May 25, 2017
BENEFITING: CHALLENGED ATHLETES FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: May 21, 2017
Donate $10 (or more) and YOUR NAME will appear on my bike for the 130+ miles of the Belgian Waffle Ride.
I've signed up. I'm committed. Are you?
You don't have to sign up for the Belgian Waffle Ride, or drag yourself over the 130+ miles it will traverse on May 21, 2017—I'll do it for you (for us, actually—or rather for the Challenged Athletes Foundation).
I've completed the BWR (AKA Hell Of The North County) three times before, but each time I face it, I'm at first excited, then slowly fill with doubt (and eventually full-fledged fear). Can I do it again? Will it rain and turn the trails to sticky mud? Will I crash? Will I start too hard and BONK (figuratively hit a wall and just shut down)? But it always seems to come together for me, and luck has been on my side.
The Belgian Waffle Ride remains the most gruelling and difficult physical test I've ever faced. And every year the organizers throw more at us than the year before. BWR confronts me with my mortality, and makes plain my physical limits. It's not so much a test of how hard I can go, but a test of how well I can manage the energy and ability I have. It's as much a mind game as it is a physical effort.
This year the BWR course (still unannounced) is expected to be more than 130 miles with 13,000 feet of climbing (amost half of Mount Everest). The three times I've done the event before, it's been for ME--to prove to myself that I could plan, train, and get through it. This time I want to up the ante.
Over the past few years, I've participated in a number of cycling events that benefited the Challenged Athletes Foundation. CAF empowers athletes with injuries or disabilities and provides them with mentoring and equipment to participate in a number of sports, including cycling. I've ridden cycling events with CAF athletes that had a range of challenges--some amputees missing an arm, a leg, or in one case both legs (he "pedaled" 100 miles using a hand crank). These men and women are brave and inspirational to say the least. Many of them are veterans returning from war. CAF serves them all, individually, and provides what they each need to be at their best in their sport of choice.
I've appreciated riding with these men and women, and they're able to do so thanks to the work of CAF. So, this year I'm dedicating my efforts at BWR to CAF, and to raise money to help them help these athletes (some of whom will be riding with me).
If I wake up on May 21 filled with doubt, or a sore back, or some other phantom inhibitor, I want a greater sense of purpose to get me up, get me to the Start Line, and push me up and over the hills, through the dirt, and across the Finish.
You can help me help CAF. And you can do it by riding BWR "with" me.
Pledge $10 (or more) to my YOUR NAME HERE 4 CAF campaign, and I'll write your name (your company's name, your kid's name, whatever you want) on my bike, and "you" (your name, actually) will go with me through the day, over all the terrain they throw at us, and (God willing) over the Finish Line. I'll even take a photo of your name on my bike at some majestic vantage along the course (there are many of them, as we traverse much of San Diego's beautiful North County back country) and send it to you (I'll also be posting a few). But, ultimately, it's about participating, and making an effort to help a great organization help some amazing athletes.
You make that effort, and I'll make the effort to carry us all 130+ miles to victory. Not first-place in the race, but the victory of solidarity and the victory of setting a goal and meeting the challenge.
CAF and the athletes they help do it every day. I'm just asking for your help to join me this one time, albeit for one very long, grueling day.
They don't call BWR the Hell Of The North County for nothing! Help me make my effort this year really count.