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AIDSLifecycle 2009


In 8 days, I will embark on my 12th cycling journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Therefore, I must remind myself to possess an absence or cessation of motion; to evoke stillness, and to remain calm.

In May of 1994, I left San Francisco with $3.00 in my pocket, no idea of how I was going to return, a questionable bike, the fear of failure, and began to cycle (along with 1500 other cyclist) toward West Hollywood. Seven days, 575 miles later, I arrived in West Hollywood. At which point, I realized it is possible to step outside of your normal routine. I realized it is possible to empower yourself while assisting others. I realized that I wasn’t alone in my ideas of creating a better world. And I realized that miracles could occur (after all, I made it back home with $3.00 in my pocket) .

– Nothing was planned.

On 04 June 2005, I rose at at 9:30am. (and soon later), I arrived at the AIDSLifeCycle registration – “Day Zero” – to meet up with my cycling buddies, meet old friends, and participate in the “tent assignment,” “medical waiver release,” and “safety video for the AIDSLifecycle Event.”

Everything went as planned.

View AIDSLifeCycle in a larger map

On 06 June 2007, All of our cycling gang got up at 4:30am. Nate, Tony, Don Colnago, “Norwegian Cruiseliner”-Tom, “Mr Rio,” the Team Atlas Cafe, and the Brazilian Team all line up for the 6:30am start time . .. . .Yet, the “Norwegian Cruiseliner informs us that there’s some juju in the air ….

The Rabbit - AIDS LifeCycle Cyclist - Kyle Rich

And there off . .. .” Kyle Rich is “the rabbit.”

Norwegian Cruiseliner” breaks a spoke 10 miles before lunch (no chance of be reunited today with “the rabbit.”)

After lunch,Tony misses “an arrow” and rides 15 miles off course …”Can we say . ..Welcome to Monterey?”

After 9 years of traveling this route, I phoned for assistance. And then, I experienced my first ride in the SAG Wagon (Support & Gear Vehicle) – Scooby Doo’s “The Mystery Machine”.

AIDS LifeCycle 2006 - SAG Wagon - Scooby Doo's - The Mystery Machine

Yet the Ken’s SAG Wagon (with the “rainbow striped Teddy Bear” sitting in the right rear corner of the car) . …was great. They offered banana chips, water, and selected dried fruit to each passenger.

After being returned to the lunch stop (backtracking and increasing my day’s mileage by approx. 27 miles), I continued my journey to “King City.”

As I cycled on, I noticed “Mr Rio” on the side of the road. “Mr. Rio” had broke a spoke. Therefore, we disengaged the cable from the back brake (leaving “Mr. Rio” with only a front brake – yet allowing more room for his lopsided wheel to spin). And then, I guided him (to insure a safe passage) to the next pitstop – Pitstop 4.

Continuing with my intentions, I proceeded with my journey. Yet, 5 miles before the finish line at King City, I was confronted with a 15 mile per hour sidewind combined with a side draft from “a Big Rig” . . “I lost control of my Soulcraft Bike Frame … . “I ate it.” (Tony becomes reunited with “road rash).” And then, a fellow cyclist insured “my” safe passage to the finish.

– Nothing went as planned.

On 31 May 2009, I will be reminded that , we’ve talked all the talk … And now ……we’ve got to walk the walk .. . ” –

And although, each ride has brought me a new experience – some things remain the same. On the first day of this year’s ride, as I look around the Cow Palace, I may see a bunch of bulls waiting to be set free. And although the key to “surviving” such a journey is to pace oneself, as they open the gates, I and 2,500 other cyclist, will jet out like the running of the bulls in Pamplona – we’ll be hoping for the best & fearing for the worst (smile).

– Stay tuned (and check back starting 31 May 2009) to see what “really happens” during AIDSLifeCycle 2009.

Wishing the best of all possible worlds,

An Invitation to Oprah Winfrey

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