Fundraiser, Or Fun-Raiser

Do these look like the faces of people not having enough fun? 

Heck no!

It is often noted that sport (which ever sport doesn't matter) is goal oriented and, in that, cycling is no exception. Racers set goals before the season begins, then spend the next three quarters of the year attempting to put together plausible excuses of why they did not meet those goals. Hmm, somewhere along the line that sentence took a turn from the original intent. Success - goal met!

Of course cycling has a life beyond sport, and as a lifestyle activity, it can be just as goal oriented. Riders who would never otherwise consider toeing the start line of a local criterium never-the-less seek competitive outlets, attempt to reach goals through their local group rides, or pursuit of personal bests. Others attempt to meet mileage goals over the course of a day, week, month and year, or will try to ride to work a certain number of days each week, or year. Still others may be satisfied by simply attempting to ride more, however vague a goal that may be.

When the annual Aids / Lifecycle Ride takes place in the middle of the year, two of our local riders, who also love to race, will be participating. Before they can do that, however, there is the need to raise a considerable sum of money. This is where the meaning of "cycling community" comes in. Whether it is helping one another meet those personal goals on the weekly group ride, or helping them meet those fundraising (or should I say fun-raising) goals it is never surprising anymore to see riders, and community members, from those who buy the raffle tickets, to those who donate the prizes, stepping in. It is all about helping one another to reach a goal.

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A cousin of mine died of the AIDS he received in some tainted blood before the medical profession knew to test for such things. He may very well have been the brightest of my generation in the familia and, as is always the case, his death cut a big slice of the promise of life, and the future, for many who knew him.

While there have been no lack of opportunities to contribute to the fight, in my cousin's memory over the passing years, there was some extra impetus this time around. This was not saying "sure, count me in for a few bucks" to some stranger on the phone, or making a few anonymous taps on the keyboard to transfer some funds. This fun-raiser was community coming together, a community in which we do things for one another, and that made it a lot more personal.

the mrs. really wanted a new saddle bag, so when she pulled
one out of her raffle prize bag - "my precious."