I love time with my cousin Grace, because she’s totally the yin to my yang. She loosens up my buttoned-up, rule-following, type A personality and makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable until I totally let loose and get down with my inner weirdness.
We arrived early at the track for our races; mine was first at 9am and Rachel’s was second-to-last at 1:30pm. It was chilly to start, but the sky was clear so we were thankful for a nicer day than last week at Fruitland’s. After dressing up and registering, we got on the track to warm up but less than half way through the first practice lap, Rachel got a flat tire and became a bit frazzled. It wasn’t the best start to the day, but it was all uphill from there.
The New England Parkinson’s ride was created by the Woods family in the Summer of 2008 after Chris Woods, an avid cyclist, was diagnosed with PD at the age of 41. He was a regular at the annual Diabetes and MS rides, but his family found that there was no benefit ride for Parkinson’s research in the US, so they started their own. The first year only drew only 35 riders but as of last year, it grew to 800+ cyclists (from 19 states & 3 Canadian provinces) and 200+ volunteers. In 2015 alone, it raised $547,000 and the cumulative total since the rides inception has now surpassed $2 million. For two years in a row it has been the largest independent single-day fundraising member event for Team Fox in the history of the Michael J Fox Foundation.
The streets were no longer buzzing with partiers when we walked back to the aparthotel this morning. This time around, our only company was the crews cleaning debris from the festivities last night, and a handful of early risers getting their steps in before the streets got crowded again. Our mission was to bring breakfast for everyone at the aparthotel and fortunately we succeeded thanks to a conveniently located Tesco, only a block from the aparthotel.
In order to make the most of our time in Edinburgh, we bought tickets for an early train out of Inverness. The others took a bus back to Fort William to pick up their rental car and drive to Edinburgh where we would meet for a special dinner, to celebrate Corey & Kate’s 15th anniversary!