Thanksgiving to World AIDS Day

Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging the power of a virus to ravage lives. Thank you for extending compassion to every human being, protec...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Take the Test, Take Control.

Fellow Boomers! Pay attention!

Today is National HIV Testing Day. Think you aren't at risk? Think again. New AIDS cases in the 50+ age group are growing at twice the rate of younger age ranges. Twice the rate.

Safe sex messages traditionally target young singles yet a growing number of sexually active singles are women past mid-life - newly single in a Viagra world and past the age of pregnancy scares. The CDC estimates 1 in 5 Americans living with HIV do not know their status. Don't be one of them.

HIV testing is simple, safe and secure. Get tested, be well, and fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rear View Mirror

2009 was a headwind; a relentless gale that stopped forward motion and set far too many reeling at their losses. I took my turn at unemployment, went back to clipping coupons and started investigating formerly unheard of options like “walking away from a mortgage.” Cyclists quickly learn the best way to catch a break against a headwind is to fall in behind another cyclist. I’m grateful to those whose support gave me shelter to regain my strength.


The pause gave me time to look around. Disease, disaster, poverty know no headwind. Annie lost her job and made plans to swim for pancreatic cancer research. Shawna walked for breast cancer and a half dozen more spent weekends training for Leukemia & Lymphoma triathlons. Ian, Tony and Suellen cycled for AIDS services on separate coasts while Scotty and Dave rode to fight cancer. Two friends took time off to help Haiti earthquake victims and a greater than expected share of fellow job-seekers expressed the not terribly lucrative desire to explore non-profit careers.

I lowered my fund-raising expectations for the first time in 15 years and was humbled by your generous response. Generosity doesn’t always come in the form of a big check. You gave from the heart despite your own headwinds and I was inspired.

This fall, I’ll repeat the 330-mile cycling journey from NYC to Washington, DC in support of Dr. Yuntao Wu’s innovative HIV-fighting research at George Mason University. I’m back because I believe Dr. Wu will end AIDS. His research led to the discovery of how HIV gets into T cells, causing them to die. Now Dr. Wu is zeroing in on short-term therapies that help T cells recognize this deadly virus and keep it out. When T cells don’t die, the immune system never degenerates to AIDS. How cool is that?!

Dr. Wu’s theories to stop HIV are proven and his dedication to the fight is as solid as his commitment last summer to participate in the bike shoes of a cyclist along the eastern seaboard, headwinds and all.
Times are still tough, but I won’t lower my expectations for I finally see what you saw. Even as we duck behind others to carry us past the brunt of the storm, a quick glance in the rear view mirror reveals a long line of others counting on us to do the same.

Dedication

The post I had in mind took on a life of its own this weekend, right under my nose, as not 1 but 3 fellow AIDS riders came to Seattle to raise the bar on cycling for a good cause.

On Sunday, Scotty completed the first of 4 century rides (that's 100 miles each!) in the Livestrong Challenge Series for cancer research. Follow his journey on to San Jose, Philadelphia and Austin and his goal to raise $5000 for cancer for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

This morning, Chad and Toby departed Seattle over our most scenic local, mountain pass training route for the Big Ride - the really BIG RIDE Across America. So far, they've raised over $12,000 for the American Lung Association and will be pedaling (er, peddling?) to increase that amount on their 7 week journey to Washington, DC.

Would cancer or lung disease be cured without their efforts? Perhaps. But I tip my helmet to anyone willing to sacrifice their own comfort - of body or pocketbook - to lighten the load of another.

"Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as ever you can."
                        

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ferry Loading Training

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

International District

Seattle

The Artsy Entrance

No cars allowed.

Leaderless Lid Lingering...again

Never fails. When riding alone I always make one or several detours around the Mercer Island lid before finding my way back to the bridge trail.

My Highway to Seattle

I-90 alternate. Ditch the car, baby!
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