Berkeley, CA, August 25, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- When Bob Coomber, aka Four-Wheel Bob, hikes the East Bay trails he frequently engages with others and they listen to him with a curious attention.
It’s not solely because Coomber does his hiking from a wheel chair; or that a faint flicker of Four-Wheel Bob as featured on ABC news jogs their memory; it’s simply because Coomber loves the outdoors and speaks so eloquently about it. Coomber’s reflections on nature, to be sure, can sound like a hymnal to the natural world.
Indeed, nature as seen through Bob Coomber’s eyes has a magical quality. “The journey while in nature is like a rainbow,” he explains. “It’s black and white at the ends but it’s what’s in the middle - the colors of the rainbow - that matter most.” So when Morris Older, the coordinator of the 2011 East Bay Hills Trails Benefit Hike and Ride, contacted him to participate and speak at an event to support one of the Bay Area’s greatest natural treasures, our Bay Area trails, Coomber jumped at the chance. A new mission, if you will, from the man whose dogged persistence enabled him to reach the 14,252 ft summit of White Mountain - the third highest peak in California.
The East Bay Hills Trails Hike and Ride begins on August 31 and runs through September 5. Bicyclists can join the event on Saturday and Sunday. Highlights of the event include five days of hiking from Crockett to Cull Canyon, totaling 53.5 miles; a six day 100-mile equestrian ride year, starting in Berkeley at the Anderson Equestrian Camp in Tilden Park; camping at Joaquin Miller and Anthony Chabot Parks in the East Bay Hills; an evening talk by 4-Wheel Bob’s about his epic climb to the top of White Mountain , star-gazing through the telescopes at Chabot Space and Science Center and more. The event is $55 per day for everything - camping, food, trail maps, hikes and entertainment.
To register for the event and to reserve your space for Four-Wheel Bob’s presentation on Saturday, September 3rd visit the Bay Ridge Trail website: www.ridgetrail.org. Sign up now as space is limited.
The event has raised $140,000 in previous years for many trail projects, including financial support for building 3.5 miles of new trail at Muir Heritage Land Trust’s Sky Ranch and Fernandez Ranch in Martinez; additional planning and construction of Ridge Trail segments elsewhere; and signage of the entire route of the Ridge Trail through the East Bay, among others.
The Ridge trail and other East Bay trails, Older explains, have many upsides for nearby residents: “It’s multi-use, close by, offers great views of the bay and has lots of outdoor recreation. It’s a place with the opportunity for everyone - equestrians, hikers and bike riders.”
The Ridge trail is currently 332 miles and will eventual expand to 530 miles, creating a continuous loop around the entire bay area. The trail’s towering redwoods, open grasslands, dense forests and coastal bluffs offer people a natural respite from a fast-paced world.
Coomber is thrilled to support the trail’s completion. "I never say no to anything when it comes to the environment,” Coomber explains. “We must preserve and protect what we have so people living nearby can select any section of trail - north, south - and just do it.”
Coomber, 56, has been “just doing it” in nature his entire life. As a bay area native growing up in Piedmont, he has been an avid hiker since childhood. A wheel chair became Coomber’s way to get around when he developed juvenile diabetes in his 20’s, which eventually led to severe osteoporosis. Yet his condition has never slowed him down from attempting challenging hikes and, in fact, has strengthened his resolve. Indeed, Coomber is a man who likes a good challenge: He plans to climb Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, sometime in the near future.
Contact: Morris Older
ebhillsride@Comcast.net or Ph: 925-254-8943