Monday, August 30, 2010

Death Valley Training

Yesterday we had the most Death Valley-like team ride ever. The temperature was in the mid-90s. The route was very hilly, with lots of long extended climbs, like DV. We actually had over 4,000 feet of climbing on the 75 mile route, which is very similar to the Death Valley ride. We also had a large portion of the team participating, between 25 and 30 people. All in all it was great training for what we'll be doing in 6 weeks.
Thanks to Paul and Kami Weninger for the use of their cottage as our base of operations. And thanks to Scott and Linda Poeder for designing the route.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Putting in the miles

Late this afternoon I got out for a ride and turned a conventional route into something a little more interesting. I started by heading north on the White Pine Trail. Nothing new there. My original plan was to just head up to Russell Road and then turn around and head home. But I was feeling good and I had time so I continued up to Indian Lakes Road...and turned left. Oooh, off the trail. Can you feel the excitement? I rode across the US-131 overpass and turned back south on Edgerton. This is a fun road. It flanks the highway but it twists and turns and has quite a few fun little hills. I got back to 12 Mile where I turned left again and then hooked up with the WPT for a very fast ride home. 25.5 miles in all, giving me 1,199 miles for this year. I probably should have added another half mile so I could have rolled over 1,200. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An average week

Not a big mileage week, only a shade over 50 miles. I rode to the Whitecaps ballpark and back on Thursday afternoon. Today Mary, Ian and I rode out to my sister's house in Nunica for a family get together. Just a little 37 mile, fairly flat ride.
The impressive thing that happened over the weekend was my 17 year old nephew Michael completing the ODRAM (One Day ride Across Michigan) yesterday. He just got a road bike from VeloCity this summer and had a total of 300 miles on it before Saturday. Yesterday he rode 150 miles! Wow. Congratulations Michael and welcome to the ranks of the crazies.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Team Scheidel

Ian, Mary and Tom Scheidel just after Sunday's ride.

It was a great weekend for cycling. On Saturday Ian and I went out to Luton Park with the extended Williamson family. It was Ian's first trip out there. We had a lot of fun doing the Blue (2X), Green, Orange and Black loops. On Sunday Mary joined us and five other JDRF team members in Montague for a 31 mile, fairly hilly road bike ride. The weather both days was close to perfect; clear skies and warm temperatures.
Next Saturday, October 21 is the One Day Ride Across Michigan. The ODRAM is a benefit this year for JDRF. I'll be manning registration at Meinert Park in Montague at 6:00 a.m. Stop by and say "hi" on your way across the state.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thank You!

Even though we still have two months until we head out to Death Valley for the JDRF Ride for a Cure I wanted to take a moment and thank all those who have donated so far. Every donation is very important to us. Every dollar raised puts us a little bit closer to finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. So if you name is on this non-alphabetical list we thank you for your support.

Kim Summers
Peggy Essenberg
JD Stone
Joe and Mary Powell
Peter Orlick
David Darling
Pam Hanson
Barb Porter
June Hennip
Bill and Ginger Young
Chris and Julie Radford
Brent and Jennifer Deuel
Paul and Brenda Schab
Brian Shane
Doug VanderJagt
Tim Holtkamp
Bill Cole
Joel Penny
Kim and Joan Mulder
Jacquelyn McCarty
Steve and Stacey Farr
Steve and Karen Salyer
Mark and Jane Longstreet
Lynn Gallagher
Don and Janet Rutgers
Dennis and Kim Moline
Tim and Colleen Colleran
Chris and Paula Briggs
Michelle and Kevin Bassett
Mary Ellen Koziol
Mike and Jean Oele
Henry and Mary Jane Wieten
Connie and Jim Hennip
Janet and John Chambers
Leo Isaguirre
James and Shirley Musial
Lori Caldwell
Paul and Kristin Buth
John and Liz Sinkevics
James Osborne
Joshua and Amy Duggan
Priscilla Hansma
Subterranean Sound
X-Cel Chemical Specialties Company
Smiley Family Dentistry
Stonecrest Productions
TruVue Inc.
Natural Landscape Services
West Side Distributing

Thanks to these generous donors we have raised over $9,000. We still have $3,000 to go to meet our family goal. Thank you once again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wine Wednesday

Wednesday night was one of the best nights of the summer. What started out as a few people going out for a short ride and then sharing a glass of wine afterward ballooned into one of our better team rides of the year. We ended up with 15 people from the JDRF West Michigan Ride Team at our house at 7:00 last night. We proceeded to do a really nice 18 mile loop. Some hills, but nothing too drastic. We finished with a great descent down 7 Mile hill. Several people hit over 40 mph. The top speed demon was Coach Derek with just a shade over 45 mph. I believe he exceeded the posted speed limit!
After the ride we retired to the patio where there were many wonderful snacks and a plethora of wine. We finished 5 bottles and all the food. No surprise there. We also swapped stories about the Death Valley ride. We've got a few "Death Valley virgins" on the team this year. Some are a bit apprehensive, but we know they'll do fine.
It was a great night and one we will have to repeat soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Tonight Mary and I rode the White Pine Trail through Rockford up to Russell Road and back. 20 miles of a nice, but uneventful ride. Except that I rolled over a milestone tonight. I have now ridden over 1000 miles this season. Compared to the people on our team who have ridden a century ride every month or ride 200-300 miles a week this doesn't seem like a great accomplishment. But 1000 miles is a lot of miles any way you look at it. And we still have 10 weeks until the Death Valley ride, so I'll have the opportunity to add hundreds of miles to that total.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Team Ride Goodness

Sunday was a beautiful, if warm and muggy, day. We did a team ride starting in Wayland heading out past the Yankee Springs area and then looping back to the start. Sounds easy enough, except several of the roads we're poorly marked and we ended up getting off route quite a bit. Who's kidding who here, we were almost never "on" route except for the first 10 miles and the last 10 miles. In all we rode 52 miles in the rolling hills and chip sealed pavement. This was the first ride in a while that Mary, Ian and I all participated in. It was actually Ian's first ride since the Holland Hundred. He's been busy with Band Camp and Soccer Camp since then. For me the first 10 miles were a little rough, still feeling the effects of my crash earlier in the week. But once I got warmed up everything was fine. That ride gave me just over 100 miles total for this week.

10 weeks until we saddle up in Death Valley.