October 15, 2018
The first day of the 2018 UnitedHealthcare California Costal Challenge was typical for Project Hero: it was a family reunion on the road!
Following a great dinner last night with our friends at the Elks Lodge, we left Santa Cruz under gorgeous clear blue skies to start today’s 65-mile ride. Our route took us into beautiful farmland and teased us with the tantalizing aroma of fresh strawberries that filled the air; it was tempting to just reach out and grab one of those flats of delicious fresh fruit as we passed! We enjoyed lunch at the American Legion Post in Seaside, which gave us a chance to regroup and ride as a single patriotic peloton along the scenic coast through picturesque Monterey.
Following Monterey it was difficult to believe the scenery would be more beautiful, but the ride along famous 17-mile drive was simply unforgettable. Riding together as one group along the narrow, twisting road under beautiful tall trees with the ocean at our side, the stunning beauty, the wonderful fresh air and the fantastic comradery only Project Hero achieves was a highlight of this Challenge and most likely of any to come. We finished the day riding through Carmel and enjoyed another tasty dinner hosted by our friends of the American Legion Auxiliary.
As part of the 2018 UnitedHealthcare California Costal Challenge, we have a great group of first time riders is with us this year, all coached and supported by our expert staff and experienced Project Hero riders. Sebastian Titus, who celebrated his birthday yesterday with us at dinner, is a Nor Cal native who is with us on his first Challenge.
Sebastian served our nation as a Marine, was deployed to Iraq and in his youth was a bike messenger in Seattle (which he describes as “a good workout”). He was introduced to Project family through the outstanding efforts of Gil Ramirez and Melissa Puckett at the Palo Alto HUB and has ridden several long distance rides to prepare for this year’s Challenge.
“All I have to do is pedal and riding clears my head,” he said. “It allows me to get to a place of recovery and peace.”
Sebastian, all of us in the Project Hero family completely agree and we are grateful to have you with us on the road this year!
Tomorrow we take on one of the Golden State’s most famous and superb rides as the 2018 UnitedHealthcare California Costal Challenge takes us on a 93-mile ride along the coast highway, into Big Sur and finishing in San Simeon.
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