A continuation of Superintendent, Bill Johnston’s bike ride down the West Coast as part of the California Coast Arthritis Bike Classic. Below are some recaps and pics from the last few days so we can all share in Bill’s adventure and challenge. If you missed part 1, click here or part 2 click here to catch up.
Day 8 – 9/16
“Day 8 is complete, I crossed the finish line after my last 55 miles with about 2,800 ft of climbing.” -Bill
A Moment of Reflection
Total miles rode ended up being 565 with 24,650 ft of climbing over the eight day period. There were (5) days with 85 miles+, a 72 mile day, a 65 mile day and the last day which ended up being 55 miles. It was not only a physical challenge but was also a huge mental challenge. You learn a lot about yourself when you are challenged with a 85 mile ride in 90+ degree weather with half mile long climbs.
Besides my own personal drive of just wanting to complete the ride, my other inspiration was do this in memory of Christiana Powery. She is the daughter of one of my good friends who at age 10 passed away from JDMS (Juvenile Dermatomyositis Autoimmune Disease). Since her passing her parents Dwight and Maria have dedicated their lives to helping bring awareness, raise money and find a cure for this disease. Each night before dinner they would have a special guest tell their story and how this disease has impacted their lives. You very quickly learn that arthritis is not just something that makes older people’s joints hurt. It has no discrimination and can affect anyone at any time. I heard one particular story from a younger guy who had been doing the ride for the last several years, he had started doing the ride mainly just because he likes riding and it’s a really great ride. Two years ago he went to the doctor because he had been having issues with his ankles and could not seem to get them to heal, he went to the doctor and was told that he had arthritis. Great young man with a very positive attitude, but it really makes you stop and think about things and how in the blink of an eye your situation can change. I am hoping to be able do this again next year, anyone who thinks they might be interested please contact me. We can talk about training and how to get ready for the ride. It will be an experience you will never forget!