Carmel to Cambria: 101 miles, + 6,000′

This is Nick and a number of our riding friends – Stephen, Greg, Kat and Sal – at dinner at the Passion Fish in Pacific Grove the night before the annual Pacific Coast Century, an unsupported ride from Carmel to San Simeon, which they are extending to Cambria. I know that we missed a great dinner.
I am also going to miss that beautiful ride along the coast; 96 miles and more than 6,000 feet of climbing. However, it is for a good reason: I had a last minute cataract surgery the day before the ride. When I say “last minute,” I mean last minute. I saw the doctor on Wednesday and he operated the next day although it typically takes 4 – 6 weeks to schedule surgery. When he heard about Laura’s Ride 2016, he fit me in ASAP so I would be able to see better for the ride, saying that he has long wanted to ride across country himself. Thank you so much to a fellow bike rider!
Although the instructions say no strenuous activity for a week, that same doctor said that depending on my exam today, I would probably be able to join Nick, Kat, Sal and Greg on the ride from Cambria to Solvang on Saturday (Stephen has to return home) with Sandi as our dependable SAG driver. This will be a new ride for all of us, with about 103 miles and an unknown number of feet climbing. I especially miss Friday’s ride because doing centuries on consecutive days would have been a good fitness test for the ride that starts in just a month.
It will be worth it, though; my vision through the new lens is better than it has been for years and is continuing to clear up after the surgery. So much the better to see the country side on Laura’s Ride 2016. Thank you again to my surgeon. And good luck to Nick, Stephen, Greg, Kat and Sal on today’s ride.


Our Inspiration

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One of our good riding friends, Bill Killips, supplemented his generous donation with this heart felt and motivating message while he was dealing with his own health issues, a message that no doubt will run through our minds many times during Laura’s Ride 2016:
Hi Rick/Nick,

Unfortunately I did not have the pleasure to meet Laura but it surely was a bigger loss than I could ever imagine for Nick.  Please know I wish you all the best on your ride and she will be in our thoughts. This ride is going to be extremely emotional for the both of you especially as you get deeper into the ride and your thoughts become more and more focused on Laura. This will definitely be the ride of a lifetime. There will be thoughts of Laura and plenty of emotion to enable you to continue your journey. I wish both of you the very best on this epic ride.

Please know I will do my best to attend the launch party on the 9th. At the present time visitors are always welcome but please note my energy levels have diminished greatly as I continue in recovery.


Thank you, Bill.

More Training, More Vineyards, Good Friends and Rain


Freddy, Nick & Rick

Freddy, Nick & Rick

This past Saturday, Nick and I again rode the Wine Country Century, joined by our good biking friends Stephen, Freddy – who we are recruiting to join us on a portion of Laura’s Ride 2016 and is in the photo with Nick and me at an impromptu rest stop at a small café – and Bob who appear in the photos with us. The countryside through Sonoma County and some of its world famous vineyards is beautiful though on this particular ride it was also decidedly wet. Although cold and uncomfortable for a while, in the end the rain just added to our bragging rights and helped us prepare for some of the summer storms we are likely to encounter on Laura’s Ride 2016.

The ride was graced by some good efforts, good friends we ride with regularly and new friends met at lunch, including Liz from San Anselmo who rode her first century on a friend’s bike after having started bike riding just this past October. Congratulations to Liz! May there be many more.

Apparently a number of others on the ride were involved in some accidents, at least one of which warranted a trip to a hospital. Nick was fortunate not to have joined those unfortunates by surviving having both of his brakes stop working because the cables on his hybrid hydraulic/cable disc brakes had stretched. Of course he wouldn’t have had that problem if he had chosen Shimano’s fully hydraulic disc brakes rather than insisting on gracing his fancy Colnago Italian bike with more expensive Campagnolo components. I happen to think that Shimano is perfectly acceptable on my equally Italian Formigli.

Also getting Great Support from our Generous Friends!

Thank you to all who have generously donated to Laura’s Ride 2016. We are already at almost $11,000. Only $89,025 to reach our goal! We and, more importantly, those afflicted with breast cancer who will benefit from your generosity appreciate your care and thoughtfulness.
I can’t help but comment on Wesley Hulburt’s pledge of $3.00 per mile. While that is especially exciting, it certainly increases the pressure on Nick and me to actually pedal those miles because we can’t let any of that pledge go unclaimed!

Getting Great Support from Lazarex Cancer Foundation

Yesterday Nick, Adam and I met with the great staff at Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Maribel Montanez, Chief Advancement Officer; Karen Ambrogi, Communications Manager; Laurie Geiger, our “go to person”; and Lindsey McGonegal, the social media guru. The ideas and help that they are going to provide is aimed at turning Laura’s Ride 2016 into a very worthwhile event as they will help increase its profile and, in turn, the financial donations that will go to provide much needed help to numerous breast cancer victims.

Livermore vineyards

This past Saturday, Nick and I did about 72 miles with a great group of riders. Included were stretches through vineyards in Livermore which show some of the diversity of California’s landscape. The ride was fairly flat but, as Nick said, the fierce winds were a character builder. No doubt that is just a small sample of what we will soon be facing on Laura’s Ride 2016.

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