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AIDS/Lifecycle 9: Day 1

Oh my!  It’s been almost 3 weeks since I joined 1900 cyclists on a 570 mile bicycle ride From San Francisco to LA for the AIDS/Lifecycle.  I originally intended to blog from the road.  I even made a DIY iPhone bicycle mount to easily capture photos and video while riding.  After one failed attempt of daily blogging, I gave up and decided I had to focus on my basic needs.  Eating, sleeping, stretching and going to the bathroom.

The night before the ride I ate with Lynn at Big Lantern (General Meatless Chicken, YUM!) and got this fortune.

(Damn iPhone 3g has horrible micro focusing)

“A new adventure awaits you this weekend” was an understatement.  Doing the ride has profoundly changed my perspective on life and has helped me question where my energy is usually spent.   All the momentum, love and life generated by this ride makes me want to do more, be more involved in community and take more chances.

Day 1- SF-Santa Cruz

Day 1 started with opening ceremonies.  We all had to be there at the crazy hour of 5AM. My tent mate, Jynx, gave us a ride to the venue.  I’m happy that Lynn came along to see me off.

Opening ceremonies is pretty much a blur, as is most of the ride is at this point.  There was stretching, inspirational speeches, lots of crying and hugging.

Probably one of the most hellish moments of the ride was all 1900 of us leaving at the same time from The Cow Palace.  This was pretty much a cluster fuck.  The ride seemed to spread out a bit before lunch time, but until then, it was pretty frustrating trying to ride with so many people.

We rode down Skyline, as I generally do on my southern rides with Lynn.  I’m so familiar with the terrain that I can use it to my advantage.  Speed up on the downhill to help with the following climb.  Forced to abandon individual riding style and technique, I stayed single file with my fellow riders.  Passing was allowed on the highway but only within the shoulder, so passing wasn’t always an option.  I learned how to wait for an opportune moment, but bike traffic was one of the common challenges on the ride.

I felt pretty good throughout the 80 mile ride and made it to camp to find that my tent mate had already set up the tent.  (sweet).  I took care of showering, eating and writing a blog post on my iPhone which was immediately overwritten by the older version of my blog when my phone synced to the internet (bad program design).  I will assure you that it was 100 times more poetic than now (I even including a in depth comparison between my tears and condensation collecting on my eyelashes).  This was my last attempt at mobile blogging on the ride.

Comments 2

  1. Fudge! I commented and then it disappeared because I forgot to put in my name…duh. Okay, I am thrilled you posted something because I find your blog helpful. I am registered for next year and want to prepare as much as possible. I am paranoid about crashing into someone or causing a problem because I can be a bit of a spaz. So, would you suggest spaztic people hanging back a bit to let most the riders leave to avoid cycling traffic/problems? Any info is appreciated. Thanks again for posting!

    1. Sorry it took so long to post. I feel like I needed to process it for a bit. Now I have so much information. I’m going to update in installments. I’m so glad you signed up for the ride! I’m going to sign up again too. This weekend, I hope. Regarding “spastic riding”, I’d say that you’ve got a year of training ahead of you before you decide if you’re a spastic rider. Start now! Do some group rides. You should also do the ALC event called “A Day on The Ride”. There’s one in San Francisco and one in LA. It’s very much a preview of the ride. So you can get used to riding with a bunch of people, the pace and you can get used to ALC style rest stops. I also did the Tour de Cure this year which was excellent training on riding with a bunch of people.

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