About the Ride

Adventure of a Lifetime!

I set out on this adventure to ride the Pacific Coast Highway to have fun and see what I was made of. My goal was to do the entire route from Seattle to San Diego in 26 days. I ended up riding 21 of the 24 days I was scheduled to ride-a total of 1331 miles. I climbed up many headlands along the way-one of them being a 7% grade for 3 miles-950 ft. It was a very difficult journey, but fun as well. I accomplished a lot and even though I chose not to ride a section of the route, I learned that I can be happy with what I did accomplish and learn about myself in the process. So I ask you, to what end do we accomplish our goals? It's not enough to get to the end of the road without enjoying the ride and learning along the way. It is a process. To what end do we set out on the adventure of life? To say we did it, or to tell others about the experience of it? It is in the telling of it that it becomes meaningful-to share with others to that they may be inspired to dream about their own adventures-to have their own experiences to share. Some of the high points on the road for me were: cresting a hill after a big climb and high-fiving my friend at the top, racing down a hairy decent on the other side, going 24 mph with the wind at my back pedaling effortlessly, the thrill of roller-coaster hills, and a nice hot shower and a cold beer at the end of a hard ride. Some of the challenges were: crosswinds that threaten to knock you off your bike and push you into traffic, crossing scary bridges, having to change clothes several times a day due to weather fluctuations, and navigating. I learned about fear and courage and the kindness of strangers. With PKD, we deal with fear of the unknown. We don't know what lies ahead on the road to the future, yet we must press on. We must have courage to face the unknowns and the wisdom to ask for help. We must accept help with a gracious attitude and know that the kindness of strangers is out there in abundance-we just have to ask. I learned about perspective. When you set out to accomplish a goal and are disappointed by setbacks, you must remember to keep your perspective. The road can be arduous and setbacks are inevitable. Honor the road that you are on and learn from your setbacks. Respect your limits and work to stretch yourself a little more next time. Remember your struggles and honor the struggles of others. Respect your experiences and the experiences of others. The road of life is long and each person's experience of it is different. I learned about failure. Failure is not an option with PKD. If we fail, we no longer are participating in life. To fail does not mean falling short on your accomplishments. Failure is simply to give up striving for excellence in ourselves. When we fail to participate in life, we fail ourselves. When we face a fork in the road, we must choose our way. We must take time to regroup in order to press on toward success. These are some of te lessons I learned on the road that I want to pass on to you all: Challenges are best experienced with a friend, don't leave your partner behind, don't bite off more than you can chew, take rest when you need it, reach out for help, when all else fails cry and pray, when you miscalculate the distance revert to plan B, plan for the worst and hope for the best, and when a bird poops on you wash your clothes and move on!

About PKD

About PKD

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases, affecting more people than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and sickle cell anemia - combined. More than 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million people worldwide battle Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) every day.

PKD equally affects men, women and children - regardless of age, race, geography or ethnic origin. It does not skip a generation. There is no treatment or cure for PKD. Until one is found, PKD will threaten the lives of every generation of every family living with the disease.

Those who inherit PKD develop fluid-filled cysts in both kidneys. Over time, these cysts grow and multiply, causing the kidney to increase sometimes dramatically in size. Although a normal kidney is roughly the size of a human fist, PKD kidneys can grow to be the size of a football or larger and weigh as much as 38 pounds each. More than 60 percent of people with PKD will develop kidney failure and be forced to depend on dialysis or a transplant to live.

About the PKD Foundation

About the PKD Foundation

The PKD Foundation does its work on the grassroots level primarily through the dedication of volunteers at the various Chapter locations throughout the country.

The Vision of the PKD Foundation is that "No one suffers the full effects of Polycystic Kidney Disease."

The Mission of the PKD Foundation is to "Promote programs of research, advocacy, education, support and awareness in order to discover treatments and a cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease and improve the lives of all it affects."

Charity Navigator, America's largest evaluator of non-profit organizations recently gave the PKD Foundation its 4-Star (highest) rating for efficiency. They wrote, "Only 12% of the charities we rate have received at least 3 consecutive 4-Star evaluations, indicating that the PKD Foundation executes its mission in a fiscally-responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This "exceptional" designation from Charity Navigator differentiates the PKD Foundation from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worth their trust."

In FY 2008/09, 80% of PKD Foundation fundraising dollars went toward expenses invested in mission-related programs-52% to research grants and programs, 28% to patient education and awareness, 11% to fundraising efforts, and 9% to administration.

Keep the mission going forward and donate to Ride For PKD on my fundraising website at http://www.pkdcure.org/rideforpkd

For more information on PKD and the PKD Foundation visit their website at pkdcure.org/

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 11 July 21: Eureka to Garberville 73 miles

Man, am I glad to be out of the hellhole, Eureka!! The ride to Garberville was a weird-weather day. From Eureka almost to Scotia it felt like rain, but was falling fog. When I got to Scotia, it cleared up and was nice, so I started peeling off clothes.

I rode through the "Avenue of the Giants." What a long road that was!! And it was all flat or slightly uphill or downhill, but not enough to stop pedaling-no coasting at all-30 miles of non-stop pedaling, which is actually more tiring than up and down hills or rollers. It started out cold...Brrrrrrr!!! Then halfway through it got HOT!! I started to feel dehydrated and got a little pooped out!! I stopped by the side of the road to "water the ferns" and when I hiked back out, there was a tourist taking a picture of the "Humbolt Redwoods State Park" sign where I parked my bike. She asked if I needed any water. I told her I had some and she said, "Well, could you use some? We have plenty!" It's a good thing I took it because by the time I got to Garberville I was almost out of water! She saved my ass!! I drank 3 full water bottles today (72 oz.) and 2 of those were nuun water. Thank God for nuun. I really needed it!

I met some motorbikers at the vista overlook who commented on my tires and how worn they looked. I informed them that they were brand new and that the front one STILL has part of the bead still on it. I told them about my adventure and they said, "Ride carefully!" That seems to be the comment I hear the most.

I was so hot and tired, I barely made it to the hotel in Garberville. I've never felt so glad to see the crustiest hotel I've ever stayed in. But who's complaining! I have a bed, a shower, TV, fridge, and microwave! I had a nice shower, washed clothes (by hand), and went to the library. Finally a library that is open when I need to go! Had a great dinner!! Eggplant parmesan with linguini-more than I could eat-salad, bread, and lemon drop cheesecake for dessert!! I had the rest of the linguini for breakfast!!

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