Two April 10-April 15 from Moreno Valley to Mesa AZ
April 10, 2000 Day 3, Moreno Valley--Rancho Mirage
April 11 Day 4, Rancho Mirage--Chiriaco Summit
April 12 Day 5, Chiriaco Summit--Blythe
April 13 Day 6, Blythe, CA--Wickenburg, AZ
April 14 Day 7, Wickenburg -- Mesa AZ
April 15 Day 8, In Mesa AZ
3 started in fog at 6:30 am. Jenn Hickok's husband Brian gave us
some directions on the routing. We rode in the fog, with bike lights
on, for 6.5 miles, to an on-ramp to the 60 Hwy. My mother SAGged us
10 miles, where riding would be impossible. Beautiful verdant hills,
with a hwy cut through.
We started riding again in Beaumont, through Banning, on a road
that paralleled the 60 Hwy. Fairly easy city riding, slightly
downhill. At Banning we rode through the Morongo Indian reservation,
then came down a road where Scott and I hit speeds of 35 mph (the
fastest I've ever ridden).
Then we paralleled the 60 Hwy to Cabazon, with two large dinosaur
statues, a brontosaurus and a t-rex. We crossed over the 60 Hwy onto
the old Hwy 99, and we were able to 20 mph for quite a stretch. Soon
hundreds of wind generator 3 paddle windmills came into view.
Snowcapped mountains towering over the desert floor, with cactus in
We had to merge onto a short distance on the I-10 before we
veered off onto the 111 Hwy into Palm Springs.
Lots of shops and shoppers in Palm Springs (traffic too). Scott
and I rode along, while my mother found the Auto Club office to get
some more maps.
We stopped in a bike shop to replace Scott's mirror which broke.
We continued riding south to Rancho Mirage, where we ate lunch in
fire station! By then, it was 12:30 pm, and we promised Jim Giles
we'd be back in Moreno Valley about 2 pm. So we loaded the bikes,
and my mother SAGged us back to Jim's, where we showed and readied
ourselves for the Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.
Jim got his wife Nita ready for the evening. Nita is a pHD who
needs some assistance. Jim drove us to Redlands CA, with quite a few
items for the raffle and some food items for the dinner.
We all got busy with various aspects of food preparation. There
was a lot of help, even including 3 Girl Scouts who helped serve.
The keyboard musician led a prayer before the meal, and then
everyone went through the line. Everything tasted great, especially
the spaghetti sauce made by Dave from the Inland Caregiver Resource
Center. The cake from Albertson's was awesome in taste and
Jim MC'd the program. Many great items were raffled off. Most
family groups won something.
It was so neat that the PR that Jenn and Jim sent brought in
folks that just found out about the dinner and HD. One widow of a
pHD came with her at-risk 18 year old son and his girlfriend. Her
mother in law lives in Pueblo CO. I plan to look her up when I
Over $500 was raised thanks to about 90-100 people there. More
will continue to come in, too, as they're raffling off a $500
savings bond, too, and that drawing won't be 'til later this month.
Many hands made light work cleaning up after this encouraging
Donations continue to come in.
Jim reminded me that at last year's dinner, I had only collected
$10. This year, the total is over $10,000 already, jump started by
the T-shirt sponsorships.
Tomorrow we will SAG to Rancho Mirage and ride to Chiriaco
Summit. It will be a hot one, through the desert.
Keep those prayers comin'. Pray for cooler weather and endurance
for us both.
Yours Biking For The Cure,
4 started early, at 6:05 am, when we bid farewell to Jim Giles. What
a great man, husband-caregiver, father/father-in-law, grandfather,
We SAGged the 1 hour
back to Rancho Mirage, readied ourselves in the parking lot of the
fire station, and got on the road about 7:30 am. Not too long into
the ride, a peleton of cyclists whizzed past us, and I yelled to
Scott, "Go for it!" So he caught up with the group, and
was riding with them when whoosh, down went the couple on a tandem!
Scott had to swerve to avoid hitting them. This couple sustained
some injuries, especially the man. Scott, being the leader/take
charge kind of guy that he is, flagged down a city truck passing by
and the driver called 9-1-1. Soon two police officers arrived to
take over the care Scott was already giving.
We continued through
La Quinta and some other small desert communities South of Palm
Springs. Soon we reached Indio, the date palm capital of the world.
We went on through Coachella, and stopped at a date tasting
showroom. After a rest there, we rode on to Mecca, where I mailed
two 2 shirts to friends in Colorado Springs. We ate lunch there too,
in the shade of a tree. We headed out the Box Canyon Road, and after
about 5 miles, the trouble began. No sign of my mother. Usually she
drives 5-10 miles, and waits for us. Due to the extreme mid-day
heat, Scott and I were already a bit low on water. My mother has
gallons in her car, but unbeknownst to us, she decided to drive all
the way up this 20-mile uphill in a canyon, and wait at the top!
Scott had gone on ahead of me, to get to my mother sooner, but he
never found her. I ran out of water, so I had to stop in the shade.
I waited there 30-45 min. A motor home stopped, and said that Scott
had sent them, to supply me with water! Thank God for these folks,
and Scott's perception.
After I got water, I
was able to ride on for a good while, but it was a long, long grind.
Finally a gentleman in a truck with two young sons, stopped, turned
around, asked if I needed help. I accepted his offer of help. We
drove 6 miles towards the I-10, and finally caught up with Scott. We
were about to load his bike into the truck, when my mother finally
showed up. So we loaded the bikes onto her car, and headed towards
the I-10. Scott and I were really bushed, and upset that our SAG let
us down. It was a precarious situation, but the Lord provided others
to help when my mother wasn't there for us.
We drove about 6
miles to the General Patton Museum at Chiriaco Center. Very
interesting. Patton led the desert training before the African and
European WWII campaigns.
We pitched my
mother's tent behind the museum, ate sandwiches, and turned in as
soon as the sun went down, about 7:45 pm. Scott slept near the car
for awhile, but some canines awoke him but he scared them off. It
got pretty cold at elevation 1700 ft, so he retreated to the car and
spent the rest of the night there.
The desert heat
during the day is brutal, so we decided to awaken at 4:00 am and try
riding in the dark (and cool). Hopefully this'll make it easier.
Please keep we three in your prayers.
Yours Biking across
the desert For The Cure,
Big (or maybe Little) Dipper was the first thing I saw when the
alarm awakened us at 4:00 am! It was very cool and nice in the
desert! We took down the tent, packed everything into my mother's
car, and headed out in the dark at 5:00 am, along the I-10. My
mother would drive a bit ahead of us, then wait with lights flashing
until we caught up, then move on. Time passed quickly on the 20-mile
stretch from Chiriaco Summit to Desert Center. The sunrise was at
6:18 am. We ate our usual OJ, cereal, and milk breakfast in Desert
Center. Kind of reminded me of Amboy, but without Roy Jr! Then we
pressed on along the I-10.
Once when we caught up with my mother, a CHP
Hwy Patrolman was parked there. He told her not to park so close to
the Interstate, and asked if we riders had a permit. She said she
didn't think so, but we only rode on the Interstate when there was
no side road.
About halfway to Blythe there was an 18 mile
section of "old road" paralleling the I-10. Chuchwalla
Road (should have been called "Chuck-hole-a Road,")
reminiscent of the Mother Road (Route 66) in need of a makeover or
It was a relief to get back on the Interstate.
When we found my mother again, more CHP contact from patrolmen who
stopped to see if she was OK. She said she had never been stopped
before, and now twice on the day before she turns 80!
We continued on to Blythe, to the Zion Lutheran
Church. When we got there, we had ridden 71 miles, our longest day
yet! Mickie, the church-school secretary, contacted Pastor Chuck
Hinkle, who hosted us. He SAGged our bikes and Scott, while my
mother and I followed in her car.
Their home was a lovely manufactured home, with
a 2-car carport, a koi fish swimming in a pond (Ardie, remember the
We ate a late lunch (first peanut
butter/lettuce day, Charlotte). Chuck is the Ass't Pastor, a deacon,
and in charge of the church school. His wife Helen does before and
after school day care, so she had to leave. We got our laundry
going, got some food and gas for tomorrow, and returned in time to
go to the Soup supper at the church. Good food, good people! Scott
and I were asked to briefly discuss the Bike For The Cure before
their mid-week liturgical service.
We returned to the Hinkle's home and visited a
little, but knowing we would be up at 4:00 am again, we turned in
about 9:00 pm.
This was our last full day in California.
Tomorrow we ride a few miles in CA before we cross the Colorado
River into Arizona!
Love to all.
Yours Biking For The Cure,
Musketeers" (Scott, Marie, and Vera) bade fond farewells to CA
as we crossed the bridge over the Colorado River. Scott and I each
found 2 quarters as we crossed over, and noticed an immediate drop
in the price of gasoline of over 20 cents a gallon in Ehrenburg AZ
just across the river from Blythe CA!
We knew it would be one of the hardest days
because I miscalculated the distance and it should have been 2 days
(115 miles) but due to fundraisers in the Phoenix and Tempe area we
had to ride what we could, and SAG the rest.
Immediately after crossing over the river, we
began to see the giant Saguaro cactus, which fascinated Scott. He
had me take his picture next to the first one we saw.
Scott rode ahead at his pace, and he ended up
riding the first 31 miles in the time it took me to go 21, just
about all uphill! I had determined to ride to Quartzite, which I
did. There I saw a monument to Hi Jolly, an Arab camel driver who
worked with the Army. I recall a Kingston Trio or other folk song
group of that era who sang a song about "Hi Jolly, Hey Jolly,
20 miles a day by golly, 20 more before ...." I can't remember
the rest. But from there, my mother SAGged me 10 miles to where
Scott was waiting, having just depleted his water supply, at the
junction of 60 Hwy and the I-10. We started riding again, on 60 Hwy,
but started to encounter heavy headwinds. Scott was spent, so about
2 miles from Hope AZ we decided to SAG to Hope for lunch. With
management permission, we ate on a picnic table of the Blackrock RV
Park. Then we were still 80 miles, practically all uphill, from
Wickenburg. Knowing our limitations, we decided to SAG to the
summit, then bike downhill into Wickenburg.
Wickenburg is at almost 2100 ft elevation, and
was founded in the 1860's. It's a town with 2 stoplights, but a nice
airport, community center, lots of quaint shops, a mixture of
Western and Southwestern architecture.
We are staying at the Family Suites of the
Remuda Ranch, a hospital/Biblically based counseling program to help
women with eating disorders (anorexia & bulimia.) There is a
lovely homelike set of one story garden "apartments" which
are used by the family of women being treated, but through an
Evangelical Free Church contact, we were allowed to stay, as they
had an extra room. Isn't the Lord good to us! Such a contrast to the
camp-out at Chiriaco Summit. I think it epitomizes what Paul wrote
in the Bible, about being content in all things.
Since today is my mother's 80th birthday, I
wanted to take her and Scott out. Found a recommended Mexican
restaurant named "Anita's Cocina" and the food was great.
My mother was surprised by the after dinner fried ice cream treat
that they brought her. She insisted that we help her eat it.
After stopping for groceries, we returned to
the Family Suites. I am now caught up with the daily messages, but
may have some personal ones, but have been unable to receive them.
I've tried numerous pay phones to call the 1-800 number, but none
worked. Just when I found a phone that worked to send, and had just
started receiving, an attendant at the grocery story crashed the
shopping carts and the noise disrupted the transmission. Will send
this message ASAP.
the land of giant saguaros and sunshine,
Still Biking For The Cure, with over 300 miles
On the 7th day, God rested
(after the work of creation), but as usual, we left town in the
dark, a little after 5:00 am. The ride was practically all a steady
downhill on the 60 Hwy. Many saguaro cacti were visible from the
highway, those massive sentinels of the Arizona desert. There were
purple lupines and orange Indian paintbrush (I think) wildflowers
lining the shoulder of the road.
We arrived in Surprise AZ early enough that
some folks were eating breakfast at McDonald's! visited with 5
lovely folks there, before moving along.
Finally I was able to receive my E-mail for the
first time in 1 1/2 days. But I didn't read it 'til later.
We continued riding in through El Mirage, Sun
City, and Peoria, and stopped to eat lunch in Glendale, at their
Municipal Center. I can't remember if I had mentioned that Scott had
misplaced his Sharp TM-20 pocketmail, somewhere between Blythe and
Hope AZ. I finally looked at the E-mails I received in Suprise, and
found two from Ron that the pocketmail had been found, and was at
the Sheriff's office in La Paz County! Scott still doesn't have the
pocketmail unit, but we know where it is.
We had to bike through the whole Phoenix Metro
area, from NW to SE. It was pretty difficult riding, with all the
traffic, plus heat, and fatigue. But finally after 72 miles, we
arrived at Landis, a bike shop where our bikes got a free
check-over. There Scott and I met up with Shelly Wagner (Tracy
Rodewald's sister). Shelly tested negative for the HD gene 2 1/2
years ago, but her mom and Tracy are pHD's. We also met up with my
mother there; somehow we lost her coming across McDowell from
Phoenix into Scottsdale.
Bill the mechanic checked our bikes, cleaned my
bike's chain, and made some minor adjustments on both of the bikes.
Nice shop, big inventory.
From there, Scott biked and I SAGged with my
mother (so she wouldn't get lost) to Shelly's. They have a lovely
home on a golf course, in a gated community.
Shelly prepared a delicious veggie lasagna,
salad, bread, and cake and ice cream to again celebrate my mother's
Tomorrow's the fundraiser carwash. Am looking
forward to meeting Phil Hardt from the Hunt-Dis list, and Natasha
Wright, the Arizona HDSA Chapter President.
Almost 400 miles into the Bike For The Cure,
having a little trouble with "heat rash," Thanking God for
7 great days of riding,
A change of pace,
plus Vera goes home
After a solid week of riding, it has felt good to
not have to ride. Scott and I have put almost 400 miles on our bikes; he
has ridden about 17 more miles than me.
Natasha Wright and Shelly planned a fundraising car
wash at a main
intersection in Mesa. Scott and I rode over, while Shelly and my mother
each drove over.
I had thought my mother was going to remain one of
the two rest days in Mesa, and return to Hollywood on Sunday. But she
had purposed to return today, so we washed her car, we hugged good-bye
(Scott leaned into the car and gave her a kiss!), she bought gas, and
headed for the I-10 back to Calif. God willing, I will see her in Ft.
Collins for Justin's graduation on May 12!
The location of the carwash was great, and a steady
steam of vehicles took their turns while many volunteers washed and
dried! We had two pHDs with us, Natasha's mother Nancy and Phil Hardt
from the Hunt-Dis list. Nancy raises palomino horses, and told me about
the twin foals she has. Phil is an awesome guy, father to eight
children, 5 of whom are special needs adopted kids. Phil is a
lighthearted guy, who enjoyed teasing everyone, squirting the hose at
Many folks from Shelly's and Chuck's church came
in. Many folks just pulled in off the street. Lots of awareness was
created, because we gave everyone a brochure. Chuck's mother Janelle
bought us lots of soft tacos and burritos for lunch. No vehicles came
while we were eating, then when we were finished the steady stream
About two o'clock there was a hiatus, so I gave the
money to Janelle to
count. We had determined that we'd stop if it was over $500. Well, it
was close to $900! Everyone was elated, so we decided to stop. A few
cars still kept pulling in, but that was the end.
We came back to Shelly's to shower and relax. There
was still one more
basketball game for Chuck to coach, with Josh's team (Josh is 13). About
7:30 pm we picked up Janelle and drove to a very unique Phoenix
restaurant, the Rustlers Rooste. Old West motif, complete with a live
steer outside, and a metal slide indoors. Beautiful view of thelights of
Phoenix. Janelle treated; what a dear lady!
We returned to Mesa, and got to sleep about 11:00
pm. A wonderful day in the Valley of the Sun, raising much awareness and
funds for HD. I felt today, as I talked to Natasha's mother Nancy, that
Scott and I are doing something very special with our lives right now,
doing something that will make a difference in people's lives. It
confirmed graphically to me why we are riding; it's for the pHDs, those
at risk, the caregivers, the families. HD must be stopped, and we ARE
helping to find a cure by raising money as we ride across America.