The last day (Day 7) of the 2010 Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) Golden State Challenge, I rode with 3 gentlemen who were maintaining an excellent pace from the starting point in Ventura to the staging area where we were to meet and proceed to the Santa Monica Pier. I was dealing with a cold from Day 5 of the ride and these guys kept me motivated and moving forward.
It was a pleasure to ride with them. I'm sad I didn't get a picture with them, but I'm sure I'll find their handsome mugs in the photos taken by the Scan-Van and hopefully, I'll see them again at a future R2R Challenge. Marlo, Kenneth and Mark, you rock! Oops, I almost forgot, Anthony (not my friend from Alameda) joined us nearer to the end of the ride. You rock too, Anthony!
For the most part, the weather was great. I know at least Camille, Jason and I encountered rain approximately 10 miles or so before the end of the route on Day 3 (Carmel to San Simeon -- the grueling Big Sur climb) and everyone rode in the rain the next morning. That is probably what brought on my cold since I wasn't wearing appropriate rain gear.
I recall getting up in the middle of the night before the Day 6 ride (Solvang to Ventura) to check the heater. I was certain it was on. It wasn't. I suspect I warmed the room with a pretty good fever and I'm quite certain I broke that fever on one of the climbs later that day. It was the only time on the ride I really perspired and I was sweating profusely.
Statistics from my odometer for the last day of the ride:
Day 7 - Miles for the Ventura to the Santa Monica Pier ride: 59.87; Average speed: 14; Max speed: 31.9; Time on the bike for the ride: 4 hours and 15 minutes.
The reception by the city of Santa Monica and at the Santa Monica Pier was heartwarming. It was just awesome! If you're on Facebook, you can connect with the Ride 2 Recovery and you'll see tons of pictures taken on this ride. You can also go here.
The Ride 2 Recovery Golden State Challenge was the ride of my life. It meant a lot for me to participate in this rehabilitation and fundraising ride for personal reasons, but my motivation and inspiration on this ride were America's injured military and veteran participants; those serving today and those who have served; and those who have paid the ultimate price.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) changed my military career and I couldn't serve. It meant a lot to me to have the privilege and honor to ride with America's combat veterans. They made the commitment to serve our country, took the oath and they answered the call. America owes our combat veterans a debt of gratitude for their selfless service.
The song titled, Do I make you proud by Taylor Hicks keeps popping in my head and that's because I've been playing a You Tube tribute to our troops with that song in the background. It is very, very unlikely anyone would ask me that question, but at the risk of sounding cliché, if our combat veterans were to ask me, do I make you proud or a reporter were to ask me does our military make you proud, my answer would be: Yes, you/they make me proud!
I am honored to have met those who are serving now and those who have served in the past, i.e, Vietnam and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I thank you for your service. Not that I've ever not been proud to be an American, but I thank you for confirming why I am very proud to be an American.
AKA Deborah Palmer
P.S. I'll be thanking the people who sponsored me and worked with me to make sure that I could finish this ride and not be a burden to the R2R and I'll share what this ride meant to me personally in a future blog.
This last week was about our combat veterans! I support our troops! God bless America and God bless our military and their families!