Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday Oct 21, Final Ride!

Dana Point to La Jolla - 55 miles.

By the end of the day Thursday  my achilles tendon was sore and slightly swollen. I was worried i'd have to sit the day out. Since most of the ride is flat i decided I'd be able to coast to the finish line ... well, except when we climbed Torrey Pines hill.
Getting ready to ride

Peter was feeling a little better with his saddle sores so the two of us just took our time meandering through Dana Point and San Clemente.  Lots of us rode in big groups through Camp Pendleton and down the coast.  We were well ahead of our two o'clock ride in so we stopped at coffee shops along the way. Our big hill was Torrey Pines and I can honestly say it didn't seem too bad after Big Sur!!

There's a great outdoor restaurant at the 18th hole at Torrey Pines Golf Club so a large group gathered there for burgers and beer ... our final meal together.
San Onofre State Beach


Brian Stan Peter

Sabine & Brian

Just before 2 we all gathered for a group photo and then rode in to the beach at La Jolla. Peter didnt know his daughter Chase was flying out to be there. He was really overwhelmed with emotion. It was great to see the joy on his face. Marita and Chuck were there to greet us as well which really touched me.

It was an amazing journey... difficult, weather extremes, beautiful vistas, great camaraderie ... It really was a great adventure for us. Thanks to all of you for your love and support ....

Brian & Peter

Friday, October 21, 2016

Riding through the hood...

Today's ride was very serene. We rode the bike path from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach and it was very peaceful ... sun rising in the east, calm waters in the west. We didn't make it a hard speed ride, just a nice peaceful day.
We rode through my home town and my brother drove down to say hello.

 Morning sunrise
 Support station in Manhattan Beach

We eventually made our way through Long Beach and arrived in to Huntingtown Beach. It was getting pretty warm ... over 90 degrees! We decided to take refuge in a local starbucks! Air conditioning,  ... it was great! Two iced mochas and 15 minutes later we were on our way. 5 miles later was lunch at the shake shack!

Our final destination was a beautiful hotel ... and hard  earned massage.

Each nite we have a group dinner and a presentation about something or someone CAF sponsors. Last night we met a young man who battled cancer from the age of nine until 14 ... he lost his leg and a foot to the cancer, but CAF taught him to surf and made the last few years of his life very special.

Friday will ne our short ride into La Jolla Shores and a final farewell!

The challenged athletes that are
 riding with us

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Revolution

This year's theme is 'The Revolution' ... this means transforming the idea of 'the diabled need to be protected' to 'Challenged Athletes need the means to be professional athletes.'
Each of us was given a sponsored athlete to ride for. My athlete is named Chuck.
This is his motto:  " the brick walls aren't there to keep you out. The brick walls are there to keep out the other people who don't want it as bad as you."
Chuck was born with a genetic disorder that made it impossible to him to feel from his elbows to the end of his arms and from his knees to the end of his feet. As a young boy he damaged his legs and growth plates so badly that by the time he was 14 he was confined to a wheelchair. However he was an athletic and competitive young man. He initially played wheelchair basketball but became more attracted to the rough-and-tumble wheelchair rugby. At 21 he was a member of the US paralympic team for adaptive rugby and was again a paralympian in Rio where the team won silver for adaptive rugby. CAF played an important role in Chucks success. CAF supports 40% of the US paralympic team. They have few other sponsors or public support or admiration. Peter and I are so proud to be assisting the mission of CAF and thank you for your support as well!!!

Santa Barbara to Santa Monica

Today's ride was along the coast from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica. The wind was howling in a few spots and knocked some riders down ... several riders called it quits and were shuttled to the hotel.
We are at the Lowes Hotel ... a block from the Santa Monica Pier and right on the beach!! It is a beautiful place. Its also not far from the market so we went there first for a large tube of Desetin! Sweet Relief!!!
Dinner was on our own again so we walked down to The Lobster ... it sits above the pier .. with stunning views and fabulous food. The lobster dish I had was soooo tasty!! We then strode down to the pier for hot fudge sundaes!! I think im actually gaining weight on this ride!!!

Pacific Park on the pier.

Pismo to Santa Barbara

Tuesday Oct 18
Meet our new best friend!!! I now know why babies with diaper rash are so unhappy. I have a huge rash on my bottom and on my chest ... Peter has two large saddle sores on his bottom ... and one with broken skin. Riding in the rain for two days is hard on old men!! Needless to say, we spent some time chatting with the doctor before Tuesday's ride. I was liberal with the butt butter and helped Peter apply these ...
Our ride today was 122 miles tbrough the central coast, Los Olivos, Solvang, and then screaming down 101 to the coast. 6 weeks ago Peter and i were here on training rides and we rode a lot of what was on todays menu so we knew what to expect. It was beautiful weather and we had a great ride out of Pismo.
We headed east and into a strong headwind on our way to the first SAG. We rode in with Bill Walton, a great supporter of CAF and the largest fundraiser on the ride ... almost  $250,000.00. We continued heading south and east until we finally arrived at Foxen Canyon. It has a nasty little hill about halfway through and it took every ounce of energy we had to get over it. Fortunately it was all downhill from there to lunch
Lunch was held on a beautiful lawn at a winery along the way ... we rested for about half an hour and when it was time to leave our legs were screaming NOOO!!! LOL
Our bottoms were screaming as well ... it was hard to sit back down in the saddle.  We coasted through Solvang and then finally to higheay 101, where we had shaved ice waiting for us!
We stayed at the Fess Parker Resort across the street from the beach. Beautiful place!! We also had our fist massages on the route.
Massage Tablea


Dinner was on our own so we went back to El Encanto in the hills above the city. The weather was still changing and it became quite windy ... after our menus being blown away and our drinks overturned we decided to eat indoors. By the time we got back to the hotel we were exhausted and went straight to bed.

Views from dinner

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sun and fun!!

Today was as beautiful as yesterday was brutal. Our goal: Big Sur to Pismo Beach ... 114 miles and Peter's first Century.
Most everyone was up and assembled by 6:30 ... just waiting for enough light to be safely on the road. Our first challenge was a 3 mile 1000 foot hill right off the bat. Thankfully it was cool and misty and the view was definitely worth it!
Early Morning mist

 As the morning progressed we passed some amazing homes perched on the cliffs. Lots of them have amazing gates leading to their homes.

The coast highway has lots of long climbs with amazing downhills! On the tandem we FLY down these hills. Below is a look back at one the hills we raced down. Of course my stoker wants me to hit the brakes more frequently than i do!! LOL

Beautiful vistas of the ocean along the way.

SAG stop at the top of a particularly steep and gueling climb. Someone told me there was a LONG downhill after that .... it was short lived with another steep climb!!

 We finally did get that amazing downhill back to the coast ... I clocked us at 40 mph more than once!!

The next 40 miles was along the coast, past the elephant seals, Hearst Castle, LUNCH!! Good ol' tri tip barbecue from the central coast! Eventually we made it to San Luis Obispo, right turn on Higuera and we finally made it to The Cliffs Hotel in Pismo. Amazing spread waiting for us on the porch overlooking the ocean. I still cant believe that Peter rode his first century!!!

Happy to be off the bike and relax on the deck.
Sunset from the room!

Tomorrow we ride 120 miles from Pismo to Santa Barbara. We're riding out at 7 am ... stay tuned!!


First my apologies... The Big Sur Lodge has no internet, cell service or even TV so i couldn't post yesterday.

Sunday, October 17.
It rained nearly all day. We started out in great spirits looking forward to the challenge. We cruised through Santa Cruz, and then the surrounding fields of broccoli and artichoke as we headed south to finally ride through historic cannery row ... then someone had the bright idea to ride the 17 Mile road to Pebble Beach. I'm sure on a sunny day its beautiful. In the middle of their first fall storm ... its brutal. Wind, rain, more wind ... ugh, pretty tough. When we finally made it to lunch at pebble beach scores of riders were bailing and taking the support vans to the resort.
Your intrepid travellers decided to carry on and we rode through Carmel and on the coast toward Big Sur. Im not exagerating when i tell you we were battling 50+ mile an hour headwinds. Have you ever had sheets of rain pelt you in the face at 50 miles an hour???
Im so proud of Peter sticking it out to mile 73 that day. Exhausted and hypothermic, we finally jumped in the support van for the final 15 miles. Very few of the group did the entire ride that day!
After dinner we went to bed looking forward to finally seeing the sun.
Soaked to the bone at about mile 69.

Trying to smile through it!

Saturday, October 15, 2016


We rode out this morning at 7:30 with a police escort through the city of San Francisco. We rode along the Presidio and saw a beautiful sunrise glowing against the Golden Gate Bridge. We made it to the coast and headed south but as the day wore on the weather got worse and worse. Lunch was on a Windswept Beach but it certainly made us feel better. The last 20 miles into Santa Cruz was pouring rain, a ferocious headwind but we still made it through old Santa Cruz and up to our hotel, Chaminade. We arrived at about 4:15 and went straight to our room for long hot showers!

We had a wonderful group dinner and a very inspirational presentation about 6  ParaOlympians that are riding with us this week.

Tomorrow promises rain off and on for the entire day but Peter and I are dedicated and we will push through it to our next stop in Big Sur.
Our start this morning

Jill had MS and rides this at the paraOlympics

Lunch on the beach
Lots of wind and rain!!

Last SAG stop ... we got pie and hot coffee... just before it began to pour!!

Sabine ... a ride leader

Andre, double amputee
He flies past us on his hand bike!
He is an amazing UltraAthlete.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

Our ride starts tomorrow morning and a storm has blown in just in time! Its supposed to rain for the next two days but we're ready to ride through it!

Mark Barr

Mark is one of the challenged athletes joining us for the ride. Bone cancer led to him losing his right leg at 14 ... He is now on the CAF elite paratriathlon team and placed 4th in Rio. Lots of amazing men and women participating in the ride.
Breakfast is at 6 am and we ride out as a group at 7. We have a police escort until we leave the city of San Francisco and then we ride along the coast dodging raindrops until we get to Santa Cruz. Should be a fun day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Itinerary of the MDC

CLICK THIS LINK to see our Route and Itinerary ... it will launch a clickable PDF. Just click the line with the distance information on each leg.


On Saturday October 1st we did our last long training ride before the actual million dollar challenge event. We left from Marita's house went out the 56, around Black Mountain, back to the coast and stopped for lunch in Solana Beach. Chuck and the dog joined us for lunch. After that Peter and I Road North on the coast route for 10 miles or so and then turned around came back down , up and over Torrey Pines Hill through the University and then up Genesee. Chuck very kindly had 2 beers on ice for us when we arrived back at their house! Can't wait to get the ride going!
View from Swami's

Maps of our ride ... remember, the averages are total time, not rolling time!
We had a nice lunch break here ...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

We had a long day in the saddle today. We left our hotel at 8:30 and headed south along the coast to Ventura. New bike paths have been put in along Highway 101 and are connected to bike Lanes through Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria. So you never have to get on to 101 to go up and down the coast. Even though the weather predicted today was very warm, the marine layer kept us pretty cool for most of the ride. The Sun finally came out as we made our way back up the hills above Santa Barbara to our hotel. It was a very different day from yesterday!

Here are some stats from today ... actual moving time was only 4:38:00 and we averaged 14 mph.
Along the coast near Ventura.
Can you guess what Peter is doing???

Saturday, Sept 17, 2016

It took us longer to get out of the hotel and on the road to Solvang than we originally thought. It also ended up being a lot warmer then I had planned for. We planned to ride from Solvang to Los Olivos and along Foxen Canyon Road. We were hoping to ride up Foxen Canyon and turn around at about 40 miles to give us an 80 mile training ride. By the time we got to the Foxen Winery it was in the high 90s and we were exhausted from the heat. We also didn't bring enough food thinking that we would be able to eat somewhere along the way. But there are no restaurants along Foxen Canyon Road so we turned around and headed back to Los Olivos. We finally found a small Winery that had some cheese and crackers and we both thought we had died and gone to heaven! We ran into the same people at several of the wineries and they all thought are riding jerseys were a big hit! I don't have a road profile to attach because I didn't charge my watch the night before and so it died about 40 minutes into the ride! With no cell signal we really had no idea what we were doing out there. So much for Brian being the fearless leader! Definitely need more planning for our future training rides.
We were in a lot more pain than it looks like here!!
Peter finally gets to eat!