This past Saturday, 10 Fire Velo members met in Upland to ride the "Tour de Foothills" cycling event. The organizers put on a great event with good sag support and a great food and entertainment, post ride. On the route we stopped by LACoFD FS86 for a short break and to say hi to the crew.
This ride winds through multiple cities and contained just under 2700' of climbing. Definitely a challenging ride for the end of the year.
Gathering at the finish line from left to right; Jim Berklite, Bob "Zummer", Wade Little, Buck Buchanan, Carlos Iribe, Eric Kross, Jim Kross, Marv Williams and Steve Winter.
We had a great day of riding, food and a beer or two.
72-74 US Army
Well Saturday morning was here bright and early. An early start is essential to arriving on time at the Santa Monica Pier. Once again we gathered in front of the Oxnard FS for our morning briefing, prayer and offering of remembrances for those passed and those battling daily.
It was time to hit the road with an Oxnard FD escort who then handed us off to the Pt. Magu Naval FD. It's great to see our fellow firefighters coming out to lend their presence which provides a tremendous emotional lift.
Finally, we entered southbound on the "great pacific firebreak", PCH. Everyone gets a lift in their pedals as they near Malibu.
One of the purposes of our ride is to celebrate the lives of those we've lost to cancer. We rolled into Ventura County FS56 to celebrate the life of Firefighter Steven Gregory who passed away in August, 2007. On hand were members of his family who received the framed jersey from rider BC Steve Winter, VCFD and Fire Velo president Jim Berklite.
Returning to the road LACoFD Engine 99 with Captain Andy Doyle (Local 1014) and crew provided an escort towards Zuma Beach where we were treated to a water show from one of our Lifeguard boats.
Closer now, we picked up Patrol 70 at 88's for the ride into the pier at Santa Monica.
The finish at the pier would not be possible without the assistance of our lifeguard folks at Santa Monica. Section Chief Linkletter, Capt. Mike Mcluroy and the on-duty lifeguards. Additionally, Santa Monica FD & PD make it possible to safely navigate the last mile and ride onto the pier. Families in place to welcome us home.
After some refreshments, we held our closing ceremonies. Presentations were made to the families of 2 firefighters lost to cancer. The first was retired LAFD member Wendy Cummings who was involved with operations after 9/11. Wendy lost her battle earlier this year. Retired LAFD Captain Marv "Marvelous" made the presentation.
Our last honoree was Fireman Richard "Doc" O'Connor who served with the Costa Mesa FD from 1964 to 1988. Richard passed away on November 18, 2014. Our very own Bob "zummer" Masuzumi who retired from CMFD made the presentation to retired Capt. Barry Adams, CMFD on behalf of Evelyn O'Connor.
We are continuing to receive donations and our final expenses are being added up, but it looks at this time that we raised around $50,000.
Thanks to the efforts of FFPM Howard Ferguson and our support staff you can see a day to day photo travelogue of our ride by going to www.firevelo2015ride.info
Thanks everyone for your support again this year.
Be safe, stay healthy.
Posted at 03:57 PM | Permalink
First apologies for getting these last 2 stories out late. Juggling the final two days along with returning home and catching up left me looking for some spare time.
When you get to Lompoc you know home is only a day away.
Fire Velo wants to thank the Lompoc FD for their great hospitality. We've been fed and watered every year this event has been held. Now we just need some of their cyclists to join us next year.
So after the morning briefing and the daily prayer we were off.
Today's ride is 90+ miles, going from Lompoc down the coast around Refugio. Reaching Goleta, riders are on surface streets heading towards Santa Barbara and the famous East Beach which was hosting a "triathlon weekend".
In past years, Santa Barbara City FD hosted lunch for us at their FS5. Due to the many fires and training classes underway the station luncheon wasn't an option, so Santa Barbara Firefighter's Local 2046 paid the tab for riders and support staff at the East Beach Cafe. Thanks to President Tyler Gilliam and his board for their hospitality.
Most of us enjoy the ride from Santa Barbara south to Oxnard. The weather was great, a gentle breeze and the Pacific Ocean just off the bike path and highway.
Yes it was a long day, but we made it safe and sound into Oxnard / Channel Islands. We were greeted by Oxnard firefighters. Later after a shower, drinks and snacks before we had a great pizza dinner at Toppers Pizza. Truly the best pizza in Ventura county! Give them a try.
Tomorrow Santa Monica Pier with family and friends.
Posted at 03:48 PM | Permalink
Hurrah! With this article, we are caught up. If you are looking for a comfortable stay at a reasonable price the Days Inn on Main Street is one of the nicest economy hotels I've ever stayed in.
As is our usual routine, we start off from the local station after a nice continental breakfast.
Today's route takes us through rural farmland for parts of the route and then into San Luis Obispo where we received an escort from SLO FD.
One of the favorite stops on this leg is in Pismo Beach at the "Old West Cinnamon Bun" store. Rolls with cream cheese frosting are the big hit!
The eating frenzy was just getting underway as we traveled a mere 3 miles to the Five Cities FS for a hosted luncheon. 5 Cities has hosted us for lunch for at least 4 to 5 years and it has special meaning for them as they have had several folks contract cancer.
One of our local sponsors is "Fluid", owned by Richard Smith. Fluid makes an electrolyte replacement powder and has generously donated product for us every year. Several fire agencies are taking note of this product and as a powder it takes up less room that other fluid replacement drinks.
Back on the road again, 30 miles down, 40 to go including the infamous Harris grade. The weather climbed into the high 80's, but we had a favorable tail wind from Guadalupe on.
After a brief rest stop at the base of the Harris grade, it was time to get busy.
Slow but steady pace is the key to getting over the top.
A good day of riding was had by all. Drinks, jacuzzi and a Lompoc firehouse pasta dinner awaits. We are nearing home!
Posted at 12:32 PM | Permalink
Our evening in Big Sur was great. Best weather in recent memory.
Some of the riders got in some stretching and massage.
The management of the Big Sur Lodge decided to "comp" our dinner which ran approximately $1,000. As a result, we made a $1,000. donation to the Big Sur Volunteer FD.
Management wants to work on us for next year to perhaps "comp" the rooms we would then donate a like amount to the volunteers!
On to the days ride. Big Sur to Morro Bay, a mere 90 miles and several thousand feet of climbing up and down the coast. Slow and steady gets it done.
It was a long day, but everyone made it in with plenty of daylight left. A cold drink and a hot shower. Life was good again.
Tomorrow, Morro Bay to Lompoc.
Posted at 12:23 PM | Permalink
can't say enough good things about the folks from Watsonville. They fed us, they tuned up our bikes, they fed us breakfast the next morning and gave us an escort out of town.
The ride from Watsonville to Big Sur mixes a rural agricultural flavor which runs into the sand dunes of Monterey and south to Carmel where we kept an eye out for Clint Eastwood.
In Carmel Valley, we stopped for lunch before the 26 mile trek to Big Sur.
We were greeted by the firefighters from Pebble Beach, but I found no evidence of golf clubs on their rig.
Most of us have traveled this same route in our cars, but it's much different on a bike. The great part is that you see parts of the landscape and the ocean that you miss in a car. At the same time you have to keep your ears open for the vehicles at your back and your eyes sharing time on the road ahead with the fantastic views to your right.
26 mile grind Carmel to Big
So everyone made it to Big Sur safe, sound and tired. We were staying at the Big Sur Lodge and looking forward to a great spaghetti dinner at the lodge.
Tomorrow, Big Sur to Morro Bay.
Posted at 12:15 PM | Permalink