More Mountains and Higher Spirits: Chris Rides 'Stage Kennedy'

More Mountains and Higher Spirits: Chris Rides ‘Stage Kennedy’

Posted on: September 12, 2014

Tour de Mercy 2012 | Final Mountain Ascent on 9.11.14 for Chris ChristianAfter a very difficult ride yesterday in the mountains, Chris continued cycling through the French Alps today on what he calls Stage Kennedy, named in honor of Mary Ann Kennedy, mother of Mercy IT employee Ben Kennedy, who lost her battle with cancer several years ago.

Despite the continued challenge of the terrain, Chris reports he's now in much better spirits. He arrived safely in Gap, France, this afternoon after completing another 112 kilometres.

The man I spoke to yesterday also mentioned the wind, and he was correct. It didn't cease the entire trip and was always hitting me head on.

Tomorrow I head toward Mt. Ventoux. I can't believe it's here – a part of the trip I've anticipated for quite some time. When I arrive, I'll strip the bike down to nothing and put racing tires on for the climb and descent. I plan on video taping as much as I can: part of the climb, the summit for sure and the descent.

The photo above illustrates part of Chris's final mountain ascent yesterday. He says, "The picture does it no justice. That road hair-pinned at least 30 times before I reached the top.

Tour de Mercy 2014 | Chris Christian walks last 1.5 km to summit on 9.11.14His climb was so difficult that Chris took a picture of himself near the top, just before attempting the last 1.5 kilometres – on foot. He adds, "Notice my hat is completely soaked. I took my shoes off here and walked the rest of the way to the summit and ended up burning the bottoms of my feet."

More on today's ride:

Tour de Mercy 2014 | Freezing Mountain Temps in the MorningI got a surprise this morning: FREEZING mountain temperatures. Good thing I planned for it and brought the gear.

As I was descending from a mountain just outside of Briançon, France, I stopped to chat with this guy. He didn't so much as blink. Rude, I tell you! He is, of course, about 30 feet tall, too.

During today's ride, Chris also passed a picturesque lake about 30 kilometres from Gap. He says tomorrow will be long haul of more than 150 kilometres to Vacqueyras, where he'll be spending two nights.

Tour de Mercy 2014 | Lake near Gap, France Tour de Mercy 2014 | Arrival in Gap on 9.12.14

Cancer Tip #4

Biking through the beautiful European countryside, the breeze blowing, it can be easy to forget that the sun is still beating down on you. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers. Protecting your skin from the sun while biking, or just being out during the day, includes taking precautions such as using SPF 30 or higher sunscreen generously, seeking shade when possible, and wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses. Even on cool or cloudy days, don’t forget that the sun’s rays can be powerful and your skin should be protected.

Learn more about Chris's journey to raise awareness about cancer and support Mercy Cancer Center at and with the hashtag #tourdemercy.

All Chris's trip-related expenses are paid, so 100% of your donation will benefit Mercy Cancer Center.

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