About Lea's Foundation

In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 2: Century

Friends and Family,

A friendly, but formal, challenge to all previous and future groups: we threw down a century (100 mi) on the second day of our trip.

We started our day with one of the more rudimentary breakfastses (spelling intentional--Steve, Brent, etc.) I've seen at a hotel. To our hungry stomachs it was amazing. I'm working on finding an appropriate word/phrase to describe this state: we're aware enough to know that the food we're eating isn't that great, but all of our senses tell us it's great. There's a tension between the brain and the stomach that I can't quite name. Potential names: Fool's Food, Hungry Hungry Hippos. Please drop a comment with any suggestions, sarcastic or otherwise.

After brekky, we got on the bikes (not too sore...yet) and started off. We skirted Vallejo, which got a bad repute from literally every person we spoke to in CA (the veritable Spring St., Willimantic of California). A good morning ride took us through non-Napa wine country. Cool stucco mansions hid behind gated driveways and I wondered who those rich people hung out with. Sean suggested that we stop and take grapes and in retrospect we should have done that.

The day got toasty after lunchtime so we had to stop for water occassionally. One of those stops took us to a dive bar outside of Winters. I wanted to stay and play bar games because they had a great set-up and quite a crowd of day drinkers. When we went in for a second time to fill up on water, a surly bartendress scolded Sean and I for not tipping them for their help. And by help, I mean pressing a water dispenser for two minutes. I went outside and got some money because I'm apparently a nice guy (and don't want to anger/provide entertainment for a crowd of rough looking day drinkers).

Outside we met a nice gentleman--we proudly told him about our adventure and as we talked, he shared some of his own: a 6,000 mi motorcycle ride across Canada as a 19 year old and a month-long canoe trip down a major river. The canoe trip ended with a plot that went something like 1) stopping the trip early because the fish weren't biting and the water slowed down 2) hiding the canoe in the woods behind a bar that I would guess they spent some time in 3) eventually hitchhiking back to get the canoe 4) canoe is gone 5) him and his buddy find where the canoe is (a rival rental company), go in and steal it, return it to the appropriate rental company. Hearing other stories is the best part about having a good story to tell.

Class whiplash struck us as we biked through main street in Winters (a very nice town) and then to an even greater degree in Davis. Davis is what you think Davis is. There was a twangy band playing for their impressive weekly farmer's market. Sean and I gorged on burgers and drinks (I logged my first milkshake of the trip) at Burgers & Brew--Melina didn't feel well so she chipped away at hers. She absolutely deserves most valuable rider for the day. A century trumps her previous long distance by...a bit. To be able to do that on the second day AND have patience for nutjobs like Sean and myself is truly impressive. She deserves all the credit for that effort.

Another assist for our team was Sean's Dad cashing in his points to get us a room at the Residence Inn in Sacramento. Having that confirmed allowed us to push forward today and break the 100 mile barrier, along with a breakfast that will be a substantial improvement. Thanks for your help, Mr. Burn, we really appreciate it.

A sidenote on Sacramento: we rode through the main road to the capital building and the town was absolutely empty. I am therefore grouping it with Harrisburg and Hartford for surprising state capitals that have an absentee feeling about them post-work hours. I think it's a very cool city, but that part confuses me.

I think respect is due for the state of California for having a tremendous set-up for cyclists. We've cruised on great paths all over today, benefitting from the solitude, silence, and safety from cars on the highway. Another factor in our favor has been the relatively flat route we've taken thus far. The serious climb starts tomorrow and will require at least two full days of riding to break it up. Keep following the blog for tales of that first climb!

All the best,

P.S. Sorry again for the lack of pictures. I wrote the first and second days simultaneously so I'm still at a computer without a receptor for my camera card. We'll try and backfill these posts with photos as soon as possible.


  1. great posts! can't wait to hear more. props to melina--stay strong girl!

  2. Well done on the day 2 century guys. Not likely to be challenged often. As last year's team rep for the day however, I must say we've decided that no formal challenge shall go uncommented. We obviously can't go back and change our day two so here are a few goals for the coming weeks. 1. Cross Nevada on Rt 50. 2. Ride back to back 148 mile days or cross Missouri in 2 days, whichever fits the itinerary. 3. Ride from Farmington to Hyannis, MA or a 165 mile day, whichever looks more fun. 4. Finish with a riding average (minus rest days) of 100mi/day. However, the only goal I could seriously recommend in retrospect is riding a full 4k miles or more. You only get to do this once and sitting here studying for Step1, I can assure you it's the most fun you stand to have in quite some time. Keep up the good work and enjoy every day regardless of the heat, mileage, pain, or sense of impending doom in East St. Louis (don't go there).

  3. Fauxd--food that's not food but your other senses want it to be.

    And Hartford isn't the capital of anything.

  4. Congrats guys!!! Be safe, hydrate, eat and take in each and every moment of this journey! love you Sean!! love - aunt Lou