Our Tour de Mercy pilgrim continued his ride through Italy yesterday, biking 149 kilometres from Biella, brushing by Milano and Torino, and finally resting for the night in Venaria Reale.
It's mountain-climbing time as Chris pushes through the most arduous part of his journey, cycling through the Alps. He says it's going to be a rough week, but it started off with a special, serendipitous meeting.
I wish I would have had a recording device last night [Monday] around 1 a.m. I have never heard thunder like that before. It was very strange and went on for three or four hours.
I'm really beat today [Tuesday]. It was the first day traveling with my baggage of about 60 pounds. I ride with a backpack on the front and one on my back. When the baggage was starting to kick my butt, I stopped to recharge batteries in the middle of nowhere.
As I was leaving Cavaglia, another cyclist pulled up beside me. We talked while riding, and I learned his name is Paulo and that his mother died recently of cancer. He asked me to stop for a moment and handed me 10 Euros as a donation. I was really touched by this. Then, we shook hands and went our separate ways – he to the left and me to the right.
About four hours later, on the north side of Torino, I pulled over because I was a bit lost. A storm was coming. As I was trying to get a cell signal to check my position, I looked up and there was Paulo. He asked me if I was lost. Then he said, 'Follow me and I'll lead you to the right road.' I simply could not believe it! I now regret not getting his picture.
Stage 'Vilmos' to Begin on September 11
Chris is currently six hours ahead of us. He left Venaria Reale, Italy, this morning and had planned to bike about 70 kilometres to Bruzolo. Unfortunately, he ended up on wrong road but had gone so far he decided to continue. His detour resulted in a 118-km ride that brought him back around a mountain into Bruzolo, where he is spending the night. Tomorrow he leaves for Briançon, France.
He says, "This will be a tough stage of my journey, and I am calling it 'Vilmos.' I'm feeling really good. The ride today was a constant 4-5 percent grade with the occasional 10-12 percent grade. But I did not have any opportunities to coast."
Read more about Chris's journey at cantonmercy.org/tourdemercy or use hashtag #tourdemercy.
Cancer Tip #2
While getting ready for his trek, Chris ate a healthy diet rich in green vegetables. A diet full of fruits and vegetables is essential to cancer prevention as well. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes as dietary staples, filling at least two thirds of your plate. These healthy foods are full of vitamins and minerals, keep your immune system healthy, and contain phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer. A diet that is primarily plant based can also help maintain a healthy weight, which prevents not only cancer, but a host of other health problems.
All Chris's trip-related expenses are paid, so 100% of your donation will benefit Mercy Cancer Center.