The Rider

August 26, 2010

My Ride: Aaron Shank

Filed under: My Ride — Tags: — The Blog @ 6:01 AM

This is the second installment of “My Ride,” a series of reports from my peddling band of correspondents. This one is from Aaron Shank – who rode in honor of his wife, Roshini, a 14-year cancer survivor. Click here to read more about Aaron – but only after you read what he had to say about his Pelotonia ride…

I was already feeling an adrenaline rush at the opening ceremony, mostly thinking about what the ride – which would be my first century – would require physically, when a familiar voice called out “Hi Aaron.” It was Dr. Kelli Cawley, who had treated my wife at The James so many years ago and who we had not seen in over a decade.  It was wonderful to see her and it reminded me why I have been training so hard for this ride.  I introduced her to my two oldest daughters, and maybe that underscored for her why this is so important.

On Saturday morning, the Porter Wright peloton gathered for a team photo and to organize ourselves to ride out together.  After 20 or so miles with the team, I met up with my brother-in-law as he rode to his finish in Amanda.  Eventually, after lunch and the first big hill, the pack cleared a little and I settled in to ride along with another Porter Wright rider.  At the 70-mile stop I met Dr. Amit Agrawal, who treated my mother-in-law at The James.  That was another emotional reminder of the talented doctors whose research and treatments we are riding to support.  As I rolled in to Athens, it was exhilarating to hear the cheers of supporters and fellow riders, with so many signs and other reminders of why this ride is special.

Thanks to Pelotonia for pulling this together again.  Thanks to the volunteers for encouragement, Gatorade and PB&J sandwiches.  Thanks to the Highway Patrol and Sheriffs for doing their best to keep us safe.  Thanks also to the entertainers.  But while Counting Crows was nice to see, I have to say that Drs. Cawley and Agarwal are the real ‘rock stars’ in my mind.  Rock on, thanks for all your work, and thanks for riding!

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