First of all...a couple business items: Last week we hit the $80,000 fundraising mark and I was confident that we would be at $90,000 by the end of the week with a good shot at $100k. Well, I am very excited to announce that we have passed the $100k mark and our total is still on the rise! Thank you for your support!

Also we have added a few teammates. Bart Rupel and John Lockwood have joined us as cyclists and Bart's Buddy Tim has joined the SAG team. We have also added our Seattle crew as cyclists Sam, Max, Tom and Amy. Our team is growing and getting stronger. We now have 17 cyclists!

Day 9
Bakersfield to Tehachapi
36 miles
3500 foot climb

Thus far, my posts have not featured much cycling. Well today was all about cycling. We only rode about 36 miles but we climbed 3500 feet.

We started out on the outskirts of bakersfield and clicked off 9 miles in the flats.

Travis and Mike checking out the mountain

Then we started the climb. We climbed for about 5 miles at a 5% grade before any downhill. I was not a speed demon at 3mph but I just geared down and cranked it out. We had a spectacular view of the vally floor on the way up the hill and we had a long time to chat as we stared at the rolling hills as they passed at 3-4mph. When we hit the first downhill we let 'er rip and hit the top speeds of the whole trip so far. I think John Lockwood had the top speed of 42mph. We had one more small climb then it was downhill to the lunch spot. At lunch we had a decision to make, stay on highway 58 or take a side road. We found out that the highway cut out about 5 miles and has a much more gradual grade than the side roads so we decided to stick with the highway. The group in front of us left before us and went with the map on the side roads. They had much tougher climbs registering more than 10% at one point. In the end we all decided to stick to the highway for the rest of the trip(as long as it is legal and safe). Highway 58 actually has very generous shoulders and as far as I know, cyclists are legal.

We finally reached the summit and our hotel was about a block away...success! Our team had been dreading this day since the beginning and we all made it with no injuries!