Biking for Charity
(Picture unrelated - I just totally love how I managed to look happy when I was really miserable in the 100 degree heat)
One important thing we need to realize is that we, the people on this planet, are all interconnected. Every little thing that happens in a remote corner of the world affects the balance and the structure of the Universe. Your actions affect others, whether you want it or not. This is why no deed is a small deed. Everything is important. 
I really wanted to share the reason why I volunteer. Most people know that I am a domestic violence survivor myself. Because of that, I feel connected with all the other survivors, because nothing connects you to others better than shared experiences, particularly those that are traumatic. I want to be there for them, whether I know them or not, and I know I can. Like I said, even the smallest actions make a difference. I know how important it is to have access to a free support group. I know that having someone answer a crisis hotline at any time of the day can determine whether you commit suicide or not. I know that having someone help you file a restraining order for free can be a first step towards your permanent escape from abuse.
All the money I raise will pay for services like that. A lot of us, domestic abuse survivors, may look okay on the outside, but on the inside we are broken. All of us can get back on track. We can rise above it and live our lives realizing our full potential. But I can tell you, it’s really hard to do on your own. We do need help, and you can help.
My bike ride is a way to raise awareness about the help people like me need to restart their lives. My charity, Next Door, helped me with that. I am now doing great, and you can help another person do great too.
Please donate any amount - there is no such thing as a small donation:
Bike Ride Donation Page
Thank you!

(Picture unrelated - I just totally love how I managed to look happy when I was really miserable in the 100 degree heat)

One important thing we need to realize is that we, the people on this planet, are all interconnected. Every little thing that happens in a remote corner of the world affects the balance and the structure of the Universe. Your actions affect others, whether you want it or not. This is why no deed is a small deed. Everything is important.

I really wanted to share the reason why I volunteer. Most people know that I am a domestic violence survivor myself. Because of that, I feel connected with all the other survivors, because nothing connects you to others better than shared experiences, particularly those that are traumatic. I want to be there for them, whether I know them or not, and I know I can. Like I said, even the smallest actions make a difference. I know how important it is to have access to a free support group. I know that having someone answer a crisis hotline at any time of the day can determine whether you commit suicide or not. I know that having someone help you file a restraining order for free can be a first step towards your permanent escape from abuse.

All the money I raise will pay for services like that. A lot of us, domestic abuse survivors, may look okay on the outside, but on the inside we are broken. All of us can get back on track. We can rise above it and live our lives realizing our full potential. But I can tell you, it’s really hard to do on your own. We do need help, and you can help.

My bike ride is a way to raise awareness about the help people like me need to restart their lives. My charity, Next Door, helped me with that. I am now doing great, and you can help another person do great too.

Please donate any amount - there is no such thing as a small donation:

Bike Ride Donation Page

Thank you!

fuckyeahcycling:

Cyclist Robert Marchand of France celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle February 17, 2012. Marchand, born November 26, 1911, cycled 24.251 km (15 miles) around the 200 metre indoor track to set the record on Friday. (via Photo from Reuters Pictures)

fuckyeahcycling:

Cyclist Robert Marchand of France celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle February 17, 2012. Marchand, born November 26, 1911, cycled 24.251 km (15 miles) around the 200 metre indoor track to set the record on Friday. (via Photo from Reuters Pictures)

Cycling Eyewear

Can someone recommend photochromatic cycling glasses? Not crazy expensive, $60 max. Thank you!!

ponchomelb:

“a man continually arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed to him…” 
lance armstrong to star in stage adaptation of ‘the trial’.
- posted by nick.

ponchomelb:

“a man continually arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed to him…” 

lance armstrong to star in stage adaptation of ‘the trial’.

- posted by nick.

Bike commuting for women

I think my favorite quote is the one by Nelson Mandela - “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. I thought I would never bike commute. Ever. Are you kidding me? I have to take so much stuff with me to the office - lunch box, laptop, coffee… If I bike, I would have to take even more - a change of clothes, shoes, bike tools… Plus, I have other things I need to do aside from going to and from the office - I need to stop by a grocery store, post office, and for the past 4 years I had to go to graduate school twice a week too. What bike commute? No way!

Oh well, there was peer pressure. Lots of it. Every single ride I went on, there was somebody looking at me as if I had two heads when they found out I didn’t bike commute. I would tell them why (see above), but it’s like those reasons weren’t good enough. If you’re a cyclist, you’re sort of expected to commute by bike, and convenience should not be an issue. Granted I telecommute a few days a week, but those other few days that I drive were the reason quite a few fellow cyclists gave me a hard time. All of them were men, by the way.

Once the weather got warmer and the days got longer, I started to seriously think of giving it a shot. I decided to bike commute once or twice a week, and work from home the rest of the week.

I had to make sure I was ready. I was going to use my Trek fitness bike, not my road bike. I was reading bike commuter advice for women, learning about the things I would need. I got these large panniers and a pannier rack. I got a set of lights and a protective sleeve for the laptop so it doesn’t break as I would have to bike through sections of rough pavement on my commute. I learned that rolling clothes helps keep it wrinkle free and that it’s best to keep a pair of shoes at work instead of carrying them with you.

Long story short, I did it. Can I do that? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes! Would I do it in the dark or in the rain? Not so sure. Did everything go smoothly? Hell no!

Things to keep in mind if you’re a woman commuting by bike:

  • Do not use Google directions for bike. Google tries to do weird things and chooses routes with a million turns just because parts of them are on bike paths.
  • Figure out the route. Do a dry run on a weekend, when there is less traffic. Note the dangerous areas - freeway exits, roads with no bike paths, rough pavement, shopping plazas. Be extra careful there - watch out for cars and take the lane when you need to.
  • Never, ever block the right turners! Seriously, I see that so much. I’ve had drivers thank me when I got out of their way as they were making a right turn.
  • Depending on how much stuff you take to work, your panniers may be very heavy. It will slow you down, so plan your trip accordingly - it will take you longer than a bike trip with no load.
  • Try to avoid any hills. If you can’t, travel lighter. Especially if there are very steep hills on your commute - heavy panniers will wear you out on climbs.
  • Wear a bright jersey or a vest. Nasty yellow or green are great.
  • Don’t forget shower gel and towel, if there are shower facilities at your office.
  • Keep whatever you can in the office. Definitely shoes, as well as perhaps an extra set of makeup, deodorant, sunscreen, hair brush… You get it.
  • Carry extra batteries for your lights with you, always

Be extra careful if you don’t feel safe. My commute goes through very industrial areas of town with a lot of warehouses, trucks loading and unloading, day laborers hanging out, etc. A small section of my commute is on an old one lane road that goes to a waste disposal facility, and on my way back a lot of cars are leaving that place. I had to move out of their way and wait for them to go by - no way to pass on a narrow road. Lots of exciting stuff, but if you are comfortable around cars, you will be fine.

If you choose to bike commute, you will feel good about it. It’s a great way to get some additional miles in, save money and maintain endurance. It sure can seem like a hassle in many ways, but it just takes getting used to.

I am not a pro cyclist by any means. Anyone who knows how to ride a bike and does it more or less regularly can “outcycle” me without any significant amount of effort. If you don’t count my experience riding a kid’s bike with safety wheels when I was 7, I started biking in May of 2011. That’s not a whole lot of time.
I know a few things about bikes, but I am a total amateur compared to many folks I interact with on a regular basis at my bike club. You’ll probably think it’s insane, but up until the summer of last year, I didn’t even know clipless pedals existed.
Doing a few organized rides was one of the resolutions I had for this summer - I ride with my club, but I haven’t participated in any cycling events yet, so really wanted to see what it’s like. I browsed my club’s webpage for a while and found Echelon Gran Fondo that will take place in Palo Alto this year - it’s close by, so I’m up for that. I don’t really feel like traveling to far away lands to bike. Yet.
I saw it had two options for registration - pay $$ and ride, or pay $ and do some fundraising for a charity. Of course, I couldn’t take the easy route - I had to sign up for fundraising. Moreover, I had to set a really ambitious goal. Frankly, I saw an opportunity to help out Next Door - the charity I really care about and want to support, so I signed up for fundraising, picked the longest distance option and was about to start planning my fundraising activities, just as I realized…
I didn’t look at the course profile.
Smart, right? Oh well, profile looks like this. I know it’s hard to tell by just looking at the map, but this course can wear out someone 10 times stronger than me. Part of it is Tunitas Creek, which I have tackled before, and thought I would die about halfway through.Oh, forget Tunitas - this whole thing is hilly as hell!
What did I get myself into??
Here’s the good part: I have more than 3 months to train, so I will do just that. Also, I have a fundraising goal to meet, and this is a test of my marketing skills in a way - and I do want to be the best marketer I can be. So here I am, and I will take it from here and make something really cool out of it.
Donate here

I am not a pro cyclist by any means. Anyone who knows how to ride a bike and does it more or less regularly can “outcycle” me without any significant amount of effort. If you don’t count my experience riding a kid’s bike with safety wheels when I was 7, I started biking in May of 2011. That’s not a whole lot of time.

I know a few things about bikes, but I am a total amateur compared to many folks I interact with on a regular basis at my bike club. You’ll probably think it’s insane, but up until the summer of last year, I didn’t even know clipless pedals existed.

Doing a few organized rides was one of the resolutions I had for this summer - I ride with my club, but I haven’t participated in any cycling events yet, so really wanted to see what it’s like. I browsed my club’s webpage for a while and found Echelon Gran Fondo that will take place in Palo Alto this year - it’s close by, so I’m up for that. I don’t really feel like traveling to far away lands to bike. Yet.

I saw it had two options for registration - pay $$ and ride, or pay $ and do some fundraising for a charity. Of course, I couldn’t take the easy route - I had to sign up for fundraising. Moreover, I had to set a really ambitious goal. Frankly, I saw an opportunity to help out Next Door - the charity I really care about and want to support, so I signed up for fundraising, picked the longest distance option and was about to start planning my fundraising activities, just as I realized…

I didn’t look at the course profile.

Smart, right? Oh well, profile looks like this. I know it’s hard to tell by just looking at the map, but this course can wear out someone 10 times stronger than me. Part of it is Tunitas Creek, which I have tackled before, and thought I would die about halfway through.Oh, forget Tunitas - this whole thing is hilly as hell!

What did I get myself into??

Here’s the good part: I have more than 3 months to train, so I will do just that. Also, I have a fundraising goal to meet, and this is a test of my marketing skills in a way - and I do want to be the best marketer I can be. So here I am, and I will take it from here and make something really cool out of it.

Donate here

Cycling to break the cycle

If someone told me 4 years ago that I would be riding a bicycle for 95 miles along the Pacific coast, I would have laughed. Not because I wasn’t strong enough physically to do that, but because embarking on this kind of adventure would entail leaving the house for many hours, and that’s something I could not do.

4 years ago I was trapped in an abusive marriage where my ex-husband was monitoring every step I took.

I could not ride a bicycle. I could not spend time with friends. I could not even go for a walk. If I attempted to do anything on my own, my abusive ex would immediately throw a fit and suspect me of either trying to leave him or cheating on him, so it wasn’t even worth a try. My life could have still been like this if I hadn’t found out about Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence.

When you are in a domestic violence situation, you do need someone else to tell you things are not right and that you can and need to get yourself out of that. Next Door played that role for me – through support groups, counseling and legal help with restraining orders and divorce, the amazing staff members and volunteers of this organization helped me see how strong I was and that there was no reason for me to stay with my ex.

My life has been free from violence for the past 4 years, and I will be forever grateful to Next Door for helping me take the first – and the hardest – step towards my freedom. As part of me giving back, I have pledged to raise $3,000 for this organization, so they can help other women like me break the cycle of abuse. I will ride a very challenging 95-mile route through Half Moon Bay, as part of the Echelon Palo Alto Gran Fondo. The ride includes a category 2 climb on Tunitas Creek, and overall will be the most difficult ride I have done in my life to date.  

Please support my fundraising efforts by donating any amount here: https://ssl.charityweb.net/echelongranfondo/palo_alto/nataliecayer.htm

$100 = 5 hours of crisis hotline support for domestic abuse victims!

For many victims of domestic violence, a crisis hotline is the first - and often the only - resource of help.

$100 pays for 5 hours of crisis hotline support.

If 100 people donate $1, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence will be able to cover this cost! By supporting me in my (super hard) bike ride, you will help the victims!

Donate here! It’s easy and tax-deductible!

Please reblog this post!

I’m leading!

Thanks to my awesome supporters, I am currently leading in my fundraising efforts among all individual participants of the Palo Alto Gran Fondo ride!!! And I’m catching up with the leading teams!!

Help me stay in the lead by donating here: https://ssl.charityweb.net/echelongranfondo/palo_alto/nataliecayer.htm

Stay tuned for more - I am planning on doing fundraising events and raffles soon!