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Holy Smokes! They did it! Today around 2 o'clock, Tom and Michael closed up a 105 mile ride that took them to their finishing point across the border and into Florida! Averaging well over a hundred miles per day, for 11 days of work, the riders finished well ahead of their plan! All in all it ended up being right around 1200 miles in total. It wasn't easy, and it took a lot of work, not just from the riders themselves but from RV-Joe, and Mark Delamere and Michael's brother Robert. It was a true team effort that had help coming from all angles. 11 days of hard work should have the Boys feeling proud and accomplished! Congratulations guys and have a safe and non-chafing ride home in the RV!
Yesterday marked the eighth full day on the bikes for Tom and Michael and it required help from all angles! There was a few hour gap in contact between the RV and the riders that gave us all our first big scare of the trip. For the first time, we all seriously thought Joe may have taken off on our pour boys. But Joe didn't take the RV on a tour of North Carolina, his Cell Phone service just shut him off from the boys and from ground control. Thanks a lot AT&T...
When there was no contact between Joe and the riders, Tom and Michael tried their best not to panic. It put them at ease that they had a team of spotters from across the country keeping an eye on them and their route. First there was yours truly; even while at the House of Blues waiting for the Haymakers for Hope to start I found myself mapping coordinates and trying to pinpoint our beloved Joe. Then there is Michael's Brother-in-law, Robert who has been a massive help to the team. Robert has mapped out each and every turn for the riders and has found some beautiful, awesome, and safe roads for them to travel! Robert, was full force on GPS watch yesterday making sure Tom and Michael stayed on track. Finally, yesterday's hero was Timmy Connolly back home here in Boston. Still recovering from his awful fall last week and laid up in bed and on crutches, Timmy was able to get in touch with Joe and get Joe in touch with the riders!
It was an interesting few hours and end to the ride for everyone involved, where as Joe described "we learned a lot about ourselves and each other through this one." When all was said and done yesterday they did a total of 110 miles, not seeing Joe at all from miles 30 through 110! Greenville, NC was the camp for the night. The boys are hurting but they are getting closer and closer! Keep it up!
Tommy used to work on the docks, then he bought a bike,
he called his bud Mike, they're tough, so tough...
Joe rides the truck all day, workin' for the team,
He maps out their ride for love, for Love...
Woah-oh, We're half way there
Woah-oh, livin' on a prayer
Help me fix my flat, we'll make it I swear!
Woah-ohhhhh, Livin' on a Prayer!
Big shout out to Bon Jovi for being a part of my spin mix for the better part of the last decade! Yesterday was Day 7 (sorry for the late update!) and the boys are still doing great! The ride through rural Virginia yesterday was a daunting one. The weather was threatening to break into heavy storms at any given moment but Tom and Michael were able to sneak in a solid 80 miles to take them over the half-way point of their journey in total! Instead of struggling on the rural route they were on and slowly getting the miles under their belts, the boys decided to call it a day and head to Virginia Beach to make camp for the night. A much needed rest day (80 miles on a bicycle could only be described as a Rest Day by Tom Regan) was required to get Michael some extra time to heal up his bruised elbow and to get Joe some companionship from his buddies; Joe was starting to go a bit stir-crazy and might have developed cabin-fever if he spent another 8 plus hour day by his lonelsome in the RV. I Suppose Captain Tom needed the "rest" too but he has yet admitted to that!
"It's easier to keep a 100% commitment than a 99% on."
"It's the Start that Stops most people."
"Fall down seven times, stand up eight."
"He who moves a mountain begins by carrying small stones."
"if not NOW, When?"
"Progress is on the other side of failure."
"In life there are hammers and there are nails. Be the Hammer!"
"Success is not final, defeat not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts."
"It's not how you start, it's how you finish."
"Positive motion creates positive emotion."
Mother Nature just would not let up on our pour boys today! Rain was pouring down on Tom and Michael so much so that they were forced to duct tape some sandwich bags over their socks to keep them dry at their first rest stop. Seriously, duct tape and plastic bags... Talk about a couple of Mcgyvers on bicycles right??
"Success is not final, defeat is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts"
Continue they did today! Through the rain and wind and hills, they continued on to get the miles under their belts. But it did not come without repercussions; unfortunately, the slick roads took Michael on a pretty tough tumble. Michael is ok, just a really bad bruise to the elbow. By really bad, I mean it looks like he trying to smuggle a basketball through his forearm! 😳
Michael had to take a bit of a ride in the RV with a lot of ice and ibuprofen, to finish the day today but with that rest we hope to get him back in the saddle tomorrow to get back on the road to finish what he and his partner in crime have started! But with some miles left to finish the day today, Tom could either ride with his two buddies in the RV or get some one-on-one time with the asphalt. That poor asphalt... Tom decided to tear it apart for the last few miles!
Camp to end day 6 has been made at Amelia Court Virginia! A long, stressful day has earned our boys another well-deserved night rest in their glamorous motor home. Does the Big bed go to the injured Michael? Or to lonely-Joe who has been acting as driver, navigator, chef, comedian, etc. all by his lonesome? Nope! The king, The Captain, the leader himself, Tom is back in the master bedroom not to be bothered by the problems of his counterparts! Until tomorrow! Keep up he great work guys!
Averaging over a hundred miles per day is nothing to sneeze at! Tom and Michael are right into the dog days of this trip. Day 5 was a long day through the the back roads of Maryland and over the border into Virginia! Another 100 miles done today! Day 5 was also the first day that Joe will be solo captain of the RV! God bless us...
Day 4: "Are you guys professional Cyclists? No, but we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night..."
Day 4: The boys were back at it out for a Sunday drive through a beautiful, but hilly and windy, Pensylvania countryside! After three hugely successful days the team decided it was time for a rewarding night stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night all the way in King of Prussia Pensylvania, even more South than they planned for this short of time!
A cyclist has three main Antagonists on any long ride; wind, hills, and flat tires. Traveling through Amish Country for most of the day today, Tom and Michael saw all three of these problems. The wind was especially tough for these two today. On top of that Michael had two flat tires over the course of a 30 mile span. "Thank God you finally learned how to fix your own flats," Tom joked as he left Michael on the side of the road to finish the last few miles of their 100+ mile goal of the day on his own. When all was said and done, Today's ride took the boys all the from King of Prussia, PA to Westminster Maryland!
This will be the last day that the group has the pleasure of having Mark Delamere along for their ride. Mark has been a savior to the group over the first four days of their trip, Doing a bulk of the riding and Navigating and all of the "Joe-watching". I know I speak for everyone along for the ride when I say Mark was an essential part of the success of the group so far! It'll be a tough adjustment, but I think Joe has what it takes to sink his teeth into riding and navigating that RV solo! And if not, it'll make for a HELL of a blog over the next few days!
Moral of today's ride: "Fall down seven times, stand up eight!" Just keep pedaling guys! Onwards and upwards!
Update on Day 2: The team encountered a tricky day with their second day on the road. There were again some trials and tribulations with communications and mapping, but that went much smoother than Day 1. On Day 2 though, Mother Nature decided to test our beloved riders. Rain, at times very heavy rain, made the tail end of their ride tough to say the least. The slick roads unfortunately took Timmy for a bit of a tumble. He tried his best to maintain with the team on the road but near the end of Day 2 Timmy decided he could best help the crew by transitioning into the RV to help Mark keep an eye on Joe, and also provide some much needed motivation to the two riders still out on the course. When all was said and done, Day 2 ended in Nyack New York where the team made camp just over the Tapanzee bridge. That was another 110 miles for Day 2 and the team is still making great time and ground!
Day 3: The third day for the crew started with Tom and Michael getting out on the road while the RV re-directed to the hospital to get our beloved Boston Police Captain Timmy all checked up on. Timmy's hip kept him off the road but couldn't keep his spirits down! The x-rays were negative and we are waiting on an MRI but so far rest, recovery and motivation is on his agenda for the time being! Timmy, know that you've got all of Boston thinking about you and hoping for a speedy recovery!
Tom and Michael have their eyes set on Pennsylvania! By 10:30am on Saturday morning they have already gotten all the way from Nyack, NY to Morristown, NJ! A convenient flat tire in Morristown had the boys stop for a much needed lunch break; $20 says there were some buffalo tenders in the order for these gentlemen! Our thoughts and prayers are with these two brave riders who, if history is any indication, will at some point be at each other's throats over these grueling days of riding; whether it be about a missed turn, a non-indicated pot hole, or not ordering extra blue cheese for the tenders. But when all is said and done, like always, they will be able to come together and enjoy the fruits of their accomplishment over a laugh and hug! Easy on the hugging though guys, people are already asking questions! Keep up the good work guys!
Without a doubt the second day is less glamorous than the first. You're no longer on familiar roads the whole time; there's no bootcamp full of people cheering you on at the start; there's no News cameras following you as you take your first couple of pedal strokes; It's just you and your fellow riders, washing up in an RV bathroom gearing up for another day of grueling miles on the black top. But if anyone can pump themselves up for day 2, it's this team!
The first day was great, as few hiccups as we could have hoped for and only about 5 extra miles added in due to some mapping malfunctions. When all was said and done it was a day that took us from Boston MA to New London CT and a total of 122 miles! After meeting the Joe-mobile (RV) a few times for pit stops in Southern Mass and Rhode Island the group landed at a RV park in East Lyme CT to make camp for the night; "An absolute sh%t-hole," Joe describes the team's abode for the evening, "no showers, no hot water... wasn't that bad, we made the best of it!" Tom gets the big bed in the RV, "King Tom" as the rest of the group loving jokes with their fearless leader. Vice President Kineavy snagged the other big bed in true humble politician fashion... "I'm not taking the best arrangements but I'm sure as sh%t not taking the worst!" Then there was a couple of twin beds for Tim and Joe and poor Mark Delamere Sr. was left to count sheep in a lounge chair... Imagine that? This guy takes work off for a few days to help the cause and he ends up faking sleep in a glorified folding chair! But he didn't mind the sacrifice, like all of these guys he will do whatever he can to help the good of the team and the goal!
Day 2 and they are off! Leaving from New London they have their eyes set on Port Chester New York! That's roughly 100 miles and if they have more in the tank they will try to get to the Tapanzee Bridge where they will board their Joe-mobile and cross over into New Jersey! But 100 Miles today, give or take a few, will have them on a great pace after the first two days of riding! Checkpoints have been set for the day (checkpoint number one already made as of 10am), the morning motivation has been preached ("even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there..") and the riders are right back to work! One thought, one breath, one pedal stroke at a time as they are making there way towards their goal!
One key member of the team I forgot to introduce yesterday, and maybe that was because I didn't quite know how NEEDED this team member was going to be and how VITAL this team member was to the minute-by-minute success of the crew, was yours truly. Thomas, a.k.a. T-bone, a.k.a. Control Center, a.k.a. "Houston, we have a problem," a.k.a. "What do you mean I have a map on my phone and a GPS on my bike?!?" Not more than 1 hour and 30 miles into the ride did I have calls from the bikers and RVers alike, "Which road are we on?" "Where do we meet?" "How do I flush the toilet on the RV?" You name it, they ask it. But all joking aside I love helping them out and it makes me feel just a little bit like part of the team! So follow along as we continue on this crazy trip to Florida! More updates to come! Keep up the good work guys!
Thursday May 12th, 6:00am: While you were most likely laying in bed dreading that looming alarm clock sounding off another day at the office, the Motivated Fitness/MarkStrong Crew set off for Florida via their bicycles (and RV)! All of the planning has been done; the fundraiser at Amrheins on Derby Day was a HUGE success, the cyclists have put their training in with countless spin classes and as many rides out in the saddle that they could, the route was set, now there's nothing left to it but to do it!
The Goal: to get all the way from Boston to Florida on their bikes.
An iron man? No they've done that.. A half Iron Man in Hawaii? Nah, too easy and too nice of weather for these rugged men.. A Bike Ride equivalent of half way across the country with a ridiculous goal of 14 days? "YUP, That's what we'll do to celebrate our 60th birthdays Mike," says Tom Regan to Michael Kineavy sometime this January.
This daunting and demanding task is not one that this team has taken upon lightly. In fact, they made sure that this feat was not something easily accomplished when they set out to do it in the first place. They wanted to do something rigorous and challenging so as to reap the benefits of an overwhelming reward upon completion. They Also wanted to choose something challenging and rewarding because they wanted it to represent the progress and enthusiasm of Mark Delamere of West Roxbury! Mark is the epitome of Motivated Fitness and he shows that each and every time he comes into our gym. When the guys hit one of the many walls (hopefully metaphorically speaking) on this trip, I know they will be thinking of the strength and resilience of young Mark to break right through those walls and continue on! .
Tom Regan: Captain of the riders, he is the Ferdinand Magellan of modern day Cycling. Name a location anywhere in the continental United States and chances are Tom Regan's bike tires have passed through that exact spot!
Michael Kineavy: In the bible Samson's strength came from his hair; on a bicycle Kineavy's strength comes from his beard. Michael's resilience and leg strength are sure to carry him and his teammates through some tough stretches of their ride!
Tim Connolly: Tim is another Cycling pro that has more miles under his belt than Tom Regan has inspirational quotes. "Hockey has Gordy Howe and Bobby Orr, South Boston Cycling has Tom Regan and Tim Connolly." That's a quote from Michael Kineavy on the two cycling greats that round out this threesome. If that's the case Michael then I'll give you the Mark Recchi of cycling; not the prettiest skater, but when it comes to being a team player and winning there's not many who do it better!
Joe Atkinson: Skipper of the RV, and Mark Delamere Sr.: the man who makes sure Joe doesn't take the RV to the West Coast on a whim because he heard there was a good deal on Kale and fresh bananas. The RV will be a sanctuary for the riders and the whole trip would not be possible without the crew inside it leading and setting up checkpoints and rest stops along the way.
This whole endeavor is and will be a true test of teamwork, resilience, and at times willpower but it is all worth it when we look back at why they are doing it. The team set their goal, did their training and are doing what they set out for to shed light on this awesome young man from West Roxbury. Mark has been hit with a tough test and challenge these past few years but he has answered his call by dealing with his challenge with dignity and strength. "Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." Out of his accident Mark's destiny is something very special. I'm honored to worth with Mark a few times a week and he is an inspiration to me personally and obviously to these three men who have decided to do this ride in his name. The outpouring of support we have received with this ride and fundraiser is a testament to the Delamere family itself. Mark, Sheila, and Mark have become like a second family to me over the past few years and anyone who knows them should know how lucky that makes me!
As Tom, Mike, Tim, Joe and Mark make their way down the Eastern seaboard of the United States I will be trying my best to keep you followers in the loop with daily updates, some more chances for raffle prizes, and maybe even some trivial along the way!
P.S. Not every day will be as wordy of an update I Promise!