It was a beautiful, crisp summer day on the North Shore of Boston to get back in the saddle again—the bike saddle! Part 2 of Wheels for the World today showcased a thrilling mountain bike ride through Willowdale State Park in historic Ipswich, Massachusetts: historic for hemophilia, for it was here in the 1600s that the first family in the New World with hemophilia was discovered. The Appleton family farm, owned by Oliver Appleton, was just down the road from the entrance to the state park, where we would ride for two hours, through fields, dodging trees, skidding over gnarly roots, and bumping over rocks.
Well, some of us did. We had a small group of about 10 riders, including me and Doug. Also present were: Chris Bombardier, Save One Life’s executive director; AG, mom of a child with hemophilia; Justin, a person with hemophilia who came all the way from Florida to ride! Rich Vogel, long-time friend and community member, from New Jersey; and more! Our goal was to ride, have fun, honor Barry Haarde’s legacy, and raise money for Save One Life.
Oh, and complete a nine-mile route through some really exciting and wild woods! Problem for us was that I have not been on a bike in 18 months, and have not mountain-biked in about 5 years. Doug has only ever been once! I bought him a new bike for his birthday this past January, but turns out it was a hybrid and not a real mountain bike. He and I suffered through about 2 miles before bailing. And I had one crash when I couldn’t stay on the trail after bolting over some rocks and came crashing down a hillside. Luckily, no one was around to see that, only the bruises and scrapes told the story. Justin had a better story: he broke his bike, but kept on riding with no seat!
The group had a great time, and it was wonderful to be with our community members again. After the ride, we gathered at the True North Brewery, where we stayed for a few hours, swapping stories of raising a child with hemophilia, thoughts about new treatments, joint pains and back aches!
Hemophilia has brought together so many great people, all focused on a great cause: helping children with hemophilia in poverty in developing countries. Getting back in the saddle, even with a few mishaps, was worth it all.
There’s still time, until October 1, to participate in Wheels for the World! Go to the Save One Life website to learn more. Get back in the saddle!