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UC Berkeley Web Feature

Bears on bikes
Day 6: Climbing that last hill, with miles yet to go

Cal Team member Chuck Davies works as assistant director/executive chef for UC Berkeley’s student-dining service. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he also studied in Paris, apprenticed in New Orleans and San Francisco, and worked as a chef-instructor in Seattle before coming to Cal. Today he dishes up his brief reflections on Day 6 of AIDS LifeCycle 6.

—Waking up this morning at 5 a.m., as I have for the past five mornings, I fumbled in the dewy cold with barely enough light to see what I was doing.  I gathered my belongings, packed my bags and tent, and trudged off to a hot breakfast before riding out at 6:30.

Chuck Davies welcomes riders
Chuck Davies welcomes felloow riders to Ventura. (Devin Wicks photo)

After riding, climbing, and sitting 10 hours a day for the past 5 days, my butt is sore and tender.  But in spite of all the ride’s small annoyances and interruptions to my comfortable, daily routine at home, I have found the energy and strength to climb the last hill and face the last headwind.  The vistas have been gorgeous and the outpouring of love and support in each community we have passed has been amazing.

As I’ve ridden this week, I’ve recalled the years past.  I’ve remembered the loved ones who have gone too soon and relived the struggles we all faced in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. We have come far, but we have many miles to travel still. For me, the ride is not only a personal challenge and a way to support a worthy cause, but an opportunity to reflect on my own life, pausing to celebrate life and those who live fully today in spite of this terrible disease.