In 2016, after nearly 35 years of bike riding, I realized a long held dream of riding across the USA when a friend, Nick Bloisa, and I rode from Santa Monica, California to St. Augustine, Florida as Laura’s Ride 2016. Then, in large part because I was haunted by the thought that my first ride had avoided the mountains of a northern route, last summer I rode from Astoria, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire as Laura’s Ride North. That ride differed from the first both because I rode alone – although I was again accompanied by Alejandra who drove the SAG wagon (see The Team page) – and because the debilitating heat of the southern route that went as high as 123 degrees was replaced by the rigors of climbing through numerous mountains. The benefit of avoiding the heat, and likely the advantage of doing more climbing, was obvious because when I returned to riding with friends at home I was stronger than when I started whereas in 2016 my riding was far worse than usual for a couple of months while I recovered from the heat.
Before last year’s ride I said, “This is Laura’s Ride North, and not Laura’s Ride 2017, because unless someone else takes up the challenge, I don’t expect there to be a Laura’s Ride 2018, at least not one across the country!” That was backed up by the vow I made during last year’s ride that that was the last time I was going to do that.
So, is this ride proving that I can’t make up my mind, that with age I can’t remember resolutions made less than a year ago? Of course not! I am not again riding coast to coast across the country. Instead, Laura’s Ride Atlantic Coast will go from border to border the length of the US, plus some added miles in Canada as I go from Quebec, City, Canada to Key West, Florida.
Why am I doing this? Because, as I have said, there is something addictive about long distance riding. The goal before the ride starts serves as motivation to keep riding during the rest of the year. The ride itself requires a focus that work no longer provides as my practice winds down. And as I said in one of last year’s posts, ego plays a part, the voice that tells me I can still do this despite the toll that the passage of time is obviously extracting. Although my time in the gym tells me all too clearly that I am not nearly as strong as I was even a few years ago, that voice is convinced that I can still do some things that many people who are much younger can’t or won’t do.
Plus, from a much more meaningful perspective, Laura’s Ride Atlantic Coast, as were Laura’s Ride 2016 and Laura’s Ride North, is dedicated to raising funds to help those afflicted with breast cancer by partnering with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation. 100% of the donations will go to help those victims because the Lazarex Cancer Foundation’s administrative costs are paid by its generous founders (click here for an overview of the Lazarex Foundation’s history and good deeds) and the riders – anyone who joins for a part of the ride and me – will, with the possible help of the Sponsors, pay the costs of the ride itself. (Go to the “Home” tab to see how to contribute or to become a Sponsor.)
I hope you follow along with this adventure. Your comments and DONATIONS will of course be appreciated.