Once Pinedorado’s over, North Coast residents will be gearing up for the annual Best Buddies Challenge Hearst Castle fundraiser ride on Saturday, Sept. 12, in which cyclists pedal 100, 62, 30 or 15 miles along Highway 1 to San Simeon. The ride starts in Carmel. (Some start lines were sold out as of Tuesday, Sept. 1.)
A 5K run/walk with Olympic legend Carl Lewis happens on Hearst Ranch and along the San Simeon shoreline the same day. An associated mountain-bike event happens in Carmel on Friday, Sept. 11.
The events can affect Highway 1 traffic from San Simeon north.
After the events end, all participants celebrate at a private party on Hearst Ranch with gourmet food, an open bar, massages, celebrity guests and a concert by the Pointer Sisters.
Best Buddies supports programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the organizers are seeking volunteers to help Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 10 through 12.
According to the Best Buddies website, http:// bestbuddieschallenge.org/hc/, “Volunteering is a great way to experience the Best Buddies Challenge. … Our volunteers are key to the event’s success. All volunteers receive an event T-shirt, food, drink, and that warm fuzzy feeling you get from doing a good thing.”
Some Cambria residents will be participating with their feet, however.
Connie Gonzales will be doing the associated Best Buddies 5K walk, as a stand-in (or would that be walk-in?) for Catherine “Cathy” Wilson, her mother. Wilson, who was for years the postmaster at San Simeon’s U.S. postal branch, has done the walk twice before, but a knee injury sidelined her this year.
Gonzales walk with Wilson’s Best Buddies fundraising cohort, Desiree Stephens.
Wilson said in a phone interview Tuesday, Sept. 1, “I had all the intentions of doing the 5K again this year, but the doctor said it wouldn’t be a good idea” while the knee is healing. “But I’ll be waiting for them at the end, cheering them on, just as Connie has done for me in the past.”
Donate to the Wilson/Gonzales/Stephenson Best Buddies effort at www.kintera.org/faf/donor Reg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1120784&supId=382956746&extSiteType=1, and help support what Wilson calls “Best Buddies extraordinary programs.”
Best Buddies volunteer opportunities include:
- On Thursday, September 10, pre-event bag stuffers will assist with event check-in materials for all riders.
- On Friday, September 11, check-in assistants help with venue setup, registration, parking coordination and light cleanup duties.
- On Saturday, September 12, start-line assistants help with venue setup, registration, parking coordination and light cleanup duties. Course marshals caution traffic and help riders stay on course. Rest-stop and finish-line assistants help with venue setup, food and water distribution and light cleanup duties.