I've been in California for several days but just arrived in San Diego yesterday, as did Todd (he was scheduled to get in *late*). We now have two days to finish preparations and to rest up.
We shipped our bikes to the Trek Superstore in La Mesa thanks to GYGIG '07 rider Robert Sigal's help, and Robert has even lent a bike rack for the car - helpful for sure! We'll be picking up the bikes this afternoon. Todd's wife Tammy is here to support and see us off, and later today we're also being joined by Jim Smith, GYGIG's volunteer Board president, and Carol Earls, who is coming from the Bay Area to help us out.
I am sure there are others who will be joining us for the sendoff - - I just have not met 'em yet (including you, Kyle, bring a crowd if ya can), but I look forward to that for sure.
So many people to thank. In addition to my family (did you know my mother still writes all thank you letters for GYGIG's donations every single year?), my friends (this post will be too long if I list everyone who has offered encouragement), and Lara, there are a number of folks to thank as we ramp up to our departure 2 days from now.
SHIRE (www.shire.com) is making this trip possible in many ways. Not only do they make the drugs that contribute to keeping me healthy, they are providing substantial funding that will help ensure that no public donations are utilized for any part of our journey costs. Hollister Incorporated (www.hollister.com) has also made a large financial donation to underwrite our costs. I have been pleased to work with both of these companies over the past several years at GYGIG and am incredibly grateful for their support of this project.
To the Cementworks team - Julie, Tommy, and David (and who knows how many others whom I have not met) - thank you. Susan, thank you for donating your team's substantial talents!
Scott Elson - you are an incredibly patient website designer. Use me as a reference any time!
Elvira Moran - I will proudly wear the logo you created.
Steve Rehder, Matt Kaminecki, Andrew Hudon, Bikers Edge, and the Bike Bag Shop - thank you for your work and advice on all things bicycle-related.
Helen, JT & Catherine - you guys are doing an amazing amount of work for this, and it's hugely appreciated. Not like you don't have enough on your plates already . . . . ; )
Lois: what can I say? You will get it done, I know it. Thank you for your profound efforts for this cause. And Daniel, you and Matt will be hearing more from us; meanwhile keep the podcasts coming!
Robin, Abby, Andrea - your expertise at the outset was key.
There are more who have made this journey possible, and no doubt Todd has a list. ALSO, there will be more posts about other individuals and organizations as we go along!
Speaking of going somewhere . . . the map on our website shows San Diego and then Phoenix. What exactly lies in between? Our planned itinerary looks like this:
3/20 - San Diego - Alpine, CA
3/21 - Alpine, CA - Ocotillo, CA
3/22 - Ocotillo, CA - Brawley, CA
3/23 - Brawley, CA - Palo Verde
3/24 - Palo Verde - Blythe, CA
3/25 - Blythe, CA - Salome, AZ
3/26 - Salome, AZ - Wickenburg, AZ
From Wickenburg, we will enter the greater Phoenix area. Weather, health, and who knows what could change our planned dates - this is definitely an unscripted adventure. If you live in one of these areas and would like to ride with us ('cept for Day 1, when we are getting our feet underneath us and wrapping our heads around the thing that is Day 1), please do! Just remember that we are traveling fully loaded and at our own pace.
We will be activating the spot tracker link on the Where page soon. Remember that you will exit our site in order to go to that site to view our actual location.
More to follow (as always), and meanwhile it's off for a full day of prep work. Thank you for following, and thank you for believing in us.