Memories along the way

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Rob Casalou’s daughter, Julie, who is volunteering for the WAM, had a chance to meet one of our Wish Kids. This is Olivia. Olivia’s wish was to publish her own book! And she did! Her book contains pictures and poems created by this wonderful little girl. She gave Julie a signed book for her to keep. 🙂

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At lunch on Friday’s ride. Can you tell that Rosalie is the life of the party?? 🙂

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Here is a nice pic of Jodi Talbott and Nick Graham. Jodi is an RN in the Ann Arbor ED.

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Awesome pic by David Steinberg at the start of Day 2 with Rob Casalou in the foreground and a double rainbow as we headed into a storm. Good news is that it rained hard for only a couple miles with beautiful weather the rest of the day.

20140726-200741-72461197.jpgRob and Tom Mihalski holding each other up at a breakstop.

20140726-200831-72511935.jpgSunscreen is a must on the WAM as shown by Tom Mihalski.

20140726-200913-72553640.jpgNick and Jodi still smiling after two days on their first WAM.

20140726-200955-72595368.jpgRalph, Rosalie and Alex deep into Day 2. We are sad that the three of them will not be able to finish with us on Day 3 because of a family wedding tonight. So we told them to wear their Team Joe’s jerseys. The rest of us will wear the team colors tomorrow.

20140726-201030-72630259.jpgRo and Alex. It was great seeing Mom and son riding for wishes together.

On the road again

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Russ Olmsted, Rob Casalou, David Steinberg and Lee Benjamin at breakfast to begin Day 2.  David is hoping that (dietitian) Lisa McDowell does not see what is on his plate this morning! it would not pass the heart smart test. no worry, it will be burned off within the first couple hours.  It is early and wheels will be on the road by 6:30am.  Weather  forecast looks better!

Day 1 recap: Traverse City to Big Rapids

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Ralph Dallier, Rob Casalou and Lee Benjamin enjoy a light moment. The jersey Rob is wearing that has a medal painted on the front, was designed by a wish child. It was an honor to wear it.

Day 1 Journal:

The day started early with Team Joe’s riders fed and ready to hit the road by 6:30am. Our actual departure time was 6:40am (waiting for a couple last minute stragglers) which set Rosalie Tocco-Bradley in motion because she wanted an “on-time start” (a hazard of her day job). But, with spirits high, the team set off from Traverse City.

Today was the day of hills and climbing. The total distance was about 99 miles our first day and it felt like 50 of them were on inclines varying from short bursts to long ones that burned the legs. A few were placed in cruel areas like the largest of the day at mile 90 – really? We all looked at it, said some things that Sister Yvonne would not approve, and dug in. The good news is that everyone survived, everyone was smiling and we were greeted at Ferris State by kids and families clapping us to the finish line. We then all headed to our respective hotels or tents because showers were wanted and NEEDED. Once again, the Make-A-Wish team provided everything we needed including a wonderful dinner. For the record, Ferris State has the BEST food.

As we wrap up day 1 most of us will be lights out very early to begin Day 2 even earlier. Tomorrow is our long day – 109 miles. The route has less hills so the challenge is distance. And our prize at the end of the day is the WHAMMY Awards after dinner in Dewitt where we celebrate the success of the event but, more importantly, we will be joined by many wish kids. In fact, we will be granting a wish at the WHAMMY’S this year – how special.

I am so blessed to be with some awesome Team Joe’s members along with 850 of our new friends all out here riding to grant wishes. I am proud and grateful of everyone on Team Joe’s. Have a good night all. More to come tomorrow.

Rob

Team Joe’s all smiles after stage 1

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Many members to Team Joe’s met up at a late break stop. We may be weary but it was a photo op.

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Lee Benjamin and Jodi Talbott getting ready to take off and show all of us how tough the ED crew is!

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Bill Holmes and Rosalie Tocco-Bradley figure if the cycling thing doesn’t work out, then dancing may be the next best option!

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As the day winds down, the smiles are still there. From left, Sheila Marcus, Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, Alex Bradley, Rob Casalou, Jodi Talbott, Nick Graham, Tom Mihalski.

Friends along our journey

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Team is at lunch stop (at 10am no less). Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, her son Alex and Sheila Marcus (far left).
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Bill Holmes and his sister Andy, who surprised Bill again this year by showing up at lunch.
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Jodi Talbott, Nick Graham and Ralph Dallier.
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Thankfully no one on Team Joe’s  has needed the services of our on course medics! Mile 78.  Getting there!