400 miles of kindness.

I signed up for the Canada>US AIDSRide after seeing the ad in a magazine 9 months earlier. I wanted to challenge myself, set a goal, help raise money for an important, really important, cause.

I spent the next 9 months training by myself, spinning in the gym, riding outside on days when I wasn't spinning. Strength training...you know the drill.

By the time I got to Montreal I was thought I was ready. I had done all the training, rode the miles, I was ready.

And then I realized, right about that time they showed the movie, that I wasn't really about to go on a ride, I was about to change my life. I was about to really learn something about myself and others. "For the next five days...be nice to people?" I am from New Jersey, but I guess I can try that.

And wouldn't you know it, that is exactly what happened. I was super nice to people and they were super nice to me. It was just all of us, our bikes, the road and the sky each day. No TV, no newspapers, no Internet. It was amazing.

I couldn't believe it when I got to Portland. I had done it. I had done something I never thought I could and accomplished it. And along the way, I learned that kindness goes a long way, about 400 miles.

9/11 happened two or three days later. They didn't wait long enough for me to really enjoy what I had accomplished, what I had learned.

But I can tell you this. When I need to feel good, when I need to inspire others. I am facing a big challenge. I think about my ride and remember that that I'mpossible.