Four Body Odysseys On Two & Three Wheels: Cycling the 20th Maine Lighthouse Ride
My Body Odyssey rode along the 20th Annual Maine Lighthouse Ride this year, interviewing 4 protagonists who faced steep uphill challenges to even get to the starting line of this scenic ride.
Rebecca, a yoga teacher in her early sixties, has missed the event the past few years- first, due to a recurrence of endometrial cancer, then COVID, and then work obligations. She counts three challenges in completing this year’s one hundred mile route.
“One is torn ligaments in my knee,” she told us, “ and one is that almost exactly two years ago today, I had my last chemotherapy treatment. And in the mix, I manage the energy of depression.”
Profiled in a previous episode, Larry is a Stage IV prostate cancer survivor taking on the 40-mile distance despite finishing chemotherapy three months ago and sustaining a training ride fall two days before the event.
Four Odysseys, One Ride
“I was just gonna have a small ride and I fell off my bike onto a set of railroad tracks,” Larry explains. “The doctor said… I’ll give you a 20, 30% chance of riding. So I may not do the full 40 miles.”
Also taking on the 40-mile ride is New Hampshire resident Jim, an engineering PhD who became partially paralyzed from a mountain biking accident twelve years ago. Nevertheless, getting back onto a bike -or a more stable three wheeled trike- became one of the major goals of his long rehab process.
“I have to concentrate really hard when I ride,” says Jim, who propels the substantial weight of his “trike” with only good leg. “So it’s also done a lot for my focus.”
Eric, a Portland resident in his early thirties, had a serious hiking accident one year ago that required surgical attachment of a quad muscle as well as a rotator cuff repair. That put him in a downward spiral, both financially and behaviorally. Yet, he’s taking on the 62-mile ride today after gradually escalating his training mileage the past few months.
“I think it all saved me when I found the right athletic trainer that was able to work on my injuries,” he recounts. “She encouraged me to get help on my mental health issues I was battling… And then over a few months, I started getting more confident.”
Over 800 riders at this year’s Maine Lighthouse Ride, which benefits completion of the Eastern Trail, a 65-mile dedicated bike path from Kittery to Portland Maine for recreation and commuting. That’s a lot of mileage and a lot of stories. Tune in to find out if these four MBO protagonists– Rebecca, Larry, Jim and Eric– complete their ride distances. What rewards will they reap from the 20th Annual Maine Lighthouse Ride?
My Body Odyssey is a Fluent Knowledge production.
Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney.