Trinity Health is participating in the 35th annual Wish-a-Mile bicycle tour through Michigan. Our cyclists are pedaling 300 miles from Traverse City to the Eaton proving grounds over three days to support wishes granted to seriously ill children. Team Trinity For Make A Wish Michigan.
Trinity Health Michigan President and CEO Rob Casalou is blogging his experiences on the ride. Read on for the Day 1 entry –
Friday, July 29
Alarm clocks went off early this morning as all of us got ready for what is probably the most challenging of the three days of WAM. The journey from Traverse City to Ferris State University in Big Rapids winds through many small towns many of us have not heard of before. And this is our hill day with over 3,300ft of climbing along our 99 mile route today. Team Trinity, after an early breakfast at the Traverse City East Middle School that served as our starting point, gathered at 6:15am for our traditional team picture. Then we headed out on the route.
I always tell first time WAM riders not to judge the entire ride by the opening 10 miles of the first day. It is essentially one long hill and serves to wake up the legs! Unlike many past WAMS, we had an absolutely perfect weather morning with calm winds, cool temps and that weather continued to be perfect the entire day. That is, until the wind gusts slowed our ride in the afternoon (almost forgot to mention that).
We don’t all ride as a team because our riders have different capabilities and preferences for riding speed (as is the case of many WAM teams). I rode in a group of seven ride around the same speed (well, except me on the hills). We were blessed that Ashley pulled for much of the day, which means she led our line so that we could draft off each other. I was very grateful, for sure!
The Make-A-Wish team doesn’t miss a detail and provides us with an incredibly organized and supported ride. Multiple vehicles provide riders with protection and support, and there are numerous break stops along the route for riders to refresh and refuel. We even had police officers on motorcycles riding with us and helping keeping us safe. The WAM staff and volunteers are just incredible. We were all humbled by their dedication.
Our team members finished at various times, from our quick Probility Physical Therapy team making quick work of the route to a few who came in the later afternoon. The only WAM rule on timing is that we cannot start before 6 a.m. and we cannot end after 6 p.m. I am happy to report that all Team Trinity riders were in well within the time limit!
After the ride, we headed to our hotels to clean up. We returned to Ferris State where they provided a wonderful dinner for us. It was quite the combo with pasta for all of us who wanted a carb load for the next day’s ride. There was also a full turkey dinner complete with mashed potatoes and gravy. Of course, most of us tried everything! After dinner, we all headed back to our hotels to get ready for tomorrow and crash as early as possible. The alarm is set for 4:30 a.m.
Donations continue to come in….thank you to all who have supported. If you would like to support our team, or a rider on our team, go to wishamile.org and search for Team Trinity or any of us by name.
Thank you all for the support! Have a great evening,