Starting and almost ending a cross-country ride on your birthday

A wonderful woman I’m cycling with, Marie, started the trip on her birthday. She dipped her tire in the Atlantic with the rest of us, cycled to where we were staying, and had a slow-speed fall in the parking lot. As she fell, she put an arm out, and it landed in a rose bush, getting scratched from thorns. She felt something crack, but she could still use her arm, which usually mean’s that no bones broke.

That was on Sunday, May 6. Later that day, she saw a doctor and came back with a cast, since she chipped a bone. That night, we had birthday party for her, and our trip leader, Wally, bought her a cake and a card that we all signed.

During the party, she explained what she hoped to do. Since her accident happened on a Sunday, she couldn’t see a specialist. She hoped to see a specialist on Monday, and hopefully get a different cast that would allow her to finish the trip, or at least try.

You might imagine that Marie looks like a determined Olympian but look at the picture. She actually looks like a retired aunt that all of us would like to have—friendly, calm, and quick to smile. She’s also from Quebec, so she has a wonderful French accent, when she speaks fluent English.

While Marie described her hopes, our tour leader, Wally, encouraged her to try as long the doctor said it was ok. In that case, he would help her ship her bike and gear from the town where we were at to wherever we would be when she could cycle again.

The birthday party we had for Marie felt like all of us had been friends for years, but in fact, we had met only 2 days ago, and the 10 of us are from different parts of the US and Canada.It’s now Tuesday night, May 8. Marie showed up tonight with her bike and tent, so tomorrow, she’ll join all of us for a 60 mile ride. Cycle tours have always surprised or amazed me, but I’ve never seen anything like this before, and we only started 2 days ago.

4 thoughts on “Starting and almost ending a cross-country ride on your birthday

  1. Amazing determination! I can’t imagine camping with a plaster cast on, let alone the cycling! Good luck to her & I hope she manages her dream. She certainly had plenty enough spirit!

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