Note: This week’s blog is a bit different from the others as I find myself in the midst of completing the Arthritis Foundation bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Next week I should be on track so don’t give up and opt out immediately...
Two groups of people
My friend Andrew Matthews tells me that there are generally two types of people...those who categorize people into two types of people and those who don’t...
While on the Arthritis Foundation ride this week from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I’ve spent a lot of time on my bike...making observations and processing thoughts as I travel the phenomenally scenic back roads of California. Today, I thought that I’d share a few of these random thoughts with you...
There are approximately 250 bicyclists who started the ride with me in San Francisco on Saturday. After spending six days on the road with these people I’ve concluded that there are basically two types of people on this ride...bicyclists and philanthropists.
The bicyclists are those people who are the first to awake each morning to stow their gear and get an early start on the day. They rarely stop to take photos...they rarely strike up random conversations with the many volunteers...they are constantly talking about their riding statistics of the day and the speed of which they were able to maintain while riding through the headwinds of some particular canyon that day. Their small talk consist of details of new equipment available, upcoming centuries (100 mile races) and doubles centuries (200 mile races). Pain is their friend. These people are serious riders.
The philanthropists are generally on the other end of the spectrum as the bicyclists. These people typically have some personal connection to the cause (in this case the Arthritis Foundation). The primary goal of the philanthropist is to finish the ride each day as many of them suffer from the very disease that they are raising money to cure. Many of them are found in the "sag" vehicles at the end of the day as they are unable to complete the grueling course after 10-12 hours on the road. Raising money and awareness for arthritis is the philanthropist’s primary concern. For them, the experience is the most important element of the ride as they stop often to take photographs, meet people along the way, and talk about their kids and other passions.
Now don’t get me wrong...the bicyclists raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Arthritis Foundation and are a very important part of the group. Without them the ride would not exist. At the end of the day however, the fundraising is the price of admission to their amusement park. The world needs both types of people...
Traveling the back roads
I’ve traveled by car from San Diego to the Bay Area no less than a hundred times over the last 30 years. In every instance I’ve driven one of three routes...Highway 1 along the coast, highway 101 through Santa Barbara and the central coast wine country, and I-5 up through the farm lands of the central valley. It was only during this trip have I ever taken the time to explore the beautiful back roads, canyons, mountains and valleys that populate the area between the two areas.
How often do we choose to take the familiar road rather than the unfamiliar? I often thought of Robert Frost as I rode each day in uncharted territory..."Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I took the one less traveled and that has made all the difference".
How much is enough?
I passed through San Simeon on Wednesday. San Simeon is the home to the Hearst Castle. A monument to the riches accumulated by William Randolph Hearst. Yes...he had money...but in the end...what legacy did he leave behind other than this museum dedicated to opulence?
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison and other billionaires have it right...they have decided to use their accumulated wealth to build a better world...not to build a bigger palace...
Thankful to others
Throughout the ride there have been countless people who have helped to make my experience so memorable. Each day we are fed a hot breakfast by people who get up several hours before sunrise, volunteers man aid stations along the route ensuring that we are hydrated and nourished during each day’s ride, workers thanklessly and tirelessly move our gear from campsite to campsite each day, and massage therapists and caterers make sure that we are well pampered at the end of a long hard and hot day.
A heart-felt thanks goes out to all of my friends, family, well-wishers, and donors who have given me the encouragement and support to make the ride happen. Thanks Bob for driving me up to the City when time was running short. Thanks Susan for driving to LA to pick me up at the end...
Ed, Mike, Dean and the other riders from the San Diego team made sure that we were well prepared and properly trained to take on this challenge and for that I am truly grateful.
I want to recognize those back at OptiFuse who picked up the slack (at the end of the quarter even). Knowing that our customers are in good hands puts my mind at ease when venturing off to help the community.
Lastly, I’d like to thank our loyal customers who support us each and every day. We know that you have a choice when selecting over-current protection and we are thrilled that you trust us with your business. We will always try our best to continue to support you like you support us. We are trying hard at personalizing business...as we believe that it’s the people not the companies that matter...
Thank you very much for participating with us...
The Haves and the Have-Nots...
You May Be A Winner...
Thoughts and Prayers...
Rudy in Real Life
How Much is Your Time Worth?
I’ll Take Door Number Two
Here’s Mud in Your Pie