On Thursday, February 21, I escaped the big snow storm and flew out of Kansas City at 6 am.
The best part of Los Angeles had to be the weather. The second and equally good part was meeting up with Brendan Hooley, one of my team captains. On Saturday, Brendan and I joined Team Cynergy for a ride along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway.
Right before Christmas break, I received exciting news from my employer. My month-long sabbatical, which I applied for in November had been approved.
A major part of my sabbatical will be spent raising money for and riding my bike in AIDS/LifeCycle. AIDS/LifeCycle is a 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The 545-mile ride takes place June 2-8, 2013.
After announcing the news on Twitter, I soon realized several friends from Los Angeles were also participating in the ride. Many have done the ride in the past, and ride on a team, called the Pork Pedalers. They invited me to join, and excitedly, I took them up on the offer.
Beginning in January, I’ve been doing a spin class 3 times per week. At times, even an hour of pedaling with your heart rate above 150 has been a challenge, but it’s getting easier every day. I’m hoping for warmer weather soon so I can get out on the road for some real riding.
To ensure success of the event and make the biggest impact, I must raise at least $3,000. I’m confident with your support; I can exceed that. I’m already one-third of the way there!
When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better.
Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.
Over the past few months, I’ve scoured the internet and visited nearly every local bike shop, sometimes more than once shopping for my first road bike. After a long search and several test rides, I was overwhelmed by more brands, models, and component sets than I ever imagined possible.
After a bit more searching, I found a 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4 at Leawood Bicycles that was just my size. Since it was a 2010, it was also on sale for a great price. I went home, slept on it, and the next day made up my mind.
The CAAD9 is the predecessor to the CAAD10 and was last Cannondale bicycle to be handmade in the United States. I also liked the CAAD9 4, because it was equipped with a full SRAM Rival groupset, including a carbon crank.
I bought the bike on August 6. As of today, August 23, I’ve put just over 100 miles on it. It’s a great, responsive ride, though I’m still getting used to the firmer, smaller road saddle. I definitely don’t leave home without my biking shorts on. The CAAD9 has more of a racing geometry, so I’m taking it in today to have the stem flipped, so the my riding position will be a little more relaxed and comfortable.
Specifications — 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4
CAAD9 Optimo aluminum, taper-butted
Slice Premium monocoque full carbon
Unspecified (60cm frame, I’ll weigh soon)
Cannondale C2 Carbon
Prologo Kappa Pas
Crankset / Bottom Bracket
SRAM Force BB30 Compact, 50/34
Shimano RS10, 20h (rear) & 16h (front)
Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick, 700 x 23
Lifetime – Frame
$1,799 (I got a deal, since it was last 2010 model and I bought near end of 2011)