Sunday, March 25, 2012

Live to Ride

Even though I've pretty much bailed on riding this (supposedly) rainy weekend (not one drip has fallen since Friday afternoon), I wanted to say one thing up front: I live to ride. Its hard to imagine that this has happened, and I don't know how it has, but its true.

All the other stuff I do each and every day is merely distraction (and obtaining necessary resources) to fuel my rides. To my friends and family, I truly apologize. Perhaps this short instructional film will assist you in understanding my condition:

Riding is like flying without leaving the ground. Every ride is an amazing adventure. Your whole body working toward one goal: the next revolution of the wheels. The destination is irrelevant, its the ride that matters.

Cars, motorcycles, could any of them compare to the self-propulsion you feel on a bike? Gliding around a gentle curve; powering through a flat; racing downhill at 40 mph. Or best of all, the feeling of triumph and satisfaction when you've reached the top of a long, slow ascent.

Have a bike? Get on it! Don't have one? GET ONE!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Training Rides, Life Changes, and Stuff

I'm sorry for not writing often over the past few weeks. I've been busy making fundamental life changes, planning for the future, that sort of adult stuff that I've tried like a dilettante to avoid. Why is it that some make the hard choices seem easy, and for some the easy choices are so hard. Anyhow, I suppose this post is really about what I've been thinking about a lot lately. Why am I riding in the AIDS Lifecycle? I suppose there are a host of reasons:

If my little effort helps one person to get the treatment he or she needs, or think twice about engaging in unprotected sex, or gets one person to seek a test, then I did the right thing. It really makes my cry...I'm crying as I type...because I know the desires and social pressures which let this disease thrive, even now. But I also know that we can beat it...have beaten the worst of it.

But that's not all. There is a selfish reason why I ride. Riding is the most amazing adventure.

Every single ride from my 25 minute commute to a 100 mile trial-by-tire is unique and beautiful. Riding makes you free. The mix of angry commuters, dog walkers, open fields, sweeping vistas, sheep and llamas, long slow slogs up steep hills, and bullet swoops down at 45 miles per hour, each and every ride is fulfilling in a way I have no idea how to describe. Here's a little video from someone who must feel as I do:

Then there's fitness. I've never been more fit in my life! Yes, I did change my diet too, so that helps. But riding is the real reason why I've become trim and strong. I commute about 14 miles or 50 minutes a day for about 70 miles per week. Then I ride on average about 60 miles on a weekend (this coming weekend it should be 120 miles!), for a total of about 130 miles per week. By the time of the ride, I'll add 30 mile training rides on Thursday for about 160 miles per week, and probably add a century or two per weekend to get the total to over 200 miles per week. That'll be sufficient.

Then there's the camaraderie which comes with riding.

At China Camp on ALC Training ride China Camp/Tiburon Loop
These are my mates here in Sacramento. I've been going on rides in San Francisco, and am moved by the huge numbers of riders at all levels who come out and how charming and friendly everyone is. Thanks Positive Pedalers for some wonderful rides -- See you in Nicasio on Sunday!

All the stories I hear about the ride itself makes it seem like a life changing experience in itself! Thousands of selfless people together to raise money for their community...our community. Plus, I don't know if this is true or not, but in my mind it is -- it sounds like Burning Man without the drugs and with the positive side effect of being healthy for you. We'll see.

This is my first ride, after all.