Owner Story: Converging Circles for a Great Cause

Team Kalamari made a difference with cyclists all over the world raising funds to support Andean Health and Development. Here's the story from Phil who brought cyclists all over the world together for this great cause.

I am not a great cyclist. I hope I could be classified as a good cyclist. (I do have great equipment).

I know of great cyclists, like the many great cyclists we see on TV, and Maria, Larry and Jason in Cruzbike lore. I am just not them.

I am not a great person. I hope I could be classified as a good person.

I know of great people, like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Harriet Tubman and the others we know of in history, and my buddy David Gaus in local lore. I am just not them.

Sometimes parts of your life converge. A person’s collection of friends and acquaintances are like a giant Venn diagram of circles, some discrete, some overlapping, some concentric. Similarly one’s interests fit that model. Life is, in fact, the amalgam of all of your life’s little circles inventoried with each other overlay after overlay.

Andean health & Development is my buddy Dave’s gig.  https://www.andeanhealth.org/ I went to Notre Dame. I graduated in 1984. Dave and many of the board members of Andean Health are classmates and friends of mine from college. There’s a few converging circles.

I am a cyclist. I ride uprights, tricycles, recumbent bicycles, moving bottom bracket front wheel drives, whatever. I also build them and tinker. There’s a few converging circles.

Cruzbike is a bike I ride. These days, the bike I ride the most. The tribe is a big part of the Cruzbike community. I am in that community. Also in that community are Maria, Rudy, Ben, Larry, Casey and a lot of others both on the forum and not. There are a few converging circles.

Maria and Jim are involved in medicine. So Is my buddy Dave. So are a lot of the guys and gals I ride with, work with and are related to. There’s a few converging circles.

Maria and Jim, and Cruzbike, and many of the Cruzbike tribe, support medical charity and philanthropy. So do I. I have donated to other tribe members’ causes, and some have done the same for me in the past.

Andean health has a lot of supporters and board members that are cyclists. There is an annual ride. I do it. I try and help raise money for Andean health because I think there is something different about what they do, and they are my friends. https://www.andeanhealth.org/bikeride/

So what about this COVID thing? Trip can’t happen. So what to do now? Time for lemonade.  The ride this year, since we could not do our normal ride, which is really a small number of cyclists (“the AHD cycling team”) going somewhere and doing an 8 day ride to raise money (which I go on, and for which I am the sole bent, sole CB among some pretty nice bikes and serious cyclists) they decide to make it huge. Riders everywhere to ride in the 8 days wherever they were, to try and make everyone a member of the team. After all most people don’t have time to take off and ride, but everyone can go out from wherever they are and put in a ride. Maybe this year we work on awareness and scope. Super.

So I looked at my circles…cyclists, Cruzbike, medical, philanthropy, friends, relatives and acquaintances. There’s a few converging circles.

Okay, I don’t have the cashflow that some donors have, but I have quite a few circles. And I posted on the Cruzbike forum, and I called my friends, and we made team Kalamari. That team has 4 Cruzbikes, Rudy in Texas (read his story here), Ben in Canada, Casey in Italy, Me in  Michigan. The team also has a bunch of other cyclists in Italy and across the USA, who happily ride with Cruzbikers.  The ride went from Saturday September 19th to Saturday September 26th. We all rode wherever we were, with whoever we could get to ride. We got sponsors, made donations and did our thing. It was awesome. The pictures from Italy were awesome.

The circles converged. Right there in the middle of the circles’ convergence was Cruzbike. Because of the community, because of philanthropy, because of medicine, because of the tribe. I am grateful. Thanks to all.

Look at the Andean Health website, look at the pictures. We were there. you all were there too. One of our sponsors was Maria and Cruzbike who gave a per mile sponsorship of the Cruzbike riders. Besides straight donations, I was also quite fortunate to have several others sponsor me per mile, and a few people put in mileage bonuses. So, I had incentive. And, I had a secret weapon, my Cruzbike V20. So I took the week off of work, and decided I would maximize on the opportunity. I decided I would rack up some miles. Now, this was not something I could train for, because in order to take a week off, I had to work extra and didn’t even get to ride for the week before my ride. But whatever. I have the secret weapon.

I figured I would do a century every day for 8 days. 800 miles. maybe if I felt good I could do 125’s and rip off 1000. No problem right? Larry does that every day sitting on his trainer while he works… (of course I am not Larry. Larry great cyclist. Phil not.) But, I have a bike like Larry’s.

Day 1: 126.60 16.3 avg. Flat tire around 75. Mike, Robert, and Chris rode with me each part of the way. I bonked a little at 120, stopped and got a drink and some gummy bears. My knee reminded me that it had already been worked on, and that I had not cleared this project with it in advance, and so I decided no more 125’s. 800 will have to be enough. Otherwise uneventful.

Day 2: 106.50 15.2 avg. Chris rode with me part way.

Day 3: 100.74  13.6 avg. Solo. On gravel. On the vintage Cruzbike Sofrider. Worked great. makes me wish I had a Cruzbike Q45. N+1!

Cruzbike Sofrider recumbent road bike

Day 4: 104.99 16.6 avg. Chris rode half with me.

Day 5: 101.70 15.5 avg. Peter Chris and John all rode parts. john showed up for the last 34 to make me ride hard to make up for the easy 34 with peter.

Day 6: 71.55 14.3 avg. two rides so I could ride with friends in the morning and pick up kids from practice. Just not enough time to get 100, but I had miles in the bank

Day 7: 101.07  16.5 avg. Mike rode the last 34, and made me pick up the pace.

Day 8: 40.46  15.8 avg. last day fun ride with a group and the a nice wrap up lunch. Not gonna add up to 800, but it was great to ride with friends. 750 will have to be enough.

Total: 754 miles

Drama? None. Pain? Only my bad knee, which warms up after about an hour. Totally uneventful. A pleasant week of riding.

Cruzbike Vendetta V20 fastest recumbent road bike

So what is the takeaway? Two things. 1. Cruzbike and the tribe are more than just a bunch of bent cyclists. 2. When you have the secret weapon, mileage is not an issue.

Cruzbike Vendetta V20 fastest recumbent road bike

I hope everyone can come out for the Michigan ride next year. I will make sure we one century….or four. Lol

And in case you want to donate, Here is the website again. Hit the “donate to the ride” button. Make sure you designate for team Kalamari from the CB tribe. https://www.andeanhealth.org/bikeride/


1 comment

  • Rudy

    It was my first time riding for the Andean Health Organization and I thank Phil for the invitation!
    I wished I could have taken time off to have gotten more miles, but this year has been busy for us.

    I hope to make this an annual event and will try to get a few centuries in next time!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published