Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

24 Hours of Booty 2008 Report

Yeah - you're all tired of hearing about my booty, I know. But this was a great event, and I want to take a minute to thank all of you who donated money to this year's ride. I raised nearly $1500 this year, and rode 30 miles. That's considerably less than the 100 I had hoped for in my goals for the year, but given that I haven't been exercising at all for the past several months, I'm still pretty pleased with my progress.

So thanks to the following -
Special K
Instant Tragedy
Brian the Red
Uncle Bracelet

You guys rock!

1200 people signed up for the event, and this was an incredibly supported event. There was plenty of food and water throughout the 24 hours, with meals all through the night, including a midnight pizza party, which was just the thing for me, since I didn't get to the ride until 11:30 PM.

Yeah, once again this year I helped set up then headed over to the theatre for a show. Since I was in Richard III, I didn't get out of there until after 11PM. I got to our campsite around 11:30, and did a few laps of nighttime riding, just to see how things were gonna go. I have to say, it went pretty well. The one long hill felt a lot shorter this year, which makes me think that even though my fitness level has decreased dramatically since the winter, I'm still a much stronger rider than I was this time last year. It also helped that I was riding a road bike that weighs less than 20 pounds instead of a 35 pound mountain bike. And the road bike is geared better for what I was doing, so I had a pretty good mechanical advantage going on.

There's a lot of beauty in riding at night, and my favorite moment of the night was cruising down the long straightaway in front of Queens University looking ahead and dozens of blinking red taillights all the way down in front of me. It was very peaceful, cool and comfortable riding. I did five laps that night, then made the poor decision to head back to the theatre and party a little more. Yeah, after working all morning, setting up our campsite all afternoon, performing in Richard III and riding 15 miles, I decided to go back to the theatre and drink.

I never claimed to be a rocket scientist, but I think I get my degenerate card punched after that one. So I partied with the Bad Idea Bears til about 4, then went home and crashed for a while. That made it after noon when I finally made it back to the ride on Saturday, and I didn't get a ton of riding in that afternoon. I logged another 15 miles, and then gave in to sore legs and a chafed ass (my new-ish bib shorts fit me way better 10 pounds ago, so I gotta get back on the bike now that my shows are over).

But as I was cruising along Saturday afternoon, I pulled up behind a father and daughter riding a tandem bike. I thought to myself "that's neat, spending a little father/daughter time together" as I got closer. Then I saw that in addition to their jersey numbers, they each had an "In Memory of" sign on the back of their jerseys. The little girl's sign said "In Memory of my Mommy," while the dad's said "My Wife." That kinda brought it home to me what we were all riding for. It wasn't just a good time, although it was that, too. It wasn't just a chance to get some good exercise and push ourselves a bit, although it was that. It was a chance to be part of something bigger, a chance to, in our small way, rage and fight against the injustice of little girls with no mommies and husbands raising children on their own because of a disease that we haven't solved yet.

My sore legs and ass were worth it if the money you all gave help one family deal with cancer, and I'll keep riding until there's a cure. And you can, too. There's another ride coming up in September, this one in Columbia, MD. So all of you in the DC area can ride in your own 24 Hours of Booty event. And next year, the plan is to add four more sites nationwide and take the efforts all the way across the country. So thanks for donating, and if you're anywhere near Maryland, you should go for a little bike ride.

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