2019 BTUSFMS #11 – Reputation And Reality

September 4 | Huntington Beach

Malibu Sunrise

Southern California has a reputation, some of it well deserved. The affluence here is sometimes ostentatious, the self absorption bordering on narcissistic, and the tempo fast and impatient.

Because of that reputation, Southern California can be polarizing. Some people disparage it, others idolize it–often without ever having been here.

As someone who lived here for 35 years, I can say that reputation is not the same as reality. We were reminded of that fact today at the end of a long ride.

Our entire team is being hosted by 4-5 neighbors in Huntington Beach, two of whom are alumni of other Bike The US For MS rides. We’re being fed and housed, offered showers and use of the laundry by people most of whom we’ve never met and who don’t know us.

Our last rest stop today, instead of being on the side of the road or in a shopping center parking lot, was in the home of another alumna who fed us homemade goodies, offered us cold drinks, and the comfort of a warm smile and open arms.

Tomorrow, a local church is feeding us breakfast before we start our ride.

This is authentic human kindness and generosity. Selfless. Compassionate. Appreciative.

Regardless of reputation, Southern California is just like anywhere else–filled with people who enjoy helping out.

When we only look on the superficial surface, it’s easy to miss the true essence of a place, or a person. Today gave our team a powerful reminder to look deeper.

To learn more about Bike The US For MS, visit biketheusforms.org.

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