Seven days from today we will be riding in Death Valley. It's almost hard to believe that the months of training and fundraising are nearly over and we're headed for the desert. Next Saturday morning will start early. Breakfast is at 5:00 a.m. Then we get our bikes and assemble at the starting line. Roll out is at sunrise at 6:45 a.m. Our first stop is Badwater Basin, 17 miles away. Badwater is the lowest spot in the western hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level. On the way to the next break at Mormon Point the sun will finally make it over the Funeral Mountains and we'll have no more shade until nightfall. Ashford Mills is the last break before the climb up Jubilee Pass. The climb is six miles long at a 6% grade. It takes about an hour to go up, we turn around at the top and take ten minutes to come back down. Now we have 47 miles left to ride in the afternoon heat and sun. The predicted high for Saturday is 98 degrees. The afternoon is also when the wind kicks up and it's usually a head wind. But if all goes well we should finish before sun down. The finish line is a great scene as we greet our fellow riders as they finish. There's lots of smiles, lots of hugs, and more than a few tears. There's beer and ice cream, sometimes together. But most of all there's the satisfaction of knowing that you've done something difficult and important that will help the millions of people who suffer with diabetes.
We received word last week that the Death Valley ride has already raised over $1,000,000 for diabetes research. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.