Bike riding has become my new passion. I bought my first Hybrid bike when I “supposedly” retired from ministry in Connecticut two years ago. Every day that I could, I would ride my bike around Van Cortland Park near our home in Riverdale, or on the beautiful Saw Mill Trail that wound its way up Westchester County through upstate New York. Not only is it great exercise, but it a wonderful way to see more than you would if you were driving a car. On the other hand, hills that seemed insignificant in a car proved to be major hurdles to be conquered as one peddled furiously to the top. My Hybrid bike took me where I wanted to go quite nicely as it was called a “touring” bike.
After Cameron and I got settled out here in Sunnyvale, we decided to join a bike club, which lead to our discovery of the AIDS LIFE CYCLE (ALC) event held each year during the first week in June. In it over 2000 cyclists raise money and ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, 745 miles. Last year the event rose close to 15.5 million dollars. It is quite an event!
Well, needless to say it didn’t take long before both Cameron and I got caught up in the fever of this Bike riding epic. We joined South Bay Blaze, which is a training group that helps riders prepare for the ALC event with rides progressing in difficulty each week. The club ends its training in May with a 71-mile ride around Lake Tahoe. After that it is believed one should be ready for the 745 miles journey to Los Angeles.
At one point I realized that I needed a much lighter road bike to do all of this riding up and down the hills of California, also a bike that was built to go a tad faster. The Hybrid was fine for New York/New England trails and trips to the grocery store, but definitely not for the challenges presented by the California terrain. So now with my new Cannondale, I am training, and loving it.
A few sentences ago I mentioned that you see more, and notice more when you ride. The same goes for the group you ride with, you see them more, and appreciate their commitment to what everyone is doing together as a team. No matter where we are in our lives, I believe challenges are good. Working with others with a common goal in mind is good for the soul, be it singing in a chorus, riding bicycles and raising money for a good cause, or even working together in a church. Imagine!