Saturday, August 18, 2012

West Coast final three days ...

Day 22 (of 22) riding ...
Oceanside, CA to San Diego, CA
Staying at Point Loma United Methodist Church
45.2 miles today, average pace 10.2 mph
Total ascent 1,647 feet (grades 5%)

***Chocolate Malt rating: 6.0

Today was our last ride together, at least on this adventure. We enjoyed a nice easy ride with a couple of stops along the way. I rode with Sarah and Sher again, and enjoyed the entire day. 

A few words about Sher. She celebrated her 60th birthday on this adventure, and had not ridden a bike in about 30 years before starting to ride again for this trip. She did a lot of training to get ready, some on a trainer. Since she and Tom live in a rural area, getting used to riding in traffic was quite a struggle for her. I swept our first practice ride in Seattle, and got to see firsthand how nervous she was riding in traffic situations. She was not a strong rider to begin with, so she rode in the back of the group most of the time. If there is too much distance between the lead riders and the sweeps, the day quickly becomes difficult to manage, because the van can't service the entire group from the front and back at the same time. Sher, however, was very aware of this problem, and was always most considerate of the group as a whole, and would on occasion put her bike in the trailer and ride in the van if she felt she might be creating a gap. I know she would have liked to have ridden more of the route, but always put the group’s convenience before her own wants. It was my sincere pleasure to get to know both Sher and Tom.

So here’s a picture of Jenn and me enjoying the ocean waves! Jenn lives about 45 miles from “Geezerville” where I live, and I’m hoping to get some riding time in with her in the future. She, like everyone else, will have to slow down if she wants to ride with me, however.

And this is a great picture I love of Rae leading the pack. She announced her engagement near the end of this ride, and I’m so happy for her. She is just a totally delightful person, and her faith is simply wonderful to witness.

It was tough today, saying goodbye to all the riders, giving hugs, and feeling sad for the adventure to be ending.

Peace ...

Build day ...

For our one build day on this adventure we split into two groups, to work at two different locations. My group replaced the entire kitchen cabinets with a new (floor model) set of cabinets for our assigned house. We also did a lot of landscaping, cleaning up, planting, and mulching. A special treat was adding a new outside playhouse for the kids. The other group painted the entire inside of their house, and also did yardwork.

When we finished up our work we went downtown and enjoyed a terrific pizza dinner. It’s  always great to meet the people behind the build days, and this was no exception. Bettie Youngs is the local affiliate director, and is the publisher of many books, including her own book, “The House That Love Built”, which  is the story of Linda and Millard Fuller. 

Next door to the pizza was a book signing, arranged by Bettie, for Tony Volpentest, "the fastest man in the world." What an inspiration he is, and certainly now he’s one of my heroes. He had retired from competition, but has now announced he’s back in training for the 2016 Olympics. I purchased four of his books (coincidentally titled “Fastest Man in the World”), three to use as gifts. I look forward to reading about Tony. He is shown here with another of my heroes, Jon, who is a cancer survivor, a FCBA biker, and a man of great character and faith. I’m proud to call him friend.

Peace ...

Day 21 (of 22) riding ...

Huntington Beach, CA to Oceanside, CA
Staying at  Grace Chapel of the Coast
54.5 miles today, average pace 11.8 mph
Total ascent 1,732 feet (grades 4%)

***Chocolate Malt rating: 6.0

Sweep today ... Carmen and I swept and hung out with Sher, and my riding buddy, Sarah. A pretty easy day, with no difficult climbs. I think this was the day that a local newspaper reporter stopped our group as we rode by, and interviewed us. I love the picture he took of me with the cookie in my mouth.

Peace ... 

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