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Latest News About Myself, Fundraising, and Training.....

The Time Has Come (8/12/2001)

Well, this is it; my final update before I leave for Alaska on Wednesday.  It has been a long journey from when I made this commitment to today.  I have been through several ups and downs.  I have overcome each obstacle that posed a threat to my commitment.  In 3 days, I fly out to Alaska.  Four days later, with 2,000 other dedicated individuals, I will begin a trek with high hopes that someday a cure for AIDS will be found.  The money that this event is raising will play a role in the eventual development of a cure for AIDS.  I now know that I did my best to make a difference in this world.  

How do I feel about the whole event?  First and foremost, I am nervous.  I am going to be testing my physical limits.  I anticipate that I will want to withdraw from pain and exhaustion.  I also anticipate that the mind is stronger than the body and I WILL carry on and push through to the end.  I can't even imagine how intense it will be to have 2,000 people pushing their limits all for a single cause.  Next, I am very excited about this entire trip.  I believe I will meet many new and interesting people.  I look forward to this opportunity.  It will be an enlightening moment in my life.  

I look forward to the day that I will return with all my rolls of film and my journal documenting the drama.  I want to share the experience with you and plan to compile the best pictures and all my notes so I can post them on this site.  Unfortunately, I think it may take me a few weeks to get the photo gallery and journal onto my site.  Do not fret, however, the best things come to those who wait!  In the mean time, wish me luck.  I will be thinking of all you while I ride.  If it weren't for you, this dream of mine could not have come true.  I couldn't have done it without you.  Thank you for all of your continued support.  

Tough Times (7/30/2001)

Tuesday began what I had hoped to be a 3 day epic ride.  I had intentions to ride 100 miles on Tuesday, 100 miles on Wednesday, and 100 miles on Thursday despite having my cast finally removed after 2 full months.  I expected my wrist to be weak but I had envisioned it bearing the weight with no major problems.  All things did not fall in to place as smoothly as I had hoped for.  On Tuesday, my wrist began to ache early in the ride.  I continued on.  Later in the ride it began to hurt.  I still continued on.  Finally, the pain became unbearable after 92 miles. I had to call a friend to come pick me up and provide me with some relief.  Wednesday, I decided to cut my ride in half due to the previous day's setback.  I only made it 11 miles out before sharp pains began to pulse through my arm.  Fearing I might be causing more damage, I returned home making it only 22 miles.  I decided it was in my better interest to take some more time off from riding and give my wrist some additional time to heal.

It has been a little over a week and my wrist is improving greatly.  My strength and flexibility improve everyday, yet I still do not feel comfortable riding for a prolonged period of time yet.  I am worried about my wrist yet determined to have it strong enough to complete this task I have laid upon myself.  I am certain my answer lies in the physical therapy I have been going to.  You are part of the reason I am so determined.  If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly supporting me.  I thank you for that.  I will not let you down.  You have placed great faith in me as you have seen the determination in my eyes.  Next to that determination, you see hope.  That bit of hope will carry me over every obstacle I encounter. 

With all that in mind, I have 3 weeks to the day until I begin pedaling through the vast Alaskan landscape.  Despite my troubles and concerns, I am still confident everything will be okay.  Hope can go a long way.  I believe my training will be hindered over the last few weeks, yet if it ensures my wrist will be ready to bear weight for 500 miles, then that is what I must do.  The road ahead is rocky but with clear vision and a little luck, I will emerge unscathed.  Thank you for your continued support.

Training Information (7/15/2001)

In my last update, I informed you that I was going to attempt my first century ride (100 miles in one day).  That challenge is now an accomplishment.  This past Thursday, I rode my bicycle from Dennis, MA  to Race Point in Provincetown, MA  and back (all of which lies on beautiful Cape Cod).  That trek covered 101 miles of terrain ranging from flat bicycle trails to hilly side roads and busy state routes.  I not only accomplished this cycling benchmark this past week, but I did it with a cast on my left hand.  My entire body held up extremely well to this journey.  My legs were sore for less than 1 day after the fact.  This helps to support my thoughts that my training is headed in the right direction.

My next goal is to try to ride 300 miles in 3 days.  I plan to attempt this goal on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (July 24, 25, 26).  I will ride the same route that I rode before each of the 3 days.  I believe if I can survive that challenge I will be prepared for Alaska.  Also, riding the same route will help me measure my endurance more accurately.  My goal throughout the 3 days will be to reduce the total ride time (which I include snack breaks and stretching into) and to increase my average speed.  As always, thank you for your support.  Wish me luck!  

Riding A Century (7/8/2001)

In a mere 42 days, I will be hopping onto my bike entering the vast wilderness of Alaska.  When I first entertained the idea of participating in this ride it had seemed like it was so far away.  Now, I feel the reality that it is truly going to happen.  Every day I become more and more excited about the beautiful landscape and breathtaking views I will see.  And to think, I get to enjoy all of this by helping other people!  

The other reality that hits is the fact that this ride is going to test my physical limits.  About a week or so ago, I thought of yet another challenge this ride is going to push at me.  I am going to be riding at higher altitudes than I am used to, where the oxygen is thinner, which I consider to be an important factor considering I am an asthmatic.  I will just have to add that to the list:  500 miles in 6 days, climbing hills bigger than I ever have before, and now, BREATHING!  

Recently, I have kicked my training into overdrive.  My training is still behind what I had originally hoped for, but that is the reality striking me in the face.  Long distance cycling is extremely time consuming!  Since my last post I have completed 4 training rides greater than 30 miles....2 of which were greater than 50 miles.  My longest ride to date was the one I took last Tuesday (July 3) measuring in at 64 miles.  This week, I plan to attempt my first century ride (a 100 mile ride).  A century is  a benchmark that many cyclists take pride in.  Once I accomplish that goal, I need to work at doing long rides (50-75+ miles) on back to back days.  I believe my training is heading in the right direction, yet, the task that lies ahead is still a great challenge.  I can feel my legs getting stronger by the day and my body is beginning to adapt to the long hours on a bicycle.  With perseverance and determination, I will endure this challenge ahead!

My fundraising is also still moving along.  I am still shy of the $4,000 mark, however, I have many promises for money in the near future from friends, family and co-workers.  I am delighted to say that I have now officially booked all of my hotel and transportation reservations.  From here on out, I simply need to focus on training.  I have accepted this challenge.  I will master this challenge.  I will then find a newer and greater challenge.  Thank you for your support.

Still Riding (6/23/2001)

Since my last update, I have successfully completed 2 training rides.  One ride was only a mere 17 miles.  The other was a step up at 33 miles.  Riding is slightly more difficult with the cast, however, riding safely is still a realization of mine.  I have felt only minimal strain placed on my wrist with the 33 mile ride only.  I plan on riding over 70 miles this week (weather permitting).  The two major drawbacks the cast will have during training are I will be unable to cycle in inclement weather (I must try to keep the cast dry) and climbing hills is much more difficult.  The latter problem may even be considered a blessing in disguise.  I am forced to rely solely on my leg muscle to push me up a hill rather than having help from my upper body and weight.  Basically, what I am getting at is I am still flying to Alaska on August 15!  I am not going to let anything get in my way.  

Next, I would like to share the latest on my fundraising.  I am approaching the $4,000 mark quickly.  I have raised a little over $3,700 so far!  This is a long cry from my original goal ($10,000), however, it is still greater than the minimum required to participate ($3,400).  I will not give up.  I plan to continue my fundraising quest and plan to solicit even more.  If you plan on supporting me with a contribution and have not sent me any money yet, please send it in soon.  There are only 57 days left until the ride begins.  It seems to be a long way off, but it is approaching quickly.  All contributions will take a few weeks to process as well.  As always, thank you for your continued support.

Where Do I Begin?  (6/14/2001)

So much has happened since my last update.  Some good, some bad.  First, the bad.  I am very disappointed to say the golf tournament was a failure.  I had to cancel the event because I was unable to get enough people to register.  Next, I would like to apologize for not updating my site weekly as promised.  On May 25th, I was in a car accident.  I broke my left wrist in two places and one finger on my left hand.  I had some bruising to my left side as well but I am healing quickly.  As of right now, I still plan on participating in the ride.  I REFUSE TO GIVE UP!  A broken wrist is only a small obstacle to overcome in comparison to the struggle people with AIDS live with every day.  Today is the first day I will attempt to ride my bike with my cast; after all, I still need to train.  If all goes well, my cast will come off on July 17 and stay off, however, there is the possibility it will be re-cast.  There is a slim chance that I might be doing the ride with cast in place.  

Now for the good news.  For starters, I made it through the school year taking 18 credits, working full time, training, and fundraising.  I even finished the semester with a 3.15 GPA (about a B average)!  I am quite proud of that accomplishment.  That also means that I am finally a college graduate.  I received a Bachelor of Science degree for Management with a concentration in Information Systems.  Also good news, I think I have raised the minimum to participate in the ride ($3,400).  I should find that information in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, the weather is beautiful so I am going to get a few miles in.  I hope to get back on schedule for updating my site.  Thank you for your continued support.

Quite A Bit To Talk About (4/29/2001)

Well, it's been a few weeks since I last gave an update.  Quite a bit has happened since my last posting.  Let me start off by telling you that the details of the golf tournament are now settled.  As I previously mentioned, it will be held on Sunday, June 10 @ 1pm.  This is the Sunday BEFORE Father's Day.  White Pines Country Club in Brockton, Mass will be hosting the event.  It will cost $80 per person to participate.  The $80 covers the round of golf with a golf cart and a buffet style dinner after (the dinner banquet will begin at 7pm and end at 11pm).  We will be playing best ball (where you choose the best shot of the foursome, the other three players pick up their ball and drop next to the best shot).  Also, tee off will be shotgun style, meaning all holes are filled at once and players simply shuffle through.  First place team will win $200 to split amongst themselves.  I am also working diligently to try to obtain other prizes to give away for things such as:  longest drive, closest to pin, longest putt, etc...  These prizes will be announced that day and will depend on what I can get donated.  I am hoping that these prizes will range from gift certificates to apparel and hopefully some sporting goods; however, specifics are still to be determined.  I will be holding a 50/50 raffle that day. Tickets will be sold throughout  the day and mostly during the dinner banquet.   The winner(s) will be drawn that evening.  I will announce the time of the drawing that day.  I am also trying to gain tee sponsorships.  If you or someone you know would be interested, please let me know.  To sponsor a tee, it is $50.  Your name (or your company's name) will be posted on a sign by the tee.  I will also be giving out a flyer to all participants with your company's contact information (address, phone number, & website if available).  

Next on the agenda is my overall fundraising.  So far, I have raised just about $3,000!  That is only $400 under what I NEED to participate.  My goal still remains at $10,000 and I am optimistic that it is attainable.  I have distributed a few change collection containers.  I will be distributing more soon.  I would like to thank Bob Cook from Bridgewater State College for allowing to distribute 3 containers in the commuter cafeteria from 4/16 - 4/23.  My fellow students at BSC as well as the staff have been generous donating their change.  In that one week, I raised nearly $100 in change!  That just shows that it all adds up!  BSC, thank you for your support.

Next on my list o' things to discuss is my training.  I haven't had much luck with finding time to train, not to mention I had a problem with my bike for 3 weeks.  My bike has now been fixed (it was covered under warranty) and now I don't have time to train because of school.  The good news is that I will be done with school on May 14th and I anticipate graduating on May 19th.  The semester is almost over.  It appears I will make it through alive.  Once school is over, I will have much more time to focus on training and fundraising.  My training will be kicking into overdrive once I graduate.  I have a lot of work to do to prepare myself for this ride, yet I WILL NOT LET ANYONE DOWN!  That includes myself.  I will finish the ride comfortably (I hope...am I being unrealistic???). 

Last on my list of things to tell you about; on Friday morning I purchased my airline tickets to Alaska!  I think I got a great deal; $422 roundtrip from Boston to Anchorage!  I only have 1 stop-over each way (in Newark, NJ).  I am flying Continental and found this rate on Expedia.com.  I guess that means there is no turning back now (as if I ever would!). Also, I found out that I am going on this trip alone.  I had another friend who had hoped to go, but sadly can not.  He has run into a few things beyond his control which do not allow him to make this venture.  I still will make the most of this trip and will take the opportunity to meet new people.  As many of you already know (if you have spent any time around me), I am looking forward to this very much.  In fact, it seems as if I never stop talking about it but I can't help it.  Enthusiasm is taking over.  Once again, I would like to thank everyone for all their support.  It means more than you know.  Please throw me a few encouraging words by signing my guest book.  Talk you soon!

Download an Alaska AIDS Golf Tournament Registration Form this file was created using Microsoft Word '97

Download an Alaska AIDS Golf Tournament Tee Sponsor Form this file was created using Microsoft Word '97

Fundraising Golf Tournament Is Official  (4/12/2001)

If you don't know already, I am attempting many different ways to raise money for this cause. In the past few weeks I have distributed a few change collection containers that have been quite successful so far. In addition to this, I have been working hard to organize a golf tournament in June. These plans are now in their final stages with only some minor details left to iron out.

The date that this tournament will be held is Sunday, June 10 @ 1pm. The event will be held at White Pines Country Club in Brockton, Mass (formerly Wedgewood Country Club). I encourage everybody to participate. You do NOT need to be a golfer to play in this event. If you need a good laugh, this will be the place to be since I will be attempting (please note that I am only attempting) to play golf. Beverages will be served on the course and a buffet style meal will be held following the tournament. Throughout the day I will be selling raffle tickets for prizes to be drawn during dinner. I will be trying to obtain sponsorships for each hole as well as donated prizes to give away. I will be creating a sign-up sheet soon and will post more details later.

I can say that I am proud to say that I am organizing this event with only minimal help to date (though I am trying to recruit friends to help). I have never organized anything of this magnitude before and still believe I don't know what I am getting myself into. It is a challenge but we must all challenge ourselves to find our limits. I have found mine and I continue to push them. Every day I learn that I am capable of more and more. My fundraising efforts have brought in over $2,200 so far and that number is still climbing. The golf tournament will be a dramatic boost to this number and help carry me up the steps to my goal of $10,000! If you have any suggestions, please email me. I look forward to seeing each of you at this event and thank you for your support!

An Inspiring Letter From My Uncle Johnny (3/31/2001)

As some of you may already know, my Great Uncle Johnny has been helping me campaign for this bike ride.  Today he sent out a letter to some of his friends and much of my family with the hopes for me to gain more sponsors.  He included me on this address list and even I was inspired by his words, so I would like to share them with you.  I feel that he has captured the very essence for why I am doing this ride in his own words and I found them quite touching.  Uncle Johnny, Thank you for being there for me and becoming such a great advocate for this cause.

To Friends & Family.        

As of today there is 141 days to "The Alaska AIDS ride" which will take place in August. To my friends, most of you know that Michael Doyon is my nephew. To my family you know that Michael is very much part of this family. To all of you it is time to stand and be counted. For those of you who have already contributed, on behalf of Michael I say, Thank you.          

When President Roosevelt started the "March of dimes" to fund research for Polio, he was hoping that our nickels and dimes would fund the research for a cure for Polio. It did. Dr. Salk saved my generation from this dreaded disease.  With our help Michael's generation will save future generations from AIDS. Because of inflation we are in need of more than nickels and dimes. All you can afford for this ambitious project and worthy cause will be appreciated. Please visit Michael's newly updated web site and sign his guest book.  Once again, thank you for your help.

 http://aidsride2001.tripod.com..............JMF

 


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