The California Coast Classic has just kicked off again, which means my husband is now riding his bike 525 miles down the coast of California. He’s in good company with 215 other riders – and they are doing it to raise money – because we want a CURE for arthritis. So far, they have raised more than $1,000,000 dollars which makes this the largest single event for our cause in the nation!
The ride kicked off early Saturday morning from San Fransisco – at Fort Scott, high on the hills overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. It was gorgeous weather – you couldn’t ask for any better! Not foggy, not too hot – just greatness.
The first day was a breezy 86 miles…. and took the riders all the way to Santa Cruz. The kids and I followed the same route that the riders took. The riders are given a DRG every morning – that’s insider speak for “Daily Route Guide”. So we followed the DRG and took the same streets, turns and hills that the riders traveled. I just have to say, I have a drastically different opinion of the definition of a “short, steep climb” than the authors of this guide! I was in a truck, chugging up some hills that seemed like Everest, while the kids hung out the window and cheered and waved cowbell for the riders as they down shifted, and up pedaled. At the end of the day, I overheard one of the riders say that he recorded some 4300 feet of climbing on his magical, bike technology do-hicky thingy. There didn’t seem to be anything short about any of the climbs to me!
Can you imagine riding 525 miles like this???
Along the route, there was so much to see – lots of beautiful vistas and gorgeous scenery. It’s so inspirational and life affirming, that one of the riders took a roadside break at Pigeon Point Lighthouse as an opportunity to propose to his girlfriend! She said YES! Congrats Troy and Annie!!!!
There were three rest stops along the route today – and the kids and I stopped at the first two to do our cowbell performance and cheer in these awesome riders. This year, Dave has four other Princesses on his team, including a very fantabulous friend – Dan W. As a side note, I find the fact that Dan is riding to be quite in inspirational story – because two years ago, his back was seriously funky and painful. He’s done a lot of stretching, yoga and strength training to have come this far!! Dan’s whole family was there at the start line, and his daughter Emily accompanied us all day.
Dan and Dave were feeling pretty strong at the first rest stop….
And still doing great at the second!
When they pulled in at the end of the day, spirits were high. I think for Dan especially, as a first year rider, it was a sense of relief. All of that fear of the unknown nonsense is behind him.. and now that he conquered the first day, I think the rest of the week will be a breeze! As breezy as a short, steep climb! Seriously though – as the riders trickled in – because after 86 miles they were spread pretty far apart – I could see that sense of relief on so many faces.
After some pretty chilly showers in the high school gym, our happy riders set up camp on the football field. We left them reluctantly with hugs, and a lug full of microbrews. I would SO MUCH love to follow them for the week, but with three kids, and their crazy schedules – it’s just not really a great idea right now. But when Dave does his tenth ride… let’s see…six years from now…OK. Goal set!
Even though we weren’t able to stay, I am so happy that so many great volunteers will be there all week. Especially my friend Mariah and her cutest ever little dumpling of happiness – OZL. They will be there in support of all the riders, but especially Team Z!
Sunday – Day 2 – Took the riders a mere 48 miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey. It was also team jersey day! So, of course, huge love for team Princess Parade! Jason, Jack, Dave, Dan, Steve and Matteo
I think they rocked the jerseys all day long! Seriously – we get a lot of compliments on these, which we order from Jakroo. Next year, we’ll open up our store for other riders if they want to buy one and be an honorary team member. I think there are a lot of people wanting to express their inner Princess!
I also have to give a special dose of respect to these two riders, who are pedaling in honor of Macy, another one of my JA family – and a seriously fashionable young JA warrior. These jerseys are Macy approved;)
Because it was a shorter day – which is obviously a purposeful gift after yesterday’s adventure – the guys were finished, showered and ready to shuttle in to town for some football and beer by the early afternoon. Everybody is still riding strong, still safe, and still having the time of their lives!
My mission moment today is for these two folks, Dwight and Maria. They were celebrating their 29th anniversary on the ride this year!
Dwight, Maria and their team, Also Touch ride in honor of Christiana… their daughter who lost her battle with Dermatomyositis at age 10. They ride in honor of her, and all children – to find a CURE. It is not hyperbole to say that they are out riding to save lives.
But the reason they are my mission moment – is because they represent such a wonderful marriage and partnership. What they have been through is more than enough to crush many people, enough to drain their spirits and sap their hope and optimism. But these two have raised beautiful daughters and built an army of passionate warriors in this cause – and all the while, they have continued to help each other to grow, thrive and live beautifully.
So for all the partners that are out riding together, and for all the partners at home holding down the fort, making the lunches and covering the week’s duties… may we all be able to keep our face to the sun, hope in our hearts, and the wind at our backs while we tackle the short steep climbs in our own lives.
Best hopes to all the riders as they head to Big Sur today!!