Day 37: Galesburg, IL


Just like those o’s went on longer than they’re supposed to, so did the challenges that today’s ride presented. But! Let’s break it down here; I’ve been riding for 37 days now! Any number past 35 seems like a very long time to me. To anyone else, I suppose anything more than 5 is a long time..


Today’s statistics:
Departure: Quad City, IL @ 7:00am
Arrival: Galesburg, IL @ 3:45pm
Distance; 47 miles
Direction headed: South
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 97 degF
Felt like: 110 degF
Flat tire count: 12

Okay, time to do the TBI freeze… This is my daily fact or two about brain injury and my personal experience with it. Last time I told you about my injury, I stopped at the point when I didn’t believe that I’d even been in the accident. At this point, I was in the second hospital, at Moss Rehabilitation hospital just outside Philadelphia. I attended speech, occupational, and physical therapies numerous times a day, and was in a pretty constant rate of improvement. But you know what I felt, aside from complete distrust in reality? I was very lonesome. I felt like nobody, and I mean nobody, could understand what and how I was thinking. And I had no idea where I was headed… After all, doctors wouldn’t give me or family members any inclination of how I’d recover. Talk about a nightmare- not knowing how you or your loved one will end up, whether he/she will need 24/7 support, whether he/she will even remember important details about his/her life, or if he’ll be the same person. Come back tomorrow if you’re curious about what happened next. If you’re not, just keep yourself all warm and cozy in your sleeping bag.

Today started, if you recall, in my tent outside a graveyard in Quad City. Yes, I called this something different earlier… If you look on the map, Moline is jumbled with 3 other cities, making the whole bunch into a quad city. Woo.

7am, I’d gotten on the bike. But you know me, I just can’t help but make new friends! I kept stopping and getting food/drink or getting directions and telling the DT story- this set me back a good bit.

As you saw from the video, I had headwind AND really horrible heat! These made it so that I had to just stop really often. Slow. Very slow. Previously, I’d been getting <50 miles done before lunch. But not today- I was literally cursing the wind and heat. To finalize this outrageous day, I was bestowed the privilege of a flat tire at 2 mikes to go! I was so hot, I just kept riding, flat and all… Bad idea, I know. At .75 miles left, I got to walking.

Last, and best part of my day: the Galesburg Holiday Inn helped out my mission with a room! Thanks to The manager, Ryan, my day got much better much faster. Dinner and Gatorade, too! Thanks! Look forward to an article in the Mail-Register here in Galesburg soon! Thanks, John!


Time for sleep- tomorrow to Peoria! Glad to have you following my journey!

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3 Responses to Day 37: Galesburg, IL

  1. Jeni says:

    Sounds like a pretty rough day but hang in there! You are doing so great and all your friends that you have made along your journey are cheering you on!

  2. Ann says:

    Hi Doug –
    My husband Wes met you yesterday and sent me the link to your blog. Your story is so inspiring and you’ve made amazing progress so far!!! Congratulations for everything you’ve accomplished and will continue to accomplish in your recovery.
    My husband and I have a passion for mountain biking (frankly all cycling!) and truly get your desire to get back on the bike.
    Cheers to you!
    A new fan,
    -Ann in Golden Colorado

    • Markgraf says:

      I hope your husband’s tour goes great and that he stays safe and gets back on the clipless pedals soon! I’m glad to have met you now too, Ann!

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