I am not quite sure who that woman was who took to sleeping with her cycling gear next to her so it would be appealing enough to slip on first thing in the cold morning air. It tended to get me out of camp faster so became a habit. Who was that woman who waved goodbye to her adorable family every morning for six days in order to bicycle that 320 miles to my first chemotherapy appointment? Who braved the narrow shoulder, particularly when there were speeding cars and a steep cliff on the other side? Who pedaled those steep and unexpected climbs after already cycling forty miles on Day 5? And then pedaled another 11 into camp after desperately fueling up on energy bars at gas station in Jenner? Who cycled past this cow and her eight friends?
Part of it was just little ol’ me as I have always enjoyed being active and pushing physical and emotional limits, but I also believe I was accompanied by a divine force that I have had along with me since my diagnosis in March, a bit even since I discovered the hardened region that turned out to be the tumor. It is difficult to explain, but my close friends have seen it and inquired about it — a sort of fierceness, grace, tremendous will, and determination that is a bit over-the-top of the pre-tumor Nicole. So, apparently this happens sometimes. It sometimes takes getting a disease like cancer to awaken in this way (others are in a different place and can get here without a disease jump starting them–I suppose it is karma and just where we are all at). We will see how long it lasts and where it takes me.
Thank you to my wonderful sponsors all of which can be viewed and linked to on the sponsor page! They all made the trip possible in some way and I am honored and indebted. A particular huge thanks to our friends Amy and Steve at Alchemy Construction who graciously paid for all of the ‘Night-Night Bus’ gas, camping in State Parks, meals out, and a few necessary supplies. Also Jeff at GoPro camera which enabled us to virtually bring you all along on the adventure flawlessly and provided a lot of fun for us gear geeks. Garrett and I needed to take turns with the GoPro camera and sometimes it was hard to hand it over. Jennifer at Adventure’s Edge provided me an awesome kit to sport, along with a few other cycling related supplies. I loved the wind proof vest–it was essential to keeping my core and neck warm and protected on the coast.
Also a huge thanks to all of my supportive and loving friends and community who provided me with broth and juice to power me during those six days. I think I am the only cyclist ever to carry around two glass Ball jars in my handle bar bag at all times. All of it was delicious–it certainly carried me through the trip. Also thanks for all of the little tokens–I am likely one of the few cyclists carrying around rocks and crystals too, and sprinkling wildflower seeds along the roadside (fun idea, Cheri)!
Last but not least….my pit crew! My helmet is off to them. They kept my spirits high and everything in order. Before the trip Garrett tuned up my bike that had been collecting dust in the garage, got me bomber tires (I did not get one single flat! See, divine force was along the ride). Garrett kept things orderly, washed dishes, did laundry, shopped for supplies, parented all day every day, prepared meals, pumped my tires, walked our dog, made videos late into the evening, powered through technical troubles…the list goes on and on and I could not have done this without him!