AIDS LifeCycle 2019 Reflections: the Maps

Many thanks to the readers who followed my training for AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile charity bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that took place June 2-8 this year. Thanks to all the sponsors who supported my participation!

I bet you want to hear how the ride went!

In this post, I will write about the route overall, answering questions such as:

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Thank You Ride #25: How to Make Friends

This post is about the fifth official training ride I took in preparation to AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile ride from San Francisco to LA in seven days, June 2-8, 2019. Which is almost now!

The ride I am writing about though took place about a month ago. This ride is dedicated to another friend I know from tango, one of the many sponsors of my participation in AIDS LifeCycle. Thank you, anonymous sponsor, for your support! I look forward to spending time together soon after I am back!

This turned out to be the last official training ride I did this season, and it was pretty epic. I ended up riding 98 miles in one day, including the 79 mile route, about 6 miles to get to the meeting place in the morning, about 8 miles to get home in the evening, and one more addition which I will get to.

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Thank You Ride #24: Made it to Pacifica!

This post is about a 26.5 mile ride to Pacifica on a Sunday some five weeks ago, and my heart is filled with gratitude thinking about it! First of all, many thanks to an anonymous sponsor from my current Toastmasters club! Many of my readers know that I’ve been in Toastmasters for over a decade and one of the reasons I stay is the people who are willing to invest in everybody’s success. This particular sponsor is not an exception! Over the years, I’ve met toastmaster who are flamboyant and hard to miss. There is time and space for the show, and some of us can use more of that. This particular person is of the kind I have the highest respect for: the kind who humbly and quietly holds the ship together and does the lion’s share of work humbly and steadily. Thank you!

Not only was this ride dedicated to a sponsor from Toastmasters, but it was also with somebody from Toastmasters! See what I mean? Support all around!

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Thank You Ride #23: the Wind

My preparation for AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA coming up in two weeks has been going all well, and it’s almost like my main struggle is to keep my readers and my sponsors up-to-date on what has been happening! You can still sponsor me by donating to AIDS LifeCycle via my fundraising campaign.

This thank you ride took place a month ago. That day, I rode about 85 miles total. It is dedicated to my former coworker Diana, yet another wonderful person I had been so lucky to meet and work with. Diana is a wonderful example of somebody who can be incredibly warm, gentle, and supportive, and yet stand her ground firmly and really be there for those who rely on her. Diana: thank you so much for supporting me. Knowing that reminds me to stay caring and loving regardless of the physical challenge.

This was one of the official training rides I went to, and a lot of it overlapped with a previous ride I wrote about (here). This time we went a few miles further, all the way to Point Reyes.

My regular readers probably would expect me to fret about something on this ride, even though I semi-committed to not dwell much on the fretting last time I went to an official training ride and wrote about it. Oh well. You know what it was? The wind! It was crazy how windy it was. When I was crossing the Golden Gate bridge on the way back late afternoon, the bridge was singing from all the wind, and the cyclists and tourists had such a hard time controlling their bikes that I was surprised nobody got blown off the bridge!

But I am getting ahead of myself. It was cold and windy when I left home in the morning, and I started fretting about the wind immediately. When I almost crossed the entire city and was about to roll down the last hill on Polk Street, I realized that I was so busy fretting, I didn’t observe any actual difficulties crossing the City, like the hills or the wind slowing me down.

That reminded me that after all, this is all practice, and I have been getting stronger over the past few months, so a little wind just means everything will take a little longer.

On this ride, I made a point of taking pictures of the rest stops, since I covered most of the scenery before. But there is some scenery too. Here we go…

The information/safety briefing before the ride on Chrissy Field. See how people are hugging themselves: it was cold! We were wearing yellow ribbons that day, that’s what’s being demonstrated here

After the roll out, I shifted my fretting toward how noisy my chain was: it got dirty after the somewhat wet Woodside ride and I didn’t get around to having it cleaned or lubed. One of the ride organizers even suggested I stop by our SAG car and ask them to help me with that. (I think “SAG” stands for “Safety and Gear”) In a few miles, I found the SAG car parked on top of Camino Alto in Mill Valley, and while my chain was taken care of, I took a few pictures from the hill. What a beautiful day, especially when the trees block the wind a little bit.

Just like on the previous ride our first stop was Fairfax Coffee Roasters, and then we stopped by Rancho Nicasio, on the Nicasio Valley loop. Here is a view of cyclists hanging out by Rancho Nicasio and a beautiful countryside view from the building’s parking lot.

After Rancho Nicasio, we continued on the loop around Nicasio Reservoir. I stopped there, because it looked so startling with the little waves created by the wind. Then the route took us toward Point Reyes. Yet again, even though I was getting a little tired and definitely ready for lunch, it was so incredibly exciting to explore the places I normally don’t go to. One example of surprise, a little house painted with the iconic 10,000 buddhas. I did not expect that at all. I must have heard at some point that the artist, Amanda Giacomini, lives in Point Reyes, but because that is normally so far for me, that just didn’t register.

Our lunch stop was in Point Reyes, and then we headed back the easier way, stopping in Fairfax again on the way back. Here are a few pictures of hungry bicyclists having descended upon Point Reyes and then later on Fairfax Coffee Roastery.

This was my fourth ride with this group, and I liked how I started getting to know people a little bit, and how even with all the wind an 85 mile day was quite nice.

Many thanks to all my readers for sharing this with me, extra thanks to my sponsors, and this time especially Diana! My readers are welcome to continue continue contributing to AIDS/LifeCycle via my campaign.

At this time, with just two weeks left to AIDS LifeCycle, I probably will not get around to writing a special thank you post to the new sponsors before I take off, because there is a bit of a backlog of the rides dedicated to the earlier sponsors that I didn’t write up yet (what a great problem to have!). Either way, as my sponsor, you get to help SF AIDS Foundation and LALGBT Center to provide life-saving services to their communities, you will help me stay maximally inspired during the ride, and I’ll keep you posted during or after the ride with more adventures!

Thank You Ride #22: Coworkers

With just a few weeks left to train for AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019, I’ve been riding to work and back over San Bruno Mountain foothills quite a bit. It’s about 21 miles round trip, most of it up or down hill. There are many beautiful views, which I would love to share with my followers and especially the sponsors and supporters of my participation in AIDS LifeCycle (click here to learn more about that and to possibly support). Some days though I just want to keep going.

A couple of weeks ago, the morning was so gorgeous that I made a point to stop and take pictures. This training day is dedicated to an anonymous sponsor with whom I worked at some point and still stay in touch with now and then. (Read about the idea behind these Thank You Rides here)

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