A New Ride

FACEBOOK, USA — A new ride began with my fight against cancer. While I continue to battle on a personal level, it is much more than personal. It is the global fight we must win. We beat Polio and Smallpox; most readers probably don’t remember those. And we can beat cancer.

My fund raising goal is $20,000. I must say that riding the bike 100 miles or 7.6 miles up Mount Washington is easier than this goal. But I will stay the course.

Tonight, with the guidance of Ben Jones, we deployed a fan page, Ride Against Cancer. We had to get 25 fans to get a vanity address and got that in less than half an hour. By bedtime, we had 100 fans.

But, much like my failed ad campaign in which my ad was displayed 190,000 times and we received $0 in donations, people jumped at the chance to become a fan but it led to $0 donations. Well, maybe $25. Not sure if the one person who donated did because she was harassed otherwise or because of the page. The test will be when a complete stranger becomes a fan and donates.

The Fan page on Facebook is important for connections. The 190,000 times the ad was displayed it went to people, over 30, who had keywords of bike, bicycle, cycling, Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About the Bike, Cancer Sucks, Tour de France, or Prostate Cancer Foundation. I deemed those people most like to be interested in my ad to give money to Livestrong.

It was displayed 190,000 and received 50 clicks, all of which I paid for, and not a single donation. Grrr.

The next ad campaign will reach friends and friends of friends and fans of my new page. When the ad is displayed it will also show that “Beth is a fan” or “3 friends are fans.” At least with this ad there is a personal connection.

This new approach may not gain any donations either but it is worth a try. We have to do something to beat cancer.

Cancer — you picked on the wrong person.

The Long Road Back

BURKE, VIRGINIA
 

It has been a long time since I have really been on a bike. About four weeks after cancer surgery I tried the bike but went one block and had to abandon. The sutures were in the lower abdomen and caused tremendous pain when I was bent over. But one week later I tried it again and went about half a mile.

As I began the long road back I soon realized that biking was one activity that I could do. The sitting was excellent for me and the positioning was comfortable. So I set off to ride on Friday December 19. It was cold — 28 degrees, and I only went 8 miles but it felt good. But it was cold. I forgot how to dress for cold weather riding.

The next day we were buried under 18″ of snow and all outdoor riding was grounded for a while. Conflicts and weather kept me from riding until today.

In a way it was nothing to brag about but today’s ride was out of the South Run Rec Center along the Fairfax County Parkway down to Occoquan. Total distance was 27.2 miles. The group was supposed to be at a C pace and was.

Still, save for the one 8-mile jaunt, I have done no riding since November 8. So I settled in just determined to make the distance.

It soon became apparent that I would move to the front and be a leader. And it really became obvious when we left Occoquan. The hill up Rte 123 is probably 8% grade for about half a mile. Maybe longer.

As the group started up the hill I put in a high cadence and flew up the hill. I left the entire group struggling behind. I’m not a great climber — just determined — but one must figure if you can be in the middle of the pack at Mount Washington that you can climb okay. Plus, I was probably the youngest in the group.

But the more I rode the stronger I felt. Eventually I was off the front by myself. And it felt good. The 27 miles are a start on the long road back.