Jun 222014

Here’s what happened on the ride:

  • My max speed: 43.6 mph
  • Times I will ride the bus: 1
  • Number of miles spent riding the bus: 4
  • Will I ride my bike over the finish line: Yes.
  • Weight difference between 5/31/14 and 6/8/14 (negative means I lose weight): -1
  • Average speed for all miles cycled (mph): 12.3
  • Day of my fastest average speed: 7
  • Day of my slowest average speed: 1
  • Number of minutes I wore a tutu: 0.
  • Total steps taken during trip (pedal strokes relate to steps the way I use Fitbit) (in thousands): 361
  • Number of times I do the QuadBuster hill (1.5 mile hill on day 3 @ mile 10 out of 67 for the day; 0 means I rode the bus, 1 is normal, 2+ means I went back to do it again!): 1
  • Number of strangers hugged: 1
  • Time of checking my bike in on final day (minutes): 1:38 pm
  • Earliest start time of day (minutes): 6:50 am
  • Latest finish time of day (minutes): 6:47 pm
  • Number of times I get someone to help me adjust my bike somehow: 3
  • Crashes: 0
  • Wardrobe malfunctions: 1 (ankle tape ended up wrecking my knee)
  • Difference between my 6/8/14 weight and the total of the first game of the NBA Finals: 16
  • Number of seconds iOS Mail is featured during the WWDC keynote: ~125

IMG_0098Seems like having someone “borrow” my towel in the shower on the first day should either count as a hug or a wardrobe malfunction.  But not sure which it is.  Didn’t matter for the betting pool anyway.

Turns out, no one gives my weight enough credit for max speed (highest guess was 30).  Kari got the latest finish time on the dot.  But at the same time, she also wanted chaffing to count for wardrobe malfunctions and wanted 3 of them to happen to me. Those were kind of disturbing guesses that were on my mind in the saddle occasionally.  When Candy predicted I was going to fall twice, at least she joked about it.

I do not hug enough strangers.  Or as many as folks want me to at least. Though with this new knowledge, things might change. If people take the hint?

I was also shaved a lot more on this trip than I had expected. That was an unexpected side effect of this ride. And the swollen ankles. And carpal tunnel issues.

Anyways, after a lot of spreadsheeting, Kari and Sonny won dinners. Too strange trying to break the tie. It wasn’t clear if I was biased or not either. Sonny made me sign up for this silliness (he actually signed me up) and Kari was rooting for chaffing. I didn’t have a favorite.

Other randoms:

  • Best Good Morning from the breakfast line: “I like the way you eat your banana.”
  • Best line not said in response to a compliment in the breakfast line: “I like the way you’re handling my sausage.”
  • Road kill: A skunk tail – no body, just the tail. Also saw a dead baby deer. Saw a 3/4ths eaten adult deer too. And a decapitated blue bird, with its head about 20 feet away from the body. Too many squirrels to count.

I signed up for next year already too.

Maybe feeling will return to my fingertips by New Years so I can start training again. Parts of me wants to try it on a road bike, cause my road bike friends were definitely having a different trip than I was. They were washing clothes and not standing in line for showers and getting massages, while I was just trying to survive. But doing it on a road bike is lose lose. Either I’m an idiot for doing a trip so hard this year, or I’m a lame cyclist and a road bike is just as miserable…

May 302014

There was a time when I was riding off on my own and we thought for safety’s sake, I should pay for Runkeeper so it could broadcast my trip. And then if Catherine ever needed to find my body on the side of the road, she’d know where to start looking.

The day after I paid for it, RoadID came out with the same service for free.

Oh well.

The benefit is now you’ll be able to follow my ride at this link – but to really follow it live, they’d like you to sign up for a free Runkeeper account too.  I think it’d be worth it. But maybe I’m biased.

Anyway, that was one way I thought I could cheer people up during the week. Ever feel down?  Go load that page up and enjoy a good laugh at me…

But then, I was thinking I wanted to do something to help keep people more engaged with the whole phenomena of the ride. And prop bets seem like the right answer.

So let’s play.

Right answer gets you a point.  If no one hits the number perfectly, closest answer, without going over gets you a point (aka Price is Right style). I’ll do my best to update my stats daily.

Most points win. In the case of a tie, all the people with the most points will have the deltas for the ones they didn’t get perfectly right summed up.  Smallest delta wins.

What do you win?  I’ll take you (and your family/significant other) out to dinner.  If you’ve sponsored my bike ride for any amount, it’ll be a nicer dinner.

Here are my props:

  • My max speed:
  • Times I will ride the bus:
  • Number of miles spent riding the bus:
  • Will I ride my bike over the finish line:
  • Weight difference between 5/31/14 and 6/8/14 (negative means I lose weight):
  • Average speed for all miles cycled (mph):
  • Day of my fastest average speed:
  • Day of my slowest average speed:
  • Will I wear a tutu?
  • Total steps taken during trip (pedal strokes relate to steps the way I use Fitbit) (in thousands):
  • Number of times I do the QuadBuster hill (1.5 mile hill on day 3 @ mile 10 out of 67 for the day; 0 means I rode the bus, 1 is normal, 2+ means I went back to do it again!):
  • Number of strangers hugged:
  • Time of checking my bike in on final day (minutes):
  • Earliest start time of day (minutes):
  • Latest finish time of day (minutes):
  • Number of times I get someone to help me adjust my bike somehow:
  • Crashes:
  • Wardrobe malfunctions:
  • Difference between my 6/8/14 weight and the total of the first game of the NBA Finals:
  • Number of seconds iOS Mail is featured during the WWDC keynote:

Entries need to be posted/emailed to me by midnight Sunday night.

Good luck!

May 222014

Sal’s third grade class had job interviews for doing chores around the class. The kids would do those jobs for Inghram bucks.  Inghram bucks can be used to buy a class party. Sal told me about an ice cream party they had. I was jealous.

Catherine and I go into the class every now and then and teach the kids programming with Scratch. After I heard about the ice cream party, I needed to get some Inghram bucks, so I asked the kids to tip me for the classes I’ve been teaching, cause that’s a job too. One kid wanted to give me a penny. He’s not on my list of favorite kids. And there isn’t even an Inghram penny.

With 23 kids, I pulled in $45.

This week, I found out that the end of year party was going to run about 100 Inghram bucks. tourDeCure

I thought of asking for another round of tips, but I wanted to make it more meaningful…and get more bucks too.

So I told them that for every Inghram buck that they gave me, I would match it with a real dollar donation to my Tour de Cure bike ride on June 8th. There is a diabetic in their class, so it seemed more relevant than my AIDS ride.

The kids asked me if they gave me $1000 if I would match it. Of course! What about a million?  That made me ask the teacher how much money they had at that point.  They said they were rich.  I asked if they were generous though.

Mrs. Inghram figured the average was $300…across 23 kids – that seemed doable. Some were thinking of giving me all their money, except then, they wouldn’t have money for the end of year party. Real issues now with Inghram bucks!

It definitely gave them something to talk about and discuss for the rest of the day. And I left there trying to think of more ways to get all their money for some reason. Somehow I felt like I was playing Monopoly.

I got a text after school. They gave me over $800.  A couple of standouts – someone donated $115 flat out.  Another one donated 80% of their money. I think I’ll be buying a lot of her wares at the open house product showcase, to make sure she’s got enough money to get to the end of year party…but I love the thought.

It was extremely touching. Of course, it would have been even more touching if they actually hit that $1000 mark they tried to scare me with in the morning. But in the end, we’re donating $911 (x2, with a corporate match).  Not too shabby for our little ride.

Feb 242014

But I did it again yesterday.

20 years ago, it was for fun, for beers at Ensenada. And tacos. I didn’t train. I was young enough (and dumb enough) to just be able to will it to happen.

Yesterday, I rode 50 miles just as training for a larger ride, with more meaning. I’m doing the AIDS/LifeCycle ride from SF to LA in June.

Things have changed a bit over the years. It has definitely gotten harder. I don’t remember cramping up last time – but felt it yesterday. Priorities maybe shifted. There is a kid around that I want to make a lasting impression on.

Catherine called my bike “crappy” when talking to a friend of hers. I asked later on, what she meant by that. “It’s old, too heavy, and not built to go long distances on the road.” It felt like she was talking about me. I figured we’re a good match that way. (Me and the bike that is…)

Instead of dropping a large chunk of change on a road bike that’s half the weight of my current bike and would lead to buying new shoes and wearing a lot of spandex as outerwear, I donated the money. Your eyes can thank me anytime you see me not wearing spandex outerwear.

Waving a magic money wand would definitely make the obstacles ahead of me shrink. But my obstacles seem tiny compared to the obstacles those living with HIV face. If there could be a magic wand, I want it waved for their obstacles, not mine. One of the leads for my training rides had a post a while back (couldn’t find it to link to, so need to paraphrase) about how all of us will face various challenges on this ride. Fundraising, equipment, conditioning, time, health…no one will have an easy time. Upbeat huh?

And yet, over 2000 folks will do it. To help others. Through awareness, fundraising, or just inspiration and/or support. I am expecting it to be an emotional event and I’m also expecting that I’ve underestimated what I’m going to get out of it.

But to get there, I’m going to need support too. Right now, I’d really like someone to go on one of these rides with me.  But if you can’t make it out, I’d be more than happy to thank you for sponsoring my journey

Oct 172013

Most of the time, when we wager, I wager for a meal.  I enjoy going eating with others, cause the conversations usually get interesting.  Like making more bets over who can fit a beard papa creme puff in their mouth.

9027151818_0d7e52d672_bBut one time, this past summer at lunch, a couple of guys I work with talked about doing the AIDS LifeCycle ride.  Wanted to see if I was interested.  After all, I was like them – commuting to work occasionally.  Just that their commute is 50+ miles and mine is 1.5. If I take the scenic route.

I’ve thought about doing a century often. This event would check that box off. Twice. In a week. While sleeping in a tent.

I’m not getting any younger. So I might as well do it when folks I know are doing it. I told them I was at 80% likelihood of joining them on the ride. Something interesting was happing at that lunch.

I thought I could get out of it when I saw that the Tour de Cure that Sal and I ride was happening on June 8th.  But luckily enough, the ALC ride ends on the 7th. So I can catch flight home that night and be ready to go with Sal the next day. I didn’t have any good reason not to do the ride.

Sonny went to a meeting in the city one night, registration was at a discount and I got signed up.

Folks, that probably know more than me, suggest getting a new bike. But I’m kind of used to my bike (and stubborn and cheap) and I don’t think I’d ride a road bike after this, so it seems like a waste to get a bike just for training for this ride. Perhaps I would have a different story next spring or summer. As it is, I’d rather take that money for the bike and donate it instead. Much healthier to shave 10-15 pounds off my body than off my bike instead…

If you would like to join me, I can get you a discount on the registration fee. Send me a note. It is going to be fun! (I need to keep reminding myself of that…)

If you would rather just sponsor me on this craziness, I sure would appreciate it. Use this link.

Thanks – and let’s go eat sometime!

Jul 222010

For the body fat bet, up until the actual weigh in, one could feel like one had both won and lost.  I felt that actually.  Makes one pretty anxious and bi-polar.  It wasn’t until the actual measurements were done and shared did one truly know whether one had won or lost.

When talking to Ben about this biking bet, I was thinking at the start, that about 200 miles would win.  Maybe 250.  I was thinking 10+ miles a day.  I shared that with him.  With the notion that if Shawn knew that was my number, then the number might change.  We eventually included Ben running with a 3x multiplier for his miles into the bet.  He felt that 66 was a good number for him to run in 20 days and that would make him competitive.

Except that those estimates were for the case where we didn’t share numbers.

Now that we share numbers, the competition is way out of whack.  He’s close to 60 miles and we’re just halfway through and he’s barely in the lead.  The daily (almost minute-by-minute for some) reveal of stats has driven the competition into overdrive.

It’s out of control, waiting for someone to tap out.  The jockeying over IM, trying to size up if someone’s going to run/bike tonight…and if so how far…and if they share the number, will they actually keep their word about that or not.  If not, was it a bluff or was it sandbagging?

It’s no longer a physical feat wager…or maybe it never was.