on that. Probably a local ride here in Arizona. Will there be another long distance ride - if I have my way, yes. But its not about me. We will have to see what the future holds.
Next time you see someone with a little shake, a shuffle in their step or a quiet voice - ask them if they have Parkinson's. Then encourage them to keep going and let them know they are not alone.
Until we meet again - keep safe, keep moving and keep living your Best Life Ever.