Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In with the New, Remembering the Old

As 2009 comes to a close many of us are prone to remember the year, or years, past. We are no different. 2009 marks five years that we have been participating in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Ride for a Cure. In that time Mary and I have collected over $35,000 in donations and the West Michigan team has accounted for almost $1,000,000 in research funds. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our effort.

Mary, age 4, on her first bike

While the long distance riding for a cause is a relatively new chapter in our lives, we've been riding bikes for a long time. Mary rode around Grandville on a daily basis when she was in high school. Her big trip was riding out to Holland with her friend Linda (Oegema) Milanowski. I grew up on a farm five miles north of Lowell. I would ride my 3 speed POS into town to play basketball for several hours and then ride home. (Which really was up hill all the way.)

When we got married we both had Schwinn 10 speeds. We'd pull the kids behind them in a Burley. Our biggest trip was probably the 8 mile ride around Mackinac Island. Colleen was on her own bike, I had a junior tandem with Jake, and Mary had Ian on the back in a kid carrier. Now we've moved up to fancy road bikes, mine is a black Cannondale SR500 and Mary rides a white Bianchi Brava. The 10 mile rides that used to knock us out for the rest of the weekend are now what we do for a warm-up. I've completed seven century rides plus a whole lot of 50 mile plus rides, including several metric centuries. The amazing thing to me is that I completed my first century ride on my 48th birthday. So much for slowing down as you get older.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has supported us either financially or with their thoughts and prayers. 2010 is going to be a great year!

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