AIDS Lifecycle - Ride to end AIDS

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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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98 percent of goal achieved.
Goal: $7,500.00
Achieved: $7,353.01
Thanks to my generous sponsors

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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December Training Rides, the Good and the Ugly
Following the rain out of the World AIDS Day Ride, next scheduled outing was on Saturday, 12/8, once again out of Mike's Bikes in Sausalito.
We'd originally been scheduled to ride sixty miles, including a trip up and over Olema Hill to Point Reyes Station, but because of the gap in rides we collectively decided to clip ten miles off of the route, skipping the climb while turning around at the end of the path that runs through Samuel P Taylor Park to the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Platform Bridge Road. This still left us with close to fifty miles, which isn't a bad ride for early December. Weather was brisk but sunny; our group was relatively compact. Naturally a couple of folks had to show up fashionably late and then go their own way.
One of the upsides of this ride was that I discovered that a substantial portion of Sir Francis Drake Blvd, between Lagunitas and the park entrance, had been repaved. The improvement was remarkable. Now there's only about a half mile of choppy road left, which hopefully will be fixed once the bad weather is past.
The recent rains meant that there were still wet spots and significant amounts of leaf fall in some spots, particularly within the park. This led to a somewhat exciting moment for me: Our official turnaround point was on the bike path just before it passes under Sir Francis Drake. I slowed down, hit the brakes and put my foot down; my foot skidded on the wet pavement and I landed on my posterior. There was no damage other than to my dignity, though the rear blinker on my bike came apart (perhaps contributing to its subsequent demise this past weekend). Lunch was in Lagunitas on the way back.
One of our riders was a very enthusiastic first-timer who'd ridden over from the city and was intent on clocking 80 miles that day. Ah to be young and enthusiastic!
Ride stats:
Ride time: 3:45:32
Mileage: 48.48
Average speed: 12.8 mph
Maximum speed: 36.5 mph (it was sufficiently damp that there was no point in pushing it descending White's Hill).
Photos, what few there are, are on Facebook and at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobsridepics/sets/72157632237494242/
Last weekend was a bit different. The weather was even chillier. There was rain in the forecast, which was not supposed to start until late afternoon. We'd be finished by then--or so we thought. Turnout was even smaller for this one than for last week. We decided to limit our ride once again, planning a counter-clockwise loop around Nicasio Reservoir, again cutting about ten miles from the posted distance but still increasing by about 10% from last Saturday's ride.
Once at Nicasio Ranch one of our riders decided she didn't trust the way things were looking and turned around. This was a very wise move and we really should have followed her example.
Rain started as we reached the far end of Nicasio Valley Road, by which point there was little we could do but keep going. The result was 30 miles of wet riding. We pretty much stayed together. My suggestion was that we stay on Sir Francis Drake rather than use the bike path. Not too much traffic and probably less leaf fall on the road. One of our riders did a low-speed spill, skinning his knuckles but otherwise not being hurt. We took care of things when we reached Lagunitas Market. He's a trouper and is going to be a great addition to our community.
It turns out that the Market makes delicious soups, one of which (a chicken-curry thing) was ideal for a day like Saturday. I had a great deal of concern about descending White's Hill in the rain. After cautioning our resident newbie it turned out that I was the scaredy-cat of the group. Rain actually stopped briefly at about the time we reached the hill but the road was still very wet and I really didn't want to take any chances. The same applied to Camino Alto. By the time I reached the top I just wanted to be finished so I kept going and basically didn't stop until I reached my car...which I was VERY happy to see.
Although I was not wearing rain pants and had foolishly forgotten my full-finger gloves, I stayed amazingly dry and warm overall. Most of what I'd been wearing was absolutely filthy by the time I finished riding. I threw everything into the wash and, greatly to my surprise, everything came out clean.
My bike is a sight. I will clean it over the next few days as I have no plans for a ride before New Years Day.
Here are the stats from last Saturday:
Ride time: 4:21:54
Mileage: 53.33
Average speed: 12.1 mph
Maximum speed: 34.5 mph
All three pictures are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobsridepics/sets/72157632285589581/
The rear blinker did give up the ghost; perhaps due to the amount of grit that got into the on/off switch. This is an easy and inexpensive item to replace so I'm not too worried.
So this concludes the training schedule for 2012. I look forward to lots of spring rides, preferably without too many rainouts.

by Robert Katz on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

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