Friday, October 16

Charity Rides

Serious question blog readers...

In the past I have resisted asking for money for any of my races or trips. I have no reason to beg. I am capable of earning my own money and saving up to do what I wish with it but I don't begrudge anyone else's way of financing their dreams. I enjoy the freedom that I am beholden to no one but myself when I am "out there." I know my blog provides entertainment to people but I don't feel like it's a job and don't wish to turn it into one. To me it feels more like family, as cheesy as that is.

However if I let myself dream bigger, I could see planning a trip that perhaps costs a significant amount of money and time that would be followed of spectators via SPOT and other means. Charity riding comes in when I use that event following to raise money for a good cause. I'm sure we can all debate what's a worthy cause, but to me there are more out there that are truly worthy than I could ever give a significant contribution too. My problem with charitable fund raising for a ride always relates to taking any piece of the money.

Is it ethical to use a percentage of donated money, stated clearly up front, to fund a trip that overall nets a charity a sizable donation? Or could/should you ask separately for a trip costs donation? Certainly without the trip's entertainment value to spectators, the donations to that charity would be much less. But if I still could find a way to fund the trip myself, the charity would get that much more. The crux becomes, at least for me, if you use a percentage of the money for the trip, you could take more overall trips and raise more overall funds for charity. Obviously you would need to state your intentions up front.

But I'm torn. My gut is wary. What do you think? Do you give money to charity? What about fundraising events like I'm talking about? Would you give more or less if 100% of your donation went to the cause? Would you donate separately to make sure the trip got off the ground? Please leave a comment, you can be anon if you want. I only delete highly inflammatory anon comments which I don't really ever get.

You won't see a paypal button on my site any time soon but I do wonder how I can do the most good with my activities in the future. Much of my charity has been volunteered time, not money but all kinds of donations are good in my opinion. Those who can donate funds at this time, please give to Fat Cyclists's Fighting for Susan campaign. You can even get a sweet bike and vacation out of the deal...

Thursday, October 15


Warning: This post is not sexy, there are only two pictures and it's not much about bikes. But it's my blog so I'm posting it anyway.

Sometimes you really have to be hit hard and knocked to the ground, figuratively and literally, to be able to get up again with conviction. Nothing brings out passion like a fight.

And if those sentences don't make your blood boil inside just a little bit, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore ;)

To say things haven't been going well lately is about the understatement of the century. First the miscarriage, a week later I get swept off what should be an easy alpine mixed route by an avalanche and luckily walk out with my partner, each of us crawling and hobbling for 7 hours on broken ankles to self rescue. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd ever fucked up before bad enough to cost me my life. Pain in every single tiny step reminded me both just what I have to lose and just why I had been there. Some people would want me to quit, never step foot on snow again. But those people don't really know me. If it wasn't a passion, I wouldn't have been there in the first place. All I can do is promise to learn more, train more and continue to listen to my gut instincts. Fear of the white death grows stronger when you feel it's power.

Since getting booted up at the hospital, I've spent the last 9 days primarily laying on my back in bed healing. At first I was cursing pain meds that made me feel goofy and stupid. Now I loath insomnia worse than I've ever had. I cannot sleep more than a couple hours at a time without waking up aching and extremely uncomfortable. Weird positions cause new pains in a self perpetuating cycle. Sleeping pills are not the answer for me. I've never taken them and don't wish to now. I think there is a natural answer or maybe I just need more patience. My wife, family and friends are amazing as always. They've stepped up without hesitation to send me emails, pick up slack, calm me down and keep me sane. My thanks to them cannot be stated enough and they know who they are.

I have a long way to go. I've never been injured this badly before. There will be no shaking it off. No White Rim weekend a few days after an ultrasound on my leg. No couple extra Advil with my recovery drink. No hobbling around the office but still pedaling easily. After a week and a half of laying on my back as much as humanly possible, taking Tylenol and icing my foot, it's still very discolored and swollen. It's much better, but it's still ugly. It took me 3 days alone to be able to bend it to 90 degs in my boot and remove the two cheater heel shims. It took the rest of the week to be able to stand without screaming pain, very literally. I probably scared the neighbors a time or two. There have been plenty of tears. At least I can shower alone now and putting lotion on my injured foot afterward is cathartic. I apologize. I promise to fix it. My foot can't answer but it makes me feel better anyway. It's still hard to look at and touch my injured body part.

But I have to move on and move forward. My good buddy Dave promises I will wake up one day in much decreased pain and with a thirst for knowledge. I believe him and hope the pain fades eventually. It's not as bad now, but it's ever present. At least I don't have to scream or grit my teeth. I already want to move forward. Simple things like taking Turbo for a walk last night or being able to help Marni by emptying the dishwasher are small steps. It takes far too long to shuttle plates and bowls on crutches but I do it anyway. Marni and I sorted out the gear I was wearing and carrying that day, taking inventory of things to be cleaned, fixed or replaced. Bent steel crampons drive home the beating I obviously took. Today Bill took me out to lunch and I put on "real" clothes for the first time since the avalanche. It went well and I smiled genuine smiles. I'm looking for more things I can do. Moving forward on applications, planning races for when I'm healthy again, reading, studying, eating well and hopefully soon, exercise. Many have cautioned me against moving too fast, pushing my recovery. I hear that and do not want to cause myself future pain and suffering just to get back on a bike or my feet a couple weeks sooner. But I know that I recover faster than most and that there must be positive no impact things I can do now, or at least soon. Core work, hangboard work, crutch walks with Turbo...something. And hopefully those things will encourage healing in a multitude of ways.

So check back soon. There are more blogs to come. If I'm stuck in bed much longer I'll just have to go back in time and start telling some old stories. I know there are some good ones you all want to hear. In the meantime, give the phone a few extra rings or the front door an extra knock. I've been knocked down a peg on crutches.

Thursday, October 1


I am not feeling up to sharing quite as much as Marni is. I'm really disappointed but getting through it. I'm positive for the future still but was looking so forward to our little baby and even more my wife's excitement over it. Finally. But it was not meant to be, at least quite yet.

A longer version on Marni's blog here.