Our Monday ride day was absolutely amazing! We woke up super early and packed up all of our belongings since today was move day. After a quick breakfast, several of our DaVita Rx Tour DaVita riders were able to head out on the ride by 6:50. Thanks to the amazing backroads tech for getting my bike back to 100%, todays ride was much more smooth. Since I wasn’t having to get off the bike every 3 miles to fix my chain, I held a much better time today thankfully. I did have a slight accidental detour which added about 1.8 miles to my overall mileage, but luckily it wasn’t an extreme amount. I was so happy to run into my mom and son on the route about 5 miles before lunch. They are such great cheerleaders. 🙂 After hanging out with them for a bit, I headed out for lunch. At lunch, I was so glad to spend some time with many members of our team. We had one teammate who was chased by a dog and after the dog ran into her, she wrecked her bike and actually broke the bike. She is such a champion that she waited until they could bring her a backup bike so that she could finish off the ride! Between lunch and the next rest stop, we passed some of the most breathtaking views! No picture can do the view justice.

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The last 16 miles of the 67 mile route was intense. Thankfully from the amazing teamwork with another DaVita Rx rider, we made it through the challenging hills in the last part of the ride. My goal for today was to finish the 67 mile route and give my mom and my son an opportunity to watch me cross the finish line. I was over the moon excited to see their excitement at me finishing. 🙂 It’s such a privilege to attempt to make them proud in the way that they have made me proud cheering on and supporting our riders out on the route and at the finish line. Here is me and my son Ryo shortly after finishing. He stole my ride glasses!!

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Once again, I was so lucky to be able to watch a handful of riders from my team cross the finish line. Our DaVita Rx riders CRUSHED IT today!!!! We had the following achievements:

14  people completing the 100 mile ride – 6 of these 14, this is their first Tour DaVita

7 completing the 67 mile ride

14 riders completing distances between 51 miles and 40 miles

15,077 miles completed today by all DaVita Rx riders!!!!

I am so proud of our group!!

My mom and Ryo even made the slideshow that played during dinner. 🙂 Tonight in the program, there were so many tears shed as they played a video about Matthew Purvis. <3 Everything about Tour DaVita is always so amazing and I can’t imagine ever not being a part of it. Maybe next year I will see if I can redshirt or help out in some way. We have one more day of riding ahead of us. Please pray for safety, strength and willpower for all of our riders to make it through the final ride day tomorrow. We love your support!

 

Barbara and Matthew Purvis, August 2015

I’m Barbara Purvis, Matthew’s mother. I’m so glad I brought Matthew’s spirit to the Tour. He’s here, he just hasn’t slapped me yet. I’m meeting a lot of nice people and a lot of people who I’ve heard their names many times before, and that’s the truth. I’m really looking forward to tonight so I can meet all of the riders and the Tour DaVita family.

I was telling him earlier I’d get him and apartment where I’d have half and he’d have half so I wouldn’t be under him because he was older. After Tour, he would come on my side, bouncing off of the walls, telling me about all kinds of stuff that happened on the ride. His  spirit is with me today. “What hill?” #LoveYouToTheMoonandBack

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I am a home hemo patient rider. I have been on dialysis for 10 years. My first tour was 2 years ago in Oregon. I was super nervous, and thought about backing out up until I was actually on my flight.  So glad I didn’t!!  The first day of riding I fell off my bike 4 times at the start line.  I probably should of trained since I had not been on a bike in 20 years. The other riders were so supportive and encouraging, from just simple words of encouragement as I rode, or a simple hand on my back as I’m pedaling up a hill to giving me the gloves right off their hands.  It was like having a whole other family! Very proud to say that one day 3 I crossed the finish line with my dialysis nurse, who is amazing by the way.  Coming this year I wasn’t nervous at all.  I was looking forward to seeing familiar faces of my Tour DaVita family and riding together.  Even if I rode a mile or crossed the line I just wanted to be here and feel the spirit.  Have time to reflect and be grateful for all DaVita has done for me.  I rode 20 miles today in 90-something degree weather, and I was proud of myself cause I haven’t rode since the Oregon trip.  Maybe I should actually start training next time.  Looking forward to the next 2 days of riding, and continuing to feel the spirit of the ride!

 
Sleep was sparse last night. For the first few hours it was too hot and then it quickly turned to cold and just in general, probably from nerves, I didn’t get much sleep at all. I woke up early and got everything sorted out and was ready to begin the ride, until I realized that I forgot my sunglasses. Eeek! Got that sorted out by running all the way back to the tent and then was ready to head out. My mom and my son made it to the start line and were able to see us off. 🙂
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Very quickly I realized that there was something wrong with my bike. Before the first rest stop my chain had come off at least five times. By that point I felt so far behind that I just quickly grabbed a plastic bag of snacks and headed back out on the road. It was extremely hot this morning and there wasn’t much shade and the hills were unbelievable. Before getting to the second rest stop, I had called Backroads to see if they could take a look at my bike and kept on pedaling until I ran into them. They didn’t have tools on the truck so they told me to try to stay on the middle ring in the front to avoid dropping the chain. That works great some of the time but not so great when you’re trying to climb a hill or wanting to pick up some speed going down a hill. 🙁 As they were working on my bike I noticed that several of my teammates had ran into my mom and my son where they were stopped on the route cheering riders on because of pics on Facebook so I was super excited to make it to where they were so that I could see them. I am so proud of them for being out there and motivating the riders with their cute signs. I know that they felt really great having been able to do that and my mom was so impressed that a majority of the riders told her thank you so much for being out there. 🙂 I know that it was super hot out there parked on the side of the road but they stayed the course so that they could cheer through as many riders as possible. My son was struggling with all the heat though and before I even made it to then my mom let me know that he probably wasn’t going to make it much longer out there. Once I found them and pulled up, I was so proud that he just lit right up and was so excited to see me. 🙂 that’s my love bug!! After I left them, I rode a little further to get to the second rest stop and I had them take a look at my bike since by that point the chain had come off another six times and the amazing Backroads crew made some adjustments and I got back on the way. I felt like I wasn’t even going to make it to lunch with the heat. Shortly before pulling into lunch my chain dropped off three more times and I was emotionally done. I sat down at lunch with the full intention of catching a bus back from there. As I sat with my teammates and many of them had intentions of going on. As my body temperature decreased and I enjoyed the shade, I decided that I should go ahead and try to continue on, so we got out on the road after lunch and sure enough the next few miles had little to no shade and right away I was back to feeling overheated. Luckily within a few miles we made it to the Old Country store that I was hoping to see from the travels with hammer blog.
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We stopped in, I got a Diet Dr Pepper and some ice cream and some air conditioning and quickly decided that I couldn’t make it any farther. This was pretty upsetting as I’ve never failed to cross the finish line on a bike at Tour DaVita. 🙁 We quickly made it back to camp and rushed to the finish line and I was so blessed to be able to watch 11 of our 22 DaVita Rx riders which finished crossing the finish line. I couldn’t be more proud!!!! Our Rx riders did such a great job. We had 17 first time Tour DaVita riders on our DaVita Rx team and an amazing 11 of them crossed the finish line on this brutal day!!! For some strange reason, I feel like a proud mommy that our team showed up and did such an amazing job! I nearly cried as many of my friends crossed the finish line. 🙂 In addition to my DaVita Rx family, it was an honor to cheer so many other Tour DaVita riders across the finish line. It’s so inspiring to see this amazing group achieve such unbelievable things. My mom and my son came back to the finish line to cheer in riders as well and my son kept asking me if you all were my friends or my family and all I could say is that all of you are BOTH! At the program tonight, I was sad to hear that 7 people got overheated or injured today. 🙁 Thank the lord that tomorrow the temperature will go way down. Some of the best emotional moments of the program tonight were: 1. Learning that the MP on our jersey sleeves stands for our beloved Matthew, 2. Hearing from the last rider that crossed the finish line and hearing how an awesome Backroads teammate came out there and rode the last miles with her to help ❤️, 3. Hearing from the patient rider at the end of the program. ❤️ This is such an amazing experience and I am so glad that you all let me participate and that you have now made my mom and son fall in love with Tour DaVita. 🙂 Now time for packing up for our move tomorrow, sleep and a super early start in the morning!!!
 

What a wonderfully, hard first day of my first tour. TN is beautiful! Hot, humid! And such a wonderful challenge. Here’s hoping for slightly cooler weather tomorrow. Hoping to make it all the way!
🙂 Beth

 

It was an awesome day of travel that started with The Goddess of Maverick – Cathy Bready, my mom, my son and myself enjoying an awesome IHOP breakfast and then arriving at the airport for our flight. As all awesome tours start, we ran into many of our teammates in the airport and 7 of our DaVita Rx riders were on the same flight plus several other local riders from local clinics etc.

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Ryo, my son was quite excited to start this journey..

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All he has been talking about for the last week has been, “When do we get to go on Tour?” Well here we are buddy! 🙂 I split ways with the family at the airport in Nashville so that they could go get signs made to cheer us along the way. After catching a shuttle to camp, waiting for 45 extra minutes on the shuttle bus to be able to get past a fire that was crossing the highway and arriving to the awesome cheers of tons of redshirts, backroads crew and tons of other riders including my good friend Ashley Turner who I met at tour last year, I was so happy to have made it to enjoy Tour DaVita 2016!! During my bike fitting, I ran into two of my favorite Rx’ers, Jeff Henry and Jessica Lewis and it was so wonderful to have seen more of our Rx’ers. Whew, when I made it to the tent I am pretty sure it was over 100 degrees inside our tent and I was sweating bullets just to grab a couple of items out of my bags. eek!! Please pray for the temp to cool off!!! I did make sure to decorate our tent with my favorite flock!

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After that I met up with most of the other Rx riders, gave my mom and little Ryo a tour of camp, ate an awesome dinner, enjoyed a fantastic program, passed out the rest of our Rx jerseys and now here I am!

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In tonight’s program they talked about how we raised over 1.25 million dollars for Bridge of Life and that is so exciting!! Can you imagine just how many people this will impact? I love this cause and I can’t wait to be out there on the roads tomorrow with all of the fine people that ride in Tour DaVita. I am having some anxiety about my speed and finishing, but I have the ultimate motivation that will be waiting at the finish line for me. If it weren’t enough that I want to make my company and my team proud, my mom and my son will be there to see me finish! Please pray for safety, strength, cool temps, wind to our backs, and lots of downhills for all of us! I can’t tell you how much all of your support helps fuel us out here. Thanks for everything.

 

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It’s hard to believe that Tour DaVita 2016 is just a few short days away. This will be my 3rd time to participate in the ride of a lifetime. There are so many things that I am looking forward to starting with the amazing energy as we get off the bus at camp the first day, seeing many of my awesome tour friends from all over the country, and the flood of emotions each day as we cross the finish line to name a few. Each year there are a few things that have made my experience different and impactful. This year, I know of two items that are going to make this tour different and special for me. The first item that will make this year more emotional and impactful is that just a few weeks ago, my mom let me know that she has CKD. Although I’ve worked in kidney care for over 6 years and my heart is dedicated to caring for our patients, this hits even closer to home. The second item that will make this year more emotional and exciting is that my mom and my son are going to head out to Tennessee with us and cheer us along our route. I am so glad that my mom will be able to see first-hand many of our patient riders who do not let their diagnosis keep them from doing amazing things. I am also over the moon excited that my son will be able to witness me pushing myself to the extremes to accomplish this feat. I believe that this is such an awesome opportunity to show my 4 year old son, who is also an avid cyclist, how important it is to do great things for the world around us and never give up even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. If you see him out on the road, I am sure he will give you a great smile and a cheer.

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I will be joined out biking on the roads of Tennessee by 35 amazing teammates/family from DaVita Rx who can be seen here: Tour Davita 2016 Trailer (Password: Rideon2016!). I am so ready to be a part of the Spirit of the Ride in Tennessee here in a few days! Hopefully I’ll be able to bring my superhero strength again this year. See you soon!

 

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It is hard to believe that we are just a few short weeks away from the 10th annual Tour DaVita, and we have come full circle back to the great state of Tennessee! I am especially excited about the day three route this year as it travels through some of the beautiful country roads that I have the pleasure to ride on any given weekend while training for the Tour. Middle Tennessee is full of lush green countryside with rolling hills and it is sure to be a great ride for all! When I reflect over the last ten years each tour holds a very special memory. What resonated from the first tour was sitting in the stands of a football stadium the first night at camp and hearing KT tell the story of how Tour DaVita came to be in the first place. As I recall the idea was born around a camp fire after a day’s ride with a small group of DaVitan’s, and it was far more than fundraising for a great cause. Indeed, in KT’s words it was about finding out what we were made of by pushing ourselves to limits we never imagined. Wow, when I think how far I have come from then to now I would say mission accomplished!

I did not ride every mile that first year, but I rode farther than I ever had before finishing all 64 miles the first day mostly on pure adrenaline and significant mileage each day thereafter. Back then the tour was four days of riding with the last day being a half day ride into the final finish line. The next two tours were in Wisconsin 2008 and Michigan 2009 and we had some cold morning rides. Michigan was wonderful riding along the shoreline and seeing the sand dunes what beautiful country. Wisconsin (KT’s home state) was a treat to actually ride on Thiry Lane and eat lunch on KT’s family’s farm. Also, to meet Donald Driver and visit the famous Lambeau field! The 2010 tour was in beautiful Tacoma, WA where I learned that yes we do ride in the rain and the cold! It was also the first tour that I rode every mile and what saved me from the cold and rain was keeping my core warm by putting the rain poncho we received underneath my rain jacket.

Then there was 2011 in the Northeast and my favorite tour to date. My favorite for the quaint little towns, making history by being the first and only tour to date to cross into three states in one day’s ride (MA, CT, NY), and finally because it was the first time I completed a century ride! It was a very emotional experience for me when I got to the 95 mile mark and realized that it was really going to be possible and I was really going to finish a 100 mile ride in one day. Every finish line is special but that is one that really stands out to me in my memory and of course KT was waiting there to greet me in his very special way!

The next two tours were in Iowa (2012) and South Carolina (2013) and were in stark contrast in regard to weather. Iowa was so cold extra blankets, hats, and mittens were brought into camp to ensure everyone stayed warm enough at night. It was the first tour I wore a full parka and had to cover my face with a warmer in the morning to endure the cold. South Carolina on the other hand was hot, hot, and hot so much so I went swimming in a lake only to come face to face with an eastern king snake!

The 2014 ride was in the great state of Oregon where things kind of came full circle for me because I functioned as a domestique the last day of the tour and I completed my second century! One special memory for me was being mistaken for a backroads rider when I rolled into camp. Thinking back to the training I did for the first tour barely able to ride 20 miles to that moment was surreal. North Carolina was the destination for Tour DaVita 2015 and one thing that stands out other than completing my third century is the humidity! I think I lost 10lbs just from the humidity. Another beautiful ride with wonderful people for a great cause.

They call the tour the “Ride of a Lifetime,” and indeed it is just that because it has forever changed my life. In the last ten years since I rode the first tour I have lost weight and become more fit, been faced with many challenges, watched my kids grow up, and been faced with a cancer diagnosis. All of the challenges were a bit easier to face because of the lessons learned on the tour. If you wonder why a small group of people call themselves 10 year veterans? It is because the tour is so much more than a bike ride. It is about community, it is about doing something bigger than yourself, it is about our patients, it is about family, it is about global health, it is about being the change and sending forth ripples, it is about filling your cup, and yes it is about the ride of a lifetime!

 

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One of the things that I think new riders take for granted the most in long-distance cycling is not the actual difficulty of riding, the workings of the bicycle or even the breadth of the task of riding 100 miles in a row. More than anything, what’s the hardest challenge to overcome? The monotony.

Make no mistake about it: riding a Century usually involves 7-10 hours of moving your legs in a circular motion without the available distractions usually provided for long trips like audiobooks, music and iPads. Overcoming the tedium is not the most difficult task, but preparing yourself for it is probably the most important step in late preparation for Tour DVA.

This isn’t to scare you or cause you to lose heart over the boredom. Firstly, you have statistics on your side, as 99% of people who begin a marathon finish it simply because humans are capable of so much more than they think. Secondly, Tour DVA is probably the most scenic, friendly, and engaging bike ride ever conceived. It’s actually spoiled me for other bike races because the “spirit of the ride” is so intense and ever-present. There’s always a pastoral scene to savor, a fellow rider to strike up a conversation, or someone at your back to push you along. It’s important to savor and use these opportunities, as they will make it easier to cross that finish line in one piece.

However, most important to me in the fight against boredom (coming from someone who has intense ADD) is to always remember not the how of riding, but the why. Just as we “begin with the end in mind”, we must always understand why we want to complete this journey, as completing a Century merely for the achievement or to burn some calories always starts fading as a viable motivation at the 11th hour (hopefully not literally).

For me, I have an 8-month old daughter, and in a world that always tells people that they aren’t enough, I want to prove to myself and her that even those who don’t seem too mighty can still do great things. For some perspective, athletically speaking I’m quite the chump, and as my fellow teammates would tell you, my love for basketball is rivaled only by my love of sleeping on a bed of Jell-O. Despite that, doing Tour DaVita ignites my love for being active, and I plan to make the journey to show her that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Mentally, it’s a great chance to unplug and focus on something tangible. And of course, spiritually it empowers me for the world I’ll return to, as challenges we face in this world are always more manageable with a healthy dose of perspective and a renewed love of God, nature, and mankind.

So that’s my why, but I invite you on the same journey of self-discovery. Why do you ride? Why is it important for you to complete this journey, whatever that might be? It’s important to think about that now, as you’ll have plenty of time to ruminate on your findings very soon.

One for All!!

 
Together we rode together and encouraged each other to the finish line of the century ride. None of us knew each other prior to Tour DaVita but became friends by end of the day.

Together we rode and encouraged each other to the finish line of the century ride.
None of us knew each other prior to Tour DaVita but became friends by end of the day.

Hi everyone! I am super excited to be returning for my 3rd Tour DaVita for so many reasons… seeing friends I have made from previous Tours, making new friends, visiting and riding the hills of my home state, and most of all this year, experiencing the ride with first timer and great friend… Liz Austen.

For you first timers, get ready for an experience you will never forget. The atmosphere and energy is like none other. If you are looking for a challenge, you have found it, but I promise you it is totally worth it and at the end you will be glad you participated. You will be sore for a couple of days the Spirit of the Ride will be with you forever. Don’t forget to listen to the calls, ask questions, and reach out to past rider for pointers

When we hold live One For All classes I will speak to the new teammates after they watch the video and I get asked, “Why do you ride?” I tell them, “I ride, because at one time, I was unhealthy and couldn’t walk around the block. I ride, because I love giving back. I ride, because when I line up that first day with 400+ other riders, I know I am part of something amazing.”

My favorite part is the last day when we go and visit a clinic. The welcome of the clinic and teammates is great, but the faces on the patients when you walk in, melts your heart.

Don’t forget to get in some seat time.
See everyone soon… Ride On!!!