So Far So Good

February 19th, 2011 • Posted in AIDS Lifecycle

It all started on Pip’s birthday. As we sat around the table enjoying cocktails, our friend Bryan announced that he just ordered a bike and was doing the AIDS Lifecycle again. A drunken gleam sparkled in my eye as memories of the three rides I did 1998-2000 came to mind. Fast forward to the next morning. In the haze of a slight hangover, I thought, “What did I agree to do again?”

A seven-day, 545-mile adventure with 3000 other people — that’s what I agreed to do. I know a few of those 3000 people already. I’m doing the Ride with Pip, and our friends Bryan, Mikie, Victor and Joseph are also riders. It’ll be a chance to bond with our friends and make new ones over the many miles of training ahead of us.

The training has begun, and so far, so good. When I did the Ride previously, I did it on a mountain bike with slick tires. When I first started riding in 1998, I didn’t know any better, and I just became comfortable with the bike. This time around, I’m going for a more efficient ride. I’m not that scrappy twenty-something anymore! I got a road bike that’s much lighter — a Marin Argenta.

It’s been over ten years since I’ve done any major biking, but I’ve discovered that riding bicycle is like… well, riding a bicycle! The muscle memory has come back pretty quickly. I’ve been going through the process of reacquainting myself with how to shift gears, anticipating when to unclip my shoes out of the pedals, and just rebuilding a general awareness for the road again. I’m also getting used to the more aggressive posture on a road bike.

We were blessed with some fantastic weather for the first couple of weeks of February. My first training ride was in sunny San Jose where we did 20 miles of flats and a couple of rolling hills. My friend Victor had this idea of seeing how many Filipino people in the Bay Area were doing the Ride, so he organized the Pinoy Ride and Potluck. It was a great first ride, because it reminded me that one of the things that I loved about doing the Ride was the community of people involved. It’s a ride, not a race, and you can really feel the friendship and support from your fellow riders. Also, in addition to the time on the bike, the Ride is an opportunity to just be with the people around you. Sometimes you should take the time to smell the roses (or eat the lumpia!)

Last weekend, Pip and I did back-to-back rides from the Presidio to Tiburon. It’s an exhilarating start when you ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and fly down the hill into Marin. It’s a pain in the ass on the way back because you have to climb your way back up the hill at the end. Pip has been doing great with the hills so far. He lost 65 pounds last year and got back into shape, so he’s been cranking up the hills without stopping. The only thing I have fought with so far was getting used to saddle soreness on our second day. Ouch, my ass!

Riding back from Tiburon

The rain and cold has finally come. I think it’ll be sunny tomorrow, but I know eventually we’ll have to get some time out on the road when it’s not so nice. In years past, it has rained during the Ride, so it’s good to be prepared. I don’t look forward to it, though.

The fundraising has gone well so far. Thanks to everyone who has helped me raise $1905 so far, almost 40% of the way to my goal of $5000. If you’d like to help me reach my goal, you can donate online or make a donation by check.

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