When I went to bed last night, The Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 was closing in on $98,000. I had every hope that sometime today we’d cross the $100,000 mark.
So I was a little bit surprised and amazed to see this when I checked the fundraising page this morning:
Nearly $114,000. That’s a leap of $15,000. How did that happen? This press release explains:
MORGAN HILL, CA (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle employees decided to scale down their holiday party this year, and donate the excess party budget to two non-profit organizations.
The employees decided in a company-wide vote to opt for a modest office party instead of an off-site event.
In a second vote, the employees chose to donate the extra budget amount to the United Way San Jose and World Bicycle Relief. Last Thursday representatives from these organizations learned that they would be receiving a $15,000 donation.
WBR and Specialized then agreed to put the WBR donation towards the Fat Cyclist’s fundraiser, given his long-time support for WBR, and that Simon Dunne, Specialized Advocacy Director, was on the trip to Zambia with Fatty in the summer of 2012.
It’s not often that a press release chokes me up. But this one did.
And that’s not all Specialized is donating in this fundraiser.
One of the five bikes we’re giving away in the Grand Slam for Zambia is an S-Works Specialized road bike, loaded up with the lightest, fastest selection of SRAM and ZIPP parts you can dream up.
And the cool twist for this particular bike is that you get to decide, which would you rather have: the S-Works Tarmac?
Or the S-Works Roubaix?
For me, the choice is obvious, because I voted with my own personal wallet earlier this year. I am the (very) proud owner of a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4:
On this bike, I have been faster than I have ever been before in my life.
Last summer, on this bike, I set all kinds of PRs, both on the flats and on climbs. Part of it is because I happened to be in really good shape this past summer, but part of it was that I was on a phenomenal bike.
With a SRAM RED build and some nice ZIPP wheels, you’ll be able to build this bike up so it’s both seriously aero and well under fifteen pounds.
You will be faster on this bike. I promise. It is something special.
But What About the Roubaix?
Here’s the thing, though. While I love my Tarmac, The Hammer wants a Roubaix. Why? Because at Levi’s Gran Fondo this past year, she was able to rent one for the day.
And on this hilly, hard-riding century, she fell in love with it. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s fast. For another, it’s light. And for the third thing, it’s insanely comfortable. Chris Riekert of Specialized explained why to me in this video:
Heh. He said “Cobble Gobbler.”
Just as a little side note, something kind of funny happened after this ride. The Hammer and I were returning the bike at NorCal Bike Sport (which had done a fantastic job of taking care of us, by the way). The Hammer was talking to one of the shop employees about how much she liked the bike, especially how comfortable the damping the frame’s gel inserts made the ride. She went on and on, saying she had to get one of these bikes.
Meanwhile, Mike Sinyard was loitering nearby, kinda sorta pretending to not be eavesdropping…while definitely listening to everything The Hammer said.
After we left, I asked if she had noticed the tall guy in the shop.
“Not really, why?” The Hammer asked.
“Oh, nothing really,” I replied. “You just totally gave a great little speech about how much you love the Roubaix in front of the CEO of Specialized.”
How Can You Win One?
The choice between a Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix will go to some lucky donor in my Grand Slam for Zambia: the Power of Five fundraiser. And getting a chance to win is easy: just go to my fundraising page and donate in some multiple of $5.00. You’ll be automatically entered in the drawing for this… and the other four dream bikes. And the dream cycling trip to Italy.
It’s not a bad set of prizes, really. And — even if you don’t win — you’re still making the world a better place by getting bicycles into the hands of students, health care volunteers, and small business people who otherwise have no way of getting around except walking.
In other words, by donating, you are changing lives. Instantly, massively, and permanently.
Attention, Last-Minute Christmas Shoppers
So, I think by now I’ve quite possibly revealed that I’m a fan of the Tarmac, and The Hammer loves the Roubaix. So it’ll be up to you to decide which you’d prefer.
Meanwhile, today is Christmas eve. And maybe you still have a present or two you haven’t taken care of. In which case, allow me to recommend you check out my post on how to make a donation on someone’s behalf as a gift. They’ll get a great e-card emailed to them right away, and you go from being a goat to being one of the most thoughtful gift-givers there could ever be.
Which is not a half-bad transition to make.
Thanks for donating, and for being awesome.
And have a really merry Christmas, OK?