Riders in the AMGEN 2018 California Coast Classic benefit for the Arthritis Foundation are slated to breeze down the shoreline through Cayucos, Morro Bay and into Pismo Beach on Sept. 26 on the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Atascadero resident Jenn Foss plans to be among them this time after a year of training and physical recovery. A nurse at San Luis Obispo’s Wilshire Hospice by profession,“mommy to a 5 year old” and a wife the rest of the time, Foss had planned on taking part in the charity pledge ride in 2017.
After hitting the big 30 (years old) that April, she’d decided to branch out in life, and tackle the more than 500-mile ride as a gesture to the patients close to her heart. She’d been training for the event when her own life took a sudden turn and she was involved in a bad car accident.
“Currently I am still a little bent, but not broken,” she writes to potential donors on her donations page for the 2018 ride.
“I was severely hurt,” she later explains, while not going into details, the post says she’s physically healed, but allows that “road shy” is a good term for the post trauma symptoms she’s experienced. It gave her insight into pain management as well, something arthritis patients of all ages and the, primarily elderly care residents she’s dealt with most of her career have in common.
The eight-day trip she plans to undertake follows the Highway 1 route as closely as possible north to south and the money goes toward educational resources for adults and children, scholarships for National Juvenile Arthritis Conference, kids' camps and a search for treatments or even a cure for the ailment.
“Treatment is a big deal,” she said. “People don’t think about how closely linked this is to the opioid crisis but having alternatives for pain is a big deal.”
As a nurse she also appreciates the education element of the programs, noting how much she’s gone through, although she admits, as a method of fundraising her husband and compatriots “probably think I’m crazy” for attempting the ride.
But she adds, her family is quite supportive and plan to be in one of the many support vehicles following the tour.
“I do actually now foresee continuing at this as a hobby and sport, which you just couldn’t have imagined two years ago,” she said. “This is the longest trip I’ve done and it’s not like riding with my Dad when I was younger.”
Each rider is asked to raise $3,300 for the event, with expenses for the ride coming out of pocket. Most of that was accounted for as of press time, but readers can still go online to support her cause at: events.arthritis.org and searching Jenn Foss in the fundraiser box.
Riders leave the Hard Rock Café San Francisco on Sept. 22.