A Note from Fatty: I am busy working on stuff that needs working on, plus it’s Winter and so I need to ration out my own bike-related observations ’til Spring. So today I’m pleased to give you a note from BostonCarlos, one of the winners in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5.
I’m BostonCarlos – Formerly known as NYCCarlos. I’ve been a friend of Fatty since 2009. I even got a few honorable mentions in the blog way back when (“How to be nice“)!
First, I want to drop a HUUUUUUGE thank you on Katie and her team at WBR, and all of the awesome folks at Ibis, InGamba, Trek, Cannondale, BOOM, and Specialized. Without you guys, these Fundraisers aren’t quite as much FUN.
Second I want to say Elden, thank you SO much for putting this stuff together. Without you, I wouldn’t have even known what World Bicycle Relief is, let alone how incredibly awesome they are.
Why I Donate
WBR is such a fantastic organization. The saying goes – “Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for life.” – or something like that. WBR is teaching the men and women of Africa how to fish. The bikes are assembled, ridden, and maintained by Africans! They’re helping kids get to school, doctors get to patients, and small businesses get started.
I have been fortunate enough to have bikes in my life to make my days easier and more so much more fun… it just makes sense for me to give back to those who don’t.
My New Toy
If you hadn’t noticed, this year I moved to the outskirts of Boston. It turns out there are actually trails here! Because of this, I’ve been looking to build my own mountain bike over the winter so I could start ripping the new terrain this spring. When Katie e-mailed me on Tuesday I jumped up and down in my cubicle for a solid 10 minutes.
I couldn’t believe it was true… I had WON my dream bike! And I already knew exactly how I wanted to build it out. I wanted an awesome Mountain bike, so it was down to the Ibis Ripley and the Boom MTB. The Ripley is just so sexy. I had to have it.
Here’s how I’m planning to build it out: SRAM XX1 components, XX brakes, and RISE wheels with a Rockshox SID XX Fork (120 mm travel), Reverb seat post, and Truvativ Noir T40 flatbars. I’ve already been in touch with Scot Nicol (holy crap… I’ve been in touch with THE Scot Nicol!) and I can’t wait to get on my new Ripley and ride!
I am very pleased to announce that I am doing extremely well keeping off all the weight I dropped last Winter. Honestly, I could not be more proud of myself. I’m pretty sure, in fact, that I haven’t put on a single pound since the end of my big weight loss effort.
It’s possible, indeed, that I’ve lost an additional pound or two. I’m not entirely certain, since I haven’t weighed myself since last September, when I was up about ten pounds from my target weight.
I’m sure I’ve dropped all of that weight, though, because that was just weight gained from inflammation of my muscles from all the racing I did last summer.
Seriously, you do a big ol’ 24-hour race and your body will put on fifteen pounds, easily.
Sure, I was a little weirded out that the twenty pounds I had gained was still with me a couple of weeks later, but a big race like that has long-lasting effects.
The thing is, when you’re racing all the time during the summer—which I definitely was—your body really needs to replenish itself. With all the training I was doing, it’s only natural that I ate more, too.
Now that I’m not racing every weekend—and haven’t been for about three months, I should probably ease up on that whole “replenishing” thing. Sometime soon. Probably. But you know, this is my off season and I deserve to treat myself a little bit.
(These nachos are delicious.)
It’s true that I have recently needed to go shopping for new clothes. But this is not because the clothes I bought last spring after losing a lot of weight no longer fit. At all. Even after doing special stretching-out-the-waistband calisthenics.
I bought new clothes because my sense of fashion has shifted, and I like to wear the latest thing. For example, I currently like wearing pants that are two inches looser than the pants I have put high up on a shelf.
Also, during the winter I like to wear my larger-sized jerseys, although I can quite easily fit into my smaller ones, too. Although I am at a loss as to why I seem to suffer from previously-undiagnosed claustrophobia when I wear these smaller jerseys. As well as shortness of breath, for some reason.
You can be certain that I continue to ride, and with the same alacrity that I exhibited through the summer. Which is one of the important causes of my continued slimness and fitness. However, I expect to—sometime in the near future—send a strongly-worded email to each of the companies responsible for manufacturing my stems and handlebars. Why? Well, evidently all of my bars and stems have begun to sag, causing my torso to go lower on the bike, which means my legs push into my (very slight) stomach when I ride.
This kind of failure of materials is very upsetting to me.
Still, my anger is tempered by my positive attitude and cheerful demeanor, for I am extraordinarily pleased at how well I’ve succeeded in keeping the weight off this winter.
I need a word that expresses gratitude better than “grateful.” A word that conveys my thanks more than “thankful.” I need a word that describes my awe that exceeds “awestruck.”
Because I am that impressed. Grateful. Thankful. Awed. And so forth.
What We’ve Done During This Fundraiser
Since the beginning of the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5, we’ve raised this much money:
$173,604 is an astonishing amount (and yes, “astonishing” is too small a word for how I feel about this). It’s even more incredible when you consider that this amount of money is getting matched. Which means, basically, that together we can say we’re responsible for $347,208 raised during the month of December.
That’s more than a third of a million dollars. And—more importantly—that’s 2591 bicycles we’re putting out there. And since a WBR bicycle improves the lives of 5 people on average, that’s 12,955 people whose lives we’ve improved.
And that’s just during the month of December.
What We’ve Done This Year
This wasn’t the only fundraiser we did for World Bicycle Relief this year. Back in July, we did a fundraiser where we gave away a Trek Madone. We raised $39,928 during that fundraiser…which was very generously matched by Trek for a total of $79,856.
When you add July and December up, Team Fatty is responsible for raising $427,064 for World Bicycle Relief in 2013. And that’s 3187 bikes. Which affects 15,935 people.
What We’ve Done Since The Beginning
The fundraiser we just concluded is the fifth we’ve done for World Bicycle Relief. I think it’s worth taking a look at what we’ve accomplished with all of these fundraisers:
- Riding With the Shack: Back in 2009, we raised $69,834 for WBR (along with an equivalent amount for LiveStrong) when Johan Bruyneel said if I raised $10,000 each for WBR and LiveStrong I could ride with the RadioShack training camp for a day.
- Grand Slam 1: In the first Grand Slam for Zambia, back in 2011, we raised $158,791 for World Bicycle Relief.
- Grand Slam 2: Thanks to the matching program that was introduced last year, the $173,826 we raised became $347,652.
- Trek Madone Project One Giveaway: We raised an amazing $39,928, which was matched by Trek, for a total of $79,856.
- The Power of 5: And of course the fundraiser we just completed brought in $173,604, which is matched to $347,208.
You know what that totals out to? I’ll tell you.
This is, as my accountant might say (if I had an accountant), “quite a bit.”
That’s 7,487 bicycles bought, and 37,438 people whose lives are changed for the good.
Because of us.
And that is pretty awesome, to put it mildly.
But What About the Prizes?
One of the funnest parts of doing these fundraisers is giving out the prizes. In this case, that’ll be five bikes and a cycling trip to Italy. Having six prizes kind of messes up my whole “Five” theme, but I’m OK with that, and I expect you are too.
Well, World Bicycle Relief is—right this moment—working on getting the spreadsheet built and ensuring it has everyone’s donations recorded, along with any bonus chances that are awarded because you donated $134 (or more).
Then, on January 7 (per the rules), they’ll do the drawings and will start contacting the winners. It’ll take some time, because the first person contacted has to choose the prize s/he is taking before the second person is contacted, and so forth.
So if you don’t get an email on January 7, don’t be disheartened. There are nothing but grand prizes in this contest, so even being the last person to be contacted isn’t going to be an exactly bad thing.
I owe a lot of people thanks for their generosity, both with their time, products, and money.
- Frame Sponsors: An incredible set of prizes makes it fun to donate. And so many companies were so remarkably generous. Huge thanks to Ibis, Trek, Specialized, Boom, and Cannondale for donating frames. I love seeing all these competing companies join forces to accomplish something so great.
- Trip Sponsor: Having InGamba donate a sixth prize—a cycling trip to Italy—was as big a surprise to me as it was to you. I love this kind of surprise.
- SRAM: Every frame in this contest is going to be completely built up with SRAM parts. That’s worth tens of thousands of dollars. Having the components, wheels and other parts donated made it much more affordable for the frame sponsors to participate in this fundraiser.
- Katie Bolling: The development director of individual giving for WBR did about 80% of the heavy lifting for this fundraiser. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere near as smoothly or awesomely without her. In fact, considering my current level of busy-ness, without her it may not have happened at all.
- Those Who Match: I don’t know who promised to match all of the money donated, but that is an incredibly generous move, made doubly awesome by not revealing who you are. Thank you, whoever you are.
Finally—and most of all—I want to thank you. A fundraiser doesn’t do much if people don’t read, donate, and spread the word. So many of you did all of these things.
“Thank you” doesn’t feel like a big enough word for what I want to say to you. There really needs to be a bigger, better word for when people do something so awesome. So generous.
Until I know what that word is, though, I’ll just say “thanks” again. For reading, donating, and for being my virtual friends. You make me glad I take the time to write this blog.
PS: If you’re an athlete and want to do more for WBR, maybe you should consider applying to be a 2014 Team WBR Ambassador. Click here to learn more.
PPS: I will be out of town and unable to write for the next 1.5 weeks. I’ll be posting again January 13.
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