Friday, September 4, 2009

For the first time in my life - I'm a bike riding fundraiser!

See updates at end and in comments.

We've all heard of personal transformations after a health crisis, but this one's a little abnormal: I have become a bike rider! For the first time in my life! (Well, since high school.) Donate now, or read on:

In June, with no "should" attached, I told my wife "I want to start riding a bike." I got myself a yard sale bike and started riding it, and I liked it.

  • I bought some pimpy gadgets for the bike. Nothing major, but yeah, I pimped my yard sale bike. I liked it more.
  • I found a really nice big park in my town, a riverside park I'd never known was there. I rode through it end to end until it wasn't big enough.
  • I had a concern about discomfort in my arm so I checked with my orthopedist. (It had hosted a metastasis during my illness.) A-OK.
  • I rode the park's trail extensions to downtown Nashua till that wasn't enough.
  • I learned there's a 12 mile "rail trail" from Nashua to Ayer, MA, and I loved it.
  • 12 days ago I rode it all the way, back most of the way twice - 30 miles total. First time in my life I've ridden 30 miles.
So I went home and opened the email where... my orthopedist Dr. Anderson had invited me to join HER in a fundraiser bike ride for the hospital's cancer research - and I registered!

So now it's your turn: you get to donate! To my very first cancer fundraiser!

Click here. And thanks!

Update 9/5: This is good for the soul, too: here's a photo I snapped today on my training ride, from an overlook above Fresh Pond in Cambridge:

  • You guys are awesome – you've already made me the #10 fundraiser in the whole event. This is SUCH an excellent way to thank my hospital. And extra thanks to friend Harry Zane, who's joined the team and will ride too!

  • Today I rode the Minuteman Bikeway rail trail from Bedford MA all the way to Alewife Station on the Boston "T" subway line, then continued to Fresh Pond - a 25 mile round trip. This is so unlike me - except now it's not! Thanks for your support.
Update evening 9/7:
  • Today I did another 22 mile ride on the Nashua River Rail Trail. I "PR'd," as athletes say - beat my own Personal Record, doing the distance in 1:54, vs the 2:12 it took me to do that distance a couple of weeks ago.

  • Your donations have raised me to #7 in the event's list of top fundraisers. Thank you!
Updates continue in the comments.


  1. Dave;

    Wear a helmet, haha!


  2. Nonlocal,

    I could have sworn I replied to this but I guess not. Yeah, it's not visible in that photo (due to camera angle) but I do wear a helmet.

    (All, "nonlocal MD" is a frequent anonymous commenter on Paul Levy's "Running A Hospital" blog. Very good social media citizen, though he sense of humor isn't terribly inventive. :-))

    AND, ladies and gents, today I (unwittingly) did my first real trail ride. On the map and websites it looked like an extension of the Minuteman Bikeway, but it was a genuine Trail Through The Woods, complete with branches across the trail, rocks in the path ("Is that a shadow or a rock?"), and fun moguls. I discovered that although the center of Bedford MA is nowhere near the center of Concord MA by car, it's just 4 miles through the woods.

    I *loved* it. And although it was just ~25 minutes each way (to a meeting with an old friend), it was physically more challenging than earlier rides.


    Did I mention I bought a new bike on Labor Day? Got a good deal at Target but they'd put it together all wrong, so my local bike shop fixed it up quick & easy. FUN!

    AND, because of you, I'm no longer #10 in the fundraiser, I'm up to #5, with $750 raised! So what the hell, I raised my goal to $1,000. Think we can drum up $250k somewhere?

  3. Oh yeah, and Monday I got a new bike. With 21 speeds, shock absorbers, and a much more comfortable seat. Quick-release front wheel and a seat post that can be adjusted without a wrench.

    I mean, the 1975 Raleigh is a great bike, but this one supports me a lot more conveniently so I can focus on GETTING PLACES!

    And its brakes don't squeak.


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