Yes, There Is a Cucamonga

This morning, having seen us safely across the desert, George started back toward New Mexico.


L to R:  Joey, George, Truck

George was most generous to spring for the truck. But his real gift was his time. When he reaches Rio Rancho tomorrow, George will have invested two weeks in the Ride. He spent most of each day waiting for us to catch up. He shared with Jeffrey his considerable knowledge of flora, fauna, history, geology, food, popular culture, politics, and more. He made Jeffrey’s life easier. He relieved Nancy of some of her worry.

Jeffrey’s friend Viviane likes to quote Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Generous George paid attention.  He earned his trip home.

As George went east, we went west.


The lush green grounds of a Fontana hospital.  No more desert!


Dennis, a retired property manager and Air Force veteran, was walking Buster & Bailey (or perhaps they were walking him) at the entrance to the Pacific Electric Bike Trail, a paved path that took us 10 miles west.  After Jeffrey explained that asylum applicants are allowed to have a lawyer only “at no expense to the government”, Dennis gave Jeffrey a donation for Human Rights First.


Mountains, trees, tile roofs.  Steinbeck imagined how this would have amazed Oklahoma migrants.  Each Ride reminds us anew that America is big, rich, and amazing, with plenty of room and plenty to share.


On the Pacific Electric trail, James called out to Jeffrey, asked about the Ride, made some remarks about real estate sales and government injustice, and showed Jeffrey rocks that he said bear gold and other valuable minerals.  Jeffrey listened and accepted the rocks James offered.


Bill was out for a pleasure ride on his Catrike Expedition.  He and Jeffrey had a nice chat about recumbents—and immigration.  Bill wants America to be generous to refugees.  A practical man with a sense of history, Bill sees a role for economic nationalism—favoring American workers when all else is equal—tempered by justice and common sense.  He recognizes the failings of our cumbersome immigration laws and knows that not enough Americans will do farm work.

We encountered more people throughout the day, some with cheers and thumbs-up, some with questions.  As always, we leave out more than we can include.  After Bill, though, we kept things short.  We had a long way to go and limited daylight.


Fine houses and colorful plants lined the Pacific Electric trail at Rancho Cucamonga.


A street view in Azusa.


This is the entrance to the San Gabriel River Trail, one of today’s several paved bike paths.  Many streets had bike lanes or “Share the Road” signs.


Along the San Gabriel trail, we saw several conveyor belt / hopper / crusher machines, evidently processing rocks, seemingly unattended (but someone or something must have been putting rocks on the conveyor).


In San Marino, a sign prohibits the feeding of peafowl—with reason.  We heard the birds’ distinctive cries as we pedaled through town.  This procession halted traffic for a minute.

Our planned route (mostly on well-paved city streets, past fancy houses, simple houses, and commercial districts of all sorts) included a stretch on the Los Angeles River bike path.  But the gate to the path was closed. “Detour” signs pointed both left and right, without indicating which route would take us in what direction.

In the end, we solved the puzzle and made it to the Van Nuys neighborhood, after 76 miles and 11 hours on the road, in brilliant sun that faded to darkness, in air temperatures of up to 92F (33C).

The tale of today’s travels wearied our hosts.

Tomorrow you’ll meet their livelier servants.

6 thoughts on “Yes, There Is a Cucamonga

  1. So glad for you to be at this point of your journey. George is truly a friend – loving kindness in action – lucky you for having him in your life. AND I am with Nancy on the ‘you’ve got a friend in a truck through the desert’ makes for a comforting safety strategy. Helen would be pleased, too. Go Jeff!!


  2. That’s s a long day! You must be exhausted. Safe travels




    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have come so far and are almost there! I have loved reading about your encounters with the people you meet. I have said before and I’ll say it again, that California was Tom’s idea of heaven. Have you seen him? I think he is on the beach. Susan


  4. Thank you, George! If Jeffrey is our Ambassador, George (in diplomatic parlance) is our DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission). Thank you for helping to keep Jeffrey safe during the long trek across the desert. We are so grateful to George and Jeffrey (and Nancy!) for sacrificing to help raise awareness–and much-needed funds–for refugees.


  5. AG once lived in Sherman Oaks and worked in Van Nuys.


    On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 3:46 AM, Ride for Human Rights wrote:

    > Joey posted: “This morning, having seen us safely across the desert, > George started back toward New Mexico. George was most generous to spring > for the truck. But his real gift was his time. When he reaches Rio Rancho > tomorrow, George will have invested two weeks in ” >


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