AIDS LifeCycle 8
A 545 Mile Adventure - May
31 - June 6, 2009
Sore Butt Batman, Michael is Doing the LifeCycle!
From May 31-June 6, 2009, I'm bicycling in the
AIDS LifeCycle - a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los
Angeles to help men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS.
Please help me support people living with
HIV and AIDS by making any donation. Your contribution goes to
help people in need and support two non-profit organizations in
California. You and I will never know who receives your donation, how
it helps or means to them. We do know it will go those in genuine need.
I have to raise $3000 in order to go on the
Ride. ANY contribution is very much appreciated as are your words of
With much love and gratitude,
click here to
support me by making a donation
Got a comment or
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Wanna see more training photos?
Wanna see the route I'll be riding?
Quick Links to Training Blog Entries:
Last Updated: July 15, 2009
2009 - My
Friday the 13th was Thursday the 12th
21, 2009 - The Training Begins Again with a Vengeance!
May 21, 2009 - The
Launching of The Red Rocket
May 29, 2009 Ė On the Eve
before the Ride
The Story of
Last year I was a massage roadie and during
the Ride I (you pick the adverb) optimistically, idealistically or foolishly
signed up to be a rider this year. (Hey, I saved $25 off the registration fee!)
Actually, ALC 7 was an amazing experience. Some how I knew it would be an
incredible adventure and a Utopian society. Rarely do we get the opportunity to
be with 3200 (2500 riders and 700 support staff) people working together for the
benefit of people most of us will never know.
There are so many different stories on the Ride. As a massage roadie, I had one.
A rider has another. The crews building the tent cities had another. The people
staffing pit-stops, bus and truck drivers, medical staff, administration, food
service, route patrol, bike support, shower crew - the list just goes on and on
- all had their own slice and perspective of the Ride.
I won't lie and say I signed up solely to benefit very worthy organizations and
help people genuinely in need.
I signed up to push myself physically and see if I could do it. I signed up to
see some of the most beautiful country in the world at 12 miles an hour. I
signed up with the goal of riding every grand, glorious and Goddamn mile. I
signed up before I knew how many hours of training it would take. I signed up
before I even owned a bike or had any idea of what I was in for...
I signed up for another slice of the adventure.
And that my dear friends and family is what I will be blogging about in the
Bike Odometer: 340 Miles
Today was the first AIDS Life Cycle (ALC) training ride. We rode from Hillcrest
(the city where I live) to Coronado and took the boat fairy back to the main San
Diego Harbor and I rode back home - a total of 30.25 miles. I have never ridden
that far in one day. I'm sore and excited. There were about 20 people all ages,
shapes, sizes and orientations. Most knew each other from a previous ALC; but, I
was instantly welcomed and felt as if I belonged to the group. That alone was a
I can't describe how happy I was while riding.
Another rider said to me, "You look so happy." And I was. I had such a
big smile on my face. This ride
was an incredible experience. There I was with 20 other people beginning an
odyssey. And I knew it. I savored the natural beauty. I played and made
On Coronado with downtown San Diego
in the background
sounds when I sped up. When we got to Coronado and waited for the boat fairy, my
legs, butt, neck and shoulders were sore and tired. This will be quite a
physical challenge! Some how I'm not afraid I can't do it...
As I sit here writing this - contemplating and reviewing the day (it took over 5
hours to ride the 30 miles) - I now know this will be far more of a profound
life experience than I had thought or more accurately could have conceived
I wonder how will I change as a person.
On average I'm doing 2 training rides a week between 15 and 30 miles each and I
still use and love that I take the bike for 90% of my errands. The ALC San Diego
training rides have not been all that well attended and I've missed a few. Not
really putting a lot into it right now. I've been told training really ramps up
What I like:
1) There is such beauty to enjoy during the rides! I strive to look for beauty
everyday and riding 10 to 14 hours a week gives me so many opportunities. The
vast beaches, harbors, hills and California chaparral around San Diego and the
city itself gives me a lot of opportunity to see and savor many types of natural
beauty. Riding along the coast enjoying the ocean, the salt water smell, the
sound of the waves, the eye candy; riding inland and looking at wild flowers,
grasses and trees; the beautiful sky and clouds... I'm going to create a webpage
with photos from the rides. I'll post the info when I do.
2) My legs! I got out of the shower the other day and I have to say my legs are
looking good! I'm really enjoying pushing myself physically. If you've known me
for more than an hour, you know I'm not much of an athlete and yet here I am,
riding for hours at a time and every couple of weeks increasing the average
distances I'm riding. It's a very good feeling and I'm very proud of myself.
What I don't like:
1) Holy crap it takes a long time to ride 30 miles! A good cruising speed is
14-16 miles per hour. Uphill can be as slow as 4 mph and when there's a head
wind, God it becomes painful! I can do a burst of speed up to 28 mph on flat
ground. All this adds up to it taking about an hour to ride 10 miles. Now that
I'm riding 30-40 miles three times a week, you can figure out how long it's
taking. I had no idea training was going to be a part-time job!
2) All the snot. Yeah, you read it correctly, "snot." My nose runs a lot when I
ride. This is common with other riders; but, mine really runs. I've taken to
carrying a bandanna for a handkerchief because the manufactures of Kleenex
couldn't conceive of my nose's output and I'm not willing to do "snot rockets"
if the name doesn't tell you what those are, I'm not going to.
more training photos?
Odometer 825 miles
||This week I began training three times a week and rode 46, 36 and 38 miles 120
miles! I have never ridden so much in one week. I'm sore in all the places you'd
think; and it's a good sore. Next Saturday the 14th I'm riding 55 miles in the
Tour de Palm Springs. The most I've ever ridden at one time is 46 miles. My plan
is to pace myself, stop at the 3 rest stops and take my time.
In other training news, I'm really starting to get the feel for shifting the
bike. I feel for the cadence and stress on my legs and shift up or down
accordingly. I've learned to maximize downgrades and upgrades. All this is
adding up to me being able to ride faster and better it's exciting!
What type of bike do I have? A 21 speed hybrid. I had no idea how many different
types of bikes there are. It's a lot like buying a car, do you want a sedan,
sports car, pick up, station wagon, SUV, etc? My bike isn't a road bike (the
ideal bike for the ALC). It's built for comfort, run errands and for 25ish mile
rides. Road bikes are lighter and have a different body position to maximize
speed and distance riding. I've thought of getting another bike; but there's
something sacrilegious about that. This is the first bike I've owned since high
school. I've learned to ride all over again on her. I've learned how much fun it is to go riding. I've
learned I can do the Ride all 545 miles, thanks to that bike.
No she doesn't have a name. Got a suggestion???
The Tour de Palm Springs is yearly ride ridden by
thousands of people from around the world yeah, it's that big. The cycling
routes are 5, 10, 25, 55 or 100 mile. I'm doing the 55 mile ride and up to today
the farthest I've ridden is 46 miles.
Second Rest Stop - Tour de
The day started with the potential to be
incredibly beautiful and it only got better. It had rained the night
before and the morning was bright and sunny with a crystal blue desert
sky and big puffy clouds. For the first 10 miles there was a piercing
bitter cold headwind with a lot of up hill riding. My normal cruising
speed on flat ground is ~15 mph. Mostly because of the headwind, my
average speed was 4-9 mph and literally hundreds of other riders were
passing me. It was a long demoralizing 10 miles... Then the course
changed and there was a long downhill ride with now a light tailwind. In
no time I was going 28 mph and it was wonderful! The composition of the
road was a rough aggregate that made the front end of the bike vibrate
and wobble - the higher the speed, the greater the vibration. I knew
there was a possibility of losing control; and I just peddled faster.
After a miserable 10 miles to be zooming down a hill at that speed was
The first rest stop was at 19 miles. I stopped,
ate and drank. I was feeling good. At this point in my training 20 mile
rides are easy for me. The second leg began with a very long gradual
uphill. I started riding harder than I was on the first leg and shortly
started to pass other riders. I felt strong and I rode harder passing
more and more riders. The tendons on the outside of both my knees
started to hurt and I only rode harder. It was incredible. "On your
left," I said as I passed another rider. The course was now long rolling
hills and I rode harder and harder faster and faster. "On your left."
I'm averaging 20 mph and often hitting 29 mph which is really fast for
my bike. I only wanted to ride harder and faster. "On your left." The
pain in my knees was there; I only wanted to go faster. I took advantage
of every downhill to ride faster and push myself harder on the uphills -
always looking how to go faster. "On your left."
I did often look around at the incredible beauty of the
desert. Around me were barren mountains and mountains with snow and beautiful
clouds and the course took us through desert valleys and in between local
mountains. It was wonderful watching as the terrain changed with the
I finished the next 14 mile leg at a very fast pace and stopped at the second
rest stop - mile 33. (The picture above was taken at that rest stop. I ate and
drank and talked with some of the other riders. My knees hurt when bent; but, I
felt good. I'm excited and am enjoying the ride. The third leg was 12 miles to
third and last rest stop - mile 45. I wanted to ride hard and I did. "On your
left." My knees hurt and I didn't care. I only wanted to ride faster.
I'm feeling great and realize what I'm feeling is an endorphin rush. The first
one I think I've ever had! I get it! I understand why athletes push themselves
so hard. It's an amazing high and rush!
I get to the third rest stop at mile 45. Again, I eat, drink, chat, rest and
look forward to riding the last leg 11 miles to the end. Back on my bike, I
eagerly look forward to watching the tripmeter pass 46 miles - the farthest I've
ever ridden at one time. I'm riding fast; but, slower than I had been over the
last two legs. "On your left." I know I'm in new distance territory. I hit 50
miles and the riding pain and body fatigue became too great. I slowed down and
finished the last 6 miles of the ride. I was tired, in pain and very proud of
myself for having completed the 56 miles (total of 60 for the day!). Wa-Hoo!
JUST five weeks ago the most I'd ridden at one time was 36 miles and I was
averaging 70-90 miles a week. For the last few weeks I've been averaging
120-130. In the last six days I've ridden 163 miles! I am amazed at my
progress. I'm truly obsessed with increasing the odometer. I have no problem getting
out of bed at 6 am to go riding. I ride three times a week and each ride takes
4-6 hours. My average cruising speed is now 15-18 mph up from 12-14 mph six
Two weeks ago the bike was in for service and
with a trip to LA I wasn't able to ride for 10 days. I was surprised how
disappointed I felt to not be able to ride for so long and how much my
body missed the training. It's quite remarkable how all this training is
part of my life.
So what do I do for hours and hours on the bike? I play a lot - the bike
is a ship, I'm the captain, there's a crew and a few scenarios I play
out - like... well...the nerds know where I'm going with this. I do
sprints and push myself until my legs burn. I sing out loud - usually
one small piece of song over and over and over and over and seriously,
over again. I guess
at distances from point to point. I curse headwinds and smoky cars. I
lament work I'm not getting done. I savor the staggering beauty around
me and there's SO much within a 50 mile radius of San Diego. I think how
lucky I am to be able to do this much training.
Who do I ride with? I have a ride buddy, Daniel, and we usually ride one
or two days a week. Every weekend there is at least one ALC training
ride with five to sixteen riders and I do a lot of solo rides. Even when
I'm riding with others, most of the time I'm alone. We all have our own
pace and meet up at specific points. For example, today there was an ALC
training ride around Chula Vista and Otay Lake (60 miles). There was a
route/direction sheet with meet up points. Most of the riders are much
faster than I am and they raced each other. I enjoy the solitude and the
knowledge that I'll be meeting up with them. Some
Self Portrait - Otay Lake
(Ya, gotta love cell
times someone will ride with me for a few miles and we'll
chat. We look out for and encourage each other; but ultimately my bike gets from
point A to point B because I peddle it. I can be part of a group, and yet it's all
an individual activity.
What's my training routine? When I'm riding with Daniel
or alone, I typically ride 20 miles stop for a ten minute break to eat and drink
and then back on the bike for about 15 miles and take another ten minute drink
and food break. Until last week, most rides were up to 45 miles and the two
breaks were enough. Now that I'm riding longer, breaks are around 20, 35, and 45
At the end of this month is a 100 mile ride that I want to do. At this point
it's really going to be pushing myself to go that far. I'll keep you posted...
Thank you for all your kind words of support and generosity!
more training photos?
March 20, 2009 - My
Friday the 13th was Thursday the 12th
Iím trying to decide how honest to be
here. Letís just see how it goesÖ
Daniel, my riding buddy, and I rode
passed a true dive bar with a sign ďBloody Maryís $2.75 until noon.Ē Now I
ask you, how could we pass that up? As I approached the bar, I misjudged the
curb and the front tire hit dead on. Because I was almost standing up on the
bike, my pelvis went right into the stem (the part that connects the handle bars
to the bike) and I went down in a lot of pain.
Fortunately the pain quickly dissipated and we went to
have our drink then off to the light house in Point Loma and on through Ocean Beach.
We turned into an alley and one of us, Iíll blame Daniel, said, ďRace you to the
topĒ and away we went. As I got close to the top a car turned in and I hit
the breaks and veered to the right, lost control of the bike and went down for
the second time. Now I knew I had some good bruises on my knees and elbows
and my left hand hurt, a lot. Being a wimp, Iím not usually a fan of
ďNever say die;Ē but, today I just got back on the bike and we rode on through
Ocean Beach. My palm below my thumb was swollen and
weak and we
stopped at another bar (much nicer than the first one) and got a shot (or two Ė
Iím not seriously going to tell you the whole truth) of pain killer and a bag of
ice for my left hand. We played a couple games of pool and then went for
On the way home we stopped in at the bike shop where Daniel bought his bike
because he wanted to show me the next bike he thought I should get. It was
a beautiful fire engine red road bike. It pretty much was love at first
sight. I foolishly took it out for a spin. Road bikes are much
faster and can turn much tighter than my bike. We were riding in a large
empty parking lot and I turned too tightly and you guessed it,
down I went for the third time. We took the bike back and discovered I had
cosmetically damaged the shifters. The price to replace them was $350 or $1300 for the
bike. I know; tough call. It is the perfect next bike for the type of riding
Iím really enjoying doing. So what did I do? Iíll tell you at the end of the
my left hand, I hoped it was only banged up and nothing more. For
the next few days I kept icing it and taking Motrin. By the forth
day it really wasnít getting better and I knew it needed to be x-rayed;
and yep, I broke the bone in between my wrist and thumb. The cast
will be on for between 4 and 8 weeks. Worse yet, the doctor said I couldnít ride again for 12 weeks (that would
be mid-June) two weeks after the LifeCycle ended.
Things were not looking good for
Remember that, ďNever say dieĒ
expression I donít usually use? With the road bike I crashed, the body position
is leaning forward and at times with a good part of my upper body weight right on
bone. But, my bikeís body position is more upright and I can safely ride
it without stressing the broken bone at all. So as of right now, I should be
able to go on the Ride. Because of the break in my training I probably wonít be
able to ride every mile. But, thatís ok. Iím going to do the best I can and
itís not over! Stay tuned!!
This is the second cast and yes, it is bubble gum
pink. The first one was royal blue. When I found out I'd only have
to have the second cast on for less than 3 weeks, I wanted to go for a
color that was subtle.
March 27, 2009
I got my hand x-rayed and Iím healing
very well. The cast will be off April 14th!!! Less than 4
weeks after the various "mishaps." I have a new cast that is much smaller and
allows for much more movement. Will I go riding with a cast? Iíll let you
So did I buy that shiny new
bike? Well, you probably already guessed Ö Iíll post pictures of my really hot
bike soon. :-)
2009 - The Training Begins Again with a Vengeance!
Thank you so much for all your very kind words of support
and sympathy. I really appreciated all your good wishes.
Iím thrilled to say the cast was removed Wednesday, April
8th (if youíre keeping track, it was on for only 3Ĺ weeks.
Originally the doctor said 4 to 8 weeks. In this case, it was a plus that at
Kaiser you donít see the same doctor every time. :-) ). I was surprised how
weak the thumb was and how tender my wrist and lower portion of the palm were.
Just as one example, my thumb wasnít strong enough to grip and lift a glass of
water for 5 days. It wasnít until Saturday that the hand started to feel a
I didnít feel safe trying to ride the bike again until
Monday April 13th. It had been 5 weeks since I had last ridden and
youíve heard ďone bitten, twice shy?Ē Appling that to me, I was ďthrice bitten,
six times shy.Ē Added to my trepidation about riding, while checking the air in the tires before the ride, I some how
managed to puncture the valve stem on the front tire and within seconds it was
flat. As I was pushing the bike to be repaired I wondered if God was trying to
give me a message Ė ďSeriously Michael, what else do I have to do to keep you
I got the tire repaired (the guy at the bike shop had
never seen that type of puncture before) and I started riding very slowly and
tentatively. I kept waiting for another sign from God. But it never came. I
knew I wasnít going to push myself and I intended to ride about 25 miles. I
just wanted to see if I could survive the ride.
The weather was typical for San Diego Ė perfect.
It was sunny and there was a nice breeze and after about 7 miles I was
feeling good and more comfortable riding the bike. There are many places
I repeatedly ride to or around because there is little traffic and/or
theyíre particularly pretty. Such is the case with the 3 mile stretch
that runs along the 8 freeway out to the beach. This is an especially
beautiful ride because it starts along a fresh water stream that
transitions into salt water from the ocean. All along
are beautiful wild flowers. In no time I was smiling and enjoying
riding again. That happy feeling I had felt so many times before began
to return. There was a cold head wind from the ocean and I didnít care.
I rode faster than I would have thought into a head wind smiling and
savoring the scenery. I wasnít pushing myself, my legs and the bike just
felt like going faster. The ride only got better from there as I
continued on to other similar pathways that run along the winding bay
What I hoped to be a 25 mile ride turned into 43
glorious miles. I got home feeling great, surprised how easily I rode
43 miles and not sore at all.
The bike was having some difficulty shifting so
at the end of the ride I took it in to be checked out. A few days later
I got the diagnosis Ė the frame is bent from one of the falls.
Unfortunately, it isnít repairable. It is safe to ride; it will just be
a little finicky
The route along the 8 freeway out to the beach.
getting into gears and ultimately the gears will wear out
faster. Itís hard to describe
how sad I felt when I found out the frame was bent. I
felt I had hurt a friendÖ
The next day I could ride was Friday the 17th.
Did I do an easy ride? Hell no! I did 53 hard miles. I rode like I hadnít been
off the bike at all. I went up and down hills just to make the ride harder. It
was a full on serious training ride. I couldnít believe how hard I was pushing
myself and how easy it was to do it! My legs just wanted more!
This is the view from top of Soledad Mountain Road
that 3 mile hill. Pretty cool, huh?
I found another local group that was doing a
fairly easy 30 mile ride on Sunday Ė or so the description saidÖ It
turned into 50 miles with a number of hills including one that is 3
miles. It was incredible. I certainly am not as strong as I was before
but I was kicking a$$ and taking names!
But wait thereís one more ride to tell. Today
Tuesday the 21st I did another 53 miles of hard fast riding.
Iím back to averaging a speed of 16 miles an hour again. And yes I did
the 3 mile hill again! It is unbelievable to me how hard and fast Iím
riding. Am I sore? No, not really. Iím not forcing myself as much as
you might think. My body wants to do this!
So if youíre keeping track, in 9 days Iíve done 4
rides totaling 196 miles! Iím back to riding every other day. Thursday
Iím planning a longer easier ride to Coronado and back (~65 miles).
Howís the bike doing? Surprisingly well.
Considering that the frame is bent it only occasionally has shifting
problems and they arenít that bad.
Howís my hand doing? Every day itís a little
better. That first ride I did on the Monday the 13th, bumps
in the road jarred the hand enough to cause a good bit of pain. Now a
week later that rarely happens. Unfortunately, my left thumb still
strong enough to push the shift lever and thatís OK. The
left hand controls the three large gears and 85% of the time Iím in the second
large gear. The right thumb controls the 7 minor gears and those are shifted
constantly. When I need to up shift the large gears my right hand is able to
reach over and do it.
I donít know when Iím going to be able to ride the new
road bike. Iím due for another x-ray and Iíll see how the bone is doing. The
body posture of the road bike puts pressure directly on the broken bone.
Whereas the first bike doesnít at all. So Iím in no hurry to take a chance of
re-injuring the bone.
All in all, Iím very lucky and grateful. Considering the
three falls I had last month, Iím grateful to be back training so quickly. Iím
surprised and excited with how quickly my body got back into training mode. And
most of all it feels so good to be training again!
Iím back with a VENGEANCE!!
May 21, 2009 - The
Launching of The Red Rocket
I started riding the new road
bike on May 8; her full name is The Red Rocket (or
Red for short). The bike is named after her attributes. The
acceleration and handling are amazing compared to my other bike. To use
a car analogy, my hybrid bike is a 1972 Ford Country Squire Station
Wagon (with fake wood paneling on the side) and the road bike is a new
Porsche. The perfect line from a movie to describe Red would be from
The Philadelphia Story, ďMy she is yar.Ē (Katharine Hepburnís
character described a sail boat as ďYarĒ - meaning quick to the helm and
fast.) And the Red Rocket sure is.
In other news, last week I
started training two days on and one day off and until May 13, the
farthest I had ever ridden at one time was 64 miles and on the 13th,
I rode 84 miles. It took all day, but I did it! That week I rode the
most miles Iíve ever ridden in one week Ė 350 miles. For the last few
weeks I had been averaging around 200 miles per week. I could really
feel the extra 150 miles. Not that I was sore; but, more my legs and
butt muscles were tight and would go into spasm occasionally.
Meet The Red Rocket!
A Few Training Statistics:
Started training in October
Total miles ridden: 2100
Miles ridden since February 1,
2009: 1500 (I didnít ride from March 12 to April 9 because of the
broken bone in my hand)
Most miles ridden in one week:
Farthest single day ride: 84
Last weekís average single day
ride: 70 miles
My goal remains to ride every mile. Given the
above statistics and my physical reaction to the 150 mile increase in a
week, the goal would seem very difficult to achieve.
So whatís my strategy? There will be 4 full rest
stops with food, drinks, bike support, toilets etc and a lunch stop Ė 5
stops in all. My plan is simple, to ride from rest stop to rest stop
and not look at the dayís ride in total. Take long breaks 20-30 minutes
at each. Stretch often. And most of all, take my time. Iím planning
on being on the road by 7:30am and riding, if needed, until the route
closes at 6:30pm. My training rides are usually fast enough to push
myself continually. During the LifeCycle Ride, I will intentionally slow
down, savor the beauty of the road, take my time and not push myself to
go faster. I have nothing else I need to do except ride the bike.
Do I think I will make my goal? Eryn, the owner
of my bike shop said, ďDonít come back until youíve ridden every mile.Ē
So I guess Iím going to have toÖ :-)
What are my thoughts about the Ride to this point? Iím
really looking forward to it and really looking forward to it being over. The
training has been long and hard. But, Wa-Hoo the best part is almost here!
Next entry will be what the Ride was like!
Thank you again for all your words of support and
May 29, 2009 Ė On the Eve
before the Ride
Iím in LA getting ready for the Ride.
Yesterday I bought a lot of things for it Ė decorations for the bike,
the tent and me. For example: Day five on the Ride is Red Dress Day and
at Target I found a great skirt. I bought red silk flowers to put in my
helmet. I got pinwheels to put out in front of the tent and battery
operated Chinese lantern. Iíll make sure to get a lot of
pictures. Iím getting excited as it becomes more real. Iíve arranged a
carpool up to San Francisco with 3 other people (2 riders and 1 roadie).
No one knows any one. Last year I hitched a ride up with a couple and
had a blast! Based on how fun the emails with the 3 other people have
been I know the ride to SF will be a fun adventure too.
Yesterday, I road from Woodland Hills to Burbank -
a total of 53 miles. I averaged 19 miles/hour, which is a pretty darn
good cruising speed. Just a few months ago the farthest Iíd ridden was
36 miles and was averaging 12 miles/hour. In total Iíve ridden ~2200
miles. The number blows me away. Iím very proud of myself for what
While I was riding yesterday, I started singing
and feeling happy and strong and I thought how lucky I am to have this
experience. My mood and strength yesterday bodes very well for the
I look forward to sharing some wonderful stories
After all the months of training, part of me canít
believe itís finally here. Iím excited and very much looking
forward to this adventure. I have some ideas of what Iím in for
from being a roadie last year. There will be a lot of firsts for
me: riding 550 miles in one week, riding 107 miles on day two and riding
7 days in a row. This isnít a race and my only goal is ride every
mile and each day I will have about 11 hours to complete the dayís ride.
Iíll have lots of support and 550 miles of spandex clad butts to keep me going. ;-)
My concerns are: 1) My knees. On and off Iíve had
problems mostly with my left knee. 2) How my body will deal with riding
every day for 7 days in a row. On a road bike like Red, I feel every
bump in the road and bad roads can be very jarring to the hands, head,
neck, shoulders and back side.
Iíll let you know how it all turns outÖ In just
hours, I will be off for an adventure!! Wa-Hoo!!!
I want to thank you all again for your generous
donations and words of support.
The Story of
I wanted an adventure, and I got one!
I left LA for San Francisco at 4am Saturday May 30 and
went straight to orientation. I carpooled up with three other people -2
other riders and the driver was doing sweep (he would drive the course all day
picking up riders in trouble or who for some reason decided on to continue).
The ride up was filled with excitement and good expectations.
Orientation takes most of the day. We watch a safety
video, get a tent and tent mate, turn in final donations, check in bikes etc.
This year there were 2100 riders and 500 roadies and a couple hundred volunteers
to help process us through. There is a line for everything. I saw
people I knew from last year and had fun. There's a wonderful feeling of
family and that makes sense. Everyone - rider and roadie - are going to be
working VERY hard for the next 7 days. Everyone will have very long days,
challenges, joys and pain.
Orientation and Ride Out were at the Cow Palace in
Daily City. Note: the row of 18 Budget trucks for our gear.
Believe it or not there were about 5000 people
Red and me at Ride Out.
2100 riders all leaving at once. Probably
took 45 minutes for everyone to get on the way.
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