Tuesday, Venice Beach, Final Ride

| August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

Now that I’m in the groove, got my bike legs, rides are shorter and flatter, the weather has been spectacular (except for a lot of fog near the beach) and even my gear shifter is working better.

So, time to quit.

Actually, I have to be on Cape Cod for the celebration of life for my sister-in-law, so I had to leave at this point. But it is a nice way to end the ride.

Here’s the trip from Oxnard to Venice Beach.

We stayed at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Venice. It was not quite what I expected. I used to work for the congresswoman from Venice and I remember it as a funky place with interesting people. I never thought of it as unsafe. But, St. Mark’s is like a fortress. Heavy fencing all around. The very nice pastor greeted us warmly. He’s a Dutch man of about 55 years old or so, ordained only a few years ago. He was named pastor two weeks ago. He told me that his previous post was in South Central LA, often considered among the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. He said he never felt threatened there.

“If you’re a white man in South Central,” he said, “You’re either a cop or a priest and they leave you alone. Here, on the other hand, they’re crazy. Nobody’s safe.”


As I prepared to snuggle into my sleeping bag for the night in preparation for an early departure at LAX, the team leader invited me to a “circular up” with the other riders for a good by. I got my sticker for this ride, but was also presented with a sticker reflecting my lifetime fundraising achievement of $20,000. That was unexpected. I didn’t know they kept track. A testament more to my generous donors than to me.

And that was that.


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