Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 18 (of 22) riding ...

Santa Maria, CA to Santa Barbara, CA
Staying at First Baptist Church
74.7 miles today, average pace 12.4 mph
Total ascent 3,153 feet (grades 4%-7.5%)

***Chocolate Malt rating:  pending, on walk to town 

Winding down ... The trip is winding down now -- only 4 more riding days, one build day, and a couple days off. Some extra days off because the local affiliates were not able to put together anything for us to work on. The build days have been a disappointment this year. The spring ride was great, but the East Coast ride had only two build days, and the West Coast ride will end up with only one. The Fuller Center has 55 affiliates throughout the country, but this is a large country, and we are a very young organization, only 7 years old. So, one of the main reasons for this trip is to spread the word about who we are and to get churches interested in becoming affiliates. Millard Fuller’s death created a huge gap in the growth of the organization, because he was so dynamic and in demand as a speaker.
The day started a little chilly, but no mist to speak of, and it soon turned clear and sunny for most of the day. Some said it even got hot, but they don't really know what hot is. A little warm at most. 

I was amazed as we rode by the fields. I learned this is how they take care of their raspberry crops.

My buddy Sarah had some structural problems with her back and leg today, so we were just out for an easy ride, even holding the sweeps back a little at one point. I was even climbing the hills faster than Sarah was. Well, some of the hills. The last 15 miles Sarah asked me to pull her home, so I picked it up a few notches and she managed to summon the energy to stay with me. Another great riding day.
So tomorrow is a day off, followed by a 98-mile day, followed by another day off, followed by two riding days, followed by a build day, followed by a ride to our final destination, San Diego. And the next day a plane ride home to be with my lovely wife again. This finish will put me over 4,000 miles biking this year for The Fuller Center for affordable housing.
Peace ...

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