ming is a friend of mine from school. we both were into bikes-ish during school, him more so than me, but after school was ovah, we got more into those bike things. go figure. here is his story!
1. This is your first time riding Aids LifeCycle. Why did you want to do
Several reasons. The first is about an eerie coincidence - I was born on the very day that the first cases of AIDS were reported. I have never known a world without AIDS, and I would really love to see that happen in my lifetime. I believe it is absolutely possible. Any small part I can play in making that happen is totally worth it. The second is that AIDS is a social justice issue. If you look at the communities most affected by AIDS, it's those people who have been marginalized because of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and poverty. This is intimately connected to all social justice work - I do not want to live in a world where some people's health and lives are just worth less or not as important as others. Finally, the ride starts on my 30th birthday, and I could not imagine a more meaningful and fun birthday activity than spending a week biking with thousands of other people through this beautiful state that I am completely in love with.
2. Before you started training, did you consider yourself a long-distance
cyclist? Why or why not? If no, what prompted you to start training?
Hah no. I was intimidated by butterlap! In a way, doing butterlap for the first time (with you, dear journalista!) made me realize that all my years of commuter biking had actually already built a good base for me to train for longer distances, which was cool.
3. How is your training going? Do you train by yourself, with friends or
with trainings provided by LifeCycle?
Training is going good. I train with the Lifecycle trainings, but I also occasionally go for rides by myself on the hill behind my house, or on longer errand rides (which I might otherwise BART or rent a car for) during the week. And of course, there's always BIKE PARTY!
4. $3,000 seems like a lot of money to raise in this economy. How has it
been fundraising? Any special events?
No special events so far, but I'm planning a vegan/veggie dinner with k-law for the future! I've raised money so far being the most persistent friend/family member ever. One of my friends who is a kind of struggling musician surprised me by making a really large donation - $150, which I felt like he could barely afford. That was pretty inspiring.
5. Have you met any fun or interesting characters in the course of your
Not really, since I just ask my friends. I do love meeting all the people at training rides, though! It's great to see many generations riding - especially meeting a lot of middle age and older cyclists that might not necessarily come to bike party type events or commute to work on a bike, and that I might not meet otherwise. Makes me rethink using the term "granny gears"! And of course, I met k-law through doing this, and could not be more pleased!
ming has already met his fundraising minimum, but not his goal! go check out his ALC page!
this is the end of our little ALC series. i hope you liked each of the stories and hopefully they provided some inspiration to you as they have each given to me!