Thank You Ride #7: a San Francisco Loop

The training day on Saturday a week ago is dedicated to another person I know from yoga, Dan. And I rode with Dan! How neat is this?

I first met Dan at a yoga retreat. Or, to be precise, I first met Dan in front of the Cancun airport. There is a story that goes with that, but that’s not this story, so moving on 🙂

We run into each other now and then in yoga classes and maybe once at a get together with graduates from that retreat, so we are not particularly close. Close enough though for me to observe Dan being kind and unassumingly generous with his friends.

Still, I was surprised and delighted when he sponsored my participation in AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019. That was simply in response to a social media post! That reminded me that my work during fundraising and training is not to expect anything from others, but rather to ask, to be grateful, and to show my commitment.

In this case, Dan being Dan, going an extra mile for others and all, he offered his company on a training ride! Last weekend I took him up on that and we rode roughly 20 miles around San Francisco. I had a class in the afternoon, so we started early. One of the sneaky good reasons to have a (reliable) buddy is tricking each other into sticking to the plan. Would I have left my apartment at 8 AM that morning by myself? Unlikely! Was I glad we started at 8? Hell yes!

We started in the Mission, rode Folsom to Embarcadero… There was a bit of traffic on the streets, but it wasn’t nearly as stressful as a few hours later. For the most part, we were able to ride next to each other and talk without driving others crazy too much.

A picture by Dan. The advantages of starting early: the clouds haven’t crept in yet, the sunlight falls at delightful angles, and the Embarcadero is empty except for that one guy meditating under the big bow.

We rode to Fort Mason, then to Presidio and over toward the Ocean Cliff, stopping along the way to take pictures. The pictures without me in them are by me. The pictures with me in them are by Dan, sometimes with my editing.

As we were making our way toward Ocean Cliff, we shared the road with several other bicyclists out on a beautiful day after a week of rains. I heard somebody call my name. That was Mark, my friend who inspired me to sign up for AIDS LifeCycle in the first place! Mark was also out there getting some miles in, combining training with enjoying the City.

We all rode together to the Ocean and then down to the Windmills. Or rather we rode together unless we were going downhill, in which case Mark and Dan rode together, and I was waaaay behind whimpering and holding on to the breaks for my dear life lest things get out of hand. I need bigger hands to be more agile with the breaks. Or maybe it will be easier to get the breaks adjusted.

When we reached the Windmills, Mark continued South along the Ocean and we turned into the Park to finish off.

Even a week later, thinking about that morning makes me very happy! Dan and I rarely get to talk, because our lives don’t intersect that much, but we share many common experiences: we both practice yoga, go to the same studios, and have thoughts about them. It was nice to share our ideas and stories about that, and bicycling, and training, and life! I signed up for AIDS LifeCycle to have the experience of the ride itself and of training for it, and of seeing how those experiences would transform me. I write these posts so I can share the experience – to an extent. This time we really shared the experience!

I have received a lot of support and am past 25% of my personal fundraising goal! There is still a long way to go though. If any of my readers feel moved to chip in, please donate to AIDS LifeCycle via my fundraising page. Or join me for a ride in person!

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