I took some inspiration from my teammate Joey Mesa's 31 blog posts in the 31 days of January and decided to challenge myself to write 29 posts in the 29 days of February. If you haven't read Joey's blog, go to warracresbikebandit.blogspot.com and check it out. There is a ton of solid information over there.
I'll share some race tips, nutrition info/recipes, race reports, and various other things that come into my head while I'm out pedaling around. Most of it will be about riding, but I might have a few skating or triathlon posts in here as well if I get inspired. I'm mostly just writing this stuff so I can look back on it and have a laugh a few years down the road (like I did last night when I re-lived Joe Martin 2010), but I figured I'd make it public for some newer members of Team Undiscovered who are trying learn as much as they can while preparing for their first or second race season, and anyone else who might care.
This first post is a little different though, because unlike the other stuff I write, I really do care that people read this.
In 2012 it is my goal to use cycling to impact the needy in our local community, and many other communities across the U.S. I believe this idea is divinely inspired, and I hope it spreads like a wild fire.
For 2012 Sarah and I take whatever I was supposed to win at a bike race (finish and primes combined) and donate it to a local non-profit. On its own, that won't be very much money (not selling myself short...it just isn't a lot no matter how well I do). What I'm hoping is that I can find people who will pledge to match my donation, and give the money to whichever local non-profit they want to.
For example, lets say I win $50 at a road race. That money gets split amongst the team, but then Sarah and I will donate our own $50 to a non-profit, such as the Spero Project. Any friends, family members, etc. that want to help out can donate their own $50 to the Spero Project or anyone else they have in mind. If I find 10 people to match my $50, we are now looking at $550...a little better. If I can find a realistic 50 people, we just raised $2550; and that can make a huge difference in a local organization. Think of how many families $2550 could feed/cloth, and that is just from one day of racing.
I don't want to collect any money myself. The Spero Project has a place you can donate online. I do ask that if you make a donation, you let me know. It will be interesting to see just how much we can raise, and I won't know that unless you tell me.
I've told a few people about this, and others have decided to toss their own race winnings into the hat. Through the use of social media, internet forums, and some other connections I have (such as my friend Tony Stewards awesome blog at joetoprocycling.com), I want to get some other riders and teams doing the same thing in their own local communities.
To me, bike racing isn't about winning money. It's about training hard, getting fast, and trying to beat my opponents. Prize money has always been a cool side effect, but never the reason I wanted to do a race. Cycling is my hobby, not my job. I'm blessed with way more than I need, and the couple extra dollars I win aren't going to make a bit of difference to me, but they will surely make a difference to the working poor.
If you are interesting in participating/pledging, let me know. If you can't commit to 100% of the money or 100% of the races, just do what you can.