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DC AIDS Ride summary(8 posts)

DC AIDS Ride summaryDuane Gran
Jun 25, 2001 7:07 AM
I just got back from the Raleigh-DC AIDS Ride and thought I would share some info with you all. In short, it was an awesome experience and I plan to do it again.

As a cyclist, I relish the thought of 4 days of straight riding with support. The ride spanned 4 days and about 340 miles. Two days included century rides.

My plan was to ride the first day hard and then settle into the social aspect of the whole experience. The first day I had a goal to ride a sub 5 hour century and did it (4:51:30), so I'm really happy in that regard. The support on the ride was awesome! They had pit stops every 15 miles where you could refill bottles and pick up energy bars & such. Although I didn't need this much support, it was undoubtedly a God send for many riders who are less involved in the sport.

I met some really cool people on the ride whom I plan to hang with again. I have a lot of respect for people who did it on mountain bikes and various hybrids. They worked much harder than me, and the fatigue showed on their faces, but nearly everyone mustered up a smile for the day's finish.

The conclusion of the whole event was very powerful. I saw people come through the line in tears and nearly falling off their bikes because it was so emotional. It was a great ride, but it is also a worthy cause. I was very glad to be a part of it all and I encourage others to consider doing it next year.
Did ya get wet?pmf
Jun 25, 2001 8:56 AM
I hear it rained. Its usually nasty hot for that ride.

How many people get sagged? I see all these people training for this on the W&OD every spring. Many of them on these junky hybrids wearing tennis shoes. It looks impossible that they can do 340 miles in 4 days.

Just got back from Ride the Rockies myself. 6 days, 430 miles. Crossed the cont divide 5 times and went over two passes that were 12,000 feet high. The scenery was awesome. Almost as good as Tuscany.
drenchedDuane Gran
Jun 25, 2001 10:29 AM
Yes, on Friday night it rained and it was possibly the most miserable night of partial sleep of my life. I'm not much of an outdoors person like that, and if you pardon the pun, I wasn't a happy camper. At 4am I hobbled to the shower area, freezing and weary from my "water bed". I must say, it was the best shower I have ever had in my life.

Many people were sagged each day, but they plan for that to happen. While I finished at noon-1pm each day, most people finished between 4-8pm. Honestly I think they had a much worse time of it. In fact, a buddy of mine on my racing team had social obligations which required him to hang back with his corporate team. He generally had a good time, but he explained the misery of going 5mph at times. Ug.

It sounds like you had a great ride, man. That sounds really cool and I have heard of this event. I'm planning on doing something like that next spring. Steve Roche puts on a 1 week training camp on an island off of Spain. I can't remember the name, but it starts with an "M". It should be a lot of fun.
If you want to go cheap ...pmf
Jun 25, 2001 11:31 AM
Try pedal PA ( I did this a few years ago, It was as hard or harder than ride the rockies with the exception of the high altitude. We slept in dorm rooms every night. The cost for the week including food and lodging was around $1000. It was 550 miles in 7 days. Lots of climbing. Rockies was more expensive due to having to fly there and rent hotel rooms (I'm not a camper).

If you want to go to europe, I know Andy Hampsten puts on a training camp kinda thing in Tuscany every spring. At the end, you ride a Gran Fondo which is a race of around 120 miles. Its not a pro thing, but there are prizes and many riders take it pretty seriously. I did a different Hampsten tour last year and had a really good time. He's a very nice guy. Tuscany is an awesome place to go ... on or off a bike.
Good job, Duane. The riders go past my street (Arlington),bill
Jun 25, 2001 11:35 AM
and we went out there for awhile on Sunday with the two little ones, making noise. The riders looked bleary and happy. I've got to do it next year. I have some qualms about, in the words of a critic, "getting [my] friends to pay for a bike vacation" because of the 35-40% of funds that go toward rider support, but with 50% of the funds going toward charity and with the amounts raised, I think I'm cool with it. A lot of those checks would never get written otherwise.
People streamed by from about 9:30 to 1 (we're right at the crest of the last incline of any length before coasting down into town -- fair amount of walkers at the tail end). When do you think you went by?
Good job, Duane. The riders go past my street (Arlington),Duane Gran
Jun 25, 2001 12:41 PM
I rolled through quite early, as I didn't want to go hoarse from calling "on your left" to 2,000 people. Seriously, if you are in moderate shape you are the fastest 10%. I finished among the top 10 each day. It isn't a race, I was just riding along at my pace with some other sport minded riders. I came through Arlington around 8:15 am I believe.

As for the Washington Post article, I was personally offended by it. People made a great time of it, but I wouldn't exactly call it a vacation. Typically about 60% of the funds go direct to the charities, but I don't believe there is any other type of charity endeavor quite as elaborate as the AIDS Ride. When considering the cost to feed, house (albeit in tents), shower, medicate, sag and mobilize 2,000 people for a week it is pretty easy to see the operational costs of the event. They make extensive use of volunteers to minimize costs, and from what I can tell they do what they can to maximize the contribution. Ultimately, Pallota Teamworks donates more for AIDS causes than any other organization, so they must be doing something right.

In other words, don't be discouraged by the WP article. You're friends aren't paying for your vacation. You will be glad if you do it.
Post Articleno excuses
Jun 25, 2001 3:39 PM
For those interested, this is the link to the WP article. Only comment is that the Pallotta activity has a positive impact, but there are skeletons in every closet.
actual linkDuane Gran
Jun 26, 2001 5:49 AM
Thank you for mentioning it, but the link didn't come up. Here is the actual link: