I’m happy to report I finished the 300 mile Chefs Cycle ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego and to almost everyone’s surprise never had to get into the support van, and the automatic defibrillator never had to come out. We raised more than $330,000 for our No Kid Hungry work and had more than one thousand brand new donors to Share Our Strength. None of it would have been possible without your generous support and your wonderful friendship.
It was almost all fun, except for a few excruciatingly painful hills. The two fingers I am typing with are the only parts of my body that don’t hurt.
Most important, there are some wonderful new Share Our Strength leaders emerging among the riders, a new generation of chefs, restaurateurs, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts passionate about No Kid Hungry and eager to raise more money and more awareness. They taught me a lot about team work. If even one of the 20 riders had not been there I’m not sure I would have made it to the end. It was also a great lesson in how each of us is capable of far more than we think, of how many limitations are self-imposed and can be exceeded, and of how many people out there are looking for ways to share their strength and make a difference for others.
The end of the ride included a one and a half mile climb up a mountain in an area called Torrey Pines. The intimidating hill had been talked about so much in advance, in such fearsome terms, that it took on the mythic quality of a ghost story repeatedly told at a camp fire. The apprehension beforehand was almost worse than the ride itself. If you had taken of a video of me on the climb it would have looked like a still shot, except for the sweat pouring down my face and onto the bike frame.
All of the riders are already looking ahead to the next challenge, and the next way they can share their strength. Think about joining us for all or part of next year’s ride. Remember, if I can do it, anyone can!