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Please help me create a greener, healthier New Haven!


Here’s a picture of me and Paul Oliver…..(read 20 years my junior, athletic animal, ride companion). We are pictured after completing the Closer to Free 100 MILE charity ride last September. Note Paul is smiling, I think my expression is more of a grimace!

Why did I take on the challenge of a CENTURY bicycle event? (AGAIN, THAT IS 100 MILES ON A HEAVY BICYCLE, POWERED SOLELY BY 60 YEAR OLD LEGS!!!). Well, I made a promise when I wrote to you last year. If I raised $2500 in support of Common Ground High School, I would “CELEBRATE(?)” the 60th anniversary of my birth year by riding a Metric Century (100 kilometers- 62.5 miles) in the Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride and a Century (100 miles) in the Smilow late summer event, bookending a year of senseless self-destruction.

Those of you who made donations in order to torture an individual with a large ego and declining physical skills… well, your prayers were answered. The Rock to Rock event resulted in me taking a nap that started at 4 in the afternoon and ended the following morning. This expression of exhaustion was punctuated by loud groans and creaking joints that accompanied any effort to change position or regain consciousness.

Sadistic souls should be further titillated by the September cancer ride.  The event was held on a day that the Gods, I’m sure, conspired to move the earth to a position INCHES FROM THE SUN! The 85 plus degree day was accentuated by a similarly oppressive humidity level. Better yet, half way through the ride, I lost the ability to shift into hill climbing gears (AARGH!! – It is something that you discover when you NEED hill climbing gears- like when faced by a BIG FREAKIN’ HILL!!!). Folks on that day I’m sure will remember THIS aging soul standing in the kiddie pools filled with ice at each of the cooling stations on the ride. I shoveled buckets of ice over my head at each of the stops and swore loudly that I would NEVER do anything so foolish again!

No, I WON’T make a promise to ride another Century this year. (The automobile was invented to take folks on trips of a hundred miles on sweltering days.) I WILL, however, ride my bicycle (covered in cobwebs since its last use in the fall) some distance this spring in support of my wife, Liz’s, school Common Ground.

Why am I riding? Well, (as you may have noticed) a LOT has changed since last September.  We have suddenly woken up in a country that does not embrace diversity, social justice and the environment – the tenants of a Common Ground education. Public school funding is under siege, an effort led by a commander in chief who would spend precious resources on a wall of ignorance and bigotry RATHER than a sanctuary of light, truth and civility. WE NEED PLACES LIKE COMMON GROUND!!!!  

Wow….did I just get serious for a moment? …OK, back to normal….Hmm, let’s see…. $2500 gets an OLD Black Man to ride his bike 100 kilometers……. $4000…Well we’ll see:)


Please do not forget that all donations are 100% tax deductible.