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The Spring 2012 riding season officially got underway for me Saturday morning with a ride out to the Police Station in Alpine, NJ. I’d been commuting to work, temperature/weather permitting, since early March, but this was the first distance ride of the season–once you added in getting to/from the start point and such it turned into a 44.5 mile ride.

This year, in addition to riding with my usual riding partners–Joey and Kip–I’m branching out and riding with OutCycling. I met some of the OutCycling gang on Braking the Cycle last year and decided to join up this year. The ride a few different routes so I’m excited to see some new parts of the city and state with these guys.

This first ride out wasn’t easy. I knew the route. I’d done it many times last year. However, it was WINDY. The weather said it was gusts in the 20-30 mph range and I believe it. Riding up the West Side bike path was rough and along 9W in Jersey was rough too. There were patches of okay–such as going over the GWB, which was surprising–but overall it was a strenuous ride. The upside is I did it, so that means I can do it again if I need to.

Next week we ride out farther… in fact I’m already tasting muffins in Piermont!

This fall brings a change to the ride/fundraising I do for HIV/AIDS Services at the LGBT Center here in NYC. This year, Braking the Cycle has a new beneficiary with Housing Works, which has a mission mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy.

Meanwhile, LGBT Center has it’s own ride–the Center Ride, which continues to benefit the HIV/AIDS services it offers. I believe deeply in this cause so I am once again out to raise money, this year’s goal is a minimum of $4,000, and ride 280+ miles for the cause. Please help me get to my fundraising goal. You can donate here. Thank you for whatever support you can give!

While I’m raising money for my ride, I’ll also be helping out members of the Flying Goats who are doing Braking the Cycle. Once I have details on what they’re doing, I’ll post that as well in case you can help with both causes.