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California AIDS Ride(7 posts)

California AIDS RideMeDotOrg
Jun 10, 2001 11:45 AM
What a week. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Imagine this: 3 days into this bicycle odyssey, riding on a 2-lane road in the absolute epicenter of nowhere. Up on the right, a woman appears, holding a sign with a picture of a young man. Above the picture is written: 1960-1984. Below the picture, a single word:


Imagine a thousand acts of kindness and gratitude like that and you might have some idea what my week was like. Pulling into a parking lot of a school in Paso Robles to be serenaded by a class of Second Graders who have composed their own "AIDS Riders" song. A fellow rider tells me of a little boy who shyly approached him and asked if he could touch his bicycle. Imagine being in a camp with a hundred people in a line for coffee at 5am, each of them having ridden a bicycle over 100 miles in the heat of the previous 100-degree day, and none of them grumbling.

Imagine rolling through Los Angeles on the 7th day of a 575-mile journey, and slowing down, not because you are tired or sore, but because the experience was so wonderful you don't want it to end.

It was a great bicycle ride. The journey starts with the idea of "Can I do it?" The journey ends with the thought "We did it." It is the journey between the pronouns "I" and "We" where spiritual fulfillment makes those 575 miles on a bicycle so satisfying.

If any of you have thought that you might want to do an AIDS ride, I highly recommend the experience. And, by the way, nearly 12 million dollars were raised.

And thanks to Janet, who recommended Panaracer Pasela TG tires. No flats, low rolling resistance. Highly recommended as a light touring or training tire.
re: California AIDS RideLen J
Jun 10, 2001 3:31 PM
Congratulations. It sounds like you got as good as you gave (maybe more).

I am doing the Alaska ride in August & have been amazed by the incredible reactions, support & stories I've been provided as I've embarked on my fundraising. I already feel like I've gotten way more than I could ever give. Your story gives me a glimpse of what to expect in Alaska. Thanks.
Alaska RideMeDotOrg
Jun 10, 2001 10:43 PM
Please post after the Alaska Ride. I heard last year's ride had some tough weather. But what an adventure! I've only been an hour or so out of Anchorage (never been to Fairbanks) but it was incredibly beautiful. Have a great trip, it should be an experience you'll always remember.
Doing the DC ride very soonDuane Gran
Jun 11, 2001 10:36 AM
Your story, and others like it, is getting me very eager for the Raleigh-DC AIDS Ride on June 20th. It has been a terribly difficult challenge to raise the funds (of which I'm still doing), but I think it is going to be worth it. I really got started in this because it seemed like a great training ride, but the purpose of the whole mission has increasingly become more real to me. I think it is a great cause and I'm glad to be involved. It is probably too late for many people to enlist now, but for those curious you might check out I'll be sure to summarize my experience when I get back on June 24th.
re: California AIDS Ridesnapdragen
Jun 11, 2001 6:07 PM
A public you're welcome, I'm glad the tires worked for you.

Did you recycle? I'm about 80% sure I'm riding next year - it was tough watching everyone ride by this year on Hwy 1. (We handed out strawberries and cookies to the riders)

Other riders out there - tell us your stories when you get back. Alaska intrigues me - I've been on the train from Fairbanks to Anchorage - you are in for a treat.

re: California AIDS RideMeDotOrg
Jun 11, 2001 10:53 PM
I will do a ride next year - I'm just not sure which one. My first choice would be the Amsterdam-Paris ride - but I don't know if I can raise $5,000. Next would be a toss-up between Montreal-Portland and the Montana ride. I would certainly do the California ride again, but I would like to do a vaccine ride.

The Alaska ride looks like a great adventure - except that I heard they had some tough weather last year. I'll be interested to hear the stories about this year's ride.
re: California AIDS RideLen J
Jun 12, 2001 5:36 AM
Alaska last year had snow on day two, an uphill day where only about 400 of 1600 riders finished. I hope that doesn't happen this year.

I think that this is the last year for Alaska & Montana for a while. The vaccine rides for next year are Amsterdam Paris, & Denver to New mexico as well as a walk across Africa. Not sure though.