When I first heard Paul McCartney’s “When I’m 64” in 1967 I pictured myself 44 years from then “doing the garden, digging the weeds . . .”. I do work in the garden sometimes, but I never dreamed that I’d be looking for more mountains to climb.
When I was 57 and an empty nester, I started swimming every day. The pounds that I had gained over the years disappeared, and my 60th birthday present to myself was to see how far I could swim (answer = 15 miles). I repeated this for my 61st birthday, but then replaced my 25 year old bicycle and started my second bicycle romance.
I had raced my bicycle in the 70’s and early 80’s, and the thing that I wanted most was to race in the Tour de France; this was obviously just a dream, but then came the Bikecentennial ride in 1976 and the creation of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail and I said to myself “Hey, I could do this”. In 1982 the Race Across America (RAAM) was created and my tune changed to “I have to do this.”. I always thought that I would do it when I retired, but it has dawned on me that I may be too old when I retire, so I decided to stop procrastinating. I looked around and found Fast America, just what I was looking for, 115 miles a day and motels with real beds.
After registering, some people asked me if I was doing if for a charity. The honest answer is that I am doing it for myself, but it is also an opportunity to inspire others and raise money for a worthwhile cause.
So please consider a donation to commemorate the ride to the
Foundation (http://www.snccf.org/). The SNCCF was started by my friend and colleague Zia Oboodiyat. Zia’s son Nathan, has had special needs since birth. Zia is an energetic and creative engineer and when he saw the available wheelchairs, which were both extremely expensive and very poorly designed and built, he said to himself that he could do better. I’m going to start things going by pledging 5 cents a mile. Special Need Childrens Center
Some of you may prefer to make a donation to another organization, for reasons that are dear to you. To give you some ideas, I am also making pledges of 1 cent per mile to some of the other organizations that I have ridden for in recent years:
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/
The Lance Armstrong Foundation http://www.livestrong.org/
The MS Foundation http://www.msfacts.org/