Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hard at work...

I'm back in the Bay and there is a ton of work to be done. So I thought I'd throw on the most appropriate T Shirt possible and get to work.

Aaron


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where is Trevor?

Check this out...

http://trevorschronicle.blogspot.com/2009/04/catching-up.html

Peace, Power and Pedal

Aaron

A little press

Check this out. Sanfrancisco.com promoted the party! Hell ya!

http://www.sanfrancisco.com/last-hill-before-home-charity-fundraiser-e569541

Peace, Power and Pedal

Aaron

The Last Hill Before Home video


video

I had an opportunity...so I took it...

Back in September of 2007 life was running along at its usual pace. I was the Director of Sales for a boutique Real Estate Finance firm in downtown San Francisco. I had an amazing apartment full of nice stuff in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood with a killer sweeping view of the city by the bay. I had the nice German car in the garage. And since I had been living in San Francisco for the past 10 years I had the city figured out. Life was great but at the same time I was looking for something more. I was looking to expand the way I saw the world. I was looking to travel. My dream for the past 5 years was to give it all up and travel the world.

The economic crash was on the horizon and the real estate industry was already starting to tank. Our company had to lay off some employees and from there my business partner and I started to question our careers in the real estate industry. Eventually we closed up and I was left with one question..."what now?" With nothing really holding me down I realized that I had the opportunity that I was looking for. I had the opportunity to pursue my dream of taking the year off and travelling the world.

On November 19, 2007, my best friend Davy and his sister Krissy dropped me off at San Francisco International Airport. All I had on me were two backpacks and an around the world plane ticket. The plan was to travel to South East Asia, India, Eastern Europe, North Africa and eventually South America. I was scheduled to get back home to San Francisco 9 months later. Well....a year and a half later I arrived back in San Francisco crossing the Golden Golden Gate Bridge on a bike. Its truly funny how some things work out.

Along my travels I had an amazing time. I met people from all over the world. I joking say these days that I could do the whole trip again but this time Ill have a couch to crash on wherever I go. I ate exotic food from grasshoppers in Thailand to goat head in Morocco. I saw some amazing sights like the Pyramids in Egypt or Iguazu falls in Argentina. I lived in Barcelona, I studied yoga in an ashram in India, I walked across Spain on the pilgrims trail and I studied Spanish in Santiago de Chile. I made the most out of my time.

People often ask me..."do you feel like you changed"? I can honestly say yes. Along my travels I saw many things that affected the way I look at the world. I came face to face with the challenges and hardships that countries face. I saw the ugly side of pollution, poverty and homelessness. One specific example, I remember, in Mumbai I saw a women begging for money with one hand while clutching her dying baby with the other.

Before I returned home I wanted to do something. I wanted to give back. When I experienced that horrible sight in Mumbai I felt helpless. I really didn't know what to do. So finally while I was living in Santiago de Chile, around the same time that Barack Obama was filling the international airwaves with rhetoric of change and peace, I decided to do something about it. I decided to create. I decided to DO. I decided to create a grassroots charitable fundraiser that was aimed to bring awareness and funds to children living in poverty. I decided to do an inspirational event that would bring attention to the cause. I decided to ride my bike 3,500 miles across 8 countries to bring the stories of the children to conscious of the public. I worked with an amazing non profit organization, Plan USA (www.planusa.org), and with their leadership and guidance I was able to make this dream become a reality.

On April 25th, 2009 I crossed the Golden Gate bridge on a bike. It was a long journey, an amazing journey and this blog has been the story of that ride. Crossing the Golden Gate bridge with friends and family cheering me on was a day that Ill never forget.

As of right now the unofficial total that we have raised is about $11,000. Were raising this money so that we can give the gift of education to a small community of children in a town about 3 hours drive from Guatemala City. I rode my bike from Panama to San Francisco because I love adventure, I rode my bike through the jungles of Central America because I love the great outdoors, I rode my bike through the wind, rain and desert because I wanted to get peoples attention so that I could tell them about the struggle and challenges that people living in poverty face today.

This video above is the story of my life from the past year and a half. This video above was a gift given to me and the Last Hill project as a chronicle of the adventures. This video was probably one of the best gifts I have ever received. For this I have to thank one of my best friends James G. James put countless hours into the video. If you watch closely you can even see that the lyrics match the photos. James was so dedicated to this project that he even spent his Saturday afternoon, the same Saturday when I rolled over the Golden Gate, to put the final touches on the video. James works as a writer/editor for CBS TV in LA. One thing that is truly amazing is that this project is bringing together people that are using their professional skills to contribute to an amazing cause. James...I don't know how to say this or how to ever repay you but...thank you my friend...thank you.

I hope you all enjoy the video...

Peace, Power and Pedal

Aaron

The Bake Sell






This is my friend Candice on the right in the purple shirt. About a month ago Candice told me that she wanted to help out with the Last Hill Project. Using her resources she put together a bake sell at her school. She told the parents and the kids what I was doing and she told them that I was building a school in a small community in Guatemala. Candice sent some information home with the kids and told them that there would be a bake sell to help raise awareness and funds for the children in Guatemala. On top of that Candice put together a wonderful picture board with information about the ride.


The bake sell was a few days after I got back into town. I was also lucky enough to attend the sell and talk to the parents about the ride. The whole event was pretty quick but it was a great opportunity to spread the message. And..we raised a few hundred bucks! Awesome...thanks Candice!


Peace, Power and Pedal


Aaron



S.F.S.U. Interview

video

Lets talk a bit about this interview. Where shall I start??? Lets start here...with my buddy Blake.

My buddy Blake, whom I know from San Francisco State University, ontacted me about a month ago. He shot me an email asking me where I was, how things were going and then he mentioned that he wanted to meet me somewhere along the ride. I told him that it would be awesome if he could meet me. Again, anytime anyone wanted to meet me I was all game! The more people that got connected to this project the better. But and there was a BIG BUT I told him tat I was about to hit Baja California and that if he wanted to meet me he would have to hop on a plane in a few days and fly to La Paz. Plus...I told him that I planned on doing Baja in 14 days and that I was riding about 150 kilometers per day through the wind, rain and desert. Well...after reading that last email Blake never got back to me! hahah!

I eventually cleared Baja, flew through San Diego, and up the coast of California. I was one day away from San Francisco when I got a call from Mike or maybe it was James. Mike and James were working seriously hard and fast on getting this amazing slide show presentation done so that we could show it at the party in San Francisco. James, a writer/producer/editor/a guy that can leap buildings with no problem at all was going to sit at his house on Saturday and wait for the last pictures of me from the Golden Gate bridge so that he could edit the video and have all the photos from the last day. Anyway...Mike or James told me that they would add the pictures and email the slide show to Blake. Ahhhhhh Blake gets back into the action! So Blake would then upload the video Saturday afternoon and burn it to a DVD. Well..this is all a side note, but the video came through. The video was played at the party and it was probably one of the coolest moments of my life. Anyway...on Sunday I realized that I had to get the finished product from Blake. So, thanks to a ride from my Dad we went from the Westin in San Francisco to Blakes Apartment near Golden Gate Park to get the video.

After chating with Blake, Blakes awesome girlfriend Crystal, my dad and I we all came to the conclusion that the slide show was the coolest thing from the night! So as my dad and I were taking off Blake comes running out the door to pass a message along. It turns out that his roomate is an intern for NBC and she is also a senior in the Media and Broadcast Department at San Francisco State University. Anyway...his roomate Cory (the girl in the video) wanted to interview me for the San Francisco State University TV station. Blake wanted to know if I was in?? Hell ya...any exposure or any chance to bring awareness to the cause was good for me. So here I am...the next day doing an interview with the Fabulous Cory Marshall on the San Francisco State University campus.

I was a bit nervous but the story of the bike trip has been told more than a few times. It was fun to do and some great experience. Thanks Bake and Cory for the opportunity! I had a great time...

Peace, Power and Pedal

Aaron

The Golden Gate Bridge


So this is it. My last day of the ride. 3 months, 8 countries and something like 3,500 miles. This was one of the first views of the bridge along the ride.

What a perfect day!

I gave the bridge a hug..the bridge huged me back...

Outside San Francisco State University

We made it boys!


Alctraz in the background.

Devin, Candice, Scott, John and I dodging traffic in downtown San Francisco.

This was a pretty cool moment. This picture was taken in Daly City. But from here you can see the top of the Golden Gate bridge. When I first saw the bridge I almost lost it. I started gigiling like a kid. Rob was next to me with this huge smile on his face. He thought it was pretty cool to share that experience. I think I said something to Rob like..."wow man...wow...there it is...the bridge...I was wondering what this moment was going to be like."

Getting ready in Pacifica for the big day.





Taking a moment to let it all sink in...




Somewhere along the bridge the guys got caught up and I had a few minutes to just chill before we crossed the bridge.





Its not really the same as riding through downtown San Salvador.

Check out the giant picture that Mike gave me. Its a compilation of some of the best pictures from the trip! What a great present. Coming across the Golden Gate Bridge to my friends and family cheering me on...that will be a day that Ill never forget.

This was an amazing moment!

Peace, Power and Pedal
Aaron

"The Civic Generation"

On my first ride in the US I noticed a USA today headline at a gas station somewhere in San Diego. The headline said something about a new generation, the article called these people the "Civic Generation". Once I got into LA I found the article on the internet. The article talked about a new generation of people. These people are affected by current events like 9/11, these people are inspired by Barack Obama and his message of change and these people, in most cases, lost their jobs because of the current economic crises. I thought this was interesting because this project was inspired by a lot of these topics.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/sharing/2009-04-13-millenial_N.htm

Peace, Power and Pedal

Aaron

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The San Francisco Party!




video
Hey Everyone!

I hope you all can make it out to the Last Hill Before Home final fundraiser event in San Francisco on Saturday, April 25th. The party is going to be one to remeber. Its goingto be held at Atmospher on Broadway in San Francisco and all proceeds will be going to the school construction project in Jalapa, Guatemala. Live Latin Bands, DJ, photo slide show and a speech that Im a bit nervous about are all part of the program. Check out the link below for more information and to get your tickets online. Act soon because this event will sell out. Hope to see you all there!

This event will be held at Atmosphere - 447 Broadway in San Francisco
http://www.a3atmosphere.com

The Last Hill Before Home is a grassroots fundraising effort aimed at helping raise awareness and money to help make a difference in the lives of children living in poverty.

830pm-10pm Party kicks off with the musical stylings of Gabriel Navia and his band while we welcome Aaron back and celebrate the cause.
http://www.gabrielnavia.com

10pm - 2am DJs Jason Everett and Greg J will be playing the latest house/ hip hop/ top 40/ and mashups in both the mainroom and lounge. Pre-sale tickets are available and highly recommended as we anticipate this event selling out. http://www.lasthillbeforehome.eventbrite.com/
Aaron

Big Sur

Biking along the California coast through Big Sur was probably one of the most challenging and most rewarding rides of the entire trip. It really didnt seem to difficult until looking at the elevation climb and distance travelled. I think thats because it was so nice to have company along the way.

Climbing out of big sur was a two day ride. We all felt like champs once we hit this sign on the other side of the park.


This is a typical seen. Scotty does Iron Man competitions. His bike is super light and he only carries about 20 punds with him. On top of that he doesnt even have a small rig on his gears. He does this to cut down weight. So we usually get a good view of his back side as he flies past us on the hills.

Getting closer.

The views were amazing but that ocean looks a bit colder than the ocean in Costa Rica!

Taking a break after a big climb.

Pushing through the drizzle, the fog and the wind in Big Sur!

The road was amazing!




Scotty and Rob setting up camp in the rain after a 80 mile day.







Some funky little towns along the California coast.




Robs checking the map!



Aaron