Photos posted to 2008 SMART Ride web site (with pics of me)

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    Nov 24, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    Here's some new photos from the 2008 SMART Ride web site Gallery:

    http://www.thesmartride.org/3/

    The many narrow bridges between the Florida Keys could be difficult and dangerous with 2-lane traffic:
    SmartRide2008_800.jpg

    17 private motorcycles provided escort and traffic control:
    SmartRide2008_1337.jpg

    Each pit stop team wore a theme costume. This is what greeted us at one:
    SmartRide2008_719.jpg

    Silly cheerleaders rode alongside us waving from their cars, often stopping to shout encouragement:
    SMART08_20081114_1009.jpg

    Who needed cheerleaders with guys like this all around me?
    SmartRide2008_1674.jpg

    My personal doctor was the Ride's Medical Director, here tending to an injured cyclist at a pit stop:
    SmartRide2008_1435.jpg

    The route was not only marked by road signs, but painted messages on the pavement:
    SmartRide2008_1606.jpg

    A friend of mine, who with her partner owns the optical shop where I get my eyeglasses. They fielded a whole team from their business:
    SmartRide2008_931.jpg

    Me on the left in orange helmet, starting the morning of day 2, only 65 miles to go:
    SmartRide2008_1297.jpg

    Me with a Ride founder and organizing committee member on the White Street Pier in Key West. That's my own handicapped parking permit on the handlebars. Many riders also carry a photo or personal effects of a person who died of AIDS; I carried those of my late partner:
    Bob_and_Carmine.jpg

    Actor Leslie Jordan on the stage with 2 of the Ride's organizers:
    SmartRide2008_1825.jpg

    The newly unveiled chart behind the stage, showing the 2008 total. That number has continued to climb with donations still arriving, now about $600k:
    SmartRide2008_1924.jpg
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    Nov 25, 2008 7:42 AM GMT
    Lookin good there Red. Congratulations for taking part in this worthy cause and nice picys too!! I would have been prone after that many miles and yet your standing up on the White Street pier as if you just walked across the street. Good on ya!!
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Nov 25, 2008 10:19 AM GMT
    I thought sure you would have rode a red vespa.
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    Nov 25, 2008 3:01 PM GMT
    alexander7 saidLookin good there Red. Congratulations for taking part in this worthy cause and nice picys too!! I would have been prone after that many miles and yet your standing up on the White Street pier as if you just walked across the street. Good on ya!!


    Thanks! I actually did collapse at the finish line, which was at a park. From there we paraded slowly through Key West to the pier, where we had the ceremony.

    I was 2 miles from the finish, but 5 minutes past the 1:30 PM time when we were all supposed to be there. Suddenly 3 "sweep" vehicles pulled up and guys jumped out like the Gestapo to block the path of the last 4 of us cyclists. One grabbed my bike as I tried to keep pedaling, as they announced that the course was closed.

    Two other bikers meekly got into a sweep vehicle and let their bikes be secured to racks. I refused, saying I had pedaled 163 miles and was going to do all 165. They told me I had to comply, that the course was closed.

    I told them to take their hands off my property, that this was a public road and I could ride on it if I wanted. I was warned there was no rider support ahead, that I'd be barred from the parade lap and ceremony, and be banned from all future rides.

    I countered that I didn't need ride support for 2 miles, and that I accepted those penalties. My primary goal was riding 165 miles, the rest being secondary. A fourth rider there, a woman, agreed with me and she refused to be swept, too. And off we both went, the crew members getting on their radios to report us.

    She pulled ahead of me, both of us sprinting, because we knew the parade line-up began at 2 PM, the roll-out at 2:15. I crossed the finish line at 1:54 to a warm welcome and no mention of my violation. My partner with some of our friends found me almost immediately, and he gave me a big bear hug and started to cry like a baby. He confessed he never believed I could ever make it, severely disabled as I am.

    I finally had to ask him to release me because I couldn't breathe, and when he did I started to fall. A friend caught me and half-carried me over to the medical tent, while another walked my bike to the holding racks.

    Medics stripped my shirt off and started icing me down on a cot. I asked for ice water and drank as quickly as I dared, while they checked my vitals. I remembered a previous pit stop that day where 5 riders were put on IVs for dehydration, one of them telling a riding companion he'd be stuck there until the IV bag was empty. I didn't want that to happen to me, as I could hear the loudspeakers calling the riders to start forming up already.

    I did my best to control my breathing, almost going into a Zen-like meditative state to slow my heart and lower my blood pressure. I barely passed the second vitals check, and forcing myself to smile and laugh-off my earlier weakness, convinced the medics to release me.

    Friends who'd been standing around the tent retrieved my bike for me, and I headed for the line-up, still a bit wobbly and uncoordinated, so that I dropped my bike after I'd gotten in line. But once we all took off at a slow pace I was fine, and that photo of me was taken over an hour later after the ceremony was over, when I'd fully recovered.

    From there I pedaled another mile to our gay guest house to check-in, where I promptly took a shower, then laid out naked by their private pool. Sorry I don't have a photo of that. LOL!!!
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    Nov 25, 2008 3:36 PM GMT
    coolHUSSEINdude saidI thought sure you would have rode a red vespa.


    I did consider becoming a member of the motorcycle escort, and that remains a future possibility, maybe in 2 years. I wanna bicycle at least once more next year after I've turned 60, so I can say I did that. Fortunately crew members can now solicit donations like the riders all do, so however I participate I'll still be personally raising money for HIV/AIDS.
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    Nov 28, 2008 3:09 PM GMT
    CONGRATULATIONS!!

    You are really brave, *salute*
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    Nov 28, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    islandofisle saidCONGRATULATIONS!!

    You are really brave, *salute*


    Thanks, you're too generous! There were nearly 400 other cyclists, about 5 of them older than me, the oldest 72. My only claim to fame was being the most disabled.

    I see you're a cyclist, too. What biking adventures have you done? Looks like you do touring as I do.
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    Dec 01, 2008 12:32 AM GMT
    i'm still new to the cycling world, only started for 2 months ++ icon_biggrin.gif

    i've done 1 short trip on october and am going to another short trip around chritmas time. It'll be ~388km (~241 miles) span over 4 days. Hopefully I can make it icon_biggrin.gif

    You're inspirational!
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    Dec 03, 2008 12:31 AM GMT
    islandofisle saidi'm still new to the cycling world, only started for 2 months ++ icon_biggrin.gif

    i've done 1 short trip on october and am going to another short trip around chritmas time. It'll be ~388km (~241 miles) span over 4 days. Hopefully I can make it icon_biggrin.gif

    You're inspirational!


    Thanks, but 97km/60 miles a day for 4 days is pretty inspirational itself, especially if you have some good hills. And not what I would call a "short trip."

    Do you ride alone or with others? Eat what you bring or at restaurants? And do you stop overnight at campgrounds with a tent, or do you take a room?
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    Dec 07, 2008 3:09 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    islandofisle saidi'm still new to the cycling world, only started for 2 months ++ icon_biggrin.gif

    i've done 1 short trip on october and am going to another short trip around chritmas time. It'll be ~388km (~241 miles) span over 4 days. Hopefully I can make it icon_biggrin.gif

    You're inspirational!


    Thanks, but 97km/60 miles a day for 4 days is pretty inspirational itself, especially if you have some good hills. And not what I would call a "short trip."

    Do you ride alone or with others? Eat what you bring or at restaurants? And do you stop overnight at campgrounds with a tent, or do you take a room?


    there maybe a change of plan, the original date for the trip is from 21-24 then we'll celebrate christmas at the final check point. however i might not be able to make it as i still have some unfinished business to take care of on 20. we'll see how it goes.

    if i can make it, i'll be cycling with a group of people, most probably 5 including myself. we won't be camping, will try to find some cheap motel rooms most probably. we'll be eating at food stall/restaurant by at the roadside if there is one, or buy some energy bar/snacks lol. well that how we did last time

    hopefully i can make it this time, cheers!
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    Dec 07, 2008 5:59 AM GMT
    islandofisle saidthere maybe a change of plan, the original date for the trip is from 21-24 then we'll celebrate christmas at the final check point. however i might not be able to make it as i still have some unfinished business to take care of on 20. we'll see how it goes.

    if i can make it, i'll be cycling with a group of people, most probably 5 including myself. we won't be camping, will try to find some cheap motel rooms most probably. we'll be eating at food stall/restaurant by at the roadside if there is one, or buy some energy bar/snacks lol. well that how we did last time

    hopefully i can make it this time, cheers!


    Actually sounds like fun to me. I love challenges. My only concern would be the others, in case they start wimping-out and having issues, and ultimately become more of the problem than the actual job at hand.

    But perhaps they are the seasoned experts, and will be supporting you. Please keep us informed.
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    Dec 07, 2008 6:20 AM GMT
    So I take it your partner didnt really disappear??
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    Dec 14, 2008 10:06 PM GMT
    chungo44 saidSo I take it your partner didnt really disappear??


    Just for a little while. He was having another emotional moment. But I worry each time, that it's all over.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Dec 17, 2008 8:23 AM GMT
    After a ride the men all have moose knuckles and the woman camel toes!icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 17, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike saidAfter a ride the men all have moose knuckles and the woman camel toes!icon_lol.gif


    And don't forget baboon ass (bright red).

    I wore the standard padded shorts, used an anti-chaffing lotion like most riders do, and I ride often enough that this saddle never bothered me before. But 100 miles is more than I've ever ridden in a single day on it, in humid upper-80s weather. The second day was only 65 miles but worse, because I started out already sore.
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    Dec 17, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    Red- You are my hero of the week! Congrats!icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 19, 2008 10:59 PM GMT
    Red, you are so cool man.