Saturday, December 31, 2011

A new year, a new approach.

Last year on World Autism Day, I conducted my so-called One Dad Bike-a-Thon for Autism.

I decided 4 days before the fact that I'd collect pledges from family and friends for the Central California Autism Center (where my son attends therapy). It was haphazard in its planning to say the least! I hadn't ridden my bike in months....I hadn't even mentioned it to the center yet....

And despite all of that, we were able to raise over $600 in donations for them. Just like that. 

While my goal is to raise money for my son's center, I realize that there are countless parents and families out there whose children receive services somewhere else. I feel guilty asking someone across the country to sponsor me on a bike ride and to donate to the CCAC. 

In 2012, I've decided to change things up a little bit. I am still riding my bike. I am still asking for donations. This time, however, I am asking you to make your pledges and donations to your own local Autism charity. Surely there is a center near you where therapists work countless hours with kids just like ours that can use a little financial help. 

I'd like to stress that while I can't tell you where your donations should go, I'd prefer if they went somewhere local. Somewhere that has directly impacted you and or your child. There are major international Autism charities that do amazing work, but they're expert fundraisers. They money generated by this little bike ride wouldn't amount to a hill of beans for them...but for a local charity, it will definitely be appreciated and is probably desperately needed. (I'm stepping off my soapbox now!)

I don't want the money. The donations don't pass through me. They go directly from you to the Autism charity of your choosing. I'm just hoping to inspire and facilitate. 

I picture it working like this.

  • You decide which local Autism charity/provider/miracle worker you'd like to donate to. Maybe it's where your child or grandchild spends so much of his or her time...

  •  E mail me at with your pledge information (who, where and how much)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  •  I will post the pledges on this blog.                                                                               
  •  On World Autism Awareness Day, I'll do all the work. I'll ride my bike. I'll tweet from the ride (@rales9) and I'll post a map showing my progress. You can follow along if you'd like.                                                                               
  • When I'm done, I'll post my total miles and a map of the ride with my stats etc..                                                                                                       
  • You make the donation to your selected charity.                                                                       
  • The world becomes a better place. 

I've got several months to plan this out and prepare for the ride. My goal is 50 miles. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Overall, a great success!

While I came up short of my goal by 5 miles, awareness of, and donations for, the Central California Autism Center far exceeded my expectations. Thank you for that. Next year will be better planned and hopefully much bigger.
About the ride...
I got to Woodward park a little later than I wanted to but no biggie. I'm the only person involved. Started airing up my tires and had the rear tube take a turn for the worst. I'm a former aircraft mechanic, so this was a simple fix.
Loaded up my supplies and headed out. The cyclemeter app on my iPhone worked like something that should cost hundreds of dollars, not five. The voice announcements went off every half mile and it tweeted my stats every mile to the 5 people or so who cared to check in with my progress.
I stopped for a break after 12 miles. Then again at 18. Then again at 26 and 31. The last mile or so was spent in sight of my truck. I had decided wisely to stop at 35 and not push my luck any further.
I was/still am tired and sore and will pay for this tomorrow. However, it's a small price to pay to show my gratitude to the folks at the CCAC who do such outstanding work with my son.

I look forward to doing it again.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 1, 2011

I ride at sunrise

I'll be heading out early tomorrow with lots of good wishes and support behind me. Thank you to all of you who saw some merit in my last minute idea and didn't tell me I was silly for even trying it.
I will have my phone tweeting away the details of my ride so follow along if you'd like. My goal is 40 miles.
Let's see how close I can get.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How it works

On Saturday, April 2nd, I'm going to ride my bike and track the miles I have ridden. People who wish to donate to the CCAC can either pledge a dollar per mile amount or a lump sum. After my ride I will post everywhere I can, how many miles I rode. Donors can then add it up and send a check to the very deserving Central California Autism Center. It's that easy.

Please watch the video below if you haven't seen it yet. You'll understand why I'm doing this.


Central California Autism Center

This is the Central California Autism Center. The little boy in green is my son. Neat how that worked out!

Thank you!

Support and encouragement are coming in and I really appreciate it. It's gonna take a lot to get my butt 40 miles on a bike!

Donation pledges are also coming from friends, family and folks who I have never met in person but who are kind-hearted enough to support this cause.

Thank you to all of you.

I will share one note from my Aunt Shirley. Her son Marshall, (my cousin), also has autism. He was my first and only contact with Autism for a very long time. He is now 40. My aunt, my uncle Jim, their daughters Stephanie and Tracy have always been there for Marshall and I want to say that I admire them for that. Just know that I will have Marshall in mind while I ride as well. I miss all of you very much. You too Grandma. =) I didn't forget you.

Here's her note:

Hi Judy, "Give Chris my best wishes and I will pray for him to go the 40 miles with ease. I will also mail in a donation from Marshall as he too has autism,and he is doing great because of all the training and love he had from his teachers. He is now 40 yrs. old." 

Two days to go!

I am nervous and excited about this....

I stated in my first post that my goal for this ride is 40 miles. I need to emphasize that I've never ridden 40 miles in a day. I'm not some slim and trim cyclist you see all decked out in riding gear that can keep up with 25mph traffic and not miss a beat. A few summers ago I got started riding and I would do about 20 miles on a Saturday and another 20 on a Sunday. That was 2 years ago.

I guess my thinking in this is that it would be a cop out to try for something I know I can achieve. I'm not taking the easy route. I want every penny raised for the CCAC in this little endeavor to be hard fought.

Kinda like what my son is going through.

Every single advance he makes is through not only hard work put in by his's through countless attempts and hundreds of hours of hard work by him. He puts in a 40 hour week when you combine preschool and therapy.

My son works harder at his "job" than most adults I have ever known.

He's 4.

I can do this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Donation Information

Just spoke with Nick at the Central California Autism Center and he's onboard! Thanks Nick!

At this time, checks mailed directly to the center are the best way to make a donation.

Make checks payable to:
Central California Autism Center

The address is:

2576 E. San Ramon Avenue M/S ST 11

Fresno, CA 93740

Donations are tax deductible.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Details details....

I have yet to actually let the folks at the Central California Autism Center know I'm doing this.


Tuesdays are hectic but I'm going to e mail them tonight and drop by tomorrow. I will get clarification on the best way to get the donations to them after the ride.

I am planning on riding out and back along the Lewis S. Eaton Trail heading north from Woodward Park. No cars, nice path etc.

My goal is to ride 40 miles. The most I've ridden on this particular trail is 22 or so. It's about 3 miles out and 3 back with a few hills challenging enough for a pretty novice rider like myself.

This is who I'm riding for.

My son. 

My inspiration.

A crazy idea that just might work...

This coming Saturday, April 2nd 2011 is World Autism Awareness Day

I am kicking around the idea of a one-man bike-a-thon to raise money for the Central California Autism Center where my son and many other kids with Autism receive therapy. Their Facebook page is here and is more current than their homepage.
This is their Youtube page featuring the videos I made to promote the center.

My plan is this: I will ride my bike on Saturday for a set amount of time (2 or 3 hours) and will ask for either donations per mile or a lump sum donation made to the Central California Autism Center. 

Donations would be made out directly to the center and will be sent directly to them. It would be an honor system type of thing.

It's a very last minute idea. I had planned on releasing a documentary about my son on Saturday but I have been swamped with school and personal stuff the last few weeks and haven't finished it yet.

This is my alternate plan to raise awareness of Autism and to actually do something that will directly help kids with Autism.

If you are interested in sponsoring me in this endeavor, thank you.

Here is my cycling credibility so you have something to base donations on...

Height 5'10
Weight 230
Age 39
Physical Condition: More modern day Neil Armstrong than Lance Armstrong
Miles ridden this year: Less than 20
Most miles ridden at one time: 36

My personal goal for this ride? 40 miles.

I have a cycling app on my iphone that will show my route and stats on google maps so folks can verify what I actually rode.

Again, this is in the very early stages of planning and I have 3.5 days to work out the details.

Any thoughts/input?