fatguy2Just in case you don’t realize it, this is a spoof of those emails you get from someone asking you to donate money because they are participating in some charity bike ride, walk or footrace.

Dear Friend,

I am riding in this year’s Tour de Al to help Stop Diabetes, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Hypertension, Obesity and Cancer. I have joined thousands of riders all across the country in this effort to improve our health through cycling.

By making a donation to me, you will be helping me change my life and improve my health, both physically and mentally.

My doctor has classified me as pre-diabetic. I have Hypertension (high blood pressure) which can lead to heart disease and kidney failure. I am overweight which contributes to these conditions. Cycling directly improves these conditions and assists with weight loss, so it is an important tool in my battle against those diseases. I don’t have Cancer, to my knowledge, but if I ever do, I know my chances of fighting it and surviving will be enhanced by being in good physical condition.

So you see you can fight all these diseases at once by supporting my cycling tour. All money goes directly to the victim of the disease. Not one cent goes to pay the overhead of a “charitable” organization.

Plus, your dollars will go further. Cycle touring is cost-efficient. My only expenses are my food, lodging and equipment expenses. Lodging is often inexpensive or free (camping) and food is cheap too. (I’m not one for fancy dining.)

Look, I’m not really asking for your donation to my cycling, but please realize that I choose not to contribute to your charity bike ride because I am putting my limited money where it will be directly applied to doing good for someone near and dear to me, me.

Go ahead and ride in your mass of humanity, kids and adults who ride a bike once a year, wobbling all over the place in a mass start of mechanical mayhem. While you ride your loop to “raise awareness” where you get water and food handed to you every mile, think about me, riding to actually get somewhere, like my recent 57 mile round trip from Lockport to Buffalo and back. Or my four-day, 100-mile, self-contained camping trip along the GAP trail in Pennsylvania.

I’m not putting down your choice of ride, walk, or run, I’ve done my share of them in the past. I even served on the committee that ran one, years ago. If it’s your idea of fun, then go for it and more power to you. Just pay the entry fee and chalk it up to entertainment cost. I wish you success. I’ve just seen these type of events grow to the point where they’ve lost all ability to impress anyone. The only “Awareness” they raise is among the participants and volunteers. The general public, though, has seen so many of these that they no longer get a blink of an eye. No one cares if you ride 10 miles or 100. That’s why no one pledges per mile any more. It’s all about your performance as a fundraiser, not as a cyclist. As long as you bring in the money, they don’t care if you leave the start line and make a beeline for the refreshments.

If it’s the cycling you want, then join one of the local bike clubs. They hold regularly scheduled rides all over the area. One boasts of several rides every day. You can ride and socialize with other riders in small groups of 10-25 riders and scenic areas selected for being good places to ride without the need for a police escort or volunteers directing traffic. (You’re riding a bike on a road. You ARE traffic. But that’s another subject.)