What a difference a week makes. I spent the weekend before last (August 15-17) up in Napa Valley wine country riding with and to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation. This last Sunday the area was hit with a powerful earthquake. In the news coverage, I observed the destruction to some of the very buildings that we had recently ridden past.
The CAF, NorCal ride was a wonderfully successful experience. We rode 108 miles each day through some of the most beautiful routes in California. We started in Sausalito riding out through Tiburon toward the coast of Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, Kerneville, along the Russian River to Sonoma. The following day riding into the foothills of Sonoma, out through Napa Valley, San Rafael, Tiburon back to Sausalito. Each day's ride seemed to constitute many different rides, riding along country roads, rolling hills, bay, coastal, through lush forest land, vineyards, oak groves... incredible diversity. These routes offered spectacular scenery as well as challenging riding routes. What was inspiring beyond the natural beauty was being able to ride with these challenged athletes that could, would push the pace, show incredible endurance and grit when presented with difficult terrain! Accelerating up hills while they rode with one leg or one arm. Amazing! This ride raised $268k for CAF! I highly recommend anyone considering getting involved in next year's Nor Cal ride!