It has been hard to believe that I have been back a month as it only seems like yesterday when I arrived in Portland Maine finishing my 3,800 mile journey. As I settle back into my personal and professional life, I wake up every day thinking about the friendships and experiences I gained. Transitioning from my office “on the saddle” to my office in Bellevue Washington, the parallels and lessons learned have been incredible.
Since returning I have kept in touch with fellow riders, (thank you Micky B, Mike D, Andrés M, Dave M, Charlie D, Dan K, Blake and others). We all agree the ride was not about the bike, it was the impact to our lives, our family and society at large. We are ready to do it again and planning for 2019 and the road ahead.
For me the ride was not just about my personal accomplishment, but how I could make a difference, raising funds and awareness to Alzheimer’s As of today combined with corporate matching funds, we have raised over $15,000 well on the way to reach my year-end goal of $20,000. Thanks to all of my donors, but the real thanks goes to my former “boss” Bill Gates. Yesterday Bill made news with a $50 million donation to help find a cure and treatment Alzheimer’s.
Today, Alzheimer’s disease
the sixth leading cause of death in the US, where a new case is diagnosed every 66 seconds. More than 5 million Americans live with the disease, at a cost of $259 billion a year. Without any treatment, those numbers are projected to explode to 16 million Americans, at a cost of over $1 trillion a year, by 2050. In 1995 Bill wrote “The Road Ahead” which speaks to what lies ahead of us in many dimensions and the challenges in society including spanning the digital divide. Today I believe the Road Ahead is about fighting this disease and finding a cure. As Bill stated in a CNN interview yesterday “Any type or treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today,” but the long-term goal has got to be a cure.” Both Bill I share a personal connection seeing family members impacted by Alzheimer’s. Please consider joining me (and Bill) on “The Road Ahead” to find a cure for Alz! To donate, click here.
Support Alzheimer’s Research & Care Givers
Portland, Maine – Yesterday was full of long goodbye’s recapping the funny stories, hard climbs and awkward moments we experienced over the past six weeks. Walking the streets of Portland visiting shops and galleries, we ran into several of the group with hugs and high fives and promises to ride again. The highlight was the reunion at lunch with my mother, (Louise) sister (Patti), brother-in-law (Ken), and wife (Liz).
As I head back to Seattle tonight I will start to decompress, catch up with friends, paper work and get back to training for my next adventure while recuperating from my injuries.
In reality my consulting practice in cyber-security, privacy and online crime will encompass a great deal of time, re-engaging with clients and law enforcement. Between the increased levels of state sponsored cyber crime (aka Russia) and data breaches (Equifax) and privacy missteps I will have a full plate. At the same time I hope to continue support the Alzheimer’s Association, looking to support caregivers who are on the front line every days supporting nearly 50 million people with Alzheimer’s.
Updated 10-6 – To date I have raised over $11,500 for Alzheimer’s. Help me reach my new goal of $12,500
Portland, Maine – Today was a gentle ride through New Hampshire into Maine where once again I was blessed with beautiful weather reaching close to 80 degrees when we reached the Atlantic Ocean. In total I rode 3,765 miles, climbed 141,265 feet, pedaled over 1.2 million strokes, ate nearly 100 cliff bars, went though 5 tubes of SPF 50 suntan lotion and two tubs of chamois cream!
The experiences and people I met along the way were amazing and will last a lifetime. It is amazing to think of meeting 20 other riders I would have such a positive experience. The comradery that developed was hearting considering we came from such diverse backgrounds, political perspectives and personal preferences. Perhaps if more of the world rode bikes together we would be able to accept more of our difference and make the world a better place. The highlight of the final ride was riding into the arms of my wife (Liz) and giving her a bouquet of roses, (see below).
Conway, NH – Leaving Vermont this morning we rolled out from Fairlee in the fog into New Hampshire a short 3 miles from our hotel. Today was the final hard ride of 84 miles and over 6,500 vertical feet of climbing into the White Mountains. Unlike previous days of rolling hills, today included 3 LONG climbs of over 10 miles each. The reward was spectacular views! Tonight we enjoyed a great dinner, while we reflected on our journey, surprises along the route, our wrong turns, meals and wide range of hotels we stayed in. Tomorrow a short 64 miles before we return to reality.
Ticonderoga, NY – We left our hotel for a short 3 mile ride to catch a ferry to Vermont. Riding into the fog we could hardly see more than 200 feet in front of us. The joke is the ferry has never been late in its’ 217 year history… it does not operate on a schedule. The ferry is unique as it does not have steering or a helm. It is guided by steel cables (salvaged from local ski areas). The cables pass through wheels on the underside of the ferry, rising to meet it as it crosses, then sinking twenty-four feet back to the bottom. The captain doesn’t steer, just handles a throttle.
After a short 7 minute ferry, we were off to the rolling hills of Vermont, making our way to Fairlee, VT some 94 miles to the east. A highlight of the day was seeing we had met and now exceeded my fundraising goal for Alzheimer’s research. Thank you to my family and friends for their generous support and a special shout out to my big brother Scott for “pushing us over the top”!
Starting out foggy, damp and cold, we were blessed with a clear sunny day warming up to over 60. The 6,800 feet of hill climbs warmed us up at the same time, having us strip to our summer riding attire and one last application of SPF 50! Arriving at our hotel, the Lake Morey Resort before 4 PM, provided time to enjoy the sunset and fall colors of Vermont.
Speculator, NY – Waking up today was a brisk 32 degrees, yet refreshing as the sun was coming out and burning on the morning fog and dues. Starting out in our winter pants, booties, gloves and hats we quickly warmed up as we rode through the Adirondacks crossing the Hudson River and to Ticonderoga located between Lake George and Lake Champlain. The view from our hotel looking out on Pleasant Lake was “spectacular” as we experienced the start of an “Indian summer”. Compared to yesterday, this was one of the most enjoyable rides.
Today was the Jewish high Holiday of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews worldwide traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 24-hour period of fasting and prayer, reflecting how they can be a better person and to atone for mistakes made over the past year.
After consultation with my Rabbi (and doctor), I agreed to not fast but to try to ride fast. As far as my ride, it was not a fast day. We started once again at the crack of dawn, riding in the rain from Cazenovia to Speculator, NY. Fortunately by noon the rain let up, though the temperature never broke 50 as we battled some wind on what felt like never ending hills. The guides help keep us warm offering hot chocolate and miso soup along the way and hot chili at lunch.
Perhaps the weather was appropriate to getting me to reflect internally versus being captivated by the scenery, as the rain help to “cleanse me”. Whatever your religion or beliefs, as we enter Fall, it is a time for us all to see how we can improve ourselves, our community and society at large.