Tuesday, December 28, 2010

5% Day at Whole Foods, Harbor East

(Click here to view the original blog post on Moveable Feast's official blog.)

In 2011, we're ringing in the New Year with a great fundraiser for Moveable Feast!

One of our Ride For The Feast 2011 sponsors, the Whole Foods Market in Harbor East (1001 Fleet Street) will be holding a 5% Day to benefit us on Wednesday, January 5th.

All day, 5% of net sales will be donated to Moveable Feast. Moveable Feast staff and volunteers will also be present with a table to collect donations.

Please consider dropping by and doing your post-holiday grocery shopping on January 5th!

We will also be collecting food donations. For guidelines on donating food, please see flier below. 

click to enlarge

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

RFTF 2011 Registration Now Open

This past May, our Ride for the Feast Riders and Crew helped raise $275,000 to support Moveable Feast and our mission to feed people, fight disease, and foster hope. With the money raised, we are able to continue delivering nutritious meals to homebound Marylanders living with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and now those in treament for blood cancers.

For the 9th year, we are giving you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our clients. This past Wednesday, December 1st, in honor of World AIDS Day, registration officially opened for our next Ride for the Feast being held May 14-15, 2011. Visit www.RideForTheFeast.org to register as a Rider or Crew, make donations, and learn more about this year’s event.

What is different about the 2011 Ride?

  • Our Starting Point: This year, for the first time, our ride will begin in Ocean City, MD and end at the offices of Moveable Feast. Though our route may change, the distance remains the same - 140 miles - which is how far our drivers must go to deliver to our farthest client. Moveable Feast will continue to offer bus transportation to the shore, lodging options and even late night karaoke.
  • Our Fundraising Goal: Due to the rising costs in feeding our clients, we are increasing the fundraising goal from $1,200 to $1,300. This is the first time we’ve raised the fundraising goal since RFTF began and we are confident you will meet, in fact exceed, this goal. We remain committed to supporting you in your fundraising efforts and will provide advice and opportunities to assist you.
  • Crew Registration: With the major changes to our ride this year, our fantastic Crew will be relied upon heavily. In order to help us keep our Crew organized and better informed, this year, we are requiring all volunteers to register online.
  • Rider and Crew Emails: 2011 Rider and Crew emails will be sent through a new system. We ask that you please sign up here to ensure you receive the emails as well as “News Bites”, our regular email blast with updates on what is happening at Moveable Feast.

Happy Holidays and hope to see you return in 2011 for another exciting Ride for the Feast!

PS. Sign up before January 1st and receive $10 off your registration. Deal is for returning and new riders!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

T-Shirt Design – Vote for the Winner

It was tough but we've narrowed the field down to three top designs for the 2010 Ride for the Feast t-shirt. Now it is your turn to choose the winner!

Preview the designs* and then make your vote at the bottom of the post. Designs are presented in order of 1,2,3 (to clarify: first design you see below with the 2010 on the front is Design 1, second design you see with Ride for the Feast and bike parts is Design 2, the final design in black with the series of bikes is Design 3) Voting will end on Monday, April 12 at 12:00/noon Eastern Time. The winning design will be unveiled on Friday, May 14.

We want to thank all the designers who participated. We appreciate you lending your time and creativity to Moveable Feast.

*Please note that designs may be tweaked when we go to print. T-shirt colors will be black and white and print colors will be black, white and red.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why do I Ride?

Today, rider Heather VanKeuren, shares with us why she has chosen to ride the 140 miles. Heather won't be on a bicycle but rather her 1998 Yamaha V Star Custom as part of our motorcycle crew. Along with Jim Snow, Heather provides valuable support to our bicyclists by cheering them on, blocking traffic at intersections and overall keeping them safe on the roads. You'll be sure to notice Heather along the ride with her infamous skunk helmet.

I ride for my Dad, my Aunt Maria and most of all for my cousin Harry.

I will never forget how I felt walking in to a very cold and grey hospital room with my Mom and Dad visiting my cousin Harry in Manhattan, NY. I went right up to his bed, leaned over him and gave him a hug, he was so weak and sick he couldn't even raise his arms to hug me back. All the nurses and doctors were wearing masks, gloves, booties and paper gowns over their scrubs. They were so hesitant to enter Harry's room and I didn't understand why. I asked my Mom why they seemed so cold and distant to him...she said Harry has AIDS and no one wanted to get it! I wish back then they knew what we know now. I can't imagine what people with HIV/AIDS must have gone through in the 80's. He was lying there in that hospital bed feeling so alone and scared. On March 7, 1988 my cousin Harry died.

That is why I ride...

I lost my father too soon. He had been diagnosed with cancer less than a year before he passed away. Thank God for the Hospice House in Florida. Without them, I would have never gotten through the toughest time in my life. The rooms were beautiful, the food was good and the nurses so caring. What a difference from 10 years before. Our family was all there at my Dad's bed side. I told him it was ok to go, we would be ok. I held my father's hand as he took his last breath. On December 8, 1998 my father died. I was only 30, way too soon to be without a father in your life. I still can't go down the card aisle before Father's Day every year.

That is why I ride...

My Aunt Maria had cancer too, she passed away on July 27, 2008 in Syracuse, NY. It was 10 years since I lost my father and the care was even better for people with life threatening diseases like cancer. I remember going to visit her and she would say, "I don't know what I would do without Meals on Wheels." Some days she was so weak she was only able to get a meal out of the refrigerator and heat it up. My Aunt and I were very close, we talked on the phone regularly even though we lived far away. I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her, even though I know no one will pick up.

That is why I ride...

I have been faced with death far too often and too close to my heart in the last 30 years. I know that by volunteering for Ride for the Feast, I make a difference in changing the experience for another family in the future. I know that so many people will receive a nutritious meal day every day thanks to Moveable Feast and to that family, that means the world!

That is why I ride!

I am proud to say this is my 3rd year riding with The Chain Gang as one of the motorcycle crew for Ride for the Feast! I hope to see everyone on a training ride or in May at the Ride for the Feast - Heather.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

T-Shirt Design Contest

Flaunt your creativity and help us design the 2010 Ride for the Feast t-shirt! The winning design will be worn by over 200 RFTF participants and the designer will receive a fantastic prize, to be announced at a later date.

The colors of this year's t-shirts will be white and black but designs may only contain red, black and white. The Moveable Feast staff has the right to change the winning design to a two-color version. Designs are only for the front of the t-shirt so please only submit one design. You also have the option of including the 2010 Ride for the Feast logo but it is not necessary.

Submission deadline is 5PM on Wednesday, April 7. The judging committee will then narrow the field down to three finalists and allow RFTF participants to vote for the winner online. PDF and JPG are the only accepted files. Please send submissions to Amanda Fisher at afisher(at)mfeast.org

The judging committee reserves the right to scale the drawing, alter it, add wording, or change the font you submit. You may include a tiny set of your initials with the drawing. Designs become the property of Moveable Feast, but if used, you will always be acknowledged.

Good Luck!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fundraiser Recap - Team BikeCurious "Moveable Feets"

Team BikeCurious captain, Clyde Duplichan, recaps their Saturday, March 15 "Moveable Feets" fundraiser. Make sure to check out the video as well.

Congrats to Team BikeCurious for a fun and successful event!

On Saturday night, March 15, 150 people gathered at the Metro Gallery to boogie, shimmies, shake-some even did jumping jacks-at Moveable Feets - a dance party and contest to support Moveable Feast's annual 140 mile biking extravaganza, Ride for the Feast. This dance event was a first-time fundraiser for Team BikeCurious. A sense of pure unfettered good cheer ruled the night! Everyone who attended had a contestant number pinned to their backs as "celebrity" judges roamed the crowd-and sometimes danced with it as well-taking notes on which attendees best fit the following catagories:
  • So Cute We Puked Dancing Couple
  • Awesomest Dancer
  • Most Inventive Dance Move (or Who Knew a Body Could Move Like That)
  • Best Rhythmic Dancer
  • Most Affected "Dancer" (Too Cool for School)
  • Dance Floor Slut (referring to quantity not quality of said dancing)
  • Biggest Bribe (or You're So Good At This, You Could Have Been a Lobbyist)
  • Dancer that Best Imitated an Aerobics Dancer
Speaking of bribes, all attendees were directed to the Bribery Currency Exchange Table where they could trade in their cold hard cash for BikeCurious Bribery Dollards with which to bribe the judges. Our celebrity pane included Baltimore sculptor, Sondheim prize winner and cultural saboteur Laure Drogoul, Baltimore City Paper Arts Editor Bret McCabe, and Charm City Roller Girl bruiser Flo Shizzle. Voter fraud and election rigging was strongly encouraged and deftly accomplished. Bribery Bucks were flying everywhere!

There was a wide variety of music to ensure that a broad swath of attendees would be seduced into dance. And it worked. At the end of the night, the dance floor was teeming with a divers set of folks who you might not ever see in one place again-from Dundalkians to Station Northers-sweating and laughing together. Not the mention one hula hoop and a lot of freestyle dance moves.

The night started with DJ John Eaton setting the tone for the evening. He also kept the dance floor heated and steamy during the set changes between bands. At 9pm Humble Tripe took the stage. We were incredibly lucky that they were in town for one night and wanted to donate their time. Humble Tripe played a nice set of combination folk-rock-americana-classical music to warm the crowd up. And for those with queer/punk rock history, folks go an unexpected small venu performance from self taught pop-punk drummer extraordinaire of Team Dresch and The Butchies fame Melissa York.

Local all-girl queer art rock power trio The Degenerettes played at 10pm and amped the energy level with their bass-driven jangly fuzzy garage rock and soul. Seriously, there was some serious jammin' and dancin' in the house. Kristen Anchor, the group's drummer, is riding the 140 miles for her first time this year and was one of the powers behind this event. Lead singer and songwriter Rahne Alexander served as emcee for the entire night.

Finally, Baltimore's premeire Motown and Soul band, The Motorettes, specializing in Motown and Stax Records hits from the 50's, 60's and 70's. When is the last time you saw a 6 piece female fronted band complete with horn and keyboard with coordinating black tuxedo suits a la Blues Brothers? Anyone who wasn't already on the dance floor made a quick migration there...and stayed. They made even the most jaded in the crowd put any reserve of dignity aside.

The three bands, the DJ, and the venue all donated their time for this event and all can't wait to do it again.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meet the Staff - Executive Chef, Damon Hersh

It was suggested that we use the blog to introduce you to some of the Moveable Feast staff you will encounter the weekend of the ride. We kick off the "Meet the Staff" series with our Executive Chef, Damon Hersh. You may not see a lot of Damon the weekend of the ride, but you sure will taste his delicious food.

Moveable Feast's Executive Chef has every right to consider himself a local celebrity chef. He graduated with honors at L'Academie Cuisine, one of the nation's top ten culinary schools. He interned and was quickly promoted to sous chef at Occidental Grill, the historic restaurant just steps from the White House. And he has overseen the kitchens of some of Baltimore's finest restaurants including Louisiana, Mezze and Kali's Court. You hear stories of celebrity chefs and their overblown egos but you do not get any sense of that with Chef Damon. Rather, you get a chef who surprises and warms the staff with a tasty stone soup on a cold afternoon. You get a chef who blushes when a client stops by the office to tell him how much she enjoys his food and has started to gain weight.

Moveable Feast is full of dedicated and hard working staff, but nobody can deny Chef Damon is the busiest. This past summer after the birth of his first child, Isabelle Hiroko Saffron Hersh, Chef Damon decided to leave the late nights of the restaurant world and search for something that would allow for him to play the role of an active father. All it took was an hour of chatting with Executive Director Tom Bonderenko and a week volunteering in the kitchen and grocery room to receive the job offer he was looking for. And, this past October, Chef Damon officially became in charge of the Moveable Feast kitchen, open 365 days, 7 days a week.

I asked Chef Damon what has been his biggest challenge so far working at Moveable Feast. He quickly responded, "sheer volume." He went on to explain that with his experience in fine dining, he would typically prepare meals for roughly 120 diners each night and with a staff of 7. At Moveable Feast, he is preparing on average 5,000 meals per week (sometimes 1,000 in one day) with only 3 full time and 1 part time staff members. Chef Damon goes on to credit the many volunteers who have worked in our kitchen but is honest about the struggles with having 40 volunteers one day versus zero the next. He reminds me (and I think to remind those reading this) that our kitchen is open 7 days a week.

In changing the subject to the benefits of his job, we talk about growing up in households where dinner each night was spent together as a family. Chef Damon seems happy to be at that place in his life where he can begin to carry on this tradition, one we agree is very important. I expect Damon to answer bouillabaisse or lobster sous vide, when I ask him what he typically cooks for dinner. He casually reveals, "chicken with a mushroom cream sauce, green beans, and brown rice." He doesn't bite my bait to chat more in depth about food and cooking styles but rather returns to discussing the newly discovered perks of his job. Chef Damon says his greatest reward is at the end of each day, when he goes home and holds his daughter in his arms, he knows he did the best job he could that day and feels proud of what he accomplished.

I dream of being a celebrity chef in my next lifetime and obsess over the Food Network and Top Chef. Chef Damon is participating in a local chef competition this spring and I excitedly ask if he has ever considered auditioning for a television show. Of course and Iron Chef would be his choice. I ask him who he would go up against. He answers "Bobby Flay. [I would] wreck his little red wagon." We go on to chat for a few more minutes about the different cooking styles of Morimoto and Mario Batali until I realize I need not waste Chef Damon's time and get back to the task at hand.

I bring up Ride for the Feast. Damon inserts his humor and says, " I plan to ride my Big Wheel. Hills will be tough but I'll make it." Like me, this will be Damon's first Ride for the Feast. He says his game plan is to rely on the expertise of those who have gone before him, like Chef Aaron Purdie who has been with Moveable Feast for the past few years. He admits not having the luxury of his own kitchen will be difficult but I don't sense any bit of anxiety over prepping, cooking, transporting and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 300 riders, crew, staff and guests this May. I ask him if he rides. No. But, he goes on to say that if he had come across Ride for the Feast before he started working here, he would have signed up for the challenge. Chef Damon believes that whether you ride 140 miles, run a marathon, or wrestle an alligator, everyone in their lifetime should experience an event where you challenge yourself physically, emotionally and all for a good cause.

More fun facts about Chef Damon:

  • He entered the Army out of high school and was a Korean linguist.

  • He started his culinary career at a pizza shop.

  • He hates okra because of the texture.

  • His favorite cooking tool is fire. Though, he gets a kick out of using the industrial sized immersion blender in the Moveable Feast kitchen.

  • He sings in the award-winning group, Pyrates Royale. But, do NOT ask him to sing. He will tell you to buy one of their CDs or check out a performance. (Hmmm....I'm now thinking pirate theme for the RFTF Saturday night dinner)

  • He is the Founder and President of Fraternite Gastronomique, whose goal is to find like-minded culinary professionals who are willing to give for their art to help create in order to create a vibrant and growing culinary and social community in Baltimore.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nutrition Tips

Moveable Feast staff dietitian Jinee Burdg lends some of her expertise and provides tips on proper nutrition while training. Jinee is returning this year to ride in her second Ride for the Feast and will be leading the Diet Tribe team.

140 miles...140 miles...140 miles...Friends look at you with awe, and you look inside yourself and say, "What was I thinking?" Have no fear, the dietitian is here! My name is Jinee, a registered and licensed dietitian as well as a returning Ride for the Feast cyclist.

So, you have your bike and gear, but you're wondering how to prepare for the miles of pavement and fatigue. You can defeat them both with a proper nutrition plan!

Fatigue can be caused by illness, muscle glycogen depletion, low ATP levels, inadequate sleep, travel and personal stresses. One way to fight fatigue through nutrition is to energize your body with food. Carbohydrate foods are the main source of energy for your body. Eating plenty of carbohydrates not only fuels your body, but it also maintains your energy levels by providing your body with plenty of glucose. Glucose is one kind of carbohydrate that is required for ATP, a form of energy. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is used to power muscle fiber contraction. The metabolism of ATP that powers this muscle contraction also produces heat. Our body responds to this heat by sweating to maintain a regular body temperature.

Trying to burn off that muffin top? Eat your carbs! You need some carbohydrates to help your body metablolize fat into energy. "Fat burns in the flame of carbohydrates." Remember, carbs are a necessary part of your diet - don't desert them. And, yes, you can have desserts too!

For more information and more tips, see the following handouts:

Click here to email Jinee with any questions or concerns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why do I Ride?

After reading Ride for the Feast committee member Bob Steffan's story on why he rides, we thought we would regularly update the blog with more of these inspiring stories. Today, Moveable Feast staff member, Sara McClean, shares with us why she has chosen to ride the 140 miles. Sara is one of three dietitians on staff and has been working at Moveable Feast since June 1, 2009. This will be her first year involved with the ride. She will be riding her brand new Trek 2.1 WSD.

Because Chris died.
Chris was 14.
I was 13.

Because he said he would beat it.
"No one's lived as long as me yet."
I didn't know what to say.
"I know you will. You'll beat it."
I wore a polka-dot blouse to his funeral.

Because my dad said he was proud
of how the church handled it.
That the family wasn't isolated.
Because he honestly, sincerely believed
That the only black family in our church
Wasn't isolated.

Because of all the others we've lost since then.

Because no one
should have to stare
this disease in the face
without hope
and support
and fire.

And no one
has fire if they aren't fed.

Because the only reason
that I am not living with this disease
is luck.

Because food is right.

Because I have something to prove.

Because I am humbled by the work we do and the people who do it.

Because I am overawed by the badass riders who have gone before me.

Because this cannot end here.

If you wish to share why you ride...or crew...or donate, please email your story to Amanda Fisher, Special Events Manager for Moveable Feast.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We want your bike stories!

Ride for the Feast community, I know you have stories. Ive heard many of them. You have stories about the first time you did Ride for the Feast, the first time you had to SAG, the first time you realized you needed a steady supply of Fritos if you were going to ride 100 miles, and more. Now you can share these stories for the glory of seeing your name in print and the warm feeling of helping raise funds for the Feast!  Check it out:

TaleSpin is a new zine about bike riding. Whether you ride Road, Fixed, Mountain, BMX, or Penny Farthing, and whether you ride daily or not since the banana seat went out of style, we want your stories, essays, poetry, photography and other artwork. The theme of our inaugural issue is First Times. Tell us about your first bike ride, your first crash, your first spin class, your first flat tire, your first bike race, your first...anything, as long as it happened on, under, near, or because of a bike.

All submissions will be considered. Articles (100 – 1,000 words) should be sent by e-mail (aberrebeATgmailDOTcom) as attached Word documents. Image files should be approximately 5x7 inches, 300+ dpi (.JPG or .TIF format). All contributors will receive a byline for their work and a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 19, 2010.

TaleSpin is being produced by
Team Atomic, a Baltimore-based cycling team that rides to raise funds for Moveable Feast of Maryland. All proceeds from sales of TaleSpin will be donated to Moveable Feast’s Ride for the Feast. TaleSpin will be available locally for purchase at Atomic Books, through the Team Atomic website (www.teamatomic.org), and at area bike shops.

For more information, contact: Rebecca Abernathy, Editor, at aberrebeATgmailDOTcom.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why do I ride?

I have been asked on several occasions why I ride.  I believe we all ride for different reasons, but for me, I ride to remember, in hope and lastly because I am able to ride.
I ride to remember the people in my life who currently have or have passed away from HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and other cancers.  I ride in the hope that someday there is a cure for all these life challenging illnesses. I ride because I am lucky enough to be able to be on a bicycle and ride for those who can't with some of the best people in the world.
I have been participating in Ride for the Feast since its inception as a rider, team captain, and a past ride chair; not just because it's an organization that is doing some good in the community and not just because I know that all the money I help raise goes directly to those who need it, but also because the riders are a community unto themselves.  In the 7 years that I have participated in this ride I have met so many great friends (and I expect year 8 to be no different).  Having participated in many charity rides in my lifetime, those that know me know I talk about this ride the most.  One such event would have been a Sunday a few years back when I was riding on the B&A trail with Deb, another team mate, when we ended up talking with 2 people riding the trail about the ride.  Deb casually mentioned they should be careful before they got caught up in the VORTEX known as Bob that sucks people into doing this ride.  Well ok so I guess I am a vortex for The Ride, but one of those people riding was Pez who joined our team.
There are also times that life puts so many things on your plate that you just don't know if you can do just one more thing.  A great friend once wrote me and another team mate when there was so much going on, not to push us to do the ride, but to remind of us of how we inspired her when she decided to become a rider and we said we couldn't wait to ride with her.  I think what she wrote says a lot about the people who participate on this ride.
     "By being so encouraging and positive, you really embodied the spirit of Moveable Feast's mission, which is meeting people at their point of struggle and helping them get past it to where they want to be. You can't get well because your nutritional needs aren't being met? No problem; we'll bring you meals and get you well. You can't find a job because you're an ex-con in transition? No problem; we'll get you into our culinary program and help you find a job. You want to ride farther than you've ever ridden before? No problem; we'll help you train because we can't wait to ride with you."
That very simple and sincere response immediately made me feel like I was part of a community. 
Why do I ride?  Because this is the ride that has the most conscientious riders and crew I have ever met.  When you are struggling to get to the next pit stop because you ran out of water, a snack, or just hit a wall and need a push, you can count on someone coming upon you and getting you to the next point.  This is the ride you go on and catch up with old friends while you are riding and don't even realize how quickly you made it to the next pit stop.  This is the ride where you are riding with someone who you haven't seen since the previous year's ride, but you know they have your back if you need anything.  As some past riders and crew will remember, this ride has been done in the pouring rain, temperatures over 100, and in high winds, yet we all pulled together and made it through the ride.  That is the kind of people you know are there for you no matter what.
As captain of The Chain Gang I have the privilege of riding with some great people on my team (yes we are accepting new teammates), the motos to protect us on the ride and on other teams, riders and crew to make this a great ride for a great organization. 
I hope to ride with you either on a training ride or during the Ride for the Feast.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Why Will You Ride?

I don’t remember her name, but I’ll never forget her story.

It was about five years ago. I wasn’t yet a Ride for the Feast rider, but I knew about the ride. I’d volunteered for it, but I wasn’t as involved with it as I am now. I was working a fulltime research job that required that I periodically visit various AIDS service providers to interview their clients about the types of health and social services they needed. It was on one of these visits, on a snowy late January morning, that I met her.

She came into the interview room looking fragile—emotionally, not physically. She was timid. I couldn’t tell how old she was; she could have been 25, she could have been 45. Her hands trembled slightly as she took a seat across from me, and she made only the most tentative eye contact. She seemed…almost apologetic. I couldn’t imagine for what since we’d only just met, but then I got it. She was apologizing for being there, in my day; for her existence. I was witnessing shame like I’d never seen before, coupled with a desire to be relieved of it that was so strong I can still feel in the pit of my stomach. As our interview began, she provided long explanations for what were essentially “yes” or “no” questions. She needed to tell her story, needed to know that someone would listen.

She told me about the abusive relationship she escaped, the way she believes she became infected, the shame over her diagnosis that kept her from seeking medical care for more than two years, and the frustrating insurance problems that were threatening her continued care. That’s what brought her to the agency where our interview was taking place—she was meeting with a social worker to try to get some emergency funds to pay for her medications.

I asked her about her home situation, whether she had anyone to help with her care. She told me she lived with her daughter, and that she was great about reminding her to take her meds and making sure she got her meals on time. That’s when Moveable Feast came up.

      “We get our meals from that Moveable Feast and they are the one thing that always goes right. They always come every day and the meals are good and they are so easy for my daughter to just heat up in the microwave. That’s what I worry about the most—my daughter, how it will be for her.”

I don’t know why I asked my next question. It wasn’t on my list of survey questions, I didn’t need to know it, and I’m not even sure where my suspicion came from. But I asked anyway.

      “How old is your daughter?”

Her face changed in a way that any mother would recognize. The tension disappeared and was replaced by a beaming pride. She smiled a big, wistful smile.

      “Oh she’s so grown! I can’t believe how big she is already. She just turned six.”

I wanted to hug her. I wanted to run from the room. I wanted to find the daughter and hug her. I wanted to go home and crawl into bed and under my covers and never come out. Six years old? Damn.

      “Six years oldso grown! She takes good care of me. She makes sure I get my breakfast, and then she’ll tell me, ‘Mama, you should try to get up and move a little. You’ll feel good if you do. Come on, come to the door and watch me walk to the bus stop. I’ma go to school and learn a lot for both of us today. Watch me go!’ She’s such a sweet girl…”

Her words trailed off as the pride on her face dissolved into a storm of worry and guilt and hope. But noticeably absent from that look was resignation. She had burrowed up out of shame so deep it let her disease go untreated for two years, she had sought out a social worker to help her negotiate with her insurance company, and she was doing everything she could to make sure she’d keep getting meds. Resignation was not part of her makeup; this woman was a fighter.

As we finished our interview, I silently hoped that her daughter was a fighter, too. I couldn’t even begin to understand the challenges they faced—a single mom and her first grader battling critical illness, poverty, social stigma, uncooperative corporations, and complicated web of social service institutions. 

Gradually, a 140-mile bike ride began to seem like no challenge at all. And that’s when I knew I had to ride.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gearing up for RFTF 2010!

Well, the holidays are behind us, a new year is upon us, and the temperature has finally climbed up out of the 30s. There's no denying it:  the off-season is officially over and it's time to gear up (pun totally intended) for Ride for the Feast 2010!  Actually, there's been so much good ride-related activity already this year that it's more like catching up than gearing up. Here's what's on the up and up:

Indoor Training Rides
What I said above about temperatures in the 40s? Forget it. Just since I started writing this entry, freezing rain started beating against my skylight. Don't let unpredictable weather hold back your training--take a spin class! Two local health clubs are offering special discounted spin classes for Ride for the Feast riders. Get the details.

Jersey Raffle
For just 3 bucks you can have a chance to win a sweet wool jersey from Dirt Rag Magazine.
The jersey is made by Woolistic out of 100% Merino wool. (Yummy!) Soft but durable, this jersey doesn't itch, it wicks moisture, and it stays warm even when wet for riding in damp chilly weather like we're having right now. The jersey is black with a grey Dirt Rag logo and valued at $125.
Not bad for a $3 raffle ticket!

Especially when each ticket you buy loads a client meal onto our new Ute, a cargo bike donated to Moveable Feast by Proteus Bikes. We'll be showcasing the Ute at various events and fundraisers, starting with the CX My Heart and Superbowl of Single Speed Cyclocross Race on February 7th. Thanks to Proteus for donating the bike, Dirt Rag for donating the jersey, and Kona Bikes, makers of the Ute, for giving us a shout-out on their website.

Old friends are back, new friends have found us...I'd say 2010 is off to a pretty good start! Want to keep that momentum going? Sign up to ride, register as a crew member, or make a donation

That's it for now, friends. But there's so much more to come in the next few months, so check in often.