Santa Barbara to Ventura – It feels like an off day.

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August 15 – 33 miles, 1,022 feet and 1,629 calories

It would be difficult for the ride to have been any better. More ideal weather. A route that could have been designed and constructed by a cyclist. Good shoulders, bicycle lanes and bicycle paths. Pretty ocean and beach views. No troublesome crosswinds. No terrorizing traffic, in large part because of those wide shoulders, bicycle lanes, bike paths and no troublesome crosswinds. And those same factors, together with only 33 miles of riding, meant no stabbing back pain. As I said, it would be difficult for the ride to have been any better.

Speaking of those back pains. Yesterday I read a Comment to one of my posts that mentioned the breast cancer victims that this ride is for. It embarrassed me a bit to have repeatedly mentioned my aches and pains on this ride while not thinking at all about the much more serious and severe problems of those who I hope that your generosity helps, at least a little. That others have more serious problems doesn’t diminish the discomfort I felt, but it certainly puts it into context. Actually, the very fact that I have the choice to eliminate the discomforts about which I have complained puts them in an entirely different category. All I have to do is stop riding. That I don’t is my choice. But what choice does someone with cancer have that will make everything all right again? We can only hope that the contributions that Laura’s Rides have raised will help lessen, or, much better yet, even eliminate, the pain and discomfort of at least one cancer patient. If that is accomplished, that will far overshadow the minor inconveniences I have experienced the past very few weeks.

By the way, I see that we are now at $9,680 because of some more of your greatly appreciated generosity. A mere $320 to go to reach the goal of $10,000. (Exceeding that would be acceptable too.)

I mentioned that we would be staying with a friend from my time at UCLA while here in Ventura. We are, and the great hospitality is appreciated. The friend is Ruth Schwartz and she was not a classmate. When I told my father that I no longer wanted his financial help in college, I needed a place to live. I ended up meeting one of the greatest families ever, Ruth and her husband Jerry and their sons Mike and Jeff. In exchange for doing dinner dishes and occasionally “baby sitting” Mike and Jeff, I got room and board. But, more importantly, I made lifelong friends. I was treated as a member of the family, and what an incredible family it is. I lived with them for 2 years and not once was there ever an argument or even a serious disagreement. I don’t mean just between Jerry and Ruth, but even involving the boys, who were in the 5th and 6th and then 6th and 7th grades. No, I never saw even the brothers argue. None of this was because they were a Stepford family, but instead because they just got along incredibly well and were all genuinely nice people. Actually, the only disagreements I recall were between Ruth and me when we would discuss politics or economics and those were friendly, not heated. (She was farther to the “left” than I thought the gap has probably narrowed some over the years, due to my movement, not hers.)

(Ruth)

We are staying with Ruth because Jerry has passed away. Tragically, so did Jeff when he was only about 21, a victim of leukemia. However, Mike and his wife Laurie will be joining us for dinner tonight. Kristina drove up from Los Angeles to have lunch with us. Since I will be seeing her tomorrow when we reach Santa Monica, she came mostly to see Ruth who she has known and liked since she was a baby.

Well, 1 of the 6 preceding paragraphs was about the ride. But the other 5 were important to me and I get to choose what I write.

Tomorrow’s ride will be somewhat longer, 59 miles. I intend to meet Alejandra at the Santa Monica pier. We will drive to my condo near downtown (Korea Town) for the night and she will drive me back to the pier to start the next day’s ride.

Only 5 ride days left. To Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Oceanside, San Diego and then the border. Then I hope to see many of you on September 14 at the Completion Of The Journey potluck dinner at Paul and Annie Barendregt’s home in Lafayette.

‘Til next time,
Rick

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2 Responses to Santa Barbara to Ventura – It feels like an off day.

  1. Annie Barendregt says:

    Rick what a wonderful warm story you have shared! Thank you for that. The definition of family varies greatly!! It’s sounds like you were fortunate to have spent time with them;-)

  2. Bobbi Siems says:

    I totally agree – what a nice story to share with us. They sound like wonderful people.

    And even your last flat doesn’t sound so awful, because I think I’m remembering you changing a flat in the midst of a mosquito swarm last year!

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