6 Day Southeastern CT Tour 2
Day 7, Friday, August 23, 2014
41 miles, 13.2 mph, 3h 6m 67s
Norwich, Franklin, Sprague, Lisbon, Griswold, Volunton, Preston

Today was another perfect cycling day. My hope prior to my 6 day RFA cycling event was for NO RAIN for the entire week and it came true. Absolutely great weather all week! It was a pleasure to have Dale Hoxie and Lou Ciardullo join me again for my final ride. It was especially great that my son Jon also rode with me today. By the way, Jon is my website manager. I write the blogs and take the photos. I then email it to Jon and he posts it on the site.

There was a very challenging hill for me, just east of Baltic. I had to stop half way up for a one minute break and then continue to the top. Dale, Lou and Jon went straight up - easy for them. They are much stronger riders than I am.

The route from Baltic to Jewett City had a lot of hills. Most of the route today from the Alzheimer's office in the Norwich Industrial Park out to Voluntown was on RT 138, and back on RT 165. I couldn't resist taking pics of the Baptist Church back to back sign (see photos below). Actually, I missed it on the ride and drove back in the car Sunday. I'm sure that the signs have caused interesting conversations with people driving by and by those that read this RFA blog.

Close to the end of the ride we made a stop in the Norwich Harbor for a short break. There is a very nice waterfront park. I recommend that if anyone reading this blog hasn't stopped by and hung out for a while, they should.

We arrived at the Norwich Alzheimer's office and were met by a happy cheering crowd of supporters. There was a large tent and a catered buffet luncheon going on from noon to 3 PM. This event was a celebration of the 16 year effort Donna and I have had with the CT Alzheimer's Association.

It was so great to see and share this with so many happy supportive people. The President of the Connecticut Alzheimer's Association, Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh, made some opening remarks and presented us with appreciation gifts. Donna was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I was presented with a new bike. I was shocked! [Editor note: His bike was very, very old and had endured thousands of miles. The bike was actually rusting out and in danger of breaking. So this bike was a much needed and deserved "thank you" from the Association in partnership with Mystic Cycle Shop.]

I then was given a chance to speak and I had a hard time starting. I spoke about the history of RFA, and told some special stories that occurred in the 16 years of my effort - The Buffalo Story, The Vivian Story (the purple bear on my bike), the 10 mile Climb up to Monarch Pass (11,312 ft elevation) in Colorado and the Dear Abby Story. We both spoke about the "transition" of my riding involvement with RFA to a mentoring involvement with potential cyclists in CT to do something similar to what I have been doing for 16 years. We all hope that the legacy and the spirit of RFA will live on.

The photos below are from a collection of sources. Seven photos were taken during the ride today. In addition, Rose Vigdal, Central Region Development Associate of the CT Alzheimer's Association, took another 61 at the Celebration Luncheon. My stepson Ed also took several photos. And I received other photos from lots of other people as well. All their pics are great! They capture happy, sensitive sharing people - having a good time. This was a very emotional and uplifting gathering for me and I will treasure it forever.

(Click on the images below for a larger view of each photo.)

Dale, Lou, Jon, me



Tough hill ahead

Pachaug Pond

Construction is a pain

Me, Jon, Dale, Lou

Alzheimer's information

Vintage Memory Walk T-shirts

Items at each place setting

Rick owner Mystic Cycle Centre

Rick and Donna

Rick, Donna, Stacy

Ladies chat

Rider - Anthony Vellucci

Kristine Johnson & Mike Maranachio

Janet, Ed & Rob Bareiss with Mom (Donna)

Granddaughter, Olivia Clark

Nancy and Tom Downie

Nancy, Tom, Donna

Colleen and Charlie Miller (both former students)

Stacy & Donna

Stu Miller

Stu Miller

Stacy Chavis & Rose Vigdal

Jonathan & John arriving

The happy arrival

Jon, Lou & John

John & Jon - Kristine cheering


Colleen & Charlie

Colleen & John

Father & son


John & Vivian

Stu, John & Al Harary


Donna, John & Jon

Louis Ciardullo (rider) & Donna


Carolyn & Donna


Kristine doing Intro.

Eleonora, Rick & Christy with a bike?

Presenting the bike to John

Presenting the bike to John

Presenting the bike to John

Christy, Donna & John

Flowers for Donna

John & his new bike

John telling stories

John telling stories

John telling stories



More stories

More stories

More stories

Al Harary - our first Alz. POC in 1999

Tom & Nancy Downie

Louis Ciardullo - rider


Eleonora, John & Donna

Kristine, Eleonora, John, Donna & Mike

Johnís family front: Calvin, Alyssa, Donna, John..

Back: Rob, Janet Ed, Ethan, Kristen, Olivia, Jon

Eleonora & Al

The three sons & Donna

This bike is LIGHT!

More stories

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