We stopped at a restaurant to refuel and I was met by Carmen. She told us how she was so moved by our mission to Bike the US for MS that she handed me a donation and a hug. This occurs often as MS affects so many people and their family and friends are taken back by strangers who would ride their bikes across this country to help them.
The photo to the right is from Carson City, Nevada which was the last city we visited until we moved to our final state. We couldn’t believe this sunset as it appeared to point the way. When we arrived at the California line, we were given the opportunity to choose a more scenic route with a little welcome to California sign or we could opt for a larger sign with less views. We chose the latter as we wanted to celebrate our accomplishment. Tim provided champaign for everyone as we stayed at the line and “took in” the moment.
Most of the climbing had been completed; however, we still had to cross the Sierra Nevada. We rode up approximately 3500′ to 8500′. I was amazed at the vast changes in scenary. We went from a parched area into a green and very alive one. We camped close to the top of the mountain and looked forward to the descent on the following day.
We were not disappointed as we got up the next day and headed down the mountain. Even though the road surface had seen better days, we continued to see views that only pictures could accurately capture. One of the battles that we constantly faced was choosing whether to stop during a 30+ MPH descent to snap a photo or just to take in the site while moving. Some chose to do both!
When we arrived in Folsom, California, Tim, Ed and I purchased hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone. Another rider from 2012 had bought beverages and Kurt (one of our ride leaders) and another rider, Brett, who is a chef by trade, grilled the burgers and dogs.
Our next to last cycling day was into Winters, California. I wanted to come into San Francisco with a nice clean jersey and Tim and I packed several jerseys into backpacks. We rode into town to do the laundry and upon leaving the laundromat, we were greeted by a couple who wanted to know what we were doing. We explained our mission and they were extremely interested in the endeavor. They were very familiar with San Francisco and wanted to know our plans. Tim told the gentleman, Kirk, that he wanted to go see Alcatraz but there were no tickets available. Kirk informed us that his company works with the Parks Department and immediately got on his phone. Tim got his tickets!