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Transplant Athlete
Sunday, July 16, 2006
  ACS Bike-A-Thon

Last weekend was the American Cancer Society's Bike-A-Thon in Philly. I got a chance to ride with an old friend, Rich Bobbe. I think we've been friends since 3rd or 4th grade, but we've known each other even longer. The ride was a good chance to catch up, we spent over 4 hours covering the 62.5 miles. I also got to meet many of his co-workers at McKissock & Hoffman. I believe he said there were around 45 attorneys in the firm and I'm guessing there were at least a dozen people from the firm there. That's a huge percentage and really shows their commitment to the cause.

The ACS was expecting over 4500 cyclists at the event and when I arrived at the start line, it was a sea of cyclists up the ramp to the Ben Franklin Bridge. The ACS had sent out a booklet before the race and there were several warnings throughout that riders should proceed single file. I've never been on a ride with 4500 other cyclists, but mathematically speaking its almost impossible to ride single file with that many people when they start out at the same time. The start line didn't clear out for almost 10 minutes and when we did get started, it was tough keeping track of Rich in the crowd. There were some Lance Armstrong wannabes who were blasting down the bridge yelling "Watch Your Line" to all the newbies. There's just no call for that on a charity ride.

We stopped briefly at the bottom of the bridge so that Peter Hoffman could check on an accident that had involved the son of one of the Mckissock & Hoffman partners. He's a strong rider and Rich said he'd be off the front in no time. I was worried about Rich, he didn't have any water with him, so we stopped at the first rest stop, which didn't agree with his legs. I don't think I can convey how many people were on this ride in a blog. I should have some pictures up in a few days.

Rich hadn't spent much time on a bike this year, so he struggled a bit, but he finished the ride in good form and I'm proud of him. Next year, I'd like to go up to Philly the Saturday before and spend some time with his family.

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Comments:
Lou,

It was great riding with you, my friend. Having your experience and encouragment was the big reason I was able to finish in as good a shape as I did. I have a whole new respect for cyclists and am still looking forward to my next ride. Let's not wait until next year.

I'll talk to you soon.

-Rich
 
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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