It is the time of summer to announce my participation in my TWELFTH Autumn Escape Bike Trek for the American Lung Association. It is the time of summer when I am in the middle of training, which I’ll get to in a second. It is the time of summer when I overtly ask you to financially support ALA in its mission to eradicate, treat, and prevent lung ailments. The absolute truth is that any contribution you make helps. That fact that you are reading this helps, because even if you cannot donate, you might think about helping to keep our air clean for all in non-monetary ways: Helping a friend quit smoking. Quitting yourself. Driving cars which pollute our air less. Supporting clean-air initiatives via petitions, drives, phone calls or letters.
We do not know why my brother Randy was stricken with lung cancer. We will likely never know. Same with my childhood friend Jane, who died a year and a half after Randy, leaving a son, Jack’s age. It’s been over six years already since Randy left us, and he now has a spectacular grandson Noah, who will never know his grandpa… seriously, can you guys who knew Randy imagine what an amazing grandpa he would have been??? So fun, so smart, so playful - what he could have taught Noah. Crazy. Fun to imagine but so sad it’s only in our thoughts.
So, what can we do but to turn this energy into something productive, which is what I tried to do after learning of Randy’s diagnosis in 2006. I took the confusing anger, sadness, and helplessness and tried to convert it into something somewhat useful. This is how I landed with ALA and the annual Trek. With your generosity, we have supported ALA’s mission “to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease” over the past twelve years.
This year’s Autumn Escape Bike Trek is September 28,29,30th and will again cover 160 miles starting in Plymouth and finishing in Provincetown. Training for the event requires far more time, energy, and sweat than the event itself, and I jumped on my bike as soon as school ended. Which bike? The one I bought in 2007, the one for which I mustered the $500 then wrestled with the thought “I cannot believe I just shelled out $500 for a bicycle!!!” Well, during a ride a few weeks ago several more serious cyclists commented on how I was laboring inefficiently and in very polite terms basically told me “Your bike is a piece of s***”, explaining how I could use my power more effectively on a new higher level road bike. So, with the help of my very knowledgeable friend Steve, I invested in a brand spankin’ new bike (no basket, bell or banana seat!) for… just a few pretty pennies more than my 2007 relic. Don't a$k. I LOVE IT! I have been training on it and riding better and stronger than ever. I am so excited to put it (and me) to the test come September.
I remember Randy getting a Mustang at one point, just because he loved cars and driving so much… so I feel like he’d approve of MY new wheels and tell me not to look back, just enjoy it and ride like the wind!
Please support the collective effort to eradicate and treat lung disease and help families hang on to their loved ones. I am thanking you in advance for your donation! Together we can keep working hard to make things better for people now and for the next generation. Please donate.
With gratitude for so so much, including you,