Nine months, almost four thousand miles on the bike, a few aches and pains, and a lot of great fun have come down to this...it’s Friday evening, and the ride starts on Sunday. As we used to say when we played hide and seek on Las Flores Drive in Altadena , “ready or not, here I come!”.
A lot has happened over the final few weeks of preparing for this grand adventure... there have been two more successful rides up Jolon Grade (Quadbuster), and it no longer seems scary. There was a brief left knee issue, the now familiar ITB tendinitis. This time I knew what was going on and caught it very early...a bit of rest, a bit more stretching, and some Aleve settled it down nicely. There has been another five hundred miles of cycling, including lots of hills. There has been a continued onslaught on the food supplies at Safeway. And there has been one glorious evening over at Sol Treasures. For those who missed the fundraiser dinner, a veritable army of enthusiastic, generous, and energetic volunteers stepped up to put on a great evening of fine food and great music, raising almost two thousand dollars (bringing our fundraising total to a rousing $8,000!), and my sole responsibility that day was to go off for an eighty mile bike ride and show up for a wonderful evening. Cycling looks like an individual undertaking, but participating in this ride has taken a lot of help, and the evening at Sol Treasures really underscored that.
So…we’re within thirty-six hours of riding out of the Cow Palace in San Francisco , and honestly I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, all butterflies in the stomach. I do have to admit to just a bit of anxiety; there’s still the nagging thought that one of those cranky knees could start to act up, or too many long days of riding in a row could be tougher than I expected, or a meteorite could fall out of the sky right in front of my bike, or something…alright, the meteorite thing isn’t all that likely. But a five hundred and fifty mile bike ride is kind of a new experience to me, and even after all the preparation and planning and learning and conditioning, there’s just that little element of the unknown. Pretty darned exciting, but just a little scary at the same time.
What makes this all so totally different from so many things that I’ve experienced, is that this one isn’t just for me. There’s something energizing about knowing that all of us have pulled together to reach out and do something to benefit someone we’re never likely to meet. It’s exciting to me to look at a list of sixty donors who have contributed, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to go pedaling down the road knowing that so many people have jumped in to be part of this.
Alright. The bag is packed, the bike is in the car, and I’m as ready for this as I’m likely to get. I know that this is going to be a remarkable week with a myriad of great experiences.
Ready or not, here we go!!