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As Long as There's a Need, I'll Keep on Riding

At the very end of ALC 11 (thank you Stevo Rood for this awesome picture)
At the very end of ALC 11 (thank you Stevo Rood for this awesome picture)

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I'm Riding to End AIDS

From June 2-8, 2013, I'm bicycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in AIDS/LifeCycle, covering 545 miles in seven days, to make a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.

Help me support AIDS/LifeCycle by giving what you can. We'll keep riding until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.

ALC 12 will be ride number 14 for me...three California AIDS Rides and every AIDS/LifeCycle with the exception of #1 (I took the year off to go to the Gay Games in Sydney). I also drove a sweep vehicle in the 2001 Canada-US AIDS Vaccine Ride.

Why do I keep riding? Many reasons. I've been HIV-positive for over 30 years and have lost far too many friends and loved ones. Since I'm still around I take this to mean I have work to do and I can think of no better way to acknowledge my continued good fortune--and honor the memory of those dear to me--than to continue riding and raising money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. December 4, 2012 marked 20 years since I lost my partner Mario Luna to AIDS. December 5 marked 32 years since the day on which I most likely contracted HIV.

Every 9 1/2 minutes, someone in the US is infected with HIV. This is a sad truth. There is of course nothing to prevent a specific individual from making a specific poor decision. But what we CAN do is help to fund programs aimed at awareness and prevention so that, perhaps, 9 1/2 minutes becomes ten minutes...or fifteen minutes...or longer. And we can help to fund programs designed to provide services to those who are already infected and who are limited means and personal resources. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation does all of this and more.

Every dollar I raise...every dollar you donate...gets us closer to our goal of world without AIDS. Please click the link to your right and give what you can.

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The Marin Century and Summer Ride Pictures
This past weekend I did no riding; instead I was once again certified as a training ride leader. After my first year of riding (very successful) I figured I owed it to the next crop of newbies to pay it forward, so I've been a training ride leader every year since 1999.
The weekend before last was the ride I'd used those July rides to prep for--the Marin Century.
I've done the Marin Century a few times before. The first time I tried it was in 2001 when I signed up for and completed the full 100-mile ride, complete with my first time up the dreaded Marshall Wall. In subsequent years I figured I had nothing to prove and did the metric century version instead. Possibly because I did not get to do an actual 100-mile ride during ALC I decided to once again sign up for the full century. I'd done before; what could possibly go wrong?
In a sense, nothing really DID go wrong; I was upright at the beginning and I was upright at the end, 103 miles later. In the middle, was an exercise in humility. In fairness to myself the route had been made more challenging. And I am eleven years older than I was in 2001. Still...I don't really like having to walk even a portion of a hill. But that's what I did. Three times. Two of the hills were entirely new to me; the third one was the aforementioned Marshall Wall (which I've ridden a couple of times in the interim). The difference was the direction. In previous years I've ridden it from east to west. The west end of it is a steep downhill letting out at Highway 1. I'd always thought that I would not want to do it in the the other direction but that was what I bit off.
After my experiences last month, it was probably just as well that Saturday, August 4 was an unusually cool and gloomy day. In the heat of July I shudder to think how things might have gone.
There is no disgrace in walking hills; we call it "cross-training." Still, I don't really want to do it if I don't have to. But I had to. Fortunately I was not alone in walking those hills and, also fortunately, several of my friends were there for the ride.
The stats:
Ride time: 7:40:03
Mileage: 102.97
Average speed: 13.4 mph
Maximum speed: 37.2 mph
Photos are at:
Photos for my July 1 ride:
Photos for my July 22 ride:
And now it's time for ALC 12 training to start for real.

by Robert Katz on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 4:56 PM

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