On my 81st birthday one week ago, I wrote of my plans to ‘bike my age,’ something I have managed to do every year since turning 70. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, because I tested positive for COVID-19 on my birthday.
However, my streak is not officially over! I have successfully appealed to ABBA, the Annual Birthday Biking Association, for an ‘Act of God” exemption. I reached out to ABBA at its international headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, where I spoke with the organization’s Executive Director, a woman who identified herself as Agneta Åse Fältskog, and who also turns out to be an avid biker. ABBA’s leader told me that after testing negative I would have 30 days to start and finish an 81-mile-ride within a 24 hour period.
Older readers may recall that I had some involvement with ABBA in previous years, described here. Two years ago, I joined ABBA and pledged to follow the highly-regarded group’s rather stringent rules, including these four:
A. The cyclist may not get off the bike more than 7 times during the ride;
B. Nap or rest breaks cannot exceed 15 minutes, and no more than two naps are allowed during the competitive effort;
C. No performance-enhancing drugs;
D. No sex during the ride. This provision continues to be the subject of much debate within ABBA. All the French and Italian ABBA members, men and women, want the rule revised to prohibit unprotected sex, but not all sex. That debate continues, which means I–now 81–will do my best to abide by the current rule.
In an attempt to imbue my somewhat trivial and self-centered pursuit with gravitas, I’ve asked friends and other readers to donate $81, $810, or some other dollar amount to Chef José Andrés’ “World Central Kitchen” in support of the beleaguered citizens of war-torn Ukraine. Many of you did, and I am grateful.
If you haven’t gotten around to donating to WCK, here’s how to donate. Thanks……
And thanks for reading this “Lack of Progress Report.” I tested negative yesterday morning, so the clock is ticking….