We all have stories to tell about how we got into cycling, but I doubt any of you were brought into the faith by a 300 pound Jamaican triathlete. John Nelson helped me figure out the game: stuff like not wearing underwear under my shorts, for example.
He took me on my first real ride--a 60 miler in mid-July heat. I didn't know much about cycling, but I knew that only a freak of nature could do what John did on a bike. John is proof that some people are just made differently; the guy could put out watts. Also, drafting off him was like drafting off a Smartcar.
John on last year's Wounded Warrior ride
Last year John's doctor told him he was becoming diabetic and that he should exercise. John's response: "Does 250 miles a week count?"
But then his knees gave out, he had surgery, he wasn't able to commute the 25 miles to work every day, and he gained weight.
But he still found time to ride with the Wounded Warriors up to Pennsylvania, and to do a few centuries last Fall.
Last week, John's doctor informed him that he was officially diabetic. John needs to get in shape if he wants to keep healthy and have a long life.
I want to help motivate John lose weight by pledging money to his favorite charity, and I'm hoping others will join me: first, to help John get in shape; and, second, to help raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project--a cause John has supported for a long time.
For every pound John loses between Monday, February 1st and May 20th, I'm giving an amount to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Those of you who know Dean Wagner, pretty much the coolest cyclist in MABRA, should be aware of the Wounded Warrior Project.
Dean sent me the following email last week:
Everyone – Please go to Team 4MIL and donate! Just click the donate link on the main page . Any amount will help the Wounded Warrior Project and their families. Pass the link along.
I'm a cheapass and never give to charity, which is another reason why I wanted to write this up--to commit myself to give a little (or, if John loses a lot of weight, which the hammerhead probably will do, a lot).
Pledging: The pledge spreadsheet is here. Note, I don't want to handle your money. Simply do the following:
(1) Sometime soon, commit (on the spreadsheet) to giving a dollar amount per pound John loses.
(2) When we announce how much weight John has lost (and how much you owe) on May 21st,
(3) Go to the Wounded Warrior Project website and pay up.
Timeline: On Monday, February 2nd, we'll kick off the challenge with a picture of John on a scale. The challenge will run from the initial weigh-in until the closing weigh-in on May 20th, when John and I head off to the Tour of California. On May 21st, I'll announce
-how much weight John has lost
-how much we owe
-how much we've raised for the Wounded Warrior Project
Updates: John will give regular updates on his fitness program and how he's doing.
More details to come on Monday at the weigh-in.