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Former Member
I had plenty to worry about during my long drive early Saturday morning from San Francisco:

“Cycling 4 Veterans” (C4V) is a grueling ride through a desolate, little known area of the East Bay;

my good riding buddy who got me to sign up had just bailed out;

additionally, I had pretty scary experience with the ride the previous year.


I was a raw beginner to road biking last year, and this ride was the longest I’d done.  To this day it has remained the most challenging. I had fallen twice along the way, rode with bloody bandages hanging off my leg, and finished my ride exhausted and in pain.


This year I was determined to stay in the saddle and finish the ride without falls.


In sharp contrast to the last year’s gusty winds that made me feel like a vulnerable sail in my loose windbreaker filled with air, and rain, that resulted in road closures, this year was different.  The weather was dry, temperatures a record high, and there was almost no wind – windmills were standing idle.  However, I had to struggle with merciless heat that burned my skin through all the sunblock and made my thirst unquenchable.


It culminated on the final climb of the Patterson overpass – right where I fell last year.  I kept reminding myself that I could not stop, could not jump off and walk, had to keep pushing right to the top this time.   After what seemed an endless impossible climb, I found myself on the top in a company of cyclists who were enjoying their achievement before continuing downhill for the remaining - and easier – part of the ride.


The ride continued along picturesque wineries with grapes lining the road, and after getting lost a few times in town, I discovered the finish line – right where we had started a few hours earlier.


After the group picture I enjoyed food in the company of old and new friends who I shared the journey and had bonded with.

Visit to learn about the upcoming rides, join the vibrant cycling community, and experience the excitement of pushing your boundaries, overcoming mental blocks while simultaneously making meaningful connections within SAP.
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