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...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Countdown From 10 Much?

Turns out the new mobile Blogger app showed my posts published but when I couldn't see them on the site, I stopped writing. Turns out the posts were held as drafts so have finally been released, albeit out of order.

Have no fear, the second half of the Top 10 of ALC 10 is on its way...

Top 10 of ALC10 - It's a Ride, Not a Race

**original posting date June 6, 2011**

#6 - the worst part about being such a slow rider is being too tired to write. So forgive me if I wait til tomorrow to fully answer this question...
Day 2 - Santa Cruz to King City 110 miles

Top 10 for ALC10 - Speaking of Gear

**original posting date June 4, 2011**

#8. No, I do not carry all my gear on my bike from point A to point B. Cyclists have the easy job when it comes to gear. Positively wonderful volunteers sign up to schlep 2000, up to 70lb, bags into trucks each morning, drive to the next camp and haul them out again. A roadie is a cyclist's ride hero.

This post dedicated to the 2 former gear crew roadies I love most - my kids, Caitlin and Kyle - and my favorite gear crew roadies on ALC10 - Chad and Toby - who have ridden with me in the past and made it possible for Jon and me to have solo tents for the next 6 nights. My heroes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Halfway to LA


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Top 10 of ALC10 - 30 Years of AIDS

#7. Photographs - Opening Ceremonies of every ride naturally has an enthusiastic air (and lately a lot of Lady Gaga) but when you're riding to end a pandemic of suffering and death and suddenly come face to face with names written on banners and photos pinned to jerseys and bicycle bags and a riderless bike is rolled by...in that moment, a 30 year anniversary isn't one to celebrate. Yet when the eyes are dried, you remember why you came and the photographs become beacons of hope that no more will follow in their path.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Little AIDS/LifeCycle Team

Puget Sound Rider teammate Jon, his daughter Liz and her boyfriend Luke (lunch crew) and newlyweds Glen and Mei-yen (honeymoon riders) waiting in the first of many Orientation Day lines. We just came from participating in the 30 years of AIDS group photo. Watch for it on Facebook or aidslifecycle.org


Friday, June 3, 2011

Top 10 for ALC10 - One bag?

#9. Ziploc bags - Yes, that's a free plug for the brand as generics simply won't do. Over the next 2 days, 3000 cyclists and roadies choosing to follow the lead of the experienced are cramming gear into Ziploc bags, squeezing out all air and zipping them tight. This magically simple solution neatly organizes 7 days of ride clothes in a single duffel, protects them against the elements as your duffel sits out in camp waiting for your arrival, and is a safe place to securely stow the toxic aftermath of a day's ride. 2 gallons are pure gold and as easy to find. Freezer style. ziiiiip!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top 10 for ALC10

Heading out the door for the 10th anniversary of the AIDS/LifeCycle, I leave you with the first answer to the Top 10 most commonly asked questions about my annual cycling ventures. Stay tuned over the next 10 days as I travel to San Francisco by car, then pedal 540 miles to Los Angeles.

#10. No, we don't ride down I-5. Bicycles aren't allowed on interstate highways, though once, 1000 cyclists on the Montana AIDS Vaccine Ride were allowed to use several closed lanes of I-90 for quite a distance through Montana. That was fun! Check out our entire AIDS/LifeCycle route and step out and give us a cheer if you happen to be nearby.

Thanks to everyone who helped me reach my personal fundraising goal for this ride. The Puget Sound Riders are very close to reaching our $15,000 team goal so if you haven't gotten around to it or feel compelled to give a little more, online donations can still be made all week long. Your participation makes any road smoother for everyone affected by HIV/AIDS.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Amazing Grace

I spent Memorial Day on my last training ride this season  – the Seven Hills of Kirkland. If you know me, you know how I feel about hills. Several classic team stories involve my expertise at slow-hill climbing. Yes, I can go 3 mph without tipping over! But then, for this ride, a few angels showed up…

They showed up at breakfast in the form of several teammate/friends that crawled out of bed at a crazy hour on a holiday just to send Jon and I off as the Puget Sound Rider ambassadors on AIDS/LifeCycle.  

It didn’t rain. 

The climbs were long and often painful but the downhills were amazing – smooth, clear, fast and long! 

My favorite coping mechanism for getting to the top is to work through all verses of Amazing Grace in my head (cuz Elizabeth Sanders is the only person I know who can get enough air to belt out a tune on a hill climb!). If I needed any more proof of angels on our route, I need look no further than the top of hill # 6 where there stood before me a bagpiper playing, you guessed it, Amazing Grace.