Hallelujah! I didn’t die!
June 15th, 2005 → Leave a comment
Sorry it took a few days since the Aids Lifecycle 4 (ie “the World’s Most Insane Workout”) to update my site. I have been getting anxious emails and instant messages from friends that pretty much scream, “ARE YOU ALIVE?!!”
I don’t blame my friends for being worried for me. It was a rough week and I am a natural clutz and 555 miles of rocky pavement, hills, headwinds and crosswinds over 7 days is one suicidal undertaking! Especially when you don’t train properly! Like me!
But in the end– I did it! I was always one of the last cyclists rolling into camp, spending grueling 10-12 hour days on the road. My inflatable mattress deflated every night, and I woke up every morning with searing back pain and allover muscle soreness. My knees and hamstrings had almost given out completely after a couple of the days.
I found ways to use ice, ibuprofen, and medicated bandaids to “trick” my body into feeling like it wasn’t in as much pain as it was. But I am happy to say I biked all 555 miles and I DIDN’T DIE! More importantly, I also raised about $2900 from my generous sponsors to help people with HIV/AIDS.
My odometer at the end of the ride!
I made it through the week with no falls, no flats, and no collisions! And now I am officially a big badass!
If you are a cyclist, amateur or professional, I really recommend signing up for this. The Aids Lifecycle is like a cross between Burningman (minus the drugs, naked people, sex and extreme temperatures) and Gay adult summer camp.
And now… my photos!
Yep, June 4th, the day before ALC started marked another birthday for the Wongster. Here I am stabbing the shit out of my birthday cake in front of my family like the young psychopath that I am.
By the second day on the road, my face was getting so chapped that the medical team had to cover me with zinc oxide to prevent wind and sunburn. That stuff doesn’t dry and so as I rode my bike, flies were getting stuck to my face. So sexy. One of the roadies called out to me, “Hey Geisha Girl!” I replied, “Yeah, you wanna piece of this?”
Yes, the wounds of war. My legs were a nasty mess every day. Grease, bruises and bandages!
Cycling is a dirty sport, but I’m one Asian chick who would take a Cannondale over a Prada bag any day!
To keep us pumped and on the road, the roadies created hilarious rest stops with different themes. Here is the “Dollywood” rest stop where all the roadies dressed up as Dolly Parton.
At the top of the big hills were roadies and others cheering you on. Here is Ginger Brewlay, a fabulous drag queen who was waiting for cyclists at the top of “Quad Buster”– the hardest hill of the week. She even pushed cyclists uphill in heels!
At the end of Day 4 was the sign “Half Way to LA.” A nice reward for climbing “The Evil Twins”– another set of killer hills! It was so exciting! I couldn’t give up after getting to the sign!
The image of a man in drag publicly coating butt balm (to prevent chaffing) on his balls became commonplace about halfway through the week.
One of the most beloved cyclists on the Ride is Ken “The Chicken Lady” Tomason. She bikes in that outfit you see and she does five of these Aids Rides around the world per year. Everyone screams, “Yay! Chicken Lady!” when she goes by.
On the last day she laid a plastic egg filled with candy and a letter on each of the 1600 bikes. So cute!
My favorite day on the ride was Red Dress Day! The idea is that all the cyclists wear read and resemble a red ribbon wrapping around the California roads.
The men got way more into it than the women. They had on some sharp outfits! And they looked better than us too! There were men biking around in red bras! What was so funny was we were traveling through these small conservative towns too!
Here is one of my favorite dresses from that day. A full on Southen Belle dress complete with floral hat afixed to helmet and a bustle! And a string of pearls to add some class!
My filmmaker friend Mike is awesome! He and his girlfriend Nancy sat on lawn chairs at the beach near the end of the ride waiting for me with signs. Their signs read “Aids Riders Rock!” and one for me that said “Wong Rolls.”
I felt so loved!
Here I am right after crossing the finish line. I was like, “Did that just happen?” I couldn’t believe I just spent the last seven days of my life traveling to LA by bicycle!
It was like it was just a dream.
Here I am in my Olympic moment! I used a pretty heavy bike for this ride, but made sure it was light enough for me to hold over my head for this picture!
And below, just some of the many reasons why I pray that God will make me a gay man. Oh, such a cruel vengeful god he is.
There was this great running joke all week that ALC is a feeding frenzy for hot gay men, except because everyone has been sitting on bikes all week, nobody had working “equipment” which effectively prevented any kind of orgy like activities. I must say that there was quite a long line at the men’s showers though.
Anyway, my life has changed for sure. I spent an entire week being extremely focused on nothing but the road. I didn’t think about my life last week or next week, I was just in the moment, trying to finish the ride one pedal stroke at a time. Bikes are really amazing inventions. As much pain as I was in while doing the ride, it didn’t diminish my love for bikes one bit. In fact it makes me feel like anything is possible in life!
I have been having bike-related nightmares every night though. Most of them have to do with trying to get from one place to another by bike in a short amount of time. It’s weird.
And my body is still sore. I can’t unscrew a bottle of water! That’s how much my hands hurt from holding the handlebars of my bike!
Anyway, sad to say, while I will keep up my bike training, I probably won’t be doing this ride every year, maybe more like every few years. If I had the time, I would totally do this each year, but the rest of this year seems to roll on with more busy-ness! I have my grad school residency in Vermont coming up, my presentations and performances in New York! I also got awarded a small summer residency at UCLA to work on my new solo show! Details to emerge!
Life is great!
Bike on brothers and sisters!