Several weeks ago I signed up to participate in AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019. One of the reasons I signed up was to challenge myself physically, but even that needs to be for a reason.
I love bicycling, and I am also somewhat terrified of it, so I don’t ride quite as much as I could, miss out on opportunities to explore new places and to stay happy and healthy.
Just these few weeks into the training I feel a little bit stronger, a little bit more brave, and I love what I see on my rides.
Why don’t I share these joys with those who support me?!
Well, I do now! Starting today, each person who donated at least $20 to AIDS LifeCycle through my page, will receive a cycling day with at least 10 miles ridden dedicated just to them.
My first thank you ride day is dedicated to the first sponsor. This person chose to remain anonymous to the public. I’ll let them know about this post privately, and all my readers can enjoy the ride with us.
The ride was about 9.5 miles from home (San Francisco) to work (South San Francisco), and then 3 miles from work to South San Francisco BART in the evening. Once the day get longer, I’ll ride both ways, all the way. For now, the return trip would feel dangerous.
I left at 7:30 in the morning. It was joyously bright and quite chilly, 43 F. I had sense to put on warm socks (made from the yarn I bought in New Zealand) and a belly warmer (made from the yarn I bought in Iceland), but regretted not wearing gloves. It’s nice feeling the handlebars with bare hands directly though, especially since my road bike is so light and agile.
The first half of ride to work is somewhat industrial, the second half, mostly scenic. This being the New Year Day’s week though, the traffic was light throughout. I could look around and enjoy the early morning sun on the distant trees and foothills. As well as the gas prices, considering I was not buying.
There was one particular stretch (San Bruno to Tunnel, for the locals) where I sometimes get off the bike, because it’s steep downhill and curvy, and then there is a busy intersection at the bottom of the hill. Today the conditions were so favorable: dry, sunny, empty, lucky, that I rode all the way down all the curves and even through the intersection without stopping.
When I rode to work a few weeks ago for the first time in a while, it took me about an hour and 15 minutes. This morning it was maybe 50-55 minutes. Not so much because I became so much stronger so fast, but because I became familiar with the route, the shortcuts. I wasn’t stopping so much to check directions, to look for street names, to turn around, because I went a wrong way. That’s another joy of these training rides (and why I look forward to AIDS LifeCycle): becoming familiar with that previously unfamiliar, expanding my world.
As I left work late afternoon, I caught a glimpse of purple sunset clouds.
It was a lovely training day. Thank you, first sponsor, for your support!