Seven thousand five hundred miles. That's how many miles I've put on my Cannondale road bike since I purchased it shortly before the Death Valley ride in 2005. That works out to about 1,500 miles a year. The most recent 40 took place yesterday when we rode out to my parent's house north of Lowell. It was a great day to ride. Mild temperatures, sunny skies and not enough wind to talk about. We turned the route into a loop instead of a straight out and back. We basically headed east on Cannonsburg Road to Lincoln Lake Road (with a couple of unintentional detours to add extra mileage). After a visit with my parents (Happy Birthday Mom) we continued south on Lincoln Lake to Bailey Road. We rode that to Pettis and then headed north-ish to Knapp. We crossed the river on Knapp and then turned north on Grand River Avenue. Turning right, which was north (twisty roads), on Northland Drive brought us back into our neighborhood. I noticed that I was 4 tenths of a mile short of 7,500, so I did one lap around our block to roll over to that magic number.
To put 7,500 miles in perspective that like riding from New York to California and back and then riding to St. Louis. 7,500 is also the approximate number of times Jake has poked his finger to test his blood sugar in the last five years. So with every mile I pedal I can think "That's one more finger poke". I long for the day when I'll be able to ride my bike just to ride my bike. But for now every mile is a reminder of what my son has gone through for the past 13 years. I'm not even counting the insulin pump site changes, injections, doctor's visits and other things he's had to endure, just to stay alive.
7,500 is a great milestone. But it's also a great reminder of why we started on this journey in the first place. And why we'll continue to work until a cure is found.