Day 2, we rode from Lompoc to Ventura-94 miles, total.
Lompoc California is home to Vanderburg Air Force Base, where some of the great achievements of American science are shot into space or return from it. For our 7:00 AM takeoff, it was a cold misty morning and this time we had two new riders in Greg Cole and Ed Teng. The beginning was a long, 19-mile stretch of climbing, although not too steep. While riding, Greg and Ed swapped insights from their experience at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (AAICAD) in Hawaii earlier this July. They also learned about Eric’s line of research in the Teplow lab, purifying and characterizing unique species of beta-amyloid oligomers, and the different types of Alzheimer’s toxins. After taking a short stretch off to nurse an injury, Karen joined us at the top of the hill and was pleased to find out that with a little ibuprofen and a lot more pedaling, she was able to work out the pain in her joints. At the end we were trying to figure how much exercise is good for your brain and might reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s, and how much is too much.
We took a few wrong turns and went up some additional hills, much to everyone’s chagrin, since the rest of the trip was supposed to be relatively flat. With few other options, we toughed out a few stretches on the 101 freeway breathing the fumes of cars and trucks, but off on the right we could see the Pacific Ocean dotted with oil platforms, reminding us of trouble in the Gulf. We then were delighted to turn off on to a long series of isolated, scenic and safe bike paths either wooded or right along the water, until we got to the hotel. Half way through Ed Teng lost his energy and almost gave up. Somehow though, he found a second wind and led the pack at the end, perhaps because Greg Cole took a series of phone calls about troubleshooting Western blots for Alzheimer’s biomarkers from the lab.
We are so glad to have the ride down the coast of California with its marine layer and fog, and wish the future riders riding across the country and the deserts and heartland, a safe journey, drinking their electrolytes before they are thirsty. We launched this morning where rockets took off and ended up on America’s edge. Now American Science needs to conquer one of the biggest problems on earth, Alzheimer’s disease. We are proud to be part of the team taking on this challenge.
Sally Frautschy , Eric Hayden, Karen Gylys, Ed Teng and Greg Cole are the UCLA Mindsavers