Monday, June 15, 2009

a great day for a bike ride

Back in March, I made the decision to (1) learn to ride a bike, (2) raise at least $2,000 for the American Diabetes Association, and (3) ride in Tour de Cure.

Yesterday, I rode in Tour de Cure, having learned to ride a bike, and raising, to date, $3,281, out of Team Training Wheels' total of $6,528—and counting!

I frankly can't quite believe that I did it, although there were plenty of people to witness the event—a special shoutout to teammate Dan, who rode with me the entire way, providing needed guidance and the rest of his water, and distracting me with tales of his biking youth (and even a bit of gossip).

We were lucky with weather that was even better than the forecast had promised (and even though I forgot to actually apply the sunscreen I'd brought, I didn't get a burn). And yes, it took me a while, with many stops along the way (I still get freaked out when there are too many people on the trail!), but it felt wonderful. My blood sugar did just what I wanted it to, I only fell once, and I got to coast in at the end to the cheers of family and friends.

The funniest part? At the beginning, as we were about to set out, my shoelace got caught in the gears and had to be extricated by friends (who then retied both shoes so that the loops were smaller). Could I be dorkier??

The saddest part? When Dan's 4-year-old daughter said "Sara, I want a shirt like yours!" Since I was wearing the Red Rider jersey (for people with diabetes), I told her, "Sweetheart, I know, but I don't ever want you to have one."

The best part?
There were many: hearing Linda and other ADA folk cheering as I set out at the start; going over little hills that helped me understand the childhood fun of cycling; hanging out in the shade with Dan along the way (ask us about diesel trains!) and listening to him sing "Erie Canal"; being greeted by my daughter, Edith, as she ran into my arms at the end of the ride. Also, the nap after we got home.

More shoutouts: All the Team Training Wheels gang, including those who rode (Coach Jon, Alison, Abe, Chris K, Chris S, Lois, Jacqui, Dayle, and Dan) and those who couldn't (for good reasons!) but raised big money anyway (Nanja, Mary Pat, Eric), plus TTW affiliates Kim, Rachel, SuperWill, the scooters (Nava and Edith), and Baby Tater (who won't remember her first Tour, but still...)

New e-pals Bob and Mike. (Bob is about to ride across the country in RAAM. Good lord.)

UberVolunteer Jeremy; co-shopper (and general enabler) Jim B; t-shirt maven (and NOLA expert) Francie; Tour Guru Nicole; Kate the Great; Reston resident Nora, who showed me the ropes; Carolyn, who egged me on, as always; Campaign Manager Katie; marketing director Heschel; Bekah the muse; major donors Richard, Big Mike, Chan, and Jim S; and National Capital Tour de Cure bosses Alan and Cassandra.

Andrew, who's been telling me to get on a bike for years...

... Cousin Laura, who has the best braids ever (I think I will never be able to thank you enough, lovely Laura)...

... and my husband, Kevin, who realized I was serious about this when I got the fancy padded shorts. All good pursuits demand new clothing!

Thank you all so much for following me on this wacky trip. I will post photos if we get any.... Otherwise, I will just put in one last pitch: Please contribute here if you haven't already done so. People with diabetes need your help. If this post tells you anything, it says that we can't do it alone.

And if you're in the area, come out for a ride!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

i did it!

More to come after post-ride nap...

woke up happy...

... because today I get to do this thing I said I'd do! Or, as my daughter just said, "Yay, today is the Big Ride, I am so excited!"

The weather is gorgeous--even better than we'd expected. I'm mostly packed, with my BG meter, phone, and ID tucked into a wedge pack that straps under the seat of the bike. Water bottle is cooling in the fridge. Coach Jon took me to the bike store on Friday so I could get real padded biking shorts, which feel pretty funny but which I am assured will make a difference. I'll also be wearing my Red Rider jersey and tour de cure socks that Tour Boss Nicole gave me. Child and husband will be wearing the groovy "Team Training Wheels" t-shirts that I designed in a fit of creativity.

And Dan will be riding with me every bit of the way. This may not look pretty--I may have to stop a lot, and pant a lot--but, shockingly, I have indeed learned how to ride a bike.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Well, I guess I'd really better do this thing!

Just a couple days left until the big ride. And I'm not nearly as scared as I thought I'd be. Any last words of wisdom from the crowd?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

is that really me?

My story about learning to ride is in today's Washington Post. I don't think the picture looks like me--I mean, that person is on a bicycle!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

things like this don't really help

No matter what you think of Boris, this footage of him and fellow cyclists almost being mowed down by a lorry ain't pretty.

Friday, May 22, 2009

this was going to be more of a heroic post

So I was tootling along on the Townie (is that acceptable? tootling? well, whatever), and thinking that I would come home and write about how I can get around my neighborhood on my bike, no problem! I had spent part of the afternoon with Carolyn and baby Tate, doing errands, getting coffee, and practicing biking on the sidewalks near my house. Some of them are pretty narrow, and I'm not good enough at staying in a straight line to ride them safely. We spent some time at the rec center park (where a kid told me "nice bike!"), and then I walked them several blocks back to their house. Along MacArthur Boulevard, the sidewalks are a bit wider, mostly flat, and nearly empty of people, so once I said goodbye to Carolyn, I decided to try to bike all the way home. And it went very well, I even went over sidewalk bumps without stopping (though I did walk the bike across the side streets), and I was pretty much enjoying it and feeling like it was a much more pleasant way to get around than walking.
Then I got to my block. I really thought I could get around the big recycling bins without stopping, but my handlebar clipped a bin and down I went. Big scrape on my elbow.
It's okay, though, because when I got home, my daughter kissed it and made it all better.