Tour DaVita: A Powerful Experience
In 2019 I participated in Tour DaVita for the first time, representing my team, from Gainesville, Texas. Tour DaVita is DaVita’s annual charity cycling event. We raised $1.2 million for Bridge of Life in 2019 – shout out to all the participants and sponsors who made that possible! The money raised will help support medical missions and health care programs in the U.S. and abroad for years to come.
Tour DaVita is held over three days in different parts of the country each year and 2019 marked the 13th Tour DaVita event, and took place in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. I was challenged over the course of the three days, and it was so worth it. Here’s a recap of my Tour DaVita experience.
To my surprise, I was able to ride all 53.94 miles. The last eight miles were the hardest and I thought, “If I can make it to the next rest stop, I can do it.” Then I passed the next rest stop, and the next one. I kept this self-motivation up until I saw the mile 54 marker. I did it!
Riders had the option to ride a century (100 miles) or 36.45 miles this day. I planned on riding 36 miles to save strength for the final day. I met a group of teammates from Florida and rode with them for most of the day. They were my source of strength for that ride and we made plans to ride together on day three. I took the bus to our campground after lunch and got some much needed rest.
I woke up mentally and physically exhausted but excited to cross the finish line. This was probably my best day. I’d learned exactly when and how to shift each gear and was able to conquer more hills than previously. At lunch, I started to feel a little dizzy. It was hotter than the other days, which was affecting me. I hydrated and, although I wasn’t 100% better, I knew I needed to try to finish the final 15 miles. I put mind over matter and crossed the finish line; it felt amazing!
It was such a powerful experience to know that each person who crossed the finish line conquered the same hills and emotions that I did. We did it individually but found strength from each other. It was an exhausting week and I am so happy to have participated. It was truly the ride of a lifetime.