My longest AIDS/LifeCycle training ride to date (guilty grin)

On Sunday, 4/7, I set out on my longest AIDS/LifeCycle training ride with the Mission Farms Sunday group. Luckily, my friends Clark and Jeffrey joined me. It was set to be a 42-mile route, but the group was a bit faster than us. We stuck with them until 175th street, there were cows, then cut a corner and turned it into a 35-mile route. Map:

Sabbatical Approved! AIDS/LifeCycle 2013

Make a tax-deductible contribution to AIDS/LifeCycle 2013 -- June 2-8, 2013




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.

The Pork Pedalers -- An AIDS/LifeCycle Team

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!

More to come soon!

Cannondale CAAD9 4 – My First Road Bike

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.

Initially, I was looking at the Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, and the Giant Defy 1, but after visiting River Market Cyclery and test riding a Cannondale CAAD10 5, I was sold on the Cannondale brand.

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.

Cannondale CAAD 9 4 Road Bike

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
Frame CAAD9 Optimo aluminum, taper-butted
Fork Slice Premium monocoque full carbon
Weight Unspecified (60cm frame, I’ll weigh soon)
Seatpost Cannondale C2 Carbon
Saddle Prologo Kappa Pas
Shifters SRAM Rival
Front Derailleur SRAM Rival
Rear Derailleur SRAM Rival
Brakes Tektro R580
Brake Levers SRAM Rival
Cassette SRAM Rival
Chain KMC DX-10SC
Crankset / Bottom Bracket SRAM Force BB30 Compact, 50/34
Rims Shimano RS10
Hubs Shimano RS10, 20h (rear) & 16h (front)
Spokes Shimano RS10
Tires Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick, 700 x 23
Warranty Lifetime – Frame
MSRP (Price) $1,799 (I got a deal, since it was last 2010 model and I bought near end of 2011)

Tour de Brew KC – My first big ride

Our group at Knuckleheads after Tour de Brew

On Sunday, May 22, some friends and I participated in Kansas City’s Tour de Brew 30-mile ride. This is my second organized ride and my longest consecutive ride by 10-miles. View route GPS.

Bike rack at Tour de Brew

The ride started and finished at Knuckleheads Saloon, in the Northeast Industrial District of Kansas City. Knuckleheads is definitely unique. It lives up to the images one would conjure up thinking about a saloon in the 1940’s.

We started off on the 30-mile ride at 9:00 am and returned just after 12:30 pm. We looped through downtown, the Crossroads District, midtown and the Plaza, before making our first stop for a mini-gelato at SPIN! Pizza. We refilled quickly and were on our way south through some beautiful Plaza and Brookside neighborhoods. We rode on to Family Bicycles at 74th and Wornall where we made another pit stop, before turning around to finish the route back.

Tour de Brew KC

Seasoned cyclists are a courteous bunch. It’s common for someone to yell out, “car back,” when they notice a car approaching from behind. When approaching a stop sign, they yell “clear right, clear left,” to signal nearby cyclists it’s safe to proceed through the intersection.

I enjoyed getting to see parts of the city that I wouldn’t have otherwise explored. Cycling is an experience like no other, you get a feel for neighborhoods, people, places, and best of all fresh air. Next time you’re thinking of buying a home, bike the neighborhood for a more intimate perspective of the people, places, and things.

Other riders blog about 2011 Kansas City Tour de Brew