Today marks one month until the beginning of AIDS/LifeCyle 2019 (ALC)! Which means I am one month away from starting a bicycle journey with thousands of other riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles as part of our effort to raise money for AIDS/HIV related services. As of this writing, my fundraising is at $3,377 which is still short of my fundraising goal: $5,000. If you appreciate my work in the Jenkins project, the JRuby/Gradle project, or if you have enjoyed my sass on Twitter, please convert your appreciation into a donation to AIDS/LifeCYcle. :)

In relation to ALC, some of my friends have already started to ask me “are you ready?” Well, no. But will I ever be ready? Probably not. As a first-time rider, I doubt that I can fully prepare myself for a week in the saddle, but I sure can try!

Due to scheduling challenges, I have had not been able to get out on the weekends for multi-hour rides on the road. Instead I have been regularly riding the stationary bike, which is a little bit more high-intensity, but the duration is always shorter. My legs are probably more than ready, my back and butt? Not as much.

To get more cycling in, I purchased a simple fixed-gear bike to incorporate into my twice-weekly commute to San Francisco. It’s a giant neon yellow contraption, which due to my height barely fits in the rack under the bus. It is not a delicate flower like my road bike, but like most fixed-gear bicycles, it is dead-simple, tough, and light, which makes it the ideal commuter. I was uncertain about how difficult the pedals would feel with just the one gear, but the newly developed strength in my legs has me speeding along the Presidio and passing other cyclists on the hills along the way.

With the indoor and outdoor cycling, and the cross-training, my current level of fitness is the best it has ever been. My strength, endurance, and cardiovascular output are stronger and higher than I can ever remember. I am also heavier now than ever before, up 15 pounds since a particularly slim time a year ago.

But am I ready?