A few months ago my sister-in-law encouraged me try out cycling with her and told me about this group, Uphill Into the Wind that has a bike loan program so I could try out cycling without the costly investment (because there is no way I could justify such a big purchase of something I know so little about). So I applied and got approved for a loaner bike to ride in the El Tour De Tucson race and fundraise for the charity of my choice. What I soon came to realize was how much more there was to this group. I went in and got my very specialized bike fit with the team coach and the learning began. I have been riding almost every weekend since and have learned so incredibly much from the organizers, coach, and team members. I had no idea how much there was to learn about road biking and how much more there was to this UITW group.
In the beginning I fell a few times trying to figure out how to clip in and out and how to just plain stop and get off my bike. Then I had one of the board members, Steve who took me under his wing and taught me things like how to pull out your water bottle while on the bike (which I must say was much harder than I presumed it would be), all the important hand signals, and road safety needed while riding on the side of the road. Then as we progressed into longer and more elevated rides I started learning from different team members as I road along side them and the coach. I progressed to learning about what gears to use and techniques and tips. I could go on and on about all that I've learned and how my eyes have been opened up to endurance training and how very different and challenging that can be compared to any other exercise I have ever done.
Aside from how much I have learned about road biking itself I've also learned so much about this group and all the good that they do. UITW works hard to give participants the opportunity to get out and be active cycling while raising funds for their charity of choice. They have helped participants raise over $500,000 for 25 different charities since they started! How amazing is that! They also worked hard to work with legislator's to get the "Share the Road" specialty license plate approved and are raising funds required to print the plate. What this would mean is that this license plate, if approved, it's sales will help fund more road safety for cyclist, runners, and those traveling along the road side (improved awareness, signage, lanes). This is so incredibly important as I think that driver often forget that there are humans on the side of the road as they are driving an extremely large and powerful vehicle by them. The share the road campaign could make such a different in the safety of AZ cyclist.
Okay so now here is where I ask you to please donate to this awesome group and help me finish out my last week of fundraising before El Tour De Tucson. I am very nervous as I originally signed up to ride in the 50 mile distance but have been training to ride in the 100 mile distance and am planning to change my registration. Any encouragement or encouraging words you might have to keep with me during my ride would be greatly appreciated.
If you are interested in seeing more about this awesome group, how it acquired it names, and the man who inspired it all please check out their webpage here: http://uphillintothewind.org/about-us-2/
Have you ever wanted to ride in a charity cycling or triathlon event but don't own a bike? Then you need to talk to us! We loan bicycles to people who want to fundraise for their favorite charity but can't afford to purchase a bike of their own. We'll loan it to you for up to 14 weeks to train on and complete the event...for FREE! In order to be able to do this we need to fundraise for our own charity.Buying new bicycles and maintaining them is expensive. But every dollar raised for Uphill returns approximately $7 to another charity! Every dollar helps!