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My first time on a bike in 40 years!

My first time on a bike in 40 years!

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Old Apr 15, 13, 5:40 pm
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My first time on a bike in 40 years!

This post takes me far outside my comfort zone – in so many ways. Anyone who knows me will understand this is a hard thing for me to do. Read on, and you will see why.

Last summer, I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I recognized that I was not happy with myself and I certainly was not happy with my body. The last few years have been eye-opening for me. I’ve had several little bouts of cancer (can any cancer be called “little?” ) and I turned 50 last year. I recognized I was getting old and it’s not hard to deny I was getting fat.

The last time I rode a bike was 40 years ago. Purple! Schwinn! Silver metallic banana seat – and streamers. It even was a 2-speed. I was 10 years old and I knew I was cool. But the world has changed—cycling is a different element, and I am an adult. I have decided to undertake a major life-style change: I have taken up cycling.

During the first week of July, I bought a bike. It was a beginner bike; not a Schwinn, but a beginner for the 21st Century. I struggled with a 6-mile ride the first day. It hurt like hell and I crawled up the stairs on my hands and knees, unsure I would live to see the sun rise again. But during that month, I rode over 200 miles and my longest ride was 32 miles.

In August, I really stepped outside my comfort zone. I registered for a four-day, 330-mile fundraising bike ride through Northern California. I upgraded to a road bike. I bought all the gear, clothing, and whatever else they told me I would need. And I kicked it up a notch with training: in the first 6 months of riding, I managed to pedal 944 miles. On January 12, 2013, I surpassed 1,000 miles on my bike, and just two weeks ago, on March 2, I achieved my biggest accomplishment yet: I rode 100 miles on my bike in a single day! And I know have ridden almost 2,000 miles. Yet I still have a lot of training to undertake, if I am going to ride 330 miles…in just four days…on a bike…on a tiny, tiny, tiny saddle!

I will be participating in the Northern California AIDS Cycle. The mission of NCAC is to support organizations throughout Northern California that are working to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic and care for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in our region. The ride is May 16-19, 2013; during these consecutive days, we will ride 103 miles, 101 miles, 85 miles, and 50 miles, ending with a big welcoming ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol.

When I first signed up for NCAC and told someone what I planned to do, she asked me if I have AIDS. No, I do not have AIDS. Instead, I am riding in support of many who do have this disease…and in honor and memory of friends who have died from the disease.

My co-worker assumed that if I support a fight against AIDS, I must have AIDS. Instead, I want to fight against AIDS, just as I support the humane treatment of animals, the greater awareness of breast cancer, and the fight against domestic violence. I do not mistreat my pets, I do not have breast cancer, and I have never beat my spouse. But I do support many related organizations that provide proactive intervention, public education, and community outreach. And, if during this process, I can help erase the stigma just a little, that’s even better.

Now, I am going to step further outside my comfort zone: I am asking others to support me by making a contribution. My first goal was to raise $3,300: that’s $10 for every mile of the ride. Then I went for $15 for every mile … then $20 per mile and then $25 per mile.

I've just received a donation from someone I do not know -- and it's taken my total up over $8,000. That's way too close to my current goal. So, I am raising my goal again. I now am going to raise $9,900 for NCAC ... that's $30 for every mile I ride. And when I get close to that goal, I will raise the bar again! (Yes, some people call me compulsive: I just think it sounds better to say that I am “focused” and “passionate.”)

Obviously, the more of my own money I commit to cycling, the more dedicated I am going to be. And this ain't no cheap hobby! The more I can get others to donate in support of my ride, the more I will want to follow through, not just for me and NCAC, but also in appreciation of the support others have shown.

I may be a stubborn ol' man--but this challenge goes beyond just the physical aspect. I know my weaknesses (boy, that’s another hard thing for me to admit!) and I can't accomplish this on my own. I am asking for your financial support.

Will you please support me? I hope you will. Here’s how. It's very easy. You can go to my web page and make a donation directly using your credit card. Or, if you prefer to support me my check, please fill out this donation form! Please write my name as "KEVIN S." on the participant line.

In advance, many thanks to all of you! Your financial support will be greatly appreciated...and any and all continued emotional encouragement between now and May is needed.

Last edited by kevinsac; Apr 15, 13 at 5:48 pm
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Old Apr 23, 13, 2:12 pm
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Many thanks for the first FT donation I received ... from Albuquerque!

Here is a video of what our ride is like. You think riding a bike for 330 miles is difficult? Try doing it in the hail and sleet!

Last edited by kevinsac; Apr 23, 13 at 2:36 pm
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Old Apr 23, 13, 5:30 pm
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330 mile bike ride after 40 years of not riding? Yikes! OK, I've put my money on you. Peddle peddle. Limp back and let us know post ride how it was.
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Old Apr 23, 13, 6:16 pm
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A public shout-out here, a personal thank you already mailed!
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Old Apr 27, 13, 10:55 am
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Thanks, Greg, for your donation. Mail to follow!
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Old May 6, 13, 12:18 pm
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Another donation this morning -- I am happy and appreciative.

I am $500 from my goal. Any other kind FT members?
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Old May 11, 13, 11:03 pm
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Hey guys ... I'm actually getting close to my goal of raising $10,000! In fact, I am only $275 away from this spectacular amount.

Any other kind FT members want to give to a worthy cause?

We roll out on Thursday and it really would be amazing to have this fundraising goal behind me!
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Old May 18, 13, 12:11 pm
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Thanks to several of you for your donation.

The ride is this weekend. started on Thursday. The first day started wonderfully; although cool with light sprinkles. I was having a great ride> I know I was going to rock it all 330 miles.

Sadly, it was not to be. Mile 62, Marysville, rural Calif.. Rough pavement, and I went down. Unconscious for about 20 mins.... I came to in the ambulance. Couldnt remember my name, the state where I lived, how old I was--but I did keep asking about my bike!

Broken shoulder, broen shoulder blade, broken collarbone, two broken ribs, and several cracked ribs. Spent 7 hours in the ER, brought home that evening by a volunteer

I have referral on Monday to an orthopedist. ER docs says I might need surgery.

I am devastated. All this training, dieting, conditioning...I did not even finish the first day. Heartbroken.
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Old May 19, 13, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by kevinsac View Post
Thanks to several of you for your donation.

The ride is this weekend. started on Thursday. The first day started wonderfully; although cool with light sprinkles. I was having a great ride> I know I was going to rock it all 330 miles.

Sadly, it was not to be. Mile 62, Marysville, rural Calif.. Rough pavement, and I went down. Unconscious for about 20 mins.... I came to in the ambulance. Couldnt remember my name, the state where I lived, how old I was--but I did keep asking about my bike!

Broken shoulder, broen shoulder blade, broken collarbone, two broken ribs, and several cracked ribs. Spent 7 hours in the ER, brought home that evening by a volunteer

I have referral on Monday to an orthopedist. ER docs says I might need surgery.

I am devastated. All this training, dieting, conditioning...I did not even finish the first day. Heartbroken.
I am so sorry to read this, Kevin. My thoughts are with you. I hope you have a smooth recovery and are back in the saddle for another (more successful) ride next year.
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