Tuesday, June 2, 2009
IRA Update, New Article, and Public Safety Announcement
June is upon us! That means we have less than two weeks until the start of the ride. The planning has been going on since I first contacted Face AIDS in the fall when I was spending a weekend in Dublin... I can barely believe it is actually happening!
Dave and I are currently sitting in a hotel room in Folsom, CA with our good friend and teammate Tyler Scott. The IRAs start on Thursday and we are all anxious to hit the water. We've been up here since Saturday rowing twice a day, but as all the East Coast teams arrived today its nice to see some fresh faces in boats we line up against. We're rowing only once tomorrow and then we have our heat Thursday morning.
The JV event works a little bit differently than other events. The winners of each of the three Thursday heats advance directly to the finals on Saturday. All other crews race in the three "reps" on Friday and the top boat advances. What this means is that you have to win a race to get the chance to race for the title. We're ranked #7 and are going to have to beat our seed to end up in the final. Wish us luck!
In other news, this morning I was greeted with a
text from my father alerting me to the newspaper article on our ride that appeared in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. I had a 20+ minute interview with the reporter, Steve Foskett, the other day and he did a great job portraying our ride. You can check out the article at "Ride Against AIDS" by Steve Foskett. His mention of the IRA also got us a link on the coverage of IRAs at www.row2k.com/ira!
This leads me to my final point: a public service announcement. In most of
our publicity photos and videos, Dave and I are not wearing helmets. We've received concerned feedback from our parents, friends, and other well-wishers. I would like to address this issue so as to avoid confusion.
Dave and I will certainly be wearing helmets this summer! We strongly believe in bike safety and try to take steps that will promote safety in daily riding. The reason we were photographed and filmed without helmets was purely for publicity's sake. We wanted our faces to be prominently featured in our materials so as to personalize our ride. In retrospect this was a poor decision as the magnitude of the ride speaks for itself: we don't need our faces to publicize it. All media materials were produced around the Stanford campus and we felt too comfortable with our circumstances and felt that a few minutes on a bike without a helmet would be ok. This was an incorrect assumption.
So I would like to offer an apology to those who were offended or concerned with our lack of helmets. Not wearing a helmet sends the wrong message to people that we are trying to reach. Even for short rides, such as a 5-minute photo shoot, helmets are important to promote the general safety of riders and project a positive message regarding the use of helmets. We sincerely hope this apology will be accepted and we will make a concentrated effort to ensure that any future photos of us us in motion on our bikes will feature us wearing helmets.
Thanks for reading, this has been a long update. I've got to get to writing a paper before heading to bed. Thanks for following, and make sure to check www.row2k.com/results on Saturday to find out how we did!
Posted by Austin Carroll Keeley at 9:36 PM