Friday, December 29, 2017

The Journey Ends!

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 December 29, 2017 dawns on the Santa Monica Pier!
Just a few hours later, a very special journey would
end at this iconic location.

 Glenn rode his bike to the Venice Boardwalk
where he met the rest of the group as we, all 18 of us,
gathered to pick up our bicycles for the adventure!

Thanks to Ride!Venice Bike Shop for 
providing us with our bikes for this
ride from Venice to the Santa Monica Pier!

Our bikes were all decked out with
flags and jingle bells.  We all wore our
logo t-shirts and we made quite an 
impressive showing on the bike trail!

We hit the bike trail at 10:40 AM for the 2.7 mile ride to
the Santa Monica Pier.  The weather was perfect and the
trail was a great way to travel with the kids along! 

The blue line was our route!

Just in case you only have 1:10 minutes to spare,
here is Shahak's time lapse video of the entire ride :)

If you have more time, here are many photos and more videos.
It was hard to control ourselves!  Thanks to all for these
contributions to tonight's blog!  We hope that this helps
to make you feel like you were riding along with us!

We reached the Santa Monica Pier at 11:04 AM

It was a bittersweet day for us.  Glenn was very
emotional as the ride came to an end and, especially, as he
stepped into the Pacific Ocean as he did in the Atlantic.
Glenn is used to always knowing what adventure is next
and, for the moment, we don't have a plan.  I am sure
that won't last long.  One thing is for sure...he will
continue to ride his bike on some road, somewhere!

Seth Shares Some Thoughts

When the idea of finishing these last 60+ miles with my dad on his ride around the country came up, I knew I had to find a way to make it happen. Today, other than wishing I had trained a little more and had a more comfortable bike seat, I couldn’t be happier to be here riding (way) behind my dad on this journey.  Being a part of someone accomplishing a goal like this is inspiring and infectious.  I can now relate to those people who joined behind Forrest Gump on his cross country run. 

There is not a more perfect activity for my dad than long distance cycling and this goal of riding around the country. As I sat on the bike for 6 hours I had a lot of time to think about some of the characteristics that explain why and thought I would share a few of them with everyone:

  1. Determination - bike riding is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this trait for my dad. Whether it is his veracious reading, traveling to every state, or visiting every major league ballpark, when others would quit he continues on and accomplishes his goal. 
  2. Focus - although bike riding seems like a physical activity , I realized yesterday how taxing it is mentally. A moment of lost concentration and a pot hole or parked car can become a dangerous hazard (both almost got the best of me yesterday). My dad is so well equipped for this kind of physical and mental toughness 
  3. Relational - he has logged the majority of his miles by himself, but the most memorable miles for him have come with company. Whether it was his Big Ride companions, his long rides with Uncle Jim, or short rides with anyone else who would join him along the way, riding with others makes the tough roads a little easier. Also, when you are on a bike for 6 hours there is no chitchat, just real one on one conversations. These are the kind my dad excels at
  4. Cause-focused - every mile my dad has pedaled has been to raise money for a medical cause. As a doctor he has felt passion to not just treat his patients but also work towards a future without these terrible diseases he helps treat. 11 years ago that focus became even more personal for my dad and our whole family when my cousin Ian died of cancer. The $70k plus my dad has raised is making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.

I couldn’t be more proud of what my dad has accomplished and why he has done it. I know this is a bittersweet ending for him because he has worked towards it for so long. I also know my dad and the next goal that no one else thought was possible is right around the corner. 

We were so thrilled to have all of our kids and grandsons
with us today.  From helping with logistics to planning a
celebratory meal, from writing for the blog and running 
errands to encouraging us and fundraising, Jill, Shahak,
Neil, Jerry, Seth and Sara have helped us reach this 
momentous day.  Benji, Evan, Miles, Fletcher and Oliver
have made this fun and exciting and we hope that we have 
created important memories for them this week!

Glenn is surrounded by our wonderful friends!

Garmen Shiu, Michelle Sterling, Barbara Green 
and Maggie Bright joined us for this celebration

Jerry and Neil enjoying the sun and sand!

Miles, Fletcher, Benji and Evan relax after the ride!

Garmen rewards Glenn with a handcrafted candy lei!

I got one too!

Pon Charuratna returned again today
for this shorter but epic ride!

Glenn and Maggie Bright, my childhood friend from NJ!

Glenn's ride began at our rental house in Marina del Rey this AM

Such a tough day for him!!   He definitely ate more calories
than he burned today!  

A surprise lunch including cake and champagne
awaited us at the rental house after our big morning!

Benji toasted and Glenn spoke too!

Pon, Garmen and Michelle joined the celebration!

It's a small world!   Our good friend from Atlanta, Linda Bernknopf, 
who is in the area to visit an Uncle and a friend, stopped by the house
this afternoon to offer her congratulations!

One reason that the blog is so late tonight is because we took
the evening off to have some fun.  We visited Zoo Lights at
the LA Zoo.  It was a perfect evening to end a perfect day!

Trivia winners!

Last night's question was:

What gives the Santa Monica Pier its
relatively green status?

Congrats to:
 Carol Salmons
"solar powered ferris wheel and wind-powered amusement park"

and Frima  Miller
"It is one of the most progressive cities and is committed
 to being a leader in green initiatives. It even has a solar powered Ferris wheel".

for the correct answer!

I have shirts with your names on them!

Thank you for following our journey on the blog and 
for your generous donations and encouragement. Your
continued support has meant so much to us!

I will write one more blog when we get home to Atlanta
to wrap things up and report on our fund raising total, total miles 
and other details that might interest you.

Of course, you are still welcome to make a
donation.  Our journey may be over but so many
kids with cancer still have a long, hard road ahead of them!