Fighting Cancer With (Pab)Love – Pablove Across America, Day 3

October 8, 2015

Pablove_Female_Cyclist_Fundraiser

After enjoying a good night’s sleep in Solvang, we kicked off the morning with a dedication to Maddie, a young lady several riders met on Pablove Across America last year in Texas. She made quite the impression on two of our riders, Tom Kattus and Phil Cassens, who gave a very heartfelt speech. Maddie was doing very well for awhile, but her cancer has returned, and Tom and Phil dedicated Wednesday’s ride to hero, Maddie.  You can view the video dedication to Maddie below.

Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson joined us again and gave us a very warm send-off, and we started a beautiful day leaving the quaint village of Solvang.

Riders were challenged today as temperatures were a bit warm and we had our fair share of hills, but everyone’s spirits seemed to be at an all-time high. The scenery through this part of California is really quite amazing.  This area is the agricultural center of the state, and we rode past gorgeous fields of strawberries, cabbage, and cauliflower, and of course vineyard after vineyard after vineyard.

This is also the part of the ride when riders are starting to build strength, as well as dealing with lots of aches and pains.  Overall, however, the riders are doing very well and we are so proud of them! The ride to Cambria on Thursday will be a shorter day, which will help them recover (some) for what is going to be a long Friday.

Rolling into Pismo was quite a treat. Riders in 2013 had a great experience in Pismo and were very excited to return. The hotel, Pismo Lighthouse Suites, dedicated their sign to “Welcome Pablove,” which served as a fantastic greeting as we rode in.  The hotel was situated right on the ocean, with many riders enjoying a quick dip in the beautiful, yet chilly, water.

After a long day, dinner is proving to be the best place for everyone to come together and reflect on our purpose for being on the road. Jeff Castelaz, Pablove’s Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, introduced two of our riders to share their stories that most others probably weren’t aware of, despite riding more than 200 miles with them. Kimberly Clements spoke about how she battled, and beat, thyroid cancer. And Vanessa Hauswald talked about fighting her stage IV colon cancer with love, which is why the message of Pablove resonated so strongly with her.

Pablove_Cyclists_Peloton_Fundraiser_Pismo

In addition to bringing out a few tears, these women also reminded us why it’s so important to continue funding the research we do. While searching for a cure for pediatric cancer, researchers can uncover new information that will help adults, too. But pediatric cancer is grossly underfunded, which is why Pablove continues to power forward with our mission. And why each of these riders powers forward on the bike each day.

If you’d like to check out more photos from the ride you can do so HERE, check out the news outlets that have been covering us HERE and if you’d like donate to these riders you can do so HERE.

From the road,

Ashley Lough

Day 3 – Solvang to Pismo Beach

77 miles

Funds raised: $582,378

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