Atascadero resident Jenn Foss was scrolling through her Facebook feed when she first learned of the California Coast Classic, a 525-mile bike ride along Highway 1 that benefits the Arthritis Foundation.
It’s a cause that carries extra weight with Foss, a nurse at Wilshire Hospice in San Luis Obispo who sees the debilitating effects of arthritis on a daily basis. The 30-year-old Foss even deals with her own arthritis, stemming from a dirt bike crash when she was a teenager.
“My mom also had to have knee surgeries on both knees when she was fairly young,” Foss said in an email to The Tribune. “And now working in hospice, geriatric arthritis pain is something that is a very real discomfort that many of the patients struggle with.”
The 17th annual California Coast Classic — which begins Sept. 9 in San Francisco and ends Sept. 16 in Los Angeles — offered Foss and hundreds of others the opportunity to help raise funds needed to find a cure for arthritis.
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Each rider must pay a registration fee and raise a minimum of $3,500 to join the tour. Foss has her own donation page set up online (donations are tax deductible) and had raised more than $1,400 as of Aug. 5 — 42 days before the race begins.
Foss also has two local fundraisers planned this month.
On Aug. 12, Foss will host a hotdog BBQ fundraiser and silent auction in the Grocery Outlet parking lot in Atascadero.
And from 8 a.m. until noon on Aug. 27, the Foss family plans to host a yard sale at their farm, located at 3300 Traffic Way in Atascadero.
As far as training and preparation for the bike ride, Foss said she fits in as much as she can while keeping an extremely tight schedule.
“All I can say is thank goodness this is not a race — everyone can do this in their own pace,” Foss said. “So far my mileage and timing is good. I’m just working on a good diet, staying strong, keeping up with my cardio and being kind to my body.”