Day 70 – End of the Road… Literally

Well it all boils down to this. Our last and final day on the 4k. The definition of bittersweet. I’ll explain that in a minute. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER!!!!!!

Here are the pictures:

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Today I rode for my Mom and Dad. Like I said in the dedication circle, “They’re pretty much the reason for my existence.” But in all seriousness, I owe all of my accomplishments to them. Since day one, they’ve provided everything I ever needed, supported me through whatever came my way, enabled me to achieve the all of the things I have, and raised me with the highest expectations. In every aspect of my life, they’ve set me up to succeed and the 4k is no exception. It was only fitting that I dedicate the day I succeeded in pedaling across the entire country to them.

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We woke up late (8:30am) and had breakfast in the school’s courtyard. After everyone got ready to ride, we had a lot of time to hang out before we had to leave. We had to be at Mission Beach at noon and since the ride was less than 20 miles, we didn’t need to leave for a while. I took one final picture of Layla for fun.

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Here is the GPS route and data for our last ride: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/586965788

We left Solana Beach and pretty much rode as one big pack with party hats on for Heather’s birthday! There was one pretty huge hill but it wasn’t anything daunting for us. We’ve seen worse. Through every little town along the coast, we would hoot and holler and even shout our cheer to whoever was in earshot! We had a great time riding the final miles.

We all arrived in a small park in Mission beach where we regrouped and took some pictures:

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We all then rode the last half mile to the beach where our families were waiting! We all took a minute to greet our loved ones before we circled up for one final ceremony. Each of the riders were assigned another rider to speak about. No one knew who would be speaking about them so it was a surprise who was going to say what. Aaron said a little piece about me, and in turn, I said some things about Allison. It was great for everyone to hear about their child and about the riders they spent the summer with! We then performed our cheer for everyone! After that we all took our bikes and dipped the front tire in the Pacific ocean!

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And so ended the adventure of a lifetime. It was one of the most bittersweet feelings I’ve ever had. I didn’t want to leave my new family of 26, and I didn’t want the adventure to be over. However, my body needed rest. I desperately wanted a comfy bed to sleep in and to take a break from riding. I said at the end of the ride to give me a month break and after that I’d be willing to ride back to Baltimore. A month later, as I’m writing this, I DEFINITELY would ride back across the country if I could. My grandfather recently asked me, “If you were given $4500 would you do the 4k next summer?” To me there is no doubt. YES. In a heartbeat. But until that day, I’ll be focusing on academics. Maybe some time in the future I’ll be able to go on another similar adventure, but one thing is for sure. Nothing can replace the fun, the memories, and most importantly, the San Clan.

It was amazing getting to know you all through my blog, and to meet a lot of you on the beach in San Diego! It was weird that you all knew me by my face, but I didn’t know any of you until you told me your name. It was great to finally put faces to names and to interact in person. One last time, please comment and let me know your thoughts! There might be some posts to follow in the future! I’m thinking of making a post about what to pack for future 4k’ers and also there should be a highlights video coming out at some point!

 

 

Day 69 – Last Van Day

Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! It’s been a whole month since we arrived in San Diego and I’m FINALLY blogging again. I guess that’s the drawback to being so consistent during the ride. Whoops!

Anyway, here are the pictures from our second to last day:

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We departed Huntington Beach with a full schedule for the coming day! Taylor and I were in the van and we had plans to meet some local riders who would lead the ride, plans to stop at a cupcake store for free cupcakes, and plans to meet Stephen and prep for the last day of our ride!

Here is the GPS route and data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/586965816. I think Allison may have carried my watch for me? I’m not sure since it’s been so long… In any case, whoever carried it did fantastically!

We chalked the route for about the first 20 miles where we had our first water stop. Taylor and I gave the van a good cleaning, threw a TON of stuff out, and made a bin of unopened and unused food to donate. We then met up with about 5 local cyclists who led all of the riders on the rest of the ride. This made life in the van SUPER easy. There was no chalking or worrying about the riders. The locals told us where to meet them for the next stop and that’s where we waited for them to show up. The only road going to Solana Beach was an interstate which is what we had to drive on. The riders were able to take a bike path, but other than the water stops, the van couldn’t come rescue riders! Nothing major happened though and we made it through the day without any incidents.

For lunch we were all treated to plenty of Chipotle and for dessert we had cupcakes!

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These were literally the most gourmet cupcakes I’ve ever had. I actually felt bad eating them because it was like I was ruining a work of art! That being said, they were delicious and I could probably eat a dozen. On an unrelated note, Taylor and I went into a nearby thrift shop before the riders arrived for cupcakes and she scored a $10 Pagatonia vest which was unfortunately too small for me.

During the course of the day Taylor and I had a lot of waiting to do, so I did a lot of research on where I wanted to get my commemorative 4k tattoo! I picked a place in Solana Beach so as soon as we arrived at our host, Allison, Taylor, and I went to get my tattoo! Our host was Santa Fe Christian School which is weird because we were pretty far from Santa Fe. Anyway, for a while I knew I wanted to tattoo a grease mark on the inside of my right calf. It ended up having 14 teeth to represent the 14 states we rode through.

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During my tattoo, Allison left with the van so she could get a shower before the opportunity passed. That left Taylor and I on our own, so we went to get some food at a bar down the street. We both got a 50% discount on the most delicious fish tacos and beer! We also met a guy who bought us shots of Fireball, and even knew Bode Miller. For those who don’t know, Bode Miller is pretty much my favorite skiing champion of all time. The guy we met had a ton of pictures of himself with Bode and even let us wear the jacket and goggles Bode wore at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics where he won multiple medals!

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Once those festivities were over, Taylor and I walked back to the host. We got a little lost in the darkness and in true 4k style had to reroute to our destination. This included cutting through a parking lot, around to the back of a building and hopping a couple of fences to arrive back on campus of Santa Fe Christian School. As soon as we got back we showed off our tattoo’s and hung out together as a team one last time.

I know this post is really late, but I’d still love for you all to comment and also be on the lookout for my post about our ride into Mission Beach!

Sorry to keep you all waiting!

So as many of you have made obvious, I still have two days left to blog about! No worries, they’ll be posted soon. I have detailed notes about what I need to write about so I won’t forget. I’ve been pretty busy since I’ve been home working on packing the rest of my stuff up to move to North Carolina and seeing all my friends and family before I leave this Friday! So stay on the lookout for my last couple blogs! If you still haven’t signed up to receive email alerts when I make a post, I’d suggest doing so. In the near future, I may have some more things to say and I know a highlight video of the entire summer is being made as well! You wouldn’t want to miss that! The email sign up is on the left side of the screen. Thanks for being patient!

Day 68 – Favorite Day Ever

Boy was today a great day! Here are some pictures:

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I dedicated today to Avis Halberstadt. If you have a sharp memory, you’ll remember that I dedicated a day to her a few weeks ago while she was still fighting cancer. Sadly, she recently passed away and today I rode in her memory.

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I didn’t take many pictures on the ride today because it was so short! Only 48 miles! I rode with Taylor, Allison, and Kirsten. We completed the ride pretty quickly so we had as much time in Huntington Beach as possible. Here is the GPS route and data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/559786516

The ride started out a little chilly, and at the first water stop, we encountered a farmers market that happens every Thursday! We got a bag of pluots donated and also some popcorn! In case you’re like me and have no idea what pluots are, they are plums mixed with apricots! They’re really tasty! The popcorn was awesome! They had many different flavors, and the lady selling it let us try all of the flavors! There was caramel, kettle corn, cheddar jalepeno, and their specialty flavor. I’m not sure what exact flavor specialty is, but it was delicious! She was nice as can be and really brightened my day!

We then rode through cute little beach towns full of active people, restaurants, and surfers! Towards the end of the ride, we encountered another rider named John. I started talking to him and telling him what we are doing, and before I could finish, he told me he already knew who we were! He is a 5 year cancer survivor and heard about 4k through the Livestrong foundation. He’s been following our rides online this summer and knew that it must be us as soon as he saw the Ulman jerseys we were wearing. He rode up to us and we talked for a few miles since we were heading the same direction! Yet another day brightener!

We finally arrived at our host, the Carter family in Huntington Beach, CA. Taylor and I went to college with their daughter Hallie. Since Hallie now lives in Maryland, we had fun sending her pictures of herself and her dog Magic:

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There was lunch waiting for us at the pool when we arrived and a whole cooler full of beer!

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We all hung out and were enjoying the weather when I had to leave on important business. Quite a while ago, I got into longboarding (long skateboards). I have two of my own boards and heard of a company called Hamboards. It is owned by the Hamborg family and they make SUPER long longboards. Like 7 foot tall ones. They are meant to feel like surfboards and I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while now. They’re a really small business at the moment, but they’re on the up and up! They were even on the TV show Shark Tank and got one of the people to invest in their company! Since they are based out of Huntington Beach, I HAD to go visit them. Their store/shop was only 2 miles away, so I decided I was going to bike there. Allison decided to join me and when we got there we met TJ! We told him what we were doing and he let me take a ride on a bunch of boards they had in the back! We got to see the shop and hang out with him for a few hours! I was in Tyler heaven!

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I had a blast riding these things around and even convinced Allison to hop on one! I kinda really want one, but I’m going to have to wait a little bit for that to happen. They’re quality products and cost a quite a bit of money. But on the bright side, since I rode pretty much all of them, I know exactly which one I want! We also saw a goodyear blimp.

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We talked to TJ and he had a really inspirational story about his life that he shared with us! He grew up in Indiana and one day dropped everything and drove to California! He made it through some tough times until he met the Hamborg family who pretty much adopted him! We talked about SO many things while we were there and it was great to just hang out with a new face! He was super chill and even donated $50 of his own money to the 4k! This was my third day brightener! I was just elated and on cloud nine at this point. Definitely one of my high points on the 4k! Once we got too hungry to chat, we biked back to our host for dinner.

When we arrived, we had sausages, and pesto pasta waiting for us along with salad! We all ate together with some neighbors and had a good time! Later, when it got dark, we had s’mores around the fire and Kirsten read to us her spotlights! She had written a spotlight for each person on the team and has been waiting for a while to share them with us! They were absolutely amazing, hilarious, and sometimes a little too honest! Also, during this, Bri walked straight into a screen door and we all made fun of her while trying to breathe between laughs!

All in all today was absolutely incredible. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Actually… I still haven’t made it to the beach. Or seen a sunset on the beach. I did see a lot of beaches and surfers today on the ride, but my feet haven’t touched sand or water! Hopefully I can change that tomorrow.

Remember to comment on all the awesome stuff that happened today. Also, enjoy this picture of Jackie

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Day 67 – Rest Day in Santa Monica

Whew! It’s getting harder and harder to blog every day. I think I’ve been doing relatively good though! Luckily, there’s only a couple of blogs left before this highlight reel ends, and I return to my normal non-blog worthy life! I’m not too sure why I’m so happy about that except that I won’t feel the pressure to blog every night. Anyway, after I blogged yesterday, we went out and walked around Santa Monica. Here are some pictures:

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Aaron, Danny, and I explored the pier before getting hungry and meeting the rest of the team at Hooters! Draft beer was $4 for 24 ounces, and there was an all you can eat wing special but we were only able to eat 25 wings before the kitchen closed for the night. Then we went to bed and I didn’t blog.

The next morning, we woke up and went to USC’s Cancer Center for our service day! We met the executives there and they talked about their Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer program.

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This program was founded with help from Doug Ulman! After chatting for a while about what they do and sharing our stories, we all split into groups to meet cancer patients and talk to them! My group was Taylor, Allison, Haley, and Michelle. We met a woman who was diagnosed with lung cancer, but has gotten it under control and was preparing for a vacation to Maui! She said that her diagnosis caused her to completely reevaluate her life and that she is ironically thankful that it happened. She quit her job as an animator for Disney drawing princesses and fairies and is now focusing on her own artwork. Her story was inspiring to me and we had a great time talking about the ride!

When we got back to our host, we had lunch and then a few of us went to a bike shop to get some stuff. While we were there, Allison’s family walked right in to the bike shop to surprise her! She knew that they would be in San Diego, but had no idea that they were coming to see her early. Then, some of us walked around the 3rd street promenade. We encountered some awesome dudes playing music, a guy shouting profanities at people, and a dude filming himself dancing around while balancing a water bottle on his head.

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People do what they want here. It’s kinda really cool. Anyway, Kirk and I went in a bunch of stores and ended up in O’Neill’s (a surf shop) and met Malia Manuel, a professional surfer competing in the US Open!

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She was really nice and we got to talk to her for a while! We then walked back to the host for dinner where we met our host’s home stays. There were three girls, one from France and two from Belgium who were visiting LA for a couple of weeks! It was cool talking to them! After dinner, we biked to Venice Beach. It was getting dark and was a little sketchy. Lisa decided to get a tattoo late at night, on the Venice Beach boardwalk, in a sketchy tattoo shop.

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She got a small 4k logo on her wrist. It took about 2 minutes to do the tattoo and it came out really well! We then biked back to the host where I fixed my broken spoke nipple, organized my duffel/life, and went to sleep.

Remember to comment and look out for my next post coming shortly!

Day 66 – City All Day

We couldn’t escape the traffic lights today! Here are the pictures:

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Today I dedcated my day to Daniel Murphy who passed from throat cancer.

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We started out the day flying down the hill we had to bike up yesterday! Then we hit all the traffic lights. It was stop and go all day, but the weather was perfect and we saw a lot of interesting things! I rode with Allison, Eric, and Brad:

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We got a couple of flats today, but the ride was really good! I hit a surprise speed bump in the road and broke a spoke nipple but didn’t bother to fix it because it would’ve taken forever and my wheel didn’t have too much wiggle-waggle. We got lost biking through LA and we encountered the ghetto, the jail, the dump, and chinatown! It was an interesting detour to say the least! I don’t really like cities and didn’t enjoy the ride too much because you HAVE to be super alert and conscious of what is going on 360 degrees around you at ALL times. People do crazy things and you have to be prepared. Plus I was navigating our group since chalking the route was pretty much impossible. We biked through Beverly Hills, and LA before we finally got to Santa Monica!

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Here is the GPS route and data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/558148028.

Our host is Saint Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, CA. When we arrived, bread, deli meats, cheese and condiments were waiting for us and I made the best sandwich I’ve had on the 4k. After stuffing myself, I wanted to blog before heading to the beach, but I fell asleep. When I woke up, my blog wasn’t done (obviously) and everyone had already left for the beach! So with an hour before dinner, I decided not to go out just yet, but to shave my mohawk and finish blogging. The mohawk was starting to look terrible so it had to go. Anyway, halfway through blogging, dinner was served, and we had chicken drumsticks, 3 cheese macaroni, and salad with homemade ranch dressing. For dessert was homemade apple pie with ice cream! I can’t wait to see what we’re eating tomorrow!

Tonight we’re going out to explore the town! Hopefully I’ll have more pictures and can post them tomorrow along with the details of our rest day. I know what we’re planning on doing tomorrow, but I’m not going to tell you. Such suspense! Remember to comment!

Day 65 – Looking Like California

Today on our ride, the scenery started to look like what you picture California to be in your head. There were palm trees and green grass and the weather was beautiful! Here are the pictures:

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Today I rode for my grandparents Gran and Dude. Just like what I said about my other set of grandparents yesterday, Gran and Dude were HUGE supporters for me on the 4k and in life as well! I can’t wait to get home to see them and the rest of my family!

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In case you’re confused, yes we call my grandfather “Dude”. Here’s the story. When we were little and my grandparents were picking out names, my grandmother picked “Gran”, but my grandfather said that he didn’t want to be called “Granddad” he wanted to be called “Granddude”! Anyway, my siblings and I didn’t quite get the joke when we were 2 years old, so we shortened it to Gran and Dude. And ever since, we just call him Dude!

Today’s ride started out uphill. It was gradual, but the headwinds were nasty. I had a strong riding group though and we rode pretty fast all day. I rode with Brad, Jeremy, Kirsten, and Shawna. We encountered another Indian reservation where bikes were not allowed, but the officer there said we could hop on the interstate for a mile or so and get off on the next exit. The shoulder was wide, and there was a weigh station in the middle. It actually helped that the weigh station was there because there were long lines of stopped trucks that we could easily navigate through. We finally got to the downhill part of the ride and cruised from there. The last 15 miles of the ride took forever because we hit so many stoplights! We’re finally in a populated part of the country and it’s pretty nice to be riding through civilization all day. The downside is all the cars and traffic lights. About 3 miles from the host there was undoubtedly a hill. There’s always a hill before the host. So we climbed that and finally arrived!

Here is the GPS route and data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/558148228

We stayed at Life Bible Church in Upland, CA. My friend from college, Becca, lives near there and she helped us secure the host and fed us dinner and breakfast! It was great to see her and talk about mutual friends back home! I found a perfect place to set up my hammock, the weather was beautiful and there were no bugs. So I took a nap until dinner was ready. We ate some delicious lasagna and then headed to Lisa’s aunt’s house to hang out and shower:

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We stayed until after dark and some people left early to go rock climbing. I would have loved to go, but like I mentioned before, my hand isn’t working too well and I wouldn’t have been able to climb. When we arrived back at our host, I was dead tired and my hammock was looking really comfortable, so I grabbed my sleeping bag and hoodie, and curled up and went to sleep for the night without blogging.

 

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BY FAR. The best sleep I’ve had on the 4k. I love my hammock.

Remember to comment and be on the lookout for my post about today!

Day 64 – Monsoon

What a day. Here are very few pictures:

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Today I dedicated my ride to my grandparents Oma and Opa because it is Opa’s birthday today, they are HUGE supporters for me out here on the 4k and also HUGE supporters for me in life! Happy Birthday Opa!

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This morning started out rough. We all had only one bathroom to share and then someone clogged the toilet and neither plunged it, nor admitted it. So a lot of people biked in their street clothes to Starbucks where they changed into their biking clothes and brushed their teeth and stuff. Meanwhile, I noticed that the toilet was clogged with what had to be an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper so I just plunged it and the bathroom was mine! Then we were waiting on our laundry to be done by our host, so we didn’t get to leave until really really late.

The first part of the ride was humid, buggy, and smelly and I was really hungry and got a headache because of it. This was not going to be one of my better days. So at the first water stop, I inhaled food and water and hoped for the best. Next I got super tired and drowsy. To the point where I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open and I felt sick because I forced my legs to keep pumping. I was losing it and my team could tell, but they helped me through it until the next water stop. At the next water stop I immediately took a nap in our now fly infested van (it’s super buggy here). I started to feel better after that besides my butt hurting and half of my right hand not working because my handlebar tape has lost it’s cushion. Who needs those last two fingers anyway? (Hint: You do. Pictures are really hard to take now, and I’s O’s and P’s are really hard to type.)

In any case, we were running from a storm for a while and had the most glorious lunch stop with fresh fruit, donuts, and chipotle! On the down side, the lunch break let the storm catch up to us. With about 5 miles left to the host, my group had to stop to let the rain pass. After three of the five of us had our wheels slip out from under us (Yay! More wounds in all the same places!), we found out there was a flash flood warning and they were NOT joking. Here’s some pictures and a video to prove it:

CLICK ME FOR THE VIDEO!

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My news reporting skills are the bomb. We found shelter in this nice man David’s garage where he let us have some free beer while he boogie boarded in the “surf”.

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Simon is missing from the picture, but I rode with him, Lisa, Jackie, and Allison. I really wanted to finish the day and the last 5 miles. I wanted to be patient and wait out the rain, and wait for the flooding to go down enough that we could walk/ride the rest of the way. Ask anyone who knows me, I’m more often than not, REALLY patient. I think I get it from my Dad. But others aren’t as patient as I, so when David offered to drive us to our host in his pickup truck, we as a team decided to accept.

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Upon arriving at our host, three teams had already made it, and two of them didn’t even get wet! One team found a way through the rain, and the last team (pictured above) patiently trudged/pedaled through the flood until they arrived. To say the very least, I was peeved that we were the only group that didn’t make it through the storm, but you’ve got to play with the cards you are dealt and be patient through the impatience. At least I got a free beer out of it! Thanks David!

Here’s the GPS route and data for today: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/556717596. Our pace was relatively fast, and the ride actually totaled about 93 miles. We saw a TON of what we think are apricot trees. They look like palm trees but they aren’t. They’re also clearly being grown on farms and their fruit harvested. Another fun fact: Notice how we’re actually getting farther away from San Diego! We’ve had some long days of riding and because of that we have to go out of our way to visit more places so that we don’t arrive in San Diego before everyone else!

Our host today is Palm Springs Boys and Girls Club in Palm Springs, CA. They said that the monsoon is very atypical and that the last time it happened was six years ago. Just our luck. Riding through Palm Springs on the ONE day in six years that it monsoons. Although I have to admit, I had a great time playing in the rain! I took a nice hot shower at the host, and we ate pasta and salad. While others went to get ice cream and see a movie, Haley, Taylor, Allison, and I cleaned out the van full of flies. We even got a shop vac from our host and vacuumed and organized the whole thing! While the rest of the team went to see Guardians of the Galaxy for a discounted price, Kirk, Taylor, Allison and I wanted to see a different movie, so we went and got our own discount at a different movie theater! They quickly realized that you can’t take me to a funny movie and expect me to sit in my seat quietly. I get a little out of control. When the movie ended we packed it in for the night in preparation for tomorrow.

Tomorrow we ride to Rancho Cucamonga, CA. It’s an 85 mile ride and we get to climb a 3000 foot mountain pass! The mountains here are really close and really pretty. I’ll have to get a picture of the one right across the street in the morning. I hope I feel better biking tomorrow than I did today. A friend of mine from college lives there and she helped to set up our host and we’re going to get to hang out with her tomorrow! I can’t wait! Until then, comment away!

Day 63 – Cooling down

The weather is getting cooler. Still really hot, but not scorching. Here are some pictures:

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Today I rode for Kara Lobasso. I went to high school with her and remember her fighting cancer at the time. Here is her story:

I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was 14. My last semester of 9th grade I had various symptoms of leukemia that were undiagnosed. By the time I was diagnosed in the ER I was critically ill. The next three weeks I spent in the ICU in a medically induced coma. My body was so diseased with cancer it was shutting down. I had a respirator to breath, blood transfusions, kidney dialysis, and numerous other procedures to keep me alive. The doctors had warned my parents that my chances of survival were not good. The doctors found out I needed a Bone Marrow Transplant due to the type of Leukemia I had. The doctors found a cord blood donor that was a match to me. In December 2008 I had received the transplant and was waiting to ensure it worked. Once you have had your chemo, transplant or whatever treatment you need to kill the cancer, the journey is not over. I still live with the after affects of cancer. My family, friends and community were very supportive. They held blood drives, fundraisers, and were there for me. My family and I also had support from nonprofit groups. Thanks to everyone’s support, it eased the financially and emotional burden. Now six years later I am still cancer free.

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Her story hits close to home on the 4k because we support young adults fighting cancer and we are also partnered with the National Bone Marrow Registry, and one of our service events is to get people to sign up to be bone marrow doners!

This morning started out really well with a complimentary breakfast at our hotel, Comfort Suites. We then left Blythe and set out on a 90 mile ride to Brawley, CA. Here is the GPS route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/555679991. The ride was ugly and not at all what you think when someone mentions California! There were bugs everywhere, and hay bales, and the smell of cow poop. It was overcast though, so that cooled down the weather and blocked the sun. Our ride groups were based on year of birth, and I rode with the 1993’s! That included Brad, Brianne, Heather, Aaron, and Taylor.

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This is all of us minus Taylor because she was riding in front of me. We rode on and on, until we had a long gradual climb. Then we got go to all downhill until we were below sea level! We rode past border patrol, barbed wire fences, and two fighter jets were flying around all day. We’re so close to the Mexican border! The roads today were well paved, but rough and it hurt all of our butts for 8 hours straight. Plus, for a couple of miles, the wind was whipping sand around as we were riding through the dunes:

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We finally got to our host in Brawley, CA. We’re staying at the home of a couple who are friends of the 4k program and hosted the San Diego team last year! They couldn’t be nicer and even have a really cute and playful kitten named Pita!

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Being the two biggest cat lovers, Allison and I played with him for a long time with only a piece of string I use to hang my hammock. We all had two showers to share, and due to the most hilarious toilet clogging incident that took 2 hours to resolve and clean up without our hosts knowing our showers were delayed so we got to play with Pita for even longer! After that, I was bored with the rest of the team, so I decided to sign up for snapchat. I caved in! But it’s pretty fun I guess.

Even though we could ride from here to San Diego in two days, we have 7 left, so tomorrow we head out of our way to Palm Springs, CA! The weather should get MUCH cooler after that and we’ll eventually hit the coast! Our ride tomorrow is 92 miles, and it is our last ride over 80 miles! (which is where I draw the line for a long day) Only short days after this!

One last note. Some of you have been reading my blog for a while, and by now you MUST have realized how amazing the 4k program is and the cause we support. So many of you have donated and mailed to us tubes, food, and anything else we may need, but now that the ride is coming to an end, we won’t have any more mail drops. I can tell that many of you have a donation addiction and this must be a real damper on your day. But wait! Remember, you can still satisfy your donation habits by donating directly to the 4k program! We are almost done with our ride and have everything we need to get us there. On the other hand, many young adults are just starting their fight, and will need a lot of support to get them through to the end. All of our fundraising pages are still open (this is mine: http://www.4kforcancer.org/profiles/tyler-stocksdale), and a lot of us are really close to fundraising milestones! Personally, I’m only $140 away from raising $6000! Six. Thousand. I never even thought I was capable of that. But then again, this is the 4k and you learn something new about yourself every day!

 

Day 62 – California!

We got to California today! Here are some pictures:

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Today I dedicated my day to Kathy Bohlman. She was the mother of a friend from high school and she lost her battle to cancer when we were only freshman.

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Today we knew it was going to be a hot one, so we left at sunrise.

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I rode with Allison, Taylor, and Eric and we it was about 90 degrees when we left. We reached the California line at our first water stop and since we were on an Indian reservation, there was no other sign but this one:

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This only contributed to the disappointment because our host cancelled last minute and we were planning on sleeping in tents through the heat of the night. Luckily, Brianne is magical and found a hotel for us to stay at! But more on that later. When we arrived in Blythe, CA, this was the weather:

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Since we couldn’t check in to the hotel yet, we went to a BBQ place where we got free beer, BBQ and $60 from three different people inside the establishment!

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Afterwards we were allowed to check into the hotel and our rooms. I called my mom and talked to her before we all drove to a proper California and Arizona sign (since we also missed the Arizona one).

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There are more pictures of our entire team out there somewhere, but I’m not sure where at the moment. When we returned, I took a long nap before dinner at a really nice restaurant where I got a brisket burger with chili and a fried egg on top.

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Life’s tough out here on the 4k.

Oh! Here’s the GPS data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/555680006.

Because we were in a hotel and sleeping in separate rooms, I wasn’t able to steal the laptop I always use, and therefore wasn’t able to blog. Sorry! Remember to comment anyway!

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