On July 23, Team Joe’s traveled north by bus to the starting line of the Wish-a-Mile 300 benefiting the Wish Kids of the Make a Wish Foundation. Throughout the three-day ride, CEO Rob Casalou and 18 Team Joe’s cyclists will post updates, photos and stories to this blog. On Sunday, they will be joined by 19 additional 50-mile riders from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.
Here is the first post:
We didn’t push the pedals today but it was a great day just the same as Team Joe’s spent the day en route from the MIS Speedway to Traverse City in preparation for the start of the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) 2015 on Friday. The air was full of energy and excitement as over 800 riders, including 19 from Team Joe’s, arrived in the early morning at MIS Speedway to check-in and load bikes and bags on buses and head north.
This year, we have 8 new riders on Team Joe’s doing the 3-day, 300 mile ride and and equal number of new riders on the WAM 50 on Sunday. Our team is growing! After arriving at the East Traverse Middle School at 3 p.m., we retrieved our bikes and bags and set up for the evening. It is an amazing scene to see 800 bikes lining fences and fields around the middle school. Some riders pitch tents, some throw sleeping bags on the gym and hallway floors but most take a shuttle to one of several area hotels. Once organized, we returned to the school for dinner, an ice cream social and many fun activities. It is a time to relax and enjoy new friends who we will become very close to over the next 3 days. We were also blessed to have three of our wish kids with us during dinner. Once you meet these kids and their families, you truly understand why we do this ride….it is for them.
After the festivities, it was back to our hotels to get ready for a very early morning. Our plan is to get over to the school for breakfast at 5:30 a.m. and have wheels on the road by 6:15 a.m. Weather looks great for tomorrow. We hope to get most of the ride behind us before it gets hot in the afternoon. The only problem is 100 miles hills and valleys, a projected head wind and 3,000+ feet of climbing. No problem! 🙂