Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stats and Final Thoughts on PCH

Hello All,

As I did in 2011, I have accumulated some stats on our ride.

  • 406.62 gallons of gasoline
  • 59lbs of ice
  • $53 of cheese
  • $119 of cold meat
  • 3 flat tires
  • 12 rides joined the 4 primary riders throughout the journey
  • Not enough homemade Banana Bread
  • Many home cooked dinners
  • Countless new friends

We didn't eat nearly as much peanut butter or pretzels as we did in 2011.  I think it is because the temperatures were cooler.

We had bikes on the ground approximately 1,488 miles of the 1,800 route miles.  We rode 82.6% of the mapped route miles.  Pops and Carl were with us at least 80% of those miles.  These two amazing men rode 24 of the 27 days.  Think about that - a 67 year old man with PD and a 53 year old man with PD rode 24 of 27 days and covered more than 1,000 miles.  If that doesn't give ya goose bumps or bring a tear to your eye, then pinch yourself.

According to my GPS, over the 27 days on the bike we put mustard on 70,897 feet of elevation gain.  This is an average of 2,625 feet/day.  We climbed the most on day 21 with 5,827 feet of gain.  Gain means the amount of feet we climbed - not taking into account our descents.  These are not net gain amounts (ups minus downs), this is just the ups.  Yes, had a lot of ups on this route.

I have been asked several times how much we raised and if the ride was a success.  Regarding the funds raised - although this is important to the ongoing success of the organization, it is not the main reason we rode.  We rode to encourage those impacted by Parkinson's.

Regarding if the Ride was a success.  I think we need to ask the Parkies if it was a success.  Are Pops and Carl a motivation to other Parkies?  Did they show that Parkies can do anything they set their minds to do?  Did we encourage those we met and give them the motivation to keep fighting?

Success will not be measured by the money raised, the miles ridden or my sense of accomplishment.  

Success will be measured by Parkie lives impacted, encouragement given and the impact on the lives of those who didn't know what PD was before they met us.

What is next?  We are working on that.  Probably a local ride here in Arizona.  Will there be another long distance ride - if I have my way, yes.  But its not about me.  We will have to see what the future holds.

Next time you see someone with a little shake, a shuffle in their step or a quiet voice - ask them if they have Parkinson's.  Then encourage them to keep going and let them know they are not alone.

Until we meet again - keep safe, keep moving and keep living your Best Life Ever.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Days 26 and 27

Yeah, I know, I am probably breaking some blogger rule by combining the last two days into one blog but that's what happens when you don't take notes!

Day 26 - Hermosa to San Clemente
Miles - 65.13

Day 27 - San Clemente to Pacific Beach and our Families
Miles - there's a story there……at least 57.37
Elevation Gain - 1,912 feet

Day 26 - Joey and Galen joined the team.

Joey is a friend we have made through the various PD events we have attended, participated in and volunteered at.  He works for Medtronics and is very active in the PD community.  Joey - thanks for riding with us and for all you do for those impacted by PD.  We greatly appreciate your dedication and encouragement.

Galen is a long time family friend.  He rode with us in 2011 when we left Phoenix and headed to Aguila.  A few weeks before left for Canada this year, I asked him (actually his wife Vera) if he would like to ride with us again.  He said yes so they joined us in San Clemente.  One day while he was riding with us I asked him, "have you ever ridden back to back 60+ mile days?"  He said, nope.  The farthest I have ever ridden was with you guys back in 2011.  Incredible - he owned the miles he rode on these last two days.  Galen - thanks for joining us again and for yours and Vera's continued support of us, our family and our Cause.

Day 27 - Our Last Day riding…..this time.

This is it, the last day of this section.  I have been working towards this day for a year….and yet, not wanting it to come.  Today means our adventure is over for awhile.  I won't get to spend all day with my Dad and Brother - like we have for the last 28 days.  However, we do get to see our Mom, Sister and nephew.  We get to see our friends and family who have been cheering us on for the last 27 incredible days.  Yes, it is bitter sweet.

We had some more special guests this day.  Mom, Eldon, Cidney and Pat and Charlie

Cidney and Pat and Charlie all rode with us the full day.  Dad and I met Cidney in 2012 when I had the opportunity to ride with the Davis Phinney crew in the Ride the Rockies (RTR).  Cidney has PD and was there because a friend of hers was riding on the team.  Cidney and her husband Pat took a day of their vacation to ride with us.  They are a great couple and like us - were not about to let PD stop them from living.  Pat was training to ride in this years RTR where I know he did well.  Humbling.

Charlie met up with us again.  He is the guy who found us on the road early in the ride and sold us the Body Float seat posts.  Charlie met us at the church in San Clemente with donuts and coffee and a smile.   It was good to see him again and it was very cool for him to take time out of his busy schedule to ride with us.  Thanks!

We met up with Mom and our friend Eldon near Pebble Beach.  They both rode with us the last 20ish miles.  As you know, Mom can hold her own on the tandem.  Her and Shannon are incredible team on that bike and 20 miles is a warm up for them.  Eldon - this guy hasn't really rode a bike in a few years.  He is one of the many friends Dad and Mom have in Phoenix who provide them with incredible support, encouragement and friendship.  Eldon was telling people he was going to ride and I think most thought he was blowing smoke.  He wasn't, from my understanding - he rode those miles like a champ - with his red hair flapping in the wind.

I say from my understanding because Keith and I missed a green light the others made it through and therefore missed a turn.  We ended up somewhere in San Diego.  Thankfully, we had our phones and Keith was somewhat familiar with the area.  Just when we thought we had climbed our last hill…there appeared another and another….and another.  Keith and I added about 10 miles and 500 feet to the final days route.  BUT - we ended up at boardwalk ahead of the rest.

The last few miles were on the boardwalk with all the Memorial Day beach traffic.  Incredibly, I didn't hear anyone get mad at us for bringing 10 bikes through the crowd.  We had several look at us and smile and others just look (as they were feeling no pain and probably couldn't focus on us.)

It was awesome to be greeted by about 20 of our friends.

We then headed back to our favorite spot on the beach - the Pink Cottage where we cleaned up and ate…and ate…and ate.  Thanks to Jodi, Cameron and Renee for the great meal.  I don't think I ate that much since the seven pieces of chicken in Paso Robles.

Thanks to all who joined, cheered and met us on Day 27.  You are awesome.

Congratulations to Pops and Carl for showing everyone with PD - Parksinson's Won't Hold ya!

Day 25 - Mugu-mania

First, sorry these are late getting posted.  The last three days of the ride were hectic and since getting home, I have had a hard time even thinking of sitting at the computer.  Work has been busy and I pretty much just want to veg when I make it home.

Day 25 - Oxnard to Hermosa
Miles - 61.91
Gain - didn't write

Today was a great day on the bike.  Relatively level and through some nice coast.  We rode by the Mugu Naval Air Station.  We stopped and read about some of the weaponry used there and other facts about the Station and I kept thinking about what all happened there in the more than 50 years it was in operation.  The base was commissioned in 1942.  Yes, I like history and am an information junky….I never said I remembered it all but I do like to hear, read and learn about history.  I really wish I had a better memory.  Anywho, this place is huge and I know some incredible events happened there.  I wondered where those individuals are now.  What are they doing?  How did they impact history…WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf…...

This also made me wonder - how much of this trip will I remember in 5, 10, 20 years?  How much will anyone who wasn't on the ride remember in 12 months?

What I do know is Pops and Carl continue to amaze me, challenge me, inspire me.