Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.


May 30, 2007

by Arun Gir
I bunny-hopped road kill today. I had been waiting for that moment for quite some time, and it was glorious.

Today was our first century, or almost so. And after a evening of feasting, 15 brownies, and an airconditioned-night’s sleep, I was far from ready. In fact, I don’t think anybody but Drew was. As we set out, the first major portion of the ride was rather luxurious, albeit the hills. About five miles in, we stopped to fix Olympia’s tire, which had a suspicious bulge. As we stood in the sand soaking in that heat, a lady with her two children came out of a house nearby with a bag full of popsicles. Michelle was so excited she ran to a tire swing. Then at only 17 miles, we stopped for a ‘water break’ to drink some hot pizza and cinnabuns; Min Ku chilled in the shade, absorbing that GRE vocab. Already at five pounds heavier, we kept on with our Subway lunch in mind.

The 20+ miles to lunch took quite some time, as that pizza churned in our stomachs. Note that Rob was overcome by several semis who find it all too amusing to pull up immediately behind us cyclists and blow that horn like crazy. I had never seen him bike that fast with such fortitude… uphill. We pulled into lunch in a private driveway and Sarah broke me the news that I would once again be reduced to eating peanut butter and pastries. Oh, but that sounded so good then. A few minutes later a man rolled through the driveway in a truck and told us to get out of the sun, and avoid the poison ivy. He invited us to move to the shade by the stream. Nobody was energetic enough to move. So I decided to walk up along the driveway to his place to ask him where exactly he was suggesting we sit. As I was reaching for the doorbell, the door opened and he invited me in. He introduced himself as Ed Turner, master architect, builder of hundreds of structures for the Catholic Church, and also the beautiful home we soon walked through. He had claimed a piece of land along a stream with a waterfall; ice-cold spring water on an awfully sunny day. We all went to his deck as his son Craig came down and introduced himself, telling us to go on and jump in the water. We did. Michelle, Rob and I cannon-balled off the waterfall. Wait… Youngstown? Century? What?

After Mr. Turner brought us all towels, he offered us sweet tea, which you ‘just can’t get in the North.’ Craig told me of the many bonfire parties he had thrown in their place, and that they would love to host us in future years. It was hard leaving that house.

Biking in cold, soaking wet attire was wonderful, but it only lasted for a few minutes. It was reaching evening and nobody had made it to the host yet, so the shuttling began. With over 60 miles of land to cover back and forth, we decided to stop at the second water stop. There, again, Min Ku had been reading his GRE book for four hours, ‘following the shadow of the tree, like a sundial.’ When Sarah arrived with the van, we managed to pack nine people & nine bikes into it. We headed over to Sheetz to pick up dessert – a pint of ice cream each. Chris, Jarred and Ian had been sitting there for quite a while, which gave Ian enough time to eat two pints. Impressive. It was at that point when we heard the greatest story of the week: Alice and Katherine had been pulled over by local cops for getting lost on an interstate. Note that we don’t ride on interstates. I wish I could have been there to see them wave the flares the policeman gave them.

We got into Youngstown and immediately headed to the YMCA to shower. After that the day sort of drifted into a five-minute segment filled with 15 brownies, a lot of water, and an air-conditioned room. Yawn.