Thursday, March 15, 2012

Project OPTUMiZ

I'd like to introduce to you the project I've been thinking about and working on for quite some time now. For several years now, the Kelly Benefit Strategies team and now Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies has been partnering with World Bicycle Relief with the aim of raising money and awareness for this grassroots organization. This year each team member has their own personal fund raising page to see what we can accomplish off the bike as a team. I've mentioned on this blog before why I believe WBR is such a cool and effective non-profit (and why buying a WBR bike makes a good gift). It successfully and efficiently puts bikes in the hands of those who need them most in Africa. In addition, they train locals in the area to be skilled mechanics so that people can have a working means of transport for years. And just to be clear, these aren't racing bicycles with carbon wheels - these are 35 lb tanks that can carry up to 200kg loads over roads in terrible condition. These bicycles can help kids get to school on time 8km away after getting their chores done. Or maybe they can help someone start a business of selling goods at the market 10km away. Anyway, I love the idea of bikes making the world a better place and I think WBR best puts that idea into practice.
Sooooooooo, with that in mind, I've taken some ridiculous steps to bring attention to myself and the team's fund raising efforts. I introduce you to:
O - Ostentatious
P - Perm
T - To
U - Uplift
M - Mobility
i - in
Z - Zambia

And when I said I've 'been working on this for some time', I meant that I've been growing out my hair for months now. A big thank you to my neighbor Sarah who also happens to be a kick-ass hair stylist!
My goal is to raise money for 20 bikes by Stage 5 of the Tour of California, so we've got just over 2 months to make some waves...or tight curls. I've gotten it started by donating the first bike. I'm not asking people to donate complete bikes but $10-20 would be awesome and shouldn't hurt the pocketbook too much. Please don't make it so that I've gotten this perm in vain. Imagine me walking around the grocery store or sitting in a coffee shop looking ridiculous to those who don't know about our cause. Let pity fill your heart and open your wallet... :-)
Thanks for reading and for supporting our efforts!
Here is the fundraising page where you can make a secure donation:

Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Paddy's Week

Things are good here. I'm recovering from a bout with bronchitis and starting to feel good on the bike again. The boys recorded the 1st (and 2nd and 3rd and 4th...) win of the season on the men's side at the Madera County Stage Race. Clearly, I'm more valuable to this team as a motivator from home in Boulder!
This Sunday March 18, I'm scheduled to do a live web interview with the guys at TourChats. Should be fun time, their shows are usually entertaining. Then, it's off to Redlands for some NRC action! That race is always so friggin hard with everyone so motivated and fit to score some early season results. After Redlands, a few of us are flying straight to Uruguay for their 10-day national stage race. I don't know who that yahoo is who's holding the trophy on the website from 2010 but if he won it, it can't too incredibly tough. I should be either really fit or completely smashed coming out of that 14-days-of-racing-in-18-days block!
Also in the works is a new project that I hope to 'unveil' soon - check back for the ultra-exciting super-cool details!