California’s Capitol Rides Hard to Help Best Buddies at its Carmel-to-Hearst-Castle Cycling Challenge
California’s Capitol, both Sacramento and this site, were well represented September 12 at the Best Buddies Hearst Castle Challenge, a 100-mile charity bicycle ride down Highway 1 from Carmel Valley to San Simeon.
Each rider raises money for the organization, which helps persons with intellectual disabilities. The late Eunice Shriver and her son Anthony founded the non-profit in 1989.
Riders in the challenge can start in Carmel Valley and go the full 100 miles. Or they can do 62 miles – 100 kilometers – or 15 miles. A new 35-mile ride was added this year, which includes two of the most challenging hills on the route.
This year was also the debut of a team mounted by First Lady Maria Shriver, who is also the honorary chair of the annual challenge.
According to the Best Buddies Hearst Castle Challenge website, Team Maria was fifth in fund-raising with nearly $62,000 although as yet uncollected commitments are expected to take the final number closer to $80,000, team representatives say.
Shriver received some ribbing from her brother who said the team’s problem was that it was comprised of all women (It wasn’t) and that since the full $80,000 had yet to appear Shriver said he would take an IOU from his sister, just like what was issuing in Sacramento.
Team members included Shriver and Gov. Arnold’ Schwarzenegger’s children, members of the First Lady’s Capitol staff, friends and several of the women coordinating the Governor and First Lady’s Women’s Conference.
Three of the riders, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Sacramento developer Sotiris Kolokotronis and a Joaquin McPeek,did the full “century.”
Kolokotronis described his and Nunez’s finishing time as a “very respectable” 6 hours and 45 minutes. He reported sleeping well after the BBQ at the Hearst Ranch, which caps the day.
McPeek, burdened by a borrowed bike ill-suited for Highway 1’s ups-and-downs, was one of the last riders to finish.
Three other team members rode 62 miles. Sixteen went 35 miles, including two of Shriver’s children. Thirteen team members, including Shriver, rode the final 15 miles.
Team representatives predict a climb in their fund-raising ranking for 2010. a photo of the much of the team with its namesake is below:
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