Tuesday, August 6, 2013

PH Patient Bikes Across Iowa

Riders make their uphill ascent on day 2  of RAGBRAI. 
The 83-mile trek from Harlin to Perry, Iowa, 
was the longest stretch on this seven-day journey.
Kathy Morton has endured ups and downs living with PH, but that hasn’t kept her from taking on some tough challenges. “Sometimes what appears to be really big hills don't turn out to be that bad. Other times, hills that appeared small turned into the biggest obstacles,” she says.

Kathy is talking about the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), a weeklong bike ride she completed this July. RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. The whole journey was 406.6 miles, with overnight stops in designated towns across the state. Kathy averaged just under 60 miles a day on the journey, braving steep inclines, headwinds and the summer heat.

She made sure to pace herself and drink a lot of water throughout the trip. If it got too hot, she would stop to cool down. Kathy, along with many other riders, chose to walk, rather than bike, up some of the particularly steep hills. “If you need to stop and catch your breath it's OK,” Kathy says. “You don't have to prove anything to the world. All that matters is that you know you are doing your best.”
Kathy Morton (center) dips her bike in tires in the Mississippi
River, marking the finish line in Fort Madison, Iowa. Along
with Arek Wdowiak (left) and Michelle Eggert, the trio
was among thousands of cyclists from around the world
who participated in RAGBRAI.

Kathy, who now lives in Peoria, Ill., is proud to call herself an Iowan, having grown up in the Hawkeye State. As a child, the RAGBRAI route stopped in her hometown of Ames several times and she got to see the riders in person — it’s an experience that always meant a lot to Kathy.

Now that this great bike ride is over, she is already contemplating the next adventure, be it a trip to Japan or biking through wineries in Spain. “There is hope,” Kathy says. “PH doesn’t mean the end of your life.”

Read Kathy’s diagnosis story

Learn more about RAGBRAI

By Ellie Falaris Ganelin
Design & Publications Manager, PHA

1 comment:

Carla said...

Thanks for your story! I am training for a century bike ride in the fall and appreciate your inspiration. If you can do it, I certainly will give it my best!!

Thanks again!!