Allen B. West

Day 0 – Carlsbad, CA: Freakin’ New Guy orientation

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Angela and I arrived yesterday in San Diego International Airport for the start of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America (KPCRAA), and upon exiting jetway, Angela saw a full-grown English bulldog which reminded her or our Winston, and she took off running. I thought the woman would think my wife mad but they struck up a conversation and Angela showed her pictures. We then caught a ride up to Carlsbad to the Hilton Oceanfront Resort on Ponto — a lovely place. Angela and I went down and watched a beautiful sunset over the Pacific and then had dinner with George and DeDe Cable and friends.

Of course the ol’ body clock was all screwed up so we headed to bed and as expected, about 4:00 am were wide awake.

I took off this morning at 5:30 am for a nice run along the Pacific and since it was low tide was able to do the “Chariots of Fire” run along the edge of the ocean. My goal was to reach the power plant just north in the distance. It was a chilly but nice morning and I was able to see all the early morning surfers coming out to catch a wave.

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Yesterday, we took off from Ft. Lauderdale over the Atlantic, and this morning I was running along the Pacific in the early morning sunlight. A glorious start. The beauty of America never ceases to amaze me. We’ve been so very blessed in this country by God — yes, God bless America — not what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said.

Today is orientation for all us FNGs (Freakin’ New Guys) for whom this is our first KPCRAA ride. I suppose no matter how old you get, you’ll always be a “rookie” at something. I’ll have to go through a basic skills course, no worries. Then we’ll “top off” our bikes and get ready to launch tomorrow morning.


We have a nice mixer event this evening where we’ll get to know our fellow riders for the week. This is an extremely well-run operation. Makes an ol’ Soldier like me ecstatic. We have assigned t-shirts for each day from sponsors and the gas pit stops are well planned and orchestrated.

Saturday morning first call is at 0430, bag drop between 0500-0600, ride brief at 0615, and kick stands up at 0645. Tomorrow will be the longest ride day from here in Carlsbad CA to Tucson AZ, approximately 445 miles. Our estimated arrival time to Tucson is 5:30 pm, a full day of riding. And looks like we are bunking down at the Hilton El Conquistador — maybe I’ll get to see some of you, and even personally sign a copy of my book, Guardian of the Republic.

Well, that’s the Day 0 report. Gotta take a shower and get ready for Rookie rider orientation.

Steadfast and Loyal!

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