Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tire dip day!!!

March 31, 2010
We dipped our back tires in the Pacific Ocean today. It was amazing.
Starting out bright and early this morning, in a rather “chilly” SD day (probably around 50 degrees – but a welcomed change from that of Columbus, Ohio…), we all donned our sweet stripes (shouts to Maggie for designing an amazing uniform!) and headed out to start our journey. There really is no better way to begin a day. After a gorgeous ride down to the ocean, all 23 riders “dipped” their back tires in the Pacific Ocean, to officially begin our coast-to-coast journey. I say “dipped,” because some people were actually soaked by the Pacific Ocean. While we were all standing in a line in front of the ocean, waiting for a friendly stranger to take the “token starting picture” of the ride, an unexpected wave attacked our line. Quite a few people ended up mid-shin deep in the Pacific Ocean (along with their bikes!). So some riders, and their bikes, had more of a tire bath than a tire dip. But all of our tires touched the ocean, one way or another.
After this, we went on a beautiful ride up Highway 101. We only went for approximately 30 miles, which was a great way to get ready for our first leg across the country (which begins tomorrow). I am so incredibly excited!!

All of us are of different talents and abilities. We have some incredibly natural athletes, who surge up a hill as if it is nothing. And we have others who haven’t really been on a bike before, but are excited about the challenge. The amazing thing about this group, however, is everyone’s sense of camaraderie and looking out for one another. Everyone is willing to help each other out, with little tidbits of information and helpful hints to make our journey a little easier for everyone. Even though I don’t know everyone on the team that well (yet), everyone is really amazing in their own way. I can’t wait to get to know them even better over the next 3300 miles. Here we go!

We ended the rest of our day with a review of our Coast-to-Coast lectures (thanks, Lenore!). Maggie, Megan, and I participated in our own version of “Supermarket Sweep.” We were able to get enough food for 25ish riders for the next few days for less than $150. Talk about bargain shopping. We were quite proud of ourselves. We were also able to convince the friendly bike shop man to give us a discount on bike pumps (since all of our pumps – except one – seem to have broken…). We definitely worked some magic this afternoon. The afternoon was topped off by ice cream (yummm) and dinner at a Mexican restaurant, complete with a delicious Margarita. After all, you can’t be this close to Mexico and not eat the delicious food. We are now getting ready for our last night at Scripps clinic. Good bye Torrey Pines, good bye San Diego. Here we come East Coast (in a few weeks…)!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


March 30, 2010
Changing a flat is a pain in the butt. No, I didn't get a flat tire today. I didn't even go out on my bike today. But we had a bike maintenance class this morning, so we had to "create" a flat tire so we could all practice fixing it (as this is bound to happen at some point during our journey). It’s good practice, but can be frustrating at times. The back wheel is the worst – you have to maneuver the wheel out from the chain (this is not so difficult). But then you have to get the wheel back on, through the chain. I believe this is impossible to accomplish without covering oneself in chain grease. At least I have yet to accomplish this feat.

After making ourselves take a break from Ride work in the afternoon, Katie, Maggie, Megan, Bryce, and I went down to the beach. The water was, again, freezing. But it was a beautiful hike and nice to have a little break.
In the evening, we had our first event at UCSD. We were under the impression that we only had to show up, say “hi,” and listen to other people talk; however, when we arrived there, we realized that this was not the case. We were actually supposed to give a (short) presentation. We didn’t have our computer. We didn’t have a flash drive. Therefore, we didn’t have any of our presentations. Lenore and I did some fast, furious thinking and came up with a miracle solution. I just happened to have an old PowerPoint in my sent mail from at least 2-3 weeks ago. We were able to open this, and I managed to pull off a lecture without any problems. Oh, the joys of being CEO. Now we will always be prepared…

After our lecture, the team was able to relax a little at the local Pub on UCSD campus. It was great to relax for a little bit, have a drink, and chat in a more social setting. And, to make things even better, our awesome host from UCSD knew the bartender and worked out some sort of deal where we got all of our drinks and snacks for free. We owe them big time…
So overall, great day. We have our first “official” ride tomorrow and our tire dip. I am so excited.

Monday, March 29, 2010

After 38 hours in a 12-passenger van...

March 29, 2010
...we finally made it to San Diego!! The car ride was probably the longest in my life. We stopped briefly a few times for food and bladder-breaks, but other than that, we spent the entire time in the van. We ran in to Mike and Mason on I-70W around 8:00am.
We averted a major bike crisis on the side of the highway (one of the bikes was literally hanging off the roof) around 8:30am. We passed the "mighty Mississippi" around 2pm (I was driving). We ran in to a hail storm in Missouri around 3pm. We stopped at Panera for dinner in Oklahoma around 7pm - here we met an interesting woman who was running for President of the United States. We had an awesome 80's dance party at 11:00pm. After this point, things begin to blur together. I remember passing a giant baby in a field playing with a tractor (hopefully we will get pictures of this in the future - we pass through this town). We also were stopped multiple times by Border Patrol - we were within viewing distance of the US-Mexico border multiple times. The last thing I do remember, however, is arriving at our resting location for the next four days. We are staying at an old physical therapy gym. We can see Torrey Pines (the famous golf course) and the Pacific Ocean outside of our window. It's amazing. After talking to/emailing with everyone from the Ride over the past few months, it was great to finally meet everyone. I am incredibly excited to be spending the next two months with these amazing individuals. After getting to know each other a bit, we all passed out on the floor and had an amazing sleep.

Today was the first day of our retreat. Overall, I think it went very well. We learned about "A day in the Ride" - what everyone should expect during the next two months. We passed out uniforms (which are incredibly sweet - thanks Maggie!) and started to learn our Coast-to-Coast lecture series. We had some free time today, too. A few of us walked down to the Beach - it was GORGEOUS. In the afternoon, I went on a great run with Jeff and Roshan (yeah, Team Blueberry!!).
Maggie and I are now taking a short hiatus from the rest of the team. Everyone else went out for dinner, but someone needed to stay behind to let everyone else back in to the building (it locks us out at night...). Maggie is working on our video. I'm blogging (obviously). I hope you enjoy this blog and continue to follow my journey across the country. Get excited for the next two months. I know I am!!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

There's a first time for everything...

Inspired by Maggie's blog, I have decided to try making my own. This is my first time blogging, so we'll see how it goes. I usually get pretty excited about something initially, but then quickly drop it after I find something more exciting to pursue.

We leave in 16 days to begin our journey across the country with Ride for World Health. We'll be gone for 59 days. I am incredibly excited, yet a bit anxious. There is a lot to be done, but I know we will be ready. I can't think of a better way to spend my last two months of medical school. Hopefully I can share some of our adventures with everyone!

I am so incredibly excited to be involved in Ride for World Health this year. We have all put in a lot of hours to make it a success, but it has been well worth it. We will be traveling from San Diego, CA to Washington, DC. We will bike, on average, 75 miles per day. We find places to lecture and teach about global health issues. To learn more above this amazing organization, please visit our website at

I have been working very hard, not only on making the ride a success, but also to fund raise for our amazing beneficiaries. If you can provide any support, I would really appreciate it! Here is a link to my personal web page: Thanks in advance for all of your support! Please continue to follow my blog for more adventures!