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Central Coast cyclist bikes Big Sur for animal rescues

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Posted at 2:44 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 15:06:20-04

Carl Cubby Cashen is back at it again.

The Central Coast local (his official residence is in Cambria) has launched a fundraiser this spring to raise money for local animal rescue shelters.

Cashen, a school bus driver for Pacific Valley School in southern Big Sur and a prolific cyclist, is pursuing his goal of raising over $50,000 to donate to animal shelters during his lifetime.

On Thanksgiving Day 2018, Cashen cycled up and down Hearst Castle Rd. in San Simeon to reach an elevation gain of 29,029 feet—the height of Mount Everest. This "Everesting Hearst" event raised over $10,000 for Rescue Alliance of Templeton.

Three and a half years later, Cashen kicked off a second fundraiser, "Spring for the Pups." On the first day of spring, March 20, 2022, he challenged himself to a ride on a fat tire mountain bike in southern Big Sur.

Cashen began the ride just before sunrise with the goal of riding until sunset. In total, he biked 73.7 miles, which included over 13,150 feet of climbing. The ride took 13 hours and 5 minutes.

During the "Spring for Pups" challenge on March 20, Cashen biked 73.7 miles, including over 13,150 feet of climbing, he told KSBY. The ride took just over 13 hours.

Funds raised by the ride will be donated to three Central Coast animal rescue organizations: the SPCA of Monterey, Wood's Humane Society in San Luis Obispo and Rescue Alliance in Templeton.

By Tuesday afternoon, "Spring for the Pups" had raised $1,670 across the three GoFundMe pages.

Rescue Alliance is significant to Cashen because it is the shelter that rescued GU, or the Great Chiweenie, Cashen's 17-year-old dog.

CHOMPS, a roughly 13-year-old dog, is Cashen's other adopted family member. Both rescue dogs are officially retired from joining the bike rides, Cashen told KSBY. Still, images of the dogs wearing riding goggles and hanging out of Cashen's backpack remain icons of the fundraiser.

A love for animals pushes Cashen forward. In 2019, Cashen closed down Sea For Yourself Kayak Adventures, a San Simeon store he had owned since 2011 and worked at since 2004. At the time, Cashen told KSBY that he closed it "because he was told he couldn't do everything he felt needed to be done to protect wildlife."

Posts on the shop's still-active Facebook page include announcements about wildlife spotted in the area and reminders to "Enjoy. Don't Destroy."

Cashen encourages those not able to donate financially to help out in other ways, like volunteering at a shelter or doing something nice for people or animals.

In an update he posted on his GoFundMe pages on Feb. 27, Cashen noted obstacles he encountered while working to complete the second fundraiser—including an elevated heart rate that lingered after he recovered from COVID.

After completing the "Spring for the Pups" bike ride, Cashen told KSBY that it was tough and slower than he had hoped, but he kept going.

Cashen signs off his post with his motto: "Adopt a Pet. Ride a Bike. Smile."