I’ve been asked several times how people can help me with this project, so here’s a partial listing of needs. As time goes on I’m sure these will change so I’ll let you know what is no longer needed, and what may have a particularly urgent need, as things develop. For information regarding where/how to send anything on (or off) this list please email me at OldSchoolCycling@hotmail.com.
First and Foremost – Let others know about this project, particularly those who may benefit from it. Without assistance from readers and/or other people participating in the rides no headway will be made. As stated in my “Purpose” post, this project is intended to build stamina and help overcome obstacles, both physical and mental, created by Prostate Cancer and/or its treatment.
Other things needed, in no particular order at this time, are as follows:
Bicycles – Gently used or new with at least 10 speeds. We’ll normally be riding in hilly terrain so a single speed bike would prove difficult, if not impossible for many people, to peddle up long hills. Others who want to participate in this project’s rides are not always financially able to afford a bicycle, therefore like the group in Houston, TX (Tour de Hood) I need to be able to provide a bicycle for them to use so they are not left out. The bikes don’t have to be state-of-the-art, just serviceable.
Bicycle Upkeep and Maintenance Items – Chain repair tools and lubricant, inner tubes, tires, pumps and/or compressed gas inflators, lighting, reflectors, etc. Anything that will aid in keeping a bike usable and operating safely.
Helmets – Safety is always a high priority for anyone engaged in cycling. In many areas the use of a helmet is required by law.
Mirrors – Either handlebar or helmet mounted. As stated in my “Inaugural Ride” post, I learned quickly this is a much-needed safety item, not just a luxury.
Safety Vest or Shirt – Anything hunter orange or that weird, highly visible, fire engine lime color with reflective strips will work. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but should be able to fit most people. My safety vest is actually intended for construction and/or roadside workers and came from Home Depot. It’s light, cool, and can be seen very well from a distance. Bike shops sell safety shirts, both long and short sleeve, intended to be worn by cyclists.
Food – Single serving snacks that do not require refrigeration would probably be best, however MRE’s would be great also. Most grocery stores have foil pack (not canned) tuna, chicken, ham etc with crackers and school lunch sized fruit cups. Anything along this line would be helpful. So would small jars of Peanut butter and a box of crackers or miniature loaf of bread. Yes, I’ll be sure nobody with a Peanut allergy is exposed to this. Some trips will require at least a snack break, others a meal. If the item(s) donated should be warmed before eating then please also include a water activated heater (such as an MRE heater) or compact stove with fuel source. When not relying on MRE’s I carry an Esbit folding stove and metal cup. The stove is compact, foldable, and uses little tablets as it’s heat source.
Water or Juice – It goes without saying that fluids on a ride of any decent length are a necessity. Bottled water, a Gatorade-like product, and/or fruit juice (that doesn’t need refrigeration) would be great. If you would like to send something like hot cocoa mix, instant coffee, etc. please include a convenient way for riders to heat it as mentioned above.
First-Aid Kits – Anything from a minor cut or scrape to a broken bone can happen during a cycling trip. Small, pocket-size kits are probably needed most, however during longer trips the rides will normally be “chased” by a support vehicle, so larger kits would also come in handy.
Funding – For some people sending money instead of goods is much easier and more convenient, either as one-time or monthly donation(s). My attorney advised me to tell you this is not (yet) a charitable organization according to IRS standards. This effort (see Purpose) is my personal attempt to provide assistance and moral support to those afflicted by prostate cancer and/or the results of same, so your donation may not be tax-deductible. Should you decide to help in this way it would enable me to purchase the items which have not been donated so I can pursue the goal(s) stated in this blog and/or buy fuel for transportation to/from ride area(s).