Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Days 7-8: And Then There Were Six...

Mothers please hang up on John Walsh, and could someone please let the University of California Rowing team know that the celebration is over? We are all alive and kicking.

The last two days have flown by, and I would like to first apologize to all of our daily readers (all 2 of you) for leaving you alone throughout these unbearable 48 hours of suspense.

Sunday began with a lot of promise. Our team of bikers left the holy land in Fallon around o’dark thirty with a determination to complete the 111-mile trip before lunch. Along our route, we came across “Push America,” a group traveling from San Francisco to Washington to raise money for the American Disabilities Association. This slightly larger and less attractive group of riders (just kidding, we have Claire), had some great advice for us, and we learned a lot from their route planning and daily-ride structure.

From sand dunes to a shoe-tree, the day’s journey took us through the diverse landscape of deserts, deserts, and more deserts that is the state of Nevada. Ten miles out of the city, however, this shroud of monotony broke, and highway 50 opened up to reveal a valley bordered by snow dipped mountains and the vivacious city of Austin, Nevada. Jason led the charge into Austin, while Shane and Claire battled for the “who's the stronger girl” award, and Mike and Kirsten rode miles back continuing on their sightseeing tour. Beating Momma’ Fish to the site, Shane was just feet from the finish line when there was an accident.

Riding in the right biking lane, Shane was uprooted from his cycle when a driver crossed into the biking lane and hit him. To spare you from the heart attack, Shane is okay and, thankfully, is receiving wonderful treatment for his injuries. After being hit, he was life-flighted to Reno, Nevada so that he could visit someone who had a more official degree than the local medicine man in Austin.

Due to all of this drama, our entire group has relocated in Reno, Nevada and took a day of rest today with the Monga family, Shane’s family friends. Continuing our hospitality luck, we were taken aback by the selflessness, caring, and overall loving attitude of the Mongas--without their help and generosity, we really don't know where we would be today. As Shane recuperated, we were lucky enough to have visits from Johnny Dorsey, co-founder of Face Aids, Brenda Freiberg, the Chairman of the Board of Face Aids, and Su Hegde, esteemed mother figure of the legend that is Shane Hegde. The surprise company assisted us in hammering out the final details for our new route and helped us rediscover the motivations for our commitment to the ride.

Tomorrow, Shane will fly to Salt Lake City to stay with his grandmother and take a few days of rest while our group goes on, easily, without him. We will continue the ride on Wednesday, and tomorrow the six remaining members of the group will drive to Ely, Nevada – where we would have been if it weren’t for the Golden Girl. The plan is for Shane to meet up with the group again in Utah, and we wish him the best of luck in his recovery process.

Mr. Monga, a mechanical engineer, framed it best at dinner tonight in his final words to us, “I know you are all thankful for being in this home, but I want to thank you. You have brought life to this house. And I want you all to remember that it is the people, the humans, that matter in this world.”

(ps. Mrs. Fisher, I know that you are the real, amazingly wonderful Momma‘ Fish, but your daughter is giving you a run for your money – she even made us all sandwiches! And included a slice of love underneath the cheese)


  1. Hey guys!! You are one day shy of leaving the great State of Nevada. One more step of the journey completed. Michael Stewart we are so proud of you! See you in Colorado! Even if we have to stand at the side of the road in Sterling, Colorado...we will be there for you! Love ya!
    Mike, Jera, Josh, MaRynne, MiKayla, and Cookie