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Piece of Cake Bike Ride
November 6 & 7, 1999

This bike ride will stay long in my memory as being challenging, deceiving, and a bunch of fun. We started out in Cambria down a little country road with little ups and downs, still thinking to myself that this is not going to be too bad. A little ways down the road we stop at Linn's Fruit Stand and get a snack, and I am thinking that this is going to be a piece of cake! The kids are all having a great time.

We start off again. It is a gradual uphill with some downhill, by a picturesque stream and through beautiful sycamore groves. And then it all changed. I am at the back of the back of the pack. There are a few of us back there and we start going uphill. It is definitely steeper. Mary, Haley, Amanda, Whitney B., Christian, Jordan and I finally stop to rest and we decide to wait for the sag wagon for water. We start up again. It doesn't look like the top is too much farther, but over the next rise and again facing steep switchbacks, we see that we were wrong. At this point we are not riding our bikes, but pushing them.

We keep going and reach the top of the switchback believing in our success. We are wrong again. The top is still about a mile away. The girls pull ahead and leave Christian and me at the back. Christian looks at me and says, "I am not getting in the sag wagon. I am going to make it to the top!" Now I can't wimp out. Well, Christian and I did make it to the top and through the Victory Tunnel. I don't know how long they had to wait for us, but everyone cheered us on.

Mary rides through the Victory Tunnel on top of Piece of Cake.
Mary rides through the Victory Tunnel on top of Piece of Cake.

This was only a little over half way, with a big downhill ahead and still many miles to go. Jesse gave a big lecture on downhill speed control and safety - then went by me with the afterburners on.

The trip was a huge success and I am already thinking about the next Piece of Cake. The food was great. We can keep Hannes as the cook, but he needs to ride next year and not just drive the sag wagon. The entertainment was exceptional. Ben, Jesse, Marc, Willy, and Nick can continue on the entertainment committee. Thanks to Annie, Tina, Julie, Michael, Wolfgang, and Mark for all their help, Katie Faul and Chris Stewart for showing us that little kids can be tough too, and all the DMS students who stuck it out and cheered each other and us on. And lastly, thanks to Jordan for playing his guitar at 6:00 a.m. and getting everyone up. It was great to be part of such a great group of kids, parents, and teachers.

And if you are confused about any of this, then I suggest you join us next year and learn for yourself. If your kid accomplished this trip then you can be proud of them, because this is definitely not a "piece of cake."

- Lisa Stewart (6th grade DMS parent)   

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Copyright © 1999 by Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org