Friday, April 24, 2009

Time to go the distance

Spring is in the air (finally), and this young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of... mileage.

It's time to dust off the bike shorts, grease up the chain, and start riding. Actually, it's been that time for about a month now, but now is when it gets fun because now it gets real. The Best Buddies Hyannisport Challenge is only five weeks away, and I'm preparing to ride 100 miles on May 30 to raise money for Best Buddies International. This weekend, my weekend training distance will be 45 miles, and I'll be adding another 5 miles every week until the end of the month.

This will be my fifth year riding with the Patriot Pedalers in the Best Buddies Hyannisport Challenge, and I've recorded the experience here on this blog:

Best Buddies is a non-profit organization founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989, dedicated to helping people with intellectual disabilities form friendships and find jobs in their community. It has been integral to the lives of our team captain, Danny Watt, and his family for years. Their son Aaron, who is mentally challenged, has been blessed by Best Buddies in his school and in his life, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to help them reach out to other families in the same way.

If you're interested in supporting my own special brand of crazy, please do. This year, I'm hoping to raise $2,500. I am looking for donations of all sizes, either a predetermined amount or a per mile amount. I know that times are tougher this year for many people than they have been in the past, but in tough times the people on the margins of society often suffer the most, so I feel that it is more important than ever to support the great work that Best Buddies is doing.

Ideas:
$0.50 a mile = $50.00
$1.00 a mile = $100.00
$2.00 a mile = $200.00 (This entitles you to a letter from Anthony Shriver, and one raffle ticket for a chance to win two tickets to the Victory Celebration on May 17 in Hyannis Port)

Follow this link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Best Buddies International

Unlike many fundraisers, 100% of the funds I raise will go directly to Best Buddies. Any contribution you can spare will go a long way to my achieving this goal.

As in previous years, my supporters get an added benefit: everyone who supports me will receive a personal bound* copy of my ride log before it's posted to the blog, allowing you to share the pain, humor, and pathos of 100 miles and 6+ hours spent on a very narrow seat. The worse the weather gets, the more entertaining the read, or so I'm told, so pray for rain if you want to be entertained.



* - if you print out the email, take it to Kinko's, and ask them to bind it for you

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lessons from the road

I haven’t had the chance to play road warrior much in the past few years -- what with having children and all -- so the past couple of weeks have been a refresher course for me in the joys and frustrations of business travel. Here are a few things that I have learned about the new world of the business traveler.

  1. Take the power outlet whenever you can get it. You never know when it will be available again.
  2. Ditto for the wireless network.
  3. A cellular modem is a lifeline, but it’s a slow, painful one. Remember AOL circa 1995? It’s like that, but without all the fun sound effects.
  4. People with iPhones like to make fun of people who still need a computer to get their mail. Fortunately, you can get revenge on them by asking how their battery’s doing around 4:30 in the afternoon.
  5. Even an iPhone can’t help you find the right office building in Brooklyn if you don’t know which way you’re facing.
  6. There’s a big difference between being treated like a passenger and being treated like cargo. I greatly prefer the former, which is why I’m sitting on the Acela Express train as I type this, and not a plane.
  7. Dining out every night is fun for approximately four days. After that, it’s just fattening.
  8. No matter how cold it is outside, you will always feel sticky after more than 45 minutes sitting on a train or plane. It’s one of the unwritten laws of physics: grime adheres to the traveler at three times the normal rate of a person sitting still. I think it has something to do with friction.
  9. Meeting new people is fun, but going home to your family is better.
  10. Nothing beats going home a day early.