Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tito's AIDS Charity Ride

I took today (May-16) off -- legs trashed from yesterday mini-3-hump ride.  But in response to a query about how his May Day AIDS ride with his relatives went, Tito sent me an e-mail:

here it is, boss. please put on the blog: 

The 15th Annual AIDS Walk and Ride began at the State Capitol, just two blocks from a Legalize Marijuana rally. 

The many teams, each of which raised thousands of dollars, set off at 7:30 am with a destination 50 miles north and 51.5 miles back to the south. The mileage had something to do with the radio station 101.5, I think.

I was part of the Tarhealers, a team of 25 men and women (I was the senior member) who were mainly UNC med students. Unlike our image of med school geeks, these doctors-to-be were amazingly fit. The coordinator, Matthew Wetschler, is a champion cliff-jumping snowboarder and surfer, rock climber and photographer who, fortunately, is in love with my niece. My niece is a speed rock climber and long distance runner. 

Anyway, the Tarhealers have a way with money and managed to raise over $12K, by far the most of any team. This resulted in a free pizza party.

The route was pretty bumpy (incl New Light), but the camaraderie was great. So was the gourmet macadamia nut and raisin cookies that we encountered from time to time at the four rest stops.

We Tarhealers split into two groups, and the fast crowd held a pace of 18 mph for the whole distance. I held in there, if only because I knew the Irregulars would expect no less. Along with our lead group were three women, one of whom is Kelly, a national champion in the handicapped division of triathlons. She has a carbon fiber leg and has completed several Ironman competitions. She was fassssst.

The B group, in which my brother rode, turned a pace of about 16 mph. He was overtaken with cramps at mile 85, so, as his loving brother, I went back to pick him up. It was very brotherly.

At the end there was much celebrating and poignancy. In fact, there were even tears, because there was one bike dedicated to be THE AIDS BIKE. It was in front of the stage/podium all day with a sign ----> the riderless bike.

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