Jacob McGuire

After spending too many hours on a Christopher Nolan movie marathon, I decided it was time to stand up and do something. So many people are out doing so many extraordinary things, and I just ate an entire box of Honey Combs.

According to The Ethnologue Organization (yeah, it’s a thing), there are 6,809 distinct languages in the world, and I only know one and I ain’t even that good at it (ask The Local Q editors). My lack of languages was very depressing, so I decided to buckle down and learn another one. After doing some research on Rosetta Stone’s website and seeing the price of the program, I decided being bi-lingual is overrated.

My next inspiration came while I was using stumbleupon.com and stumbled across a blog written by a guy who biked across America in memory of his deceased father. This was exactly the worthwhile event that I was looking for. I love riding bicycles and I love doing things in memory of stuff. The stars have aligned.

There were many steps I needed to take before I could start bicycling for a cause. First, I needed a bicycle. I have been living bike to bike since my Dino Comp ceased to exist in 5th grade due to too many extreme stunts (and by extreme stunts, I mean I forgot it at our previous house when we moved). This problem was easily solved thanks to a bike leasing program called Quincy Bikes. For the commitment of signing a waiver and paying a $10 deposit, I had my pick from a variety of different bikes from road bikes to mountain bikes to hybrids.

Trick Daddy

Once the bike situation was taken care of, the next step was to find a cause. That problem sort of worked itself out. The night before the revelation to ride, a friend and I were discussing over the phone our past affinity for a gangster rapper named Trick Daddy. Later that evening, I Googled Trick Daddy to see if Trick still loved the kids, and I found out that the beloved Trick Daddy had been diagnosed with Lupus. This is how the bike ride became a Trick Daddy Lupus Awareness ride.

As I geared up to ride, I put on my faded, pink shirt with a stretched out collar. This shirt had not seen the light of day since probably high school, but it was a laundry day. I recruited my friend Brian to join me on my bike ride for a cause, and he too showed up wearing a bright pink shirt. This is how the ride became Breast Cancer Awareness/ Trick Daddy has Lupus Awareness ride.

Now that the logistics were down, it was time for serious riding. I had often heard of and seen pictures of an old bridge outside of town, so we got directions from a friend and hit the road. I selected a hybrid bike that I named Grenadine and instantly fell in love. She handled hills exceptionally well and had quality breaks, making for a great ride.

Brian, on the other hand, had the only criteria of a comfortable seat and selected a Cruiser. This situation is a Goofus and Gallant Comic. While Brian might have been comfortable in the money maker, he struggled and paid dearly on every hill, on a bike built for sashaying around a beach with a picnic basket. Despite the struggle, Brian endured.

The ride started at Quincy University and headed south on 24th Street. I was feeling invincible. It was a beautiful sunny day, about 85 degrees, and problems did not exist. We pressed on all the way down 24th street down a gigantic hill and turned left to Marblehead. I was so determined to see this bridge at a place called Fall Creek. When we caught up at Marblehead, Brian tried to get me to settle for their bridge, but I knew I would be cheating myself if I settled for anything in Marblehead.

The ride continued until we finally reached our destination on a road toward Payson. The bridge was awesome, my shirt was soaked, and it was one of the few times I felt I had earned the trail mix. After heading back, we measured our distance. It was exactly 29.7 miles (expletive, we didn’t hit 30 miles).

The next bike ride will be taking place soon, and we will get 30 miles this time. If anyone would like to join, just e-mail me. If you do not have a bike, you can get hooked up through Quincy Bikes and pick up a bike at America’s Best Value Inn, The Salvation Army or contact Madison-Davis Bicycle shop to find out alternative locations. I would also appreciate suggestions for the next worthy cause of the bike ride.