June 17, 2017 – Victorville to Barstow CA – 65 miles 

Today’s ride out of Victorville was surprisingly cool and we wanted to knock out as many miles as possible to start the day. Everyone started off very strong and kept a very good pace. As the cyclists get acclimated to being on the road the same is true for the crew. They had a turn that went unmarked which meant extra mileage for most of the team. This mistake could have meant a divide but the cyclists shook it off and kept going with a positive attitude to finish the day. I’m excited to see our team grow and I’m enjoying the connections I’m making with guys from all over the country.

Overall everyone made it to the finish line and were welcomed by the kind people from the Barstow Church of God. They have a beautiful church and prepared their space for us to stay.

Once everyone got in and was showered, we were hosted at Tony’s Steakhouse and Buffet by the Barstow Church of God. It was such a game changer to choose such awesome foods and eat as much as we wanted—especially with Death Valley looming! We had a chance to hear from the Pastor of the Church and he shared some of his background as a former CSU football player (Go Rams!) and why the support events like the Journey of Hope.

If all of this wasn’t enough, Ms. Cassandra and several of the members of the church will wake up at 2:45 a.m. to feed us breakfast as we prepare for our next day’s ride to Pahrump. It was inspiring to leave Barstow as the beneficiary of so much kindness. We definitely need that energy for ride tomorrow!

Tomorrow we tackle one of our toughest rides of the trip and I could not more excited to take on Death Valley. With wake up at 3:00 AM we need all the rest we can get, so for now it’s time for bed.

 Jose Montez
Queen University of Charlotte