on saturday, october 9th, i flew out of pensacola and arrived in san francisco. my brother and i met up in the airport around lunch time, scooped up luggage and headed for our hotel. the rest of the afternooon was spent assembling and locating bikes, meeting some of the other riders on the tour, and wandering around san francisco. that night we had the official kick off dinner where everyone picked up their kits and had an opportunity to mingle.
the following morning we set off in the fog on our week-long adventure, heading from s.f. to just south of san diego. we encountered tons of fog, lots of climbing, elephant seals on the beaches in san simeon, the kooks in venice beach, the california version of a "flat" route, some minor crashes, a fair amount of flat tires, and a lot of other instances that i am probably overlooking at this time. we stopped at the cambria winery for a taste, some folks witnessed a beached whale - an event that hasn't happened in that area of califonria in 30 years (so i was told), we held a pig roast in carmel-by-the-sea, and filled the back room for hours at jocko's in santa maria. in santa monica we had to get a rental bike for my brother as his frame cracked and jim with helen's bikes really pulled through and hooked us up with a super deal - including some helen's caps at no cost. big sur was amazing, as was all of the support folks who helped along our way with logistics, laundry, lunch, and all of the things no one ever thinks about that make a ride of this size come together.
all of those experiences don't really count, however, when compared to the real reason the ride took place. we were raising money for the livestrong foundation and their fight against cancer. when all said and done i think we raised more than $160,000.00 which was less than our goal, but still a great amount.
after the ride was finished i met shea, the boy, and her folks in san diego to hang out for a day and a half, and then we all flew back together. it might have been a little early to drag the boy across the country, but it was awesome to see all of them after such a tiring ride and after missing my super lady and son for a week. we drove around imperial beach and found one of the houses her dad had spent time in as a kid and wandered around little italy until we finally got some food at the karl strauss brewery.
i'd like to give two notes of thanks too - one, to my brother for making it possible for me to attend this ride. and two, to shea for letting me go and playing the role of a single mom as i was out riding bikes on the other side of the country.
i can't wait for next year's CDT!!