Friday, June 3, 2011

ALC 10 Pre-Ride Thank You

ALC 10 Pre-Ride Thank You

Hey everyone! First things first: The final count, as of right now, of my personal fundraising efforts: $5,235. A new record for me, I’ve never broken the $5K barrier before. So thank you! Of course, donations are still being accepted, so that number could still go up. I had to reach the minimum by tomorrow, June 4th, in order to take part in the event, which I did months ago (because you people ROCK!) but donations usually continue to trickle in throughout the ride.

And that means, yes, I will be climbing “Quadbuster” not once, not twice, but thrice! Woooohoooooo!!!

That being said, in two days time from right now, I’ll be well on my way to Santa Cruz from The Cow Palace in San Francisco on Day 1 of AIDS/Lifecycle 10. It’s amazing how time flies, it seems like just the other day I was arriving in Los Angeles after ALC 9, sitting in my hotel room with my mind jumping back and forth from the collection of William Faulkner short stories I was trying (unsuccessfully) to read, to still trying to process the 7 days I had just been through, to thinking to the future on fundraising and training for ALC 10.

Well, here I am. The floor of my room is covered with bits and pieces that need to eventually get packed into my backpacking pack, and I still have a large list of things to do before that can happen. (The last training ride, a short 20 mile recovery ride, being at the top of that list!)

I do want to take this time to thank each one of you for your help. I’ll be honest. I didn’t originally do this ride two years ago because I was personally affected by HIV/AIDS, or because I had friends affected, or living, with it. Or so I thought. It’s amazing what one can learn when one opens their mind and consciousness to lifestyles and cultures different from their own. I did it because as a cyclist, I wanted to ride down the coast, and to do that with this type of support would be amazing. And I was right!

But since then, having done this ride twice before already, it has taken on a different meaning and purpose. You learn a lot out there on ALC. You learn about people, you learn about friendship, camaraderie, and heart. And you learn a lot about yourself. So now I do this ride for a different purpose. Not only to raise money for research, prevention and education surrounding HIV/AIDS, but more importantly to raise awareness and spread knowledge about this global killer. The more we know, the better we can protect ourselves and future generations from a very frightening current reality, and the more willing we are to help those already suffering from it.

So, thank you all for the support you have shown. Whether you contributed to help fight HIV/AIDS, or to support me in my quest, or simply for the tax deduction. Whatever your purpose, I thank you for it, from the bottom of my heart. And not just for monetary support. Money is important, it makes the world go round; but sometimes knowledge, hope, faith, and simple words of encouragement are more important in the greater scheme of things. (I would say those things are ALWAYS more important then money, but that’s me…)

And like I already mentioned, the biggest goal here, in my view at least, is awareness. So to all of you how have shown support in whatever way you have chosen, be it a donation, words of encouragement, or passing on and forwarding my endless fundraising emails and messages, or even simple word of mouth gossiping. You have all done a great thing, and I cannot thank you enough!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!!

Stay tuned for online ride updates (see below) and another wrap-up email complete with tons of pictures and stories in the weeks following ALC 10.

Erik A. Dabel

Now for some helpful information: I will be updating periodically throughout the week on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you haven’t already, look me up on either.

Facebook: If you’re on Facebook and are not yet friends with me, just search for Erik Dabel. You can’t miss me. However, add me before Saturday night, as I won’t be able to confirm once I start the ride.

Twitter: If you’re on Twitter, I’m under @ErikDabel. Follow me. Simple.

The good folks at ALC also do their own updates, although they can be hard to find and I don’t think they are even up until the event starts. From the ALC homepage, find the link that says something along the lines of “Experience the Event”. There should be blogs, daily updates, rider and fan posts, and pictures posted each day.


Once again, thank you for all that you have done. I couldn’t do this without you, and more importantly, you are doing your part to make the world a better place. Thank you!