365 miles in a single day; and so many experiences and memories along the way! Andy Funk is hand picking and narrating his favorite “24 Moments” from Vegas In 24 below. Look for a new post every week!

Moment 1, Mile 292 of 365

The 30 mile climb to Searchlight with a dead-on headwind starts to present itself as the cancer of Vegas In 24 and the part that may break me. I feel like I am barely moving and after an hour of climbing, Searchlight appears as far away in the distance at the very top of the mountain as it did an hour earlier. I knew 30 miles would pose a lot of climbing, but I wasn’t prepared for the wind to still be there. The climb is taking much longer than I had anticipated; I have half a bottle of water left; and I know I will be running out way ahead of rest stop #5 in Searchlight. The pain and exhaustion and the disbelief that I am still fighting the winds 16 hours after I started make me burst out laughing without warning. In this moment I can’t help but realize that I got exactly what I asked for. This part of the ride is taking everything out of me and stripping me of all strength – I am nearing a point where I know collapse is a possibility if I cannot refuel quickly enough. The conditions are brutal – but so is breast cancer!

The battle is never over – please donate and share! #lifesavingmiles

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Laughing in Disbelief

Moment 2, Mile 107 of 365

I have been on the bike for over 5 hours now and nearing 112 miles, the Ironman distance that I am very familiar with from my many triathlon races. To my right appear the first of the over 4,000 windmills located in the valley adjacent to Palm Springs, a place where renewable energy can be witnessed in action as far as the eye can see. Harnessing energy so that it can be used later is an art and a science in long distance cycling. If you don’t take certain opportunities to regenerate yourself, that energy won’t be available later on when you need it. Women with breast cancer don’t have a windmill that will magically capture and give back the energy they lost during their treatment – they have to build themselves back up from the very bottom and that takes patience and endurance!

The winds have been fierce since 1am, but as I am cycling along this massive wind farm on uneven pavement, I am getting my first real relief of the day with a tail wind right behind me. For 15 minutes, I am feeling like things are working perfectly in my favor despite the terribly bumpy road. As I continue on, I can’t help but wonder what these winds will do to me once I make my left turn towards Yucca Valley. I know I will be in deep trouble within less than half an hour!

The battle is never over – please donate and share! #lifesavingmiles

4,000 Windmills at Sunrise

Moment 3, Mile 184 of 365

I am descending into a valley of nothing – all you can see here is desert as far as the land stretches! There is nothing to protect you or shield you – it’s just you on a lonely road. After having just climbed about 900ft to the top of this mountain, I am looking forward to this descent and counting on an opportunity to hold back a little and let gravity do its work. As the downhill begins, I speed up to almost 40mph and enjoy the rush. The views are so spectacular despite all the emptiness, I start screaming with joy and feel like I am being shot into space in a rocket ship. Little do I know that the fun will only last for 5 minutes as I will be greeted with even fiercer winds than before. Having battled powerful cross winds for the last 70+ miles, the wind will soon be straight in my face. Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that wind can slow me down to 11mph on a flat road, but that is about to happen and will give me a brutal reality check about what’s yet to come. This valley of nothing is filled with the only thing you cannot see – wind – and it has plenty of that. The next 15 miles, during which I will ride downhill and lose 1,000 feet of elevation, will take me an entire hour to conquer.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is tough enough; being diagnosed without insurance, money or a safety net is another story. Low income, uninsured and underinsured women know the valley of nothing, and they have experienced the wicked winds inside of it. They also know that others cannot see this powerful wind or understand how difficult it is to fight against it. These women have seen first hand that there is no protection and no place for shelter. The valley of nothing is their reality, and no matter where they look, the valley never seems to end.

The battle is never over – please donate! #lifesavingmiles

Descending into a Valley of Nothing

Moment 4, Mile 6 of 365

“It doesn’t take long for me to reach “sketchy” neighborhoods. Actually, I have only been riding for 6 miles when the side of the road transitions from industrial spaces to homes and businesses barricaded with bars and gates. For the next hour, I know I will be riding through what many consider the worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles, maybe even the country. A few more miles, and I’ll be going straight by the Nickerson Gardens Housing Projects, the largest urban housing development west of the Mississippi, well known for its enormous memorial wall showcasing those who have passed. As much as that should possibly concern me, I have been looking forward to this moment – and as I am riding by these barricaded places, I know that I have made the right decision to choose this route.

Many suggested I start this event at the Santa Monica Pier, pass by Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and then the Staples Center in Downtown LA. Sure, the “flashy” route would have made for some iconic photo ops, but it also would have been quite hypocritical. I am not riding to avoid the impoverished areas, but to help heal them in some small way. Vegas In 24 supports low income, underprivileged and underserved women in need of breast cancer screening and treatment. As I am cycling down Imperial Highway in the middle of the night, I echo the mission of this event. I am keenly aware that this very ride will soon help women who quite possibly live within a few blocks of me right now.”

The battle is never over – please donate! #lifesavingmiles

Andy Funk cycles through rough Los Angeles neighborhoods in the middle of the night - homes and businesses are barricaded with bars and gates.

Moment 5, Mile 0 of 365

“I’ve had a lot on my mind this week. Besides the TV interviews, final planning and last minute logistics, urgent things popped up left and right and none of them could wait. Just a few hours ago, my only real plan was to get some sleep since I am keenly aware that I will skip this entire night and still have to perform at an elite level. Sleeping didn’t work out so well, but 2 hours is better than nothing. When there is great anticipation and lots of adrenaline flowing through your veins, getting rest can be a real challenge.

When we left our house in Santa Monica 30 minutes ago, my mind was so focused on my bike and the final check list for departure, I didn’t even think to pay attention to the trees outside. As I exit the Pink RV and talk to my friends and supporters at Dockweiler Beach – most of whom appear to be freezing – I take my first look towards the palm trees and know immediately that I am in trouble.

In cycling, wind is your worst adversary. A tail wind is always welcome, and a head wind can be somewhat managed, but cross winds can kill you. With wind speeds already exceeding 20mph and coming from the NW, it doesn’t take me long to calculate that I will face a crosswind for at least 200 miles today. Thankfully, I don’t know yet that the wind will actually get worse and slow me down more than I have ever experienced in all my cycling years.

At the beginning of a journey that you are determined to complete, bad news may slow you down, but it doesn’t have to squelch your hopes or terminate your plan! Low-income and underserved women with breast cancer who receive their diagnosis are already in life situations that are filled with obstacles. Bad news on top of bad news can be devastating, and many women decide they cannot fight, don’t have the means the fight, or are afraid of more bad news – and give up. As I am looking at the dire wind conditions that I will have to battle today, I hope that my actions and tenacity will inspire many, and that the medical treatment and support these women receive as a result of this event will help them overcome their fears and their own whirlwinds.”

The battle is never over – please donate and share! #lifesavingmiles

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Just minutes before taking off at Dockweiler Beach, Andy Funk looks up at the palm trees blowing in the wind and gets his first taste of what may be ahead over the next 24 hours. Wind speeds are already at over 20mph.

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

Coming Soon

Check back for an update soon! Andy will be narrating new moments once or twice each week!

This Post Has 49 Comments

    1. Deedee, I am very humbled! After all, you are the 3-time Olympian and Gold medalist :) Thank you for your support, encouragement and friendship! Can’t wait to tell you more about the event and how I was tested at every level!

    1. This is the amazing Andy Funk in this pictured who cycled 365 miles that day from LA to Las Vegas, against the wind, and without any assistance or outside support, to raise funds for underserved women with breast cancer – all proceeds benefiting the Pink Lotus Foundation.

  1. Back in the RideArc ride days, I’m so glad we did a group ride through the area including a run through Nickerson Gardens. Unlike most people on the ride that night, for me it was going through the ‘hood where I grew up.

  2. When I worked at Aircraft, I sometimes would drive past the Gardens from West Covina. There was a feud going on between a Gardens gang and a father-son who lived on the other side of Imperial. I always expected to be caught in a crossfire when I stopped at the light.

  3. During CicLAvia that went through Watts, Lynwood, South Gate and Huntington Park, I parked my car in front of where I grew up in the ‘hood, it was only a block and a half from 103rd St that was the shopping district that was burned to the ground in the 1964 riots. In place of our building, there is now a parking lot and a tree. :-(

    1. Thank you! April 23 was one of the best days of my life. No matter how tough it was (and it was as tough as it could have been), giving back to others is still one of the most rewarding things you can do in life and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to lead this mission. Thanks for your support!

  4. My very deep heartfelt thank you Andy! Thank you doesn’t seem enough, for what you are doing for us! This I believe gives all of us encouragement to keep on keeping on❌⭕️❌⭕️
    Again all I can say is thank you Andy! What a guy!!!

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