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DC AIDS Ride 4: But Why

I must be insane.

That's the first reason that comes to mind when I try to figure out
why I've committed to this challenge.

I'll be biking 330 miles over four days in June as part of the DC
AIDS Ride.  Three-hundred sixty miles under the scorching summer heat
of North Carolina and Virginia, 330 miles on the gel-filled saddle of a
Trek 270, 330 miles...

Dehydration.

Sunstroke.

Saddle sores.

Cramps.

Tendinitis.

Of course, there is more to this ride than my complaining about it. 
In their five years, AIDS rides have been the greatest single fundraiser
for AIDS services in history (this is the AIDS ride statistic, not mine. 
I believe them). Mobilizing 2500+ people from one city to another through
some of the more rural areas of the country, the AIDS ride raise awareness,
evoke the memories of people we have lost, and have a very strong symbollism.

I was a member of the crew two years ago, serving riders Gatorade
and PowerBars at Pit Stop 5.  All throughout that,  I said to
myself in admiration of the riders' perseverance that I just didn't have
the dedication to do that.

My good friend Kevin, as I told him about how wonderful being a crew
member had been, gave me a sort of challenge: If I rode the next year,
he'd do the following ride with me when he returned from the Peace Corps.


After moving to DC and seeing my friends Jeff and Jamie return from
last year's ride I thought that I in fact had to do it.

I decided that I need to keep a journal of my training just to see
if I really do improve at all.  I'm doing this as a personal challenge,
really--physical exertion has never been on my list of skills.  But
living as I do, thinking that so much around me is blasé and trite,
I needed something that was truly challenging.

The fundraising part will be tough, but it will happen.  It's
the actual riding that I'm worried about.

So here is the training journal of one Juan Felipe Rincón.