As my friends, you have become accustomed to being asked once a year to help support OBCA by encouraging me to jump off a building (with a few ropes to slow the descent). Because this is, well, 2020, and we are navigating our way through what Dorothy Parker would have called "fresh hell" daily, this year it will be impossible to do a building rappel. So like so many other organizations, OBCA has had to pivot, setting up a virtual event with a series of personal challenges.
My challenge, to be completed between October 16th and October 30th, will be to bike 134 miles and gain at least 10,000 feet of elevation. While I know my biking friends (looking at you, Ned, Greg, etc.) will scoff at that goal, let me explain. The mileage goal sounds strange but it will end up being 2 miles for every year I have been hauling my carcass around this planet. The elevation goal is not only a reflection of how hilly SF is but to ensure that I don't get those miles by just riding back and forth on the 2 flat miles of road in the City. It will be a challenge to complete this, trust me, as it is at least 3X my average weekly riding. Given that I am an orthopedic nightmare (or, if you are a surgeon, I represent your next boat payment), I will be proud of myself if I can achieve these targets.
With your support, all funds that I raise will support Ropes Course programs and attendance for students in OBCA’s partner schools. OBCA's new ropes challenge course, built in partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, is in McLaren Park, located in one of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in San Francisco, will provide outdoor youth leadership training to students right in their backyards. Winn and I were seed donors to the Ropes Course several years ago because of our passionate belief in the transformative impact of outdoor challenges for youth development. We are so happy that it has finally become a reality.
OBCA is working to break down barriers and increase access, particularly for students from under-resourced communities and those disproportionately affected by systemic racism, school closures, and lack of access to safe outdoor spaces. Your donation will support students attending the ropes course which is free of charge for almost all attending students, and help OBCA double the number of students they serve in California!
Winn and I will match any donations dollar for dollar up to our original goal and I will post progress against my personal challenge targets as I go.
Please help OBCA to continue to make a difference in the lives of young people from San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Outward Bound California's FEIN is 26-4206241. Upon donating, you will be emailed a donation receipt for your record. To learn more, go to OBCA.org
Day Thirteen - Inspired by the incredible generosity of all of you, it seemed appropriate to find one more window to do better than just eeking over my feet climbed goal. And it was another beautiful day in the Presidio... Cumulative totals: 157.8 miles ridden and 11,099 feet climbed.
Baker Beach vista
Day Eleven - Challenge achieved!!! Given a jam-packed week, I grabbed a short window today to try to get over the feet climbed hump. Hopefully, it will not be my last ride of the week given that the over-achievement of all you wonderful donors deserves some over-achievement on my part. Cumulative totals: 146.3 miles ridden and 10,056 feet climbed (goal finally achieved!!).
View from the top....
Day Ten - I needed some serious climbing today to stay on track so called in my brother-in-law for motivation. Off to the Headlands for some altitude chasing a stronger rider. While the day started grey, it turned out to be a lovely day in the neighborhood. Cumulative totals: 138.3 miles ridden (goal achieved!) and 9,240 feet climbed (goal within sight).
Even in the mist, still a knockout view....
Day Nine - no rest for the weary as we start the final week. Given how busy that week is shaping up it was important to get a good ride in the fog this morning. Cumulative totals: 119.1 miles ridden and 7,575 feet climbed. I am going to need a serious day of climbing this week to get over the hump. Hello, Headlands!
Day Seven - halfway through the Challenge! Today was riding the western edge of the SF 49 Mile Trail, something I had never done before. Now I know why, because it is a largely bike-unfriendly route, but at least it's done! Cumulative progress: 102.7 miles ridden (78% of goal) and 6,384 feet climbed (63% of goal). As predicted, miles are more easily attained than feet. Onto week 2!
Day Five was a relatively easy recovery day, but another beautiful loop in SF. Cumulative progress: 83.4 miles ridden and 5304 feet climbed.
Day Three and second day of riding. I don't know about the resilience part (guess we will find out tomorrow) but the challenge part is for real. It was a perfect day for a ride so I just kept going, hitting some of my favorite spots in the Headlands and along the Bay. Cumulative progress: 68.6 miles ridden and 4,170 feet climbed
Day One started with a big ride - 32.1 miles and 1,772 feet of climbing! My knees are telling me about it right now, but it feels good to be on the way.