A Note from Fatty About the Superfly 100: Remember I was giving away a Superfly 100? But then I never mentioned who it would be going to?
There’s a story behind that.
The winner of the Superfly is Greg, of Utah — a guy I have never met. Still, I was excited to have the winner be a fellow Utahu (we call ourselves Utahues, although “Utahlooians” is also acceptable). I figured I could meet up with him after he got his bike and we could go for a ride on our matching bikes. Neato.
Except for Greg didn’t answer his email. Not the first time. Not the second time.
In desperation, I did a Google search on Greg’s full name, and found there was a person by that name who is an active tweeter. I went to that Twitter account, found out it’s a guy who loves mountain biking, and asked him to get ahold of me.
The problem is, it was the wrong guy. Yes, an identical name (and not an especially common last name), loves biking…but lives in Australia.
I began to despair.
Then, last Friday, I was out riding with a group of guys and was telling of my frustration. I mentioned the winner’s full name, and one of the riders said, “Wait. That guy’s my brother-in-law.”
Wow. Small world. Or small state, anyway. Except that Utah’s quite big. Oh well, it was just a figure of speech anyway.
So I got Greg’s phone and contact info and — finally — on Saturday, we reached each other. We talked a bunch, I found out that my email had been caught by the Greg’s spam filter (you have no idea how hard it is to tell someone they’ve won a prize via email without it being caught by a spam filter).
So here’s what Greg had to say in an email he sent to me last night, along with an awesome photo of him and his kids.
Wow! I never thought I would actually win one of the bikes. I am thrilled, as I have had bike envy for the Superfly 100 since I first saw it at the Leadville 100 last summer.
Thanks to you and Trek for the opportunity given to all of us and I look forward to many miles of riding knowing that this bike represents a commitment by many to beat this disease called cancer that has or will affect us all.
It sounds very cliche but to me it’s really “not about the bike.” In March of 2006 my wife Sharon was diagnosed with an Anaplastic Astrocytoma (Brain Cancer). This was just three months after the birth of our second son Cody. For the next 20 months our lives were a whirlwind of Hospital, Surgeries, Chemo, Radiation and clinical trials. In November of 2007 cancer took her from us but it never beat her. Our boys Wyatt and Cody were almost two and almost four at the time. Sharon was 31.
While my wife was fighting her battle my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (Bone Marrow Cancer) and succumbed to her disease late January of 2007. She was 73.
I know that my stories are no different from many of the people who read and have found support through your blog. These are the reasons we contribute what we can. Thanks again to all those who have provided incentives to keep it fun and to Elden for using his talents to keep us focused.
I have included a picture taken today on “Fathers day,” the day after finding out that I had won! The tie and crown were made and accessorized by my boys, now five and seven. Note that the crown says “king for the day.” That pretty much sums it up.
Greg and I agreed we definitely need to go on a ride once his bike is built.
Do What You’re Doing Anyway, Change a Life (For Free)
You remember how, as a kid (or maybe as an adult), you’d go door-to-door trying to get people to sign up to sponsor you for a walk-a-thon? Or ride-a-thon? Or rock-a-thon?
You know, where you’d get people to sponsor you to the tune of a certain amount per mile or hour, so that the longer / further you went, the more they donated?
Well, consider this.
What if the cause you were doing a ride-a-thon for were really awesome: one that changes lives for poor kids in Africa by giving them bikes. You know, like World Bicycle Relief.
And what if, instead of you having to go door-to-door to find a sponsor, that sponsor was already in place and ready to pay out if you’re willing to do the riding? (Or running. Or a bunch of other sports stuff that maybe turns your crank.) You know, like SRAM.
And what if, instead of you having to do all this riding or running or walking or yoga-ing on a certain day, you raised money for World Bicycle Relief every day, just by doing the ride / run / walk / yoga you were going to do anyway?
That would be kind of awesome, wouldn’t it? Yes, indeed. It would in fact be awesome.
And that’s what we’re going to do. Together. Starting right now.
Meet +3 Network
+3 Network is a social network site that connects sponsors who want to do the right thing with worthwhile causes with people — like us — who like to stay active, and would also like to make our rides count for something. (Learn more about them on their “About” page)
And they’ve been working with me to create a special “Team Fatty” group, where we can track our rides / runs / walks / whatevers. And whenever any of us uploads a workout, SRAM donates money to World Bicycle Relief, the organization that makes a huge impact in Zambian children’s lives by providing them with bicycles — and hence, a way to get to and finish school.
I love the idea of that: making a difference in a person’s life with a bike.
And just in case you’re getting the “sounds too good to be true” klaxons going off in your head (I did when I first talked with them about this), let me be really clear:
You don’t pay anything. You don’t give up a credit card number. You just keep track of your exercise, and SRAM rewards you for your awesomeness by making a donation to World Bicycle Relief.
Hey, how about I walk you through how you sign up?
How to Get Signed Up
Here’s an extremely exciting piece of trivia from my past: I started my career as a technical writer. Mostly, I wrote macro programming documentation and tutorials for WordPerfect.
And now I’m going to use all that skill and experience in writing clear and friendly steps by guiding you through signing up with +3 Network and joining the Team Fatty group.
It’ll be awesome. Ish.
- Get started by heading to the +3 Network Signup page, and entering your name, email and password info. Then click the “Choose Your Cause and Sponsor” button.
- For your cause, choose World Bicycle Relief, Funded by SRAM.
- Click Done. (It’s toward the top-right of the page)
- Check the email account you entered when registering, and click the link provided, to finish getting you registered.
Join Team Fatty
Once you’re registered, you need to join Team Fatty, so you can help us rule the world and impress everyone with our might and power and stuff.
- Go to the +3 Network home page and sign in with the username and password you entered earlier.
- Click the Groups tab in the big orange toolbar. Don’t be freaked out that this takes you to a page saying “We couldn’t find any groups matching your search.”
- In the “Find Groups” input field, type team fatty and click Go.
- Scroll down to Team Fatty and click the Join Group button.
Start Recording / Uploading Your Workouts
Once you’ve signed up, it’s pretty easy to start recording your rides / runs / other stuff. Here’s what you do.
- Go to the +3 Network home page and sign in with the username and password you entered earlier. Find the “Did you make it count today” box in the top-right area of the page.
- If you’ve got a Garmin GPS (supported devices listed on the +3 Network FAQ page), like the Garmin Edge 500 I love) that you’ve been recording your rides on, make sure you’ve got it plugged into a USB port, then click the “Upload GPS Activity” button.
If you aren’t using a GPS, click the “Hand Enter Activity” button.
- If you’re using a GPS, you’ll need to select the device. If it isn’t auto-detected, you may need to download the Garmin Communicator Plugin first.
- Once you’ve selected your GPS, you should see a list of activities recorded. You just need to specify what kind of sport you were doing (road biking, mountain biking, running, etc.), and give it a name, then click Upload Activity.
If you’re hand-entering an activity, set the sport, activity name, date, start time, total time, and distance (if distance applies). Note: You don’t earn as much for hand-entered activities as you do for GPS activities, because hand-entered activities are easier to fudge.
- Repeat step 4 for as many activities as you’ve done since you last uploaded stuff.
I generally upload stuff once every week or so — you don’t have to do it the same day you did the activity, unless that’s your way.
Then, check it out: you’ve just earned a buncha money for World Bicycle Relief. Here’s some stuff The Hammer uploaded this morning, for example:
“Kudos,” by the way, is sort of the currency of +3 Networks. You earn different rates of “kudos” for different activities (a mile of mountain biking earns you more kudos than a mile of road biking, for example. A mile of running earns you still more.) And then the sponsor donates a certain amount of money per “kudo” earned. SRAM is a generous sponsor, paying out $0.015 per kudo earned.
Which means that your basic training ride or run is likely to earn a dollar or more for World Bicycle Relief. Your big events earn even more. The Hammer’s RAGNAR experience last weekend, for example, earned about 8.52 for World Bicycle Relief. Her part in the Rockwell Relay earned $8.56.
By themselves, those may not seem like huge numbers. But I’d like you to keep the following in mind:
- You’re not by yourself. You’re one member of Team Fatty. And while none of us, alone, make a big difference, we’ve shown over and over that together we make a huge impact.
- You’re doing the exercise anyway. Remember, this program is gravy. You’re doing the workouts anyway. It doesn’t cost you anything to upload and get credit for the work you’re doing.
And frankly, I’ve started getting excited about this, because the goals I can set are really practical. One bike for a kid in Zambia costs $120. I figure that, with +3 Network’s program, I can earn that much every other month.
That’s six bikes a year. Not bad at all.
And if 100 of us do this — not exactly a crazy dream, I don’t think — I bet we can raise enough to buy 500 bikes a year.
That’s a lot of bikes, and a lot of awesomeness, at exactly no cost to you.
So. Get started. Join up with Team Fatty. Let’s track our rides and runs and stuff, and make those rides do some good.
PS: You can check out who’s joined Team Fatty on +3 Network, as well as how much we’ve raised, by going to http://www.plus3network.com/group/Team-Fatty.
PPS: If you don’t have a Garmin GPS, but you do have an iPhone, you can use the free +3 Network iPhone app to track your workouts and then upload them directly, which is pretty cool, too! I’ve only experimented with this app once, but it worked fine. iPhone-ers, give it a try and let me know what you think.