It's been a memorable week on the bike, rode further in the past seven days than ever before: 245 miles logged in! Now, I am tired and all I want to do is sit!
2011 South Carolina EMS Memorial Ride
I am not EMS, but having spent the last six years in the ER, I have come to know and appreciate many fine folks with EMS. Sometimes, EMS personnel will lose their lives in the line of duty, and sometimes, will spend their lives in service to the community only to die early from a disease or other health problem. Sometimes, they are fortunate enough to have given their life in service and gone into retirement and die old and full of years.
For the second year in a row, some folks with Lexington County EMS have organized a ride to memorialize those whose lives ended the year before by riding from the state house in Columbia to Myrtle Beach, to the EMS Symposium. We started out on the steps of the state house in a soft rain and somber atmosphere with several surviving families present, for a memorial service to recognize the contributions made by the fallen heroes and to pray. We prayed for the families that would go on, and for our safety as we traveled the roads of South Carolina.
The first day, we rode 100 miles to Kingstree where we were fed by the local Masonic Lodge, and they really killed the fatted calf for us. The second day, we rode 63 miles to Conway and were guests of OmniFlight, a helicopter ambulance service, at the Coastal Alehouse for another fatted calf! The next morning, we rode the last 20 miles into Myrtle Beach where we presented the flags for the Symposium and recognized the EMS folks no longer among us. Then, the very last leg was a couple of blocks to Chapin Park where yet another fatted calf was laid out (thank you Sticky Fingers!) and we enjoyed fellowship with two of the families that had driven to the beach to welcome us to the end of our journey. Each of the families was presented with a shadowbox containing a 2011 jersey and the laminated card of their family member which had come to the beach ziptied to a bike, the cyclist riding to represent that person. It was an emotional time for all of us and I hope I am able to ride again next year.
4th Annual Taylor Feda Memorial Ride
My brother and I had planned to get some training in the mountains on Saturday, and I would not have been able to make the TF ride, but the weather changed everything. Saturday was nasty so everything got canceled, or postponed, rather. The TF ride was moved to Sunday and what a beautiful day it turned out to be.
Taylor was in high school when she fell victim to a pulmonary embolism, ending her young life. Loving poetry, and wanting to be a nurse, her incredible parents began this annual ride to preserve her memory and to establish scholarships for two students each year at Dutch Fork High School, one for a Nursing program in SC and the other for a Literature program. I think she'd be proud of her parents for turning something tragic into a blessing for some worthy young people.
I love to ride bikes, and I would ride for no other reason than to just get out and ride. But when one can go and participate in events where others are blessed and lifted up, and awareness is brought to those that have no clue, well, that just makes it that much more special. Go ride for someone else this month and see what a difference it makes.
Be blessed, be safe.
p.s. The EMS ride photos were taken by Hunter of "Hunter Eisele Photography" out of Charleston, SC. I think he does a fantastic job!