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Yes...I'm trying it again. And no crashes this time!

Yes...I'm trying it again. And no crashes this time!

Old Jan 22, 14, 4:34 pm
  #1  
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Yes...I'm trying it again. And no crashes this time!

“A Well-Choreographed and Beautifully-Executed Dismount;
He Just Couldn’t Make the Landing Stick!”


Bicycling Magazine
June 2013

Dear FT Friends --

No, that was not the national sports headline last summer, just weeks after NCAC 2013. But it would have been an appropriate way to document my untimely and painful departure from the ride. I know I made it look good, but the judges surely would have deducted points for the landing!

During the summer of 2012, I made a commitment to change my health, my life, and, ultimately, the lives of many others. For the first time in 40 years, I bought a bike and then I signed up for the Northern California AIDS Cycle, a four-day, 330-mile fundraising bike ride.

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.

My first day on my new bike, I struggled with a 6-mile ride. 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. As days turned to weeks and months, as the first few loops turned into several 100-mile, single-day rides, my training took me along 2,200 miles across the roads of Northern California.

Then the first day of NCAC 2013 arrived. I was ready! The next four days were going to be daunting. I felt good! I knew I could do it! I even was excited as I envisioned finishing the ride four days later, as friends would gather to meet the riders on the grounds of the State Capitol.

Sadly, on the first day, at Mile 62, I crashed my bike. No one is sure exactly how it happened. But I went down – and I went down hard. I broke many bones and had a pretty bad concussion. The following week, I had surgery. I hurt like hell; but more than the physical pain, I was emotionally devastated. I was heartbroken. I trained for 11 months but did not even finish the ride.

The side effects of my concussion lasted three months. And finally, in September, I got back in the saddle. I committed to ride NCAC 2014. The ride is May 15-18, 2014; during these three-and-a-half days, we will ride two consecutive 100-mile treks, an 80-mile route, and will finish with a “short” 50 miles, ending with a big welcoming ceremony on the steps of the 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.

I want to join the fight against AIDS, just as I support the humane treatment of animals, the greater awareness of breast cancer, and the battle against domestic violence. I support many organizations that provide proactive intervention, public education, and community outreach. And, if during this process, I can help erase the HIV/AIDS stigma just a little, that’s even better.

Cycling is not a cheap sport. I keep “sinking” more and more money into my equipment. Obviously, the more of my own money I commit to cycling, the more dedicated I am going to be. And the more I can get others to donate in support of my ride, the more I will want to follow through, not just for NCAC and for me, but I do this in appreciation of the support others have shown.

So, with that, I am asking you to support my ride by making a contribution to NCAC. It’s very simple; here’s how:
Go to my web page and make a donation directly using your credit card.
In advance, many thanks to all of you! Your financial support will be appreciated greatly ...and your continued encouragement between now and May is needed.

Kevin

Last edited by kevinsac; Jan 22, 14 at 4:45 pm
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Old Jan 22, 14, 7:20 pm
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Good on you.

I will be donating. Great cause indeed.

ETA: Done. Good luck!

Last edited by cblaisd; Jan 23, 14 at 5:46 pm
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Old Jan 28, 14, 12:45 pm
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Worthwhile cause and an FTer who is so committed, he is back on a bike after a serious injury in last year's ride. I contributed.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 1:04 pm
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Yep, you did contribute! Thank you very much. I assume you received my card. And thanks to a few others who have donated.

Altho I have a full release from my doctor to start training again, it's still a bit painful in my shoulder. And while I am not (at all!) a competitive type, I am training again.

This weekend, I rode 60 miles on flat terrain (tolerable ), and the following day we rode 27 miles in the foothills above Sacramento. Training on hills and climbs. Afterwards, I told my cycling mentor: "I'll never finish first. I might even finish last. But damn it: even if I whine and might cry, I will finish!"
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Old Jan 28, 14, 8:07 pm
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My dad had a similar story in the last couple of years - bad fall off his bike, multiple traumatic injuries requiring months to recover, but he got back on that bad boy and rode RAGBRAI last year. So I've contributed, and best of luck this year--break a leg!
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Old Jan 28, 14, 10:30 pm
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Thanks Peter...but please don't encourage me to break a leg!

Last May, I actually was riding slowly, maybe 13-14 mph. But we're guessing I may have rolled over some gravel...and as the bike slid out from under me, I came down on my left shoulder. Broken collarbone, broken shoulder, broken shoulder blade, 2 broken ribs and 2 cracked ribs.

Please don't wish a broken leg upon me!
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Old Mar 25, 14, 7:06 am
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A fellow biker !
Of course I am contributing.
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Old Mar 25, 14, 12:43 pm
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That's awesome ... all the way from GVA. You rock!

Thanks -- a hand-written acknowledgement goes in the mail today!!!
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Old Mar 26, 14, 5:14 pm
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And another significant -- and much appreciated -- donation from France. I will acknowledge off-line!

FT rocks!
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Old Apr 1, 14, 4:33 pm
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Once again ... thanks for another donation, this time from the 49th State!
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Old Apr 2, 14, 7:20 am
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From a NorCal native...

Best of luck and have a great ride, kevinsac!

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Old Apr 2, 14, 1:28 pm
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Ma'am, yes ma'am!
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Old Apr 13, 14, 12:50 pm
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Yesterday: exactly 10 hours on the road, including 3 short rest stops and lunch. Helped with 3 flat tires (not mine!). Watched as one of our team was transported to the hospital--not me this time; terribly sad for her.

102 miles!!! My first Century ride in a year!
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Old Apr 15, 14, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by kevinsac View Post
Yesterday: exactly 10 hours on the road, including 3 short rest stops and lunch. Helped with 3 flat tires (not mine!). Watched as one of our team was transported to the hospital--not me this time; terribly sad for her.

102 miles!!! My first Century ride in a year!
Well done!
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Old Apr 30, 14, 2:06 pm
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Oh man ... our training ride on Sunday was the coldest I ever have been on a bike. We signed up for the Chico Wildflower ... 100 miles with 3,999 of my closest friends!

It started raining (actually, only a heavy drizzle, but on a bike, it seemed like rain!) as we started the climb from Chico to Paradise (we rode up Honey Run). The temps were only 47 degrees up there; we heard it had hailed on Friday up there.

Then, the steep descent into Spring Valley scared a lot of us--especially after last year's crash. Not only the wet pavement and wet brakes ... but by now, soaked to the skin. I "rode my brakes" all the way down, but some of these crazy "kids" were pedaling in high gear and zipping past me.

By this point, the 3 of us riding together had decided to cut the distance to 65 miles and skip Oroville/Table Mountain loop. In fact, if a nice fireman had not given me some warm apple cider, I would have quit altogether--my teeth were chattering. But the drink warmed me up enough to ride further and ... well, if not 100 miles, I ended up with 68 miles! I never thought I would be so happy to arrived in Chico again.

Last year, it was 96 degrees during the ride and people were getting sick. This year rain and 47 degrees. Beautiful scenery ... but the weather gods don't like me!

I'm doing a 100-mile training ride out of Stockton, CA this weekend -- it should be warmer!

And then ... only 2 weeks until we "pedals down."

Kevin
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