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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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A VERY Chilly Ride
A bit tardy since I've already completed a subsequent ride but...comprehensiveness is important, right?
Ride Number Two of the South Bay Distance Training Series was described as "easier than last week's with the same amount of climbing over a longer distance." Which didn't mean there wasn't plenty of climbing. And--for the Bay Area at least--it was cold, though sunny and in fact really not unpleasant despite the chilly temperatures. And despite the chilly temperatures we had as many riders this week as last week--35.
To mix things up, this week's ride went south instead of north. From Mountain View we headed south through Cupertino and Saratoga (atypically for most of these rides a good portion of the route consisted of traveling the same roads in both directions), hopped onto Highway 9 into Los Gatos for our first stop. Once in Los Gatos we took care of the biggest climbs--Shannon Road, followed by Kennedy Road. The turn from one to the other was tricky, a sharp, hidden right turn followed by a brief but very steep uphill. Because I wasn't prepared for the turn I ended up walking the first 20 feet; a fellow-rider had lost dropped his chain trying to make the transition so I stopped to help him anyway and thus it turned out to be for the best. One road took us out of downtown Los Gatos while the other dumped us perhaps a half mile away from where we'd started climbing. We returned to Highway 9 again but turned off onto Quito Road, which we'd ridden on many previous occasions but not in this direction. Then we turned off onto some residential streets which had brief but, let us say, bracing climbs and downhills before returning to Saratoga, where we had our lunch stop.
After lunch we continued our return to Mountain View, by way of Prospect, Stelling, McClellan and Foothill. But we turned off once again, onto Cristo Rey Drive, taking us up a a couple more hills, eventually returning us to Loyola Road and around the Los Altos Golf and Country Club in the opposite direction we'd circled it last week...but still with the requisite climbs. Our return was back along other roads we've often traveled but in a direction we're not accustomed to.
This week we covered 45 miles; on our next ride, in two weeks, we've been promised an easy fifty-miler with very little climbing, which I am looking forward to, followed by something already described as sufficiently challenging that walking a portion of the hills is almost expected. I'll be praying for rain. Not really of course.
Today's stats:
Ride time: 3:26:29
Mileage: 45.08
Average speed: 13.0 mph
Maximum speed: 33.3 mph

by Robert Katz on Sun, Jan 20, 2013 @ 3:51 PM

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