Friday, August 31, 2012


Growing up, I played with a Slinky (r)  Not too often and not my first choice of toys but with "One long staircase...just going up" <yes, I channeled a Broadway musical for this> for a short period of time watching a metal spring go down steps ALL BY ITSELF seemed magical.  OK I was no more then 7 when this was a lot of fun.

Now I realize it's just a spring and gravity pulls it down. The spring never changes

I've moved on.  Slinky's are now nothing more than nostalgia or a part of my past.

There are/were relationships like that: fun while it lasted. It's a toy that I have no idea of its current location nor do I care.

Right now I'll admit, it's time to do that with other things in my life: move on recalling how much fun it was IN MY PAST.

Are you able to move on, too? Let's try it together

Let's all SPRING onto something/someone new: besides those stairs we'rent  all that long to start with!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You Is

I really love the line from "The Help" where Miss Aibileen Clark tells the young Skeeter Phelan
"You  is kind, you is smart, you is important"

Truer words were never spoken and apply to every one.

So often I hear people put down or find fault in others: well we all have faults, even I do

Who cares? When we/I stop looking at faults but what's good in people, I can't help but keep on seeing and acting on that feeling.

At least once a month on Facebook I post something like "Did you know I love & care about you and I do mean YOU?"

I cant say how many times I get a message "I needed to hear that today"

You don't have to say it outright but try to think it about others today

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important"

I'm 18% closer to my goal, please help someone who is IMPORTANT live a healthy life

Monday, August 27, 2012


"That's the real trouble with the world: too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be twelve years old." -- Walt Disney

Oddly, a famous or well known Bible verse from Cornintians says
"When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned like a child. When I grew up, I put away childish things"

I see the validity  of both: I pay my own bills (not like a child), my home is my own(not like a child) while I dream in color of a world without fear, with a life without disease (both more adult) while I HOPE we all live out some dream we have had.  It's never to late to learn .Heck at almost 50, I'm working on my second Masters degree!

All that and I still ride a bicycle to get around!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Four simple ideas

1. Don’t allow disappointments, difficulties and obstacles affect your moods and state of mind.
    Welcome them though and realize they CAN become a lesson

2. Refuse and reject negative thinking. Either 

    Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, or engage yourself in some activity that will divert your     attention from the negative thoughts.
3. Don’t allow what people think and say affect your mind and mood.

4. Associate with people who bring something of value into your life. Avoid people who sap your energy and enthusiasm. If you can’t avoid them, learn how stay detached when you are in their company

Remember, the choice to be happy is our own.

YOU have the control over your thoughts, that's right YOU!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Now & then it's good to give the home a good sweeping.  Go for those cobwebs in the corner: under the chairs in the living room; all around the dining room and right by the front door.

Just in case you were thinking I don't pick up messes, espcially by the front door where because I do: it's just a good hard sweeping then mopping (or Swifjet as it were) is in order.

That's a good lesson for many parts of life too.  I looked at my Facebook account & found "friends" I hadn't talked to since we both confirmed. After sending messages saying something akin to 'How's it going?" after no response,  I did a clean sweep.

Thoughts work the same way. Recently I heard t joke with one MAJOR problem: It dehumanizes people so I'll never tell it.

People who share opposing views from mine are welcome but when conversation turns nasty, I do a clean sweep.  Same thing with clutter around my desk and such.

I'm doing a clean sweep, making room for new,up beat affirming friends & events

Wanna join me in sweeping out the house?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Love Yourself

Self love doesn't require a crowd or a partner, a plan or a purpose. Some of the best loving is just being with okay with you.

When I'm really down,  it's remembering I'm overall a great guy.  Although I'm not working in the field I studied for what I do helps people create ways to make wise choices & live better (ideally)

Not too long ago I met a wonderful man & we planned a future. Turns out he's not who he said he was and I can honestly say there were feelings of hurt: I'm beyond those now and enjoying new people

If your single, embrace it. If partnered, show that love often.   In the end it's all about love & know I love YOU my readers.

I REALLY love those who can donate to my efforts in helping others on this years SMART Ride

Thursday, August 23, 2012


"When you're weary, feeling small: when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them off. - I'm on your side...
Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down"

A few weeks ago a friend of mine had a stroke.  Oddly he was out of the hospital in only a few days and trying, really trying to manage on his own.  The few times I saw him out and about he was wobbly and using a cane.   He asked a support group for help tonight "I need help with simple things like house work: I mean I can sweep the floor but not bend over to pick up the dust."

Some people just stared at him as he pleaded for help.  A few offered suggestions and one man walked over to offer some aid.

Have you been there on either side of the equation? I know I have.

It's in how we/I act or ask that being HUMAN comes out.

"When evening falls so hard I will comfort you"

 Will YOU help me be that bridge over troubled waters? 

P.S. thanks Simon and Garfunkel for the song!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I don't recall when or where I first heard this but it fits me to the 'T'

"What you think of me is none of my business"

Let that sink in for  a moment if you've never heard it before.

In my past I let how I looked, what I wore, where I went get dictated by others  much like my childhood

Not sure when it hit me but it's MY LIFE, MY CHOICES & my own happiness.

You are not in need of an FDA "Seal of Approval"  though I look for that AAA label for my car, thats it

My friend, your value is approved just by being YOU

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Never Settle

Truth be told, I never settle.       I always try to be a little better than the day before and if I fail I try and I try again. I never settled on my job, school, career, weight or on my love life.

If we appreciate the individuality of our walk in the world we set the energetic tone which will help us to be all we can. We don’t need to wonder why our lives aren’t like someone else’s; we will be busy appreciating our own expression. We are loveable as we are. If we seek to be authentic, honoring the holiness of our self as we know it, we will shift into flow. When we are in flow we are connected to the source. What could be bigger, in more alignment, or truer than that? 

“There is no future to be found in playing small. Never settle for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

Right now, I wont settle until my goal of $1,250 is met

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dry Fish

I've had some really and I mean REALLY odd dreams this past week.  Most involving my family including my father (who passed over 22 years ago).

Two nights ago I dreamed, oh I should say that I dream in colour and thanks to Susitva (r)  most of my dreams are 3D (not IMAX though!!), there were popcorn like things sprouting out of my head. Turns out they were cancerous polyps.  The cancer I had was INSIDE me, in my colon so nothing out side could be seen.

But that's not important. What is is that I do dream and not just when I sleep. I dream of a better life for all people:  I dream of no prejudice, no judgement, no hate, no violence.

My dreams are also hopes: Hopes for you  to read something about me and YOU in my blog
Hope that you and I share upbeat, positive messages.

And I hope the fish in this image don't appear in tonight's dreams!!

Stand Out

Years ago on Sunday mornings ABC Television had a show called "Make A Wish" with Tom Chapin.
I know I could do an entire blog about wishes (note to self: write about wishes) but this is about Standing out.

The catchy song from that show stands out in my mind. I stands out as one of my all time favorites.
My wish was to STAND OUT and being 6'4" that's not too hard to do in a crowd!!

But I mean to stand out in other ways: by being bold, grasping for the unawares, seeking the uncommon.

Heck the tattoo on my leg stands out   (It's by Kieth Haring)

 I choose it since as you might guess by the main title of my blog "Why I Ride" !!

More than that, it's personal. I see a lot of inked people in my travels but only one Keith Haring on some one else.

Standing out, making a wish & dreaming a dream is something YOU can do too.

My dear friend Bruno ALWAYS has a smile: It and he stand out.

There is some thing special about you that can stand out too. 

I know it already

Friday, August 17, 2012

Doing It Right

We've all been given simple jobs or tasks. Some may seem far below what we're able/capable of doing
Regardless, it's always good to do them well.  As Troy Perry said "Keep the main thing,the main thing"

Sure, I know when it looks so mundane and odds are no one will care or notice so "cutting a corner" sounds worthwhile.

Here's the rub: YOU'LL know it wasn't done right.

I know  I used this in an earlier blog, It's from my Boy Scout days "Have I done my daily task? Can I guiltless sleep tonight?"  

Part of my job is filling out forms. OK it's  a big part of the job since keeping accurate records is important.
We can track how outreach/education efforts are being received; how clients can change life saving actions.

I'll admit though there are times I've been so busy I wanted to cut corners and fill in the blanks later hoping not to forget details. 

Trust me, some one will see and know if I do.

On televisions M*A*S*H, Major Winchester said "I do one thing, do it right, and move on."

Without being pompous, I  try to do that too.  It saves time in the long run and makes people who follow up see I mean business and am honest.

Try  not to let this happen and do that one job right the first time

In November, I'll have ONE job to do and that's ride my bike from Miami to Key West 


In 2005 while on the ACT III ride around Madison WI. I dreamed up a poem about Why I Ride.

Dream I say instead of just writing a poem because I'm more a dreamer than writer.

This draws on several experiences of rides from going across Wisconsin several times, heading south from San Francisco to L.A. on AIDS Life Cycle and before that crossing Alaska then crossing from Canada to the USA into Maine.


I Will Act

Today, as through all life’s cycles, I will act to stop this pandemic.
I move with hope, love and compassion to raise awareness, contentiousness and funds.
From Canada, the Heartland to the California Coast, I will ride on or crew until I cannot.

For those who are not able to be with us or have left us,
   I will act on their behalf.
Whether on long, dry and lonely roads through cornfields, snowy mountains, piercing sun or gravel trails and driving  rain,
I will sit tall in my saddle as long as I can
      As far as I can
          As long as God will let me
Until AIDS is only a memory and until all
                  our tears of sorrow flow into rivers of joy.

I will act with passion!

 August 6, 2005  RJHadley (c)

Can you act with passion? I know you can: find what motivates you and make that dream come true

You can also donate to what my dream of riding from Miami to Key West this year

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drop It

I've been holding back: nothing big mind you but somethings been waying heavy on my mind.

What it  is isn't as important as to why I have been thinking of this over & over.

Boil it down and it's a small thing.

Just today I was reminded of the story of two monks & here's how it goes

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her. 

The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing. 

They both were walking and senior monk noticed that his junior was suddenly silent and enquired “Is something the matter, you seem very upset?”

The junior monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The senior monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank, however, you seem to still be carrying her.”

I'm goes taking that advice & letting it go and gosh by golly, that burden already feels light

Maybe it's a relationship, maybe it's work, health, family or something else WE/I can not control 

                                           Live it John Lennon & "Let it Be"


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Give Up

My friend Aaron shared this on Facebook and I had to share it with YOU, my friends & readers

November 3, 2011 changed my routine in a big way: I was riding my bike (training for the upcoming SMART ride) and after a good 17 miles in rush hour traffic, just three blocks from home a hit & run driver knocked me off of my racing bike. Four hairline fractures on my hip and major bruising of my left arm forced me to use a walker for  three months.  I was tired: my heart tired and my legs hurt.

But I didn't give up. I went (ok hobbled) to the start of the SMART ride and did what I could on the campus as riders and crew showed up.

People asked "Did you see the driver and did they stop?" Well yes I did see the driver and car since I have a  rear view mirror on my helmet and with the nature of a Hit & Run, they didn't stop

Still, I didn't give up or give in.  Sure I was skittish about even walking across a busy street.
Riding one of my bikes on a daily basis is one thing I do to keep healthy & sane and that was put on hold

Despite fears, I told a group of  people that no matter what , I'll ride THIS year 2012 in the SMART ride

Much like I needed help even getting dressed with my hip fractures and NO range of motion in my arm, I got up each day, went to work and church, etc

Although Winston Churchill is known for "Never, Never, Never give up" I like his other famous (or not so famous) quote

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."


This November I'm riding from Miami to Key West to raise money for agencies that help people with HIV/AIDS
SMART Ride 9  Rider #223

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You First

I was listening to this good old church song "Just as I am without one plea..."  and then came across this quote from a fellow blogger

Self love doesn't require a crowd or a partner, a plan or a purpose. Some of the best loving is just being with okay with you

I know I have to love myself before I can love someone else.  It reminds me of something we sang in Boy Scouts at the end of each day in summer camp.

"Have I done my daily task, can I guiltless sleep tonight: Have I done & have I dared, everything to be prepared" - I don't subscribe to the BSA's no queer policy but I did learn a lot about me and how I can live a respectful life.

Fall in love with yourself. 

Think about what makes you You. Just like a flower that needs watering to grow, learn to nurture yourself in every way. Love yourself for all the good that you see and accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect. This does not mean that you do not learn to change from your shortcomings; instead, you are being gentle and kind to yourself despite all your “flaws”. Look in the mirror and fall in love with the reflection that is You.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Love the Earth

This image says it all for today

Do Over

Did you ever play games as kids and said, when some thing went wrong "Do Over"?

My life has had some odd turns, all of our has to some point and wouldn't it be nice to say "Do Over" when the change we/I want is to go back?  I don't think so - at least not for me.

Had I not become HIV positive, I doubt I'd had the chance to work in Kenya, meet some remarkable people there and hopefully create some good.  Odds are I never would have cared about cycling across Alaska, crossing the Canadian boarder on a bike (Canada > US AIDS Vaccine Ride 2001).

Had I said "Do Over" when my father died, the relationship with my step father would have never happened.

I choose to move away from my comfort zone of friends in Chicago and start a new life in Florida and sure there's times I wish I was back there then it hit's me, it's not the "what new things I'll do there" but what I  DID there I miss.

For two years now I've worked hard at creating new memories, found new friends, had some real cool adventures, too.

Those memories of times and places will live on from my past while I plan and live in the now for a future.

Come with me and lets not "DO OVER" but "DO NOW"

"The past is the past and the future has INFINITE possibilities"  

Friday, August 10, 2012


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out for another is to risk involvement,
To expose our feelings is to risk exposing our true self,
To place you ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk loss, ...
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,

But we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The man,
        the woman
            who risks nothing,
                                does nothing,
                                    has nothing,

          is nothing.

Let's together take that risk, be open to new thoughts, ways of acting that help each other and OURSELVES. 

I'll love YOU for that (you too!!) 


In 2000, I went way out on a limb, challenging my distance, hill, nay MOUNTAIN climbing ability and road  a bicycle over 500 mile raising at least $3,400 (I know I raised much more)

Why was that such a challenge?

Only four years earlier I had finished chemo therapy for lymphoma to participate in the Twin Cities>Chicago AIDS Rides.  

Those 500 miles with some exception were mostly flat through corn field of Wisconsin & Illinois.

Still using a heavy bike, not one of those skinny light weight racers, I rode into and through clouds, rain and amazing sites.

This week challenged friendships too but we all did it.  WE ALL DID IT.  There's a half dozen stories I'll tell you later about the time in Alaska surrounding the ride but not yet...

Remember, it's not about  ME but us, you and I - On this ride, after Day 1 snow befell the route and most riders couldn't even complete the second day. At night due to cold and wetness we'd huddle in the food tent.  Sipped hot cocoa together and in the day, road our bikes together.

Hey, it's Friday and for some of us PAYDAY.  Let's call it PAY AHEAD day and help me and my team, the Pride Pack get the totally flat 167 miles from Miami to Key West & help countless people with HIV

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reach Out

"You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running"

Ever have one of those days when you just needed a hand, some help?  So many times we/i hear 'buckle down & face your own fears" while other times WE need to seek help.  

That's when the word altruism comes to mind.  I  can offer help in terms of a caring word, financial support, a prayer & such.  Those gifts or skills we have can help others.

Seeing a need in ourselves to ask others though takes gumption an pluck.

Those are the times when we can and dare I say SHOULD follow the old Bell System commercial: "reach out touch someone"   A word, sage advise even a hug can help

It's when we offer a hand to help some one else, ,our own self gets lifted as well