Cambria Grammar School welcomes R2R
Trip Start Oct 12, 2013
9Trip End Oct 19, 2013
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We were greeted by about 200 kids (1st grade to 5th grade) + teachers shouting USA, USA, USA -they were holding flags and hand made signs for the soldiers. There was a brief ceremony with the kids singing "This land is your land" and then the soldiers mixed in with the kids. They were signing autographs and getting their pictures taken. One of the riders, Jim Penseyers, a Vietnam Veteran who lost a leg to a land mine, held the kids spell bound while he demonstrated how he puts on his prosthesis so he can ride his bike. Given the ages, many of the kids were so small they were eye to eye with the soldiers on the Trike Bikes
Through today and through out the ride I have witnessed many "road side salutes". This typically happens when someone roadside recognizes that the riders are soldiers. Many of these people are probably former military, but they stand at ram rod attention and hold their salute while all the riders go by. The soldier riders quietly return the salutes in silence but you can feel the respect.
We had great escort coverage today as the local San Luis Obispo sheriffs and CHP led us through the Cal Poly SLO campus and directly into downtown SLO. Our 4 riding groups rode together from the Grammar school into SLO....it was one long train of over 200 cyclists, support vehicles, police cars with lights and sirens.....and we didn't stop at a single red light...it was awesome.
A thank you to Wayne and Barb Stetina for talking me into doing this ride. Wayne and Barb were neighbors of Julie and I in Mission Viejo for 15 years. Julie and Barb were forever volunteering to lead the girl scouts, be the soccer mom's, drive the kids to the T Street beach in San Clemente, etc...Over the years we have enjoyed a lot of rides together
Wayne works for Shimano the international leader in cycling components...gears, breaks, wheels, etc....Shimano is a major sponsor of R2R. Wayne was a member of 3 US Olympic teams and is a 12 time US National Road Race champion. He spends most of his riding time showing the soldiers how to ride their bikes better and he does it with significant humility.
Our ride finished with a descent into Pismo Beach and a finish line filled with ice cream donated by a local creamery. A double scoop of Rasberry ice cream....a great after ride training food!
Until tomorrow, God Bless America, Brian