By Adam Moore
After a long and treacherous journey out west, Bike4Alz 2017 is finally in full swing! If you haven't read Tommy's blog post chronicling our adventures during the trip out, be sure to do that, because I promise you don't want to miss hearing all about it. But let me tell you, we have certainly been spoiled throughout California. There are so many events to recap and so many people to thank, but I think you'll enjoy reading about our California adventures!
First of all, thank you to the Delta Xi chapter at UC Berkeley for letting us stay with them for our first couple nights! They were gracious hosts and recommended a couple great places to eat and visit around the city. On Thursday, we took some time to walk around the campus, which was especially cool because a graduation ceremony was just finishing up while we were there! We made dinner at the house and enjoyed a beautiful sunset from Grizzly Peak, where we met a couple new friends.
Friday took us into San Francisco for one last day of preparation before the ride officially began. The guys took one last practice ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, and meanwhile I attempted to learn how to pull a trailer through downtown San Francisco. Thank you to the Greene family for taking us to dinner down on the pier (and taking us to see the sea lions), and for doing laundry for us before we left! After dinner and our relaxing evening on the pier, we drove back into San Francisco to stay with Rich Ramos, a graduate brother from Illinois. Thank you to Rich for letting us stay at his beautiful apartment!
On Saturday, the big day had finally come. After dipping their tires in the Pacific Ocean, the guys took off across the Golden Gate Bridge. They had a successful first day of riding, and I only backed the trailer into one wall. We stayed in Vallejo that evening at the beautiful home of Bob Arp and his girlfriend Becky. Bob is a graduate brother from UCLA and prepared for us that evening one of the best barbecues I've ever had. Thank you to Bob and Becky for being such gracious hosts!
Sunday was a long day of riding for the guys, but they did a great job nonetheless. I had an incredible waffle at Steady Eddy's in Winters, and then we reached Davis, where the guys were greeted by the Fiji colony at UC Davis! Huge thank you to those guys for hosting a pancake breakfast to raise money for our cause as well as a barbecue for us once we arrived. We had a blast hanging out with those guys and are so excited to watch the Davis colony charter and grow into an incredible chapter!
Monday was our first rest day, and it was good for all of us to have a day off. We had a private tour of the US Cycling Hall of Fame from Bob Bowen, and it was super cool to see just how bike friendly the city of Davis is! Thanks to Bob for giving us a thorough tour and for participating in our Facebook Live video for that day. Finally, it's time to thank one of our greatest allies and friends in California: Dennis Whitcomb, better known as "Uncle Dennis." Dennis is a graduate brother from UC Riverside and is currently the Purple Legionnaire for the UC Davis colony. Dennis' wife, Trish, arranged for us to stay at the beautiful West Village apartments at UC Davis, and Dennis was unbelievably kind to us (and continues to be!). Dennis took us out for Mexican on Sunday and pizza on Monday, and even introduced us to a local favorite called boba. Thank you, Dennis, for your kindness and hospitality, and for even letting us all become your new nephews!
Tuesday began with the guys being interviewed by Good Day Sacramento before we left Davis, and we'd like to thank Good Day Sacramento for taking the time to document our story and our cause! The guys rode through 100-degree weather to make it to Sacramento, but we were fortunate enough to stay with my Uncle Steve once we made it there! Uncle Steve took us out to dinner at a wonderful Chinese bistro called Fat's, and we had one of the best meals of the trip so far.
Wednesday began with Conrad flying out to Massachusetts for a few days to celebrate his brother's wedding, and Aly Badinger flying in to shoot this year's promo video. We missed Conrad, but Aly rocks and is unbelievably talented. Be on the lookout for this year's video! The day took the guys up the foothills of California into Somerset, after which we backtracked and stayed at Uncle Steve's for another night. We had a delicious dinner of chicken parmesan and enjoyed a dip in the pool to relax before heading to bed and preparing for another day. Major thank you to Uncle Steve for being a gracious host, coming through for us on short notice, and being a reminder of the beauty of family.
Thursday was by far the toughest day of biking for the guys, but they showed an incredible amount of toughness and perseverance in making it through. Starting from Somerset, they biked for about nine hours and climbed over 7,500 feet to make it to Kirkwood. Hopefully that'll be one of the toughest days of biking they have all summer, but I'm certainly incredibly proud of the way they just kept pushing all day. We were fortunate to have a room donated to us by the Kirkwood Resort, a beautiful ski resort in the mountains of Kirkwood. We took advantage of the hot tub at the resort, enjoyed exploring (especially since it was mostly empty in the middle of summer), and were all able to sleep in a bed for the first time since leaving home! Thank you, Kirkwood, for being so good to us.
On Friday we entered Nevada, so I'll stop here and let Tommy pick up soon with a recap of Nevada. A few fun, stray observations before I finish up:
- The West Coast has no sweet tea, which has made Conrad very unhappy.
- Tommy is significantly better at making breakfast and dinner than I am, but I made pasta two nights ago and am slowly improving!
- It's weird to have free time in the truck, but I'm learning to be productive, read a lot, and enjoy the scenery and quiet time.
- I haven't taken many pictures (mostly because I know Tommy has been), but I have taken some GoPro footage from the truck, which I'll hopefully include in my next post!
- In N Out is just as good as I remembered, and I have indeed been three times already.
- Finally, the dedications are quite possibly the most important and influential part of every day on this trip. We've all been impacted even more than we expected by the many dedications folks have submitted for loved ones, so please click here to dedicate a day to someone you love who has suffered from Alzheimer's. It makes each day infinitely more meaningful when we are able to remember why we're doing what we're doing.