Liganer--> State College, PA (108 mi.)
Today was another day where the presence of other people managed to dilute the pain of riding over a hundred miles in some consistently hilly country. My grandparents, who live part time in a farm house in PA, planned to meet us after the morning ride and buy us lunch. My grandfather is a big reason this trip is meaningful to me because he has multiple myeloma (and has been doing very well, fortunately) so I was thrilled he could come up and see what the day to day of our trip looks like.
As it so often happens, our time plans got twisted again by various mishaps, including a broken chain. Luckily, one of the guys at Bike Surgeon gave us a spare link and we were able to turn a pretty bad problem into a slight delay. When we finally got to the pre-determined lunch area, we were all very happy to sit down and eat (a free meal!).
Seeing people from the Great Outside (otherwise recognizable through their choice of sitting on more comfortable places than a small bicycle seat) is refreshing for me; my grandparents got to chat with local people about the trip we were on and their sense of pride and excitement helped me to shift my perspective from a routine day to a deep feeling of appreciation.
My grandfather, after lunch, volunteered to carry our bags around for the day in his truck. We still ended up in State College very late at night, but having no bags for the afternoon was a huge relief.
One of my college buddies grew up in State College and was nice enough to contact his parents so that we could stay with them tonight. The Millers were great hosts: good food, good conversation, and a good place to sleep. I think we all wish we could have spent more time in the State College area.
Happy in Happy Valley,
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.