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Halfway there – Maine to Florida bike ride group perseveres through ups and downs

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What do President George H. W. Bush, baby chicks, Amish country, fresh strawberries, Colonial Williamsburg, funny road signs, a Memorial Day color guard in Winsted, Connecticut, and the Pennsylvania/New Jersey state line all have in common? Not a whole lot – except these are just a few of the memorable moments a small group of Central Florida bicyclists have shared about their Maine to Florida bike ride going on right now.

If you haven’t already been following this group since their ride kicked off on May 27. Start doing it. Now. The Maine to Florida bike ride crew – which includes BWCF board member Lisa Portelli – continues to post Facebook updates along the way.

And this adventurous bunch just hit the halfway mark in Virginia of their more than 2,100-mile trek down the East coast. Their final destination today is Suffolk, Va.

They expect to ride an average of 114 miles daily by the time they reach Orlando.

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Even with all of the fun moments we’ve seen posted on social media – the group continues to persevere through some hardships as well.  They’ve encountered all types of terrain – up and down hills, long vistas and straightaways.  Rain – lots of it. The increasingly sweltering, summer heat. Broken wheel spokes and, unfortunately, a bike crash that sidelined one of the group’s riders back in New Jersey.

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Riding downhill, Don Gramling apparently hit a patch of gravel, lost control, flew over the top of his handlebars. He suffered a severe concussion, broken pelvis and ribs. He is in stable condition after being admitted to an intensive care unit.

“He is progressing well and is stable, but in for a long recovery/rehab,” fellow rider Lisa Portelli texted.

She said the most trying moment of the trip so far has been leaving their injured comrade in the hospital, where his sister is tending to his needs.

Don is facing significant medical bills from the crash.  Donations can be made to support his recovery here.



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