Dear friends, family, and colleagues,
I would be honored to have your support as I take on the greatest physical challenge of my life while raising money for one of my favorite local non-profits, Los Padres Forest Association. --- https://lpforest.org
On March 25th, myself and a group of riders will depart from Stearns Wharf on the oceanfront in Santa Barbara, bikes fully loaded for a ride of a lifetime called the Tour de Los Padres.
As described on the TDLP homepage,
"Tour De Los Padres is a challenging bikepacking route that is about 275 miles that traverses through some of the most scenic areas of the Southern Los Padres National forest. Elevations along the route range from sea level to about 8,000 feet. Total elevation gained/ lost is about 34,000 feet of climbing and 34,000 feet of descent. This expedition is a true test of physical endurance, but most importantly mental toughness. You will ride forested singletrack, ride high elevation canyons, see ancient Chumash paintings, and travel through some of the most remote backcountry California has to offer."
Instead of being an organized race, the TDLP is guided by several goals which include:
-"Raise money for charity. All riders are encouraged to start their own crowd funding charity of their choice. It is amazing how much money you can raise for a good cause when your friends and family see you doing something challenging. Plus, you will be more likely to push yourself to finish! Remember, your experience on the trail can be more meaningful than just a bike ride.
-Stay off pavement as much as possible.
-Stay out of wilderness areas. Show local hikers and backpackers that we are legitimate and responsible users of these trails."
After consideration of our many awesome local non-profits, I have chosen to use this opportunity to support the Los Padres Forest Association and the critical work that they do to care for the Los Padres National Forest.
The Los Padres National Forest is a place that is so very near and dear to me. Throughout my life it has provided me with a world of opportunity, solace, inspiration, and wonder. My introductions to hiking, camping, backpacking, and more recently, mountain biking, have all taken place in the Los Padres National Forest.
I am so excited and grateful for the remarkable opportunity that the Tour de Los Padres provides- to be able to further immerse myself in this special national forest while getting folks involved to raise money for an organization that works to protect and preserve it!
Thank you so much for your support!
-Ben Van Der Kar
Also please take an extra moment to check out these websites and additional information:
https://lpforest.org - founded in 1979, the Los Padres Forest Association is an official non-profit 501(c)(3) partner of the Los Padres National Forest. Our mission is to care for the Los Padres Forest, ensuring it thrives and remains safe and open for the people to use and enjoy.
As part of the TDLP protocol, I rented a geo tracking device that I will carry with me during the ride which gives y'all the opportunity to go online via the TDLP website (listed above) and see my location and how I am progressing along the route. After I have completed the ride I look forward to putting together a follow up writeup with photos to share with anyone who might be interested.