Day Five

We rode from Solvang to Ventura today, about 70 miles. The ride was fun, with a climb over the mountains that separate our origin from our destination, and a fun, twisty descent down into Santa Barbara. The weather was threatening when we started, but steadily improved and it was beautiful when we finished.

Each night of the ride, we have a nice dinner together, with healthy and delicious meals prepared by our team chef. Tonight was our final dinner, and we had a few new riders joining our group for tomorrow’s final day. It was very nice to get to know everyone, as we took turns describing how we became involved in Pablove Across America. It was also touching, as four of the riders on the final day, including myself and Jeff, the founder of Pablove with his wife Joanne, are cancer dads. While we have all been on different journeys, similar threads run through our experiences. It’s nice to see that we are all united in action against pediatric cancer.

Today’s ride:

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Day Four

Mud, sweat, and gears – that sums up my fourth day with Pablove Across America. We rode from Pismo Beach to Solvang, 70 miles. It was soggy and wet the whole time, with lots of mud during the his first half of the ride, and a decent amount of rain during the second half of the ride. Not every day can be sunny, right? That should be obvious to those who don’t live in Arizona.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the ride. Riding in those conditions is not something I do often, due to Arizona’s dry climate, but I have come to enjoy it. While that is nothing in comparison to what kids with cancer routinely endure, Jeff from the Pablove Foundation reminded me this morning that cancer kids often learn to persevere and be happy under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. It’s the times that you most want to quit, that are the most satisfying to continue. It’s a good lesson to learn.

Today’s ride:

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Day Three

Beautiful day today. We rode from San Simeon to Pismo Beach, where it was mostly sunny and 72 degrees when we finished. We rode through San Luis Obispo, which seemed like a nice little town that would be fun to visit some day. Today’s group was the same bunch that started in Santa Cruz, but I think tomorrow we add one or two more riders, a few more on Wednesday, and a whole bunch more for the final day on Thursday. It’s good to see people supporting our mission.

Here is today’s GPS info:

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Day Two

Epic ride today. We followed our original plan to ride from Big Sur to San Simeon (because that’s a decent amount of climbing), though we stayed overnight in Carmel-by-the-Sea. If you’ve not visited this area, I highly, highly recommend it. It is truly, breathtakingly beautiful. We drove these same roads in June while on a family trip, and it is an incredible showcase of natural beauty.

The weather was damp and cool, with periodic rain. At one point, we were climbing one of the longer climbs of the day, and it was raining hard, and there was even some thunder overhead. I really, really enjoyed that part – no joke. Descending down twisty, unfamiliar mountain roads, in the rain, with a sheer dropoff of several hundred feet down to the roaring ocean below – well, that I could do without. At least, without the wet pavement would be nice.

The afternoon dedication for the ride today was to Leo. You can view all of the Pablove Across America dedications at this link: http://pablove.org/pablove-across-america/road-video-journal/

Here’s today’s stats:

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Day One

We rode from Santa Cruz to Carmel-by-the-Sea today, about 56 miles.  The temperature was in the mid 50s when we started, with foggy conditions.  For me, coming from Arizona, it was fairly cold, but not too bad, and I was dressed for it.  We took a lot of side roads and bike paths today to avoid some roads with heavy traffic.  As we rode through Monterey, the weather improved, and it is a very beautiful area.  We took a wrong turn for a few miles, but got a glimpse of the Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Tomorrow’s ride is going to be a longer day, with much more climbing, as we ride along the coast to San Simeon, home of Hearst Castle.

Here is the GPS data from today’s ride:

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Day Zero

I arrived in Santa Cruz, California, today, and the ride starts at 9:00 tomorrow morning.  There will be eight riders tomorrow, with some more joining us in a few days, and a bunch more on the last day.  The Pablove Foundation has mastered the logistics, and makes me feel like a pro cyclist, or maybe even a rock star.  SRAM, a bike parts company, has provided two vehicles for the ride, and a mechanic and two soigneurs.  The mechanic is a top pro mechanic, and already has all of the bikes in perfect order.  The soigneurs assist with ride logistics and will provide massages after each day’s ride.  We also have a coach who will be riding with us, another assistant driving our large box truck, which is equipped with a full kitchen, and our chef, who prepared a delicious, organic dinner for all of us.

I met a few of the departing riders from this past week, and a few of us walked around Santa Cruz, which seems to have a very nice, laid-back vibe.  Then, a few of us were treated to a facility tour at a national bike parts company that coincidentally has its research and design center here.  Jeff Castelaz, head of the Pablove Foundation, returned and told us of his visit to a children’s hospital in Palo Alto.  Along the way on Pablove Across America, both this year and last year, various visits to oncology wings at children’s hospitals were made, to visit with the kids and have a little fun.  Everyone is ready to have a fun and safe ride as we take our message down the coast.

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Getting Ready

I am ready for the ride. In the past eight weeks, I have logged about 1,700 miles on the bike to get myself in shape to complete the 423-mile journey that begins on Saturday. The culmination of my training was completing back-to-back 100-mile rides on Saturday and Sunday. I did it, and felt strong when I finished (but also tired!). Another milestone was reached today, when donations reached my goal of $10,000.00. When I decided to do this, in just the beginning of August, I wasn’t sure I would be able to meet that goal. Now, it is done. We brought the same attitude to Leo’s battle with cancer, and I like to think it paid off there, too.

Here are the stats on my last long training ride, from Sunday:

Not to mention, I did one last epic climbing day at Mount Lemmon, in Tucson, last week:

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Why am I here?

Some of you might wonder…why would someone choose to participate in a fundraiser that requires 423 miles on a bicycle?  Well, it would be difficult if cycling weren’t already one of my favorite hobbies.  Who am I kidding, this distance will be tough anyway!  I am glad to do whatever I can to help kids facing cancer have the best outcome possible, like my son Leo.  Without question, that is why I ride.

The fact that I have been a cyclist for over 10 years does present the unique opportunity to couple a good deed with one of my passions.  I have been a “roadie” (someone who rides a racing-type bicycle on the road, typically faster than the average beach cruiser) over this period, also doing some running and triathlons.  As I have told many who inquire about this lifestyle over the years, I don’t have any particular talent or special ability at this; I just have the desire to keep doing it – and so, I do.

My cycling ability fluctuates with how much time I have to ride, depending on work and family commitments.  During Leo’s treatment, I gave up cycling almost completely, riding on only a handful of occasions from September, 2009, through February, 2010.  A few of those days were in November, when I heard about the Pablove Foundation and their ride, Pablove Across America.  In June 2009, Jeff Castelaz and his wife, Jo Ann Thraikill, lost their 6-year-old son Pablo to cancer (Wilm’s Tumor) after a yearlong battle.  Only months after their loss, Jeff rode his bike from Florida to California in the inaugural Pablove Across America ride, along with coach Rick Babington.  Leo was in the midst of treatment, but having heard about their ride, I felt compelled to join them as they rode through Phoenix.  I rode with them from Globe, Arizona to Apache Junction, Arizona on a Friday, and after their day off on Saturday when they visited Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I joined them for the start of their journey out of Phoenix on Sunday, riding from Sun City, Arizona to Wickenburg, Arizona. 

I was very fortunate to be able to increase my riding again, starting in March, 2010.  I had been increasing my fitness, but don’t think I was back to the same level as before Leo’s diagnosis, when I learned of the Pablove Across America 2010 ride.  Since that time, about a month ago, as I contemplated the logistics of joing the ride for one week, I increased my cycling.  In the past three weeks, I have logged almost 600 miles.  My kind wife, Joy, has been very supportive, and I could not do this without her love and understanding.  I train to be a stronger cyclist for this ride, and also to be a stronger person overall.  Just the way anyone should be to confront cancer, whether as patient or parent.

In the past week, I logged 220 miles, some solo and some on group rides, all with hills.  Thanks for reading.

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Welcome to Ride For Leo!

PLEASE SUPPORT MY RIDE FOR PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH AND TO SUPPORT KIDS WITH CANCER!!!

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION!

In August, 2009, our 4-year-old son Leo was diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a very aggressive blood cancer. At the time of his diagnosis, Leo had just turned four years old and had just started Pre-K. Leo’s diagnosis was followed immediately by an almost three week hospital stay at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This proved to be only the beginning of his treatment, however, as Leo’s aggressive chemotherapy treatment continued through April, 2010. The treatment included various inpatient hospital stays during the first four months, totaling over 65 nights, plus countless additional visits to the PCH cancer clinic. Medical costs billed to our insurance company to date are almost $900,000. Thankfully, Leo’s prognosis was excellent from the start, and he is now more than three months post-treatment, and CANCER FREE. We are, needless to say, extremely pleased with this outcome.

We are very fortunate that the cure rate for Burkitt’s Lymphoma is very high, and that Leo responded very well to the chemotherapy. There are many other forms of cancer that afflict young children like Leo, and unfortunately many have prognoses that are far less optimistic. September is pediatric cancer awareness month. In the U.S., cancer claims the lives of more children under age 18 than any other disease. It strikes without warning, without reason, and without provocation. Leo is the inspiration for this ride and is doing very well, but there are many more children elsewhere that will face this disease, and some will unfortunately lose their struggle. We are blessed with a positive outcome, and feel compelled to take action so that other children facing a similar battle should have the same level of success. As such, Adam has chosen to support the Pablove Foundation and its mission to raise funds to support pediatric cancer research and support child life programs around the country. Child Life programs are available at hospitals around the country to help children understand and deal with their illnesses and treatment. The Child Life personnel and programs at Phoenix Children’s Hospital were a huge help for Leo during his treatment, both in helping him understand the procedures he was enduring, and in allowing him a place to play at the hospital, so he could just be a kid, even during the midst of his chemotherapy.

The Pablove Foundation is organizing a bicycle ride from Seattle to Los Angeles this October to support it mission. Adam is planning on riding with them for one week, from Santa Cruz, California, to Los Angeles, California, a distance of 423 miles. We are asking for your support, as Adam seeks contributions totaling at least $25.00 for each mile he plans to ride. Please consider donating a quarter or dime for each mile. Your generous contribution will help other families facing pediatric cancer both endure through such a difficult period in their lives, and to speak the most wonderful words, that their child is now “CANCER FREE.”

Please take action now. While we appreciate any donation amount at any time, the logistics of this ride require that funds be raised as soon as possible. Please click HERE , and make your tax-deductible contribution today. Adam rides in honor of Leo, but the ride is really about all the other children who face pediatric cancers of all types.

$1.00 per mile $423.00
$0.50 per mile $211.50
$0.25 per mile $105.75
$0.10 per mile $ 42.30
$0.05 per mile $ 21.15
____ per mile ANY DONATION IS APPRECIATED!!!

DONATE HERE 

If you prefer, you may mail a check, payable to the Pablove Foundation, to: Adam Weber, 9379 E Windrose Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85260. To learn more about the Pablove Foundation, visit www.pablove.org . You can learn more about the ride at www.pabloveacrossamerica.com .
To learn more about Leo’s story, please visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/leoweber .

Sincerely,

Adam and Joy Weber

P.S.  Please “like” us on Facebook to help spread the word!

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