Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ride photos

From Team Ride 072509
Mary and her future daughter-in-law at the pool party after last Saturday's team ride. Anna has a bit of a crush on our son Ian. Hey, in 30 years the seven year age difference won't seem like a big deal. More ride photos are available by clicking this link.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two nights, two rides

I had a great ride yesterday. I started after dinner, going west on Post Drive and hooking up with 9 Mile Road. 9 Mile was great, in a little over 6 miles I saw exactly one car and two bicycles. I then turned north on Fruit Ridge. My plan was to take it to 12 Mile Road, turn east and then head home via the White Pine Trail. I forgot that 12 Mile doesn't go through so I had to turn north at Alpine and come across on 13 Mile, where I picked up the WPT. When I finished the loop I had put 34 miles under my tires. I rode past lots of farm fields and apple orchards. A great way to spend an evening.

Tonight Mary took a short ride with team mate Linda Poeder through the Ada area. They rode along Grand River Avenue to Roselle Park and took the trails through there. They then rode into Ada and back to their starting point, Mary's office. I'd give more details, but I wasn't invited to go on this one. :(

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Metric Century

In cycling terms a Century Ride is a bicycle ride of 100 miles in a single day. A noteworthy accomplishment to be sure. A Metric Century is a ride of 100 kilometers, which works out to about 63 miles. Yesterday our team ride was 65 miles, a little better than a metric. We rode a loop from Montague up to Silver Lake and back, making sure to climb every hill in a four county area. To make things even more fun, the northwesterly wind that we were riding into all morning became a southwesterly wind in the afternoon for our return trip. So we pretty much had a head wind all day. It was a tough but necessary ride. We are only five weeks away from the Killington ride and we need to be putting in major miles and getting in hill work. Yesterday we got both.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The 6 x 46 Ride

This will be one of the most fun days of the summer. The 6 x 46 Ride on the White Pine Trail takes place August 8th.
Last year the 5 x 55 was on the Musketawa Trail. This year's ride will be better because we are stopping at more bars (6) and riding less miles (46).
This is a very unofficial, non-supported ride. However, there are plenty of refreshment stops along the way. We will start in Comstock Park behind Vitalie's at 11:00 a.m. Support stops will include The Corner Bar in Rockford, The Cedar Pub in Cedar Springs, the Sand Bar in Sand Lake, as well as three additional establishments.
So join us for good times with good friends.
Official Ride T-shirts are available at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just riding

We've been putting in a lot of 20ish mile rides lately. Last Thursday Mary and I went riding with Linda Poeder from our team. We went around the west side of Grand Rapids. Leaving from John Ball Park, riding over to Millennium Park and then to Johnson Park, more or less following Kent Trails. I say more or less because a large portion of the trail is being resurfaced. In fact many of the trails around Millennium Park look brand new.

Tonight we rode up to Rockford and past the Blues on the River show. That was a bit of a mistake, since we weren't going to the show. So we spent a lot of time avoiding the throngs of people on the White Pine Trail. On the way back we completely skirted the concert area.

Last Saturday marked the 6 week point until the ride. Need to put in more miles and raise more money with only a month and a half to get it done.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Documentary info

A lot of the posts lately have been about training for this year's Ride to Cure Diabetes. This blog is also about the documentary "More Than 100 Miles". So here's the directors statement from the on-line press kit for the film.

We have been involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations Ride For A Cure since 2005. In 2008 I decided to create a documentary detailing the ride. This event draws cyclists from all over the country to five different ride sites. Some of the riders are parents of diabetic children, some have diabetes themselves, and some have no personal connection to the disease but ride to support a great cause. This film follows the team from West Michigan as they train for and participate in rides in Asheville, North Carolina and Death Valley, California. Along the way we hear from the various riders and find out why they do what they do. The film also features amazing cycling footage and beautiful scenery. But the most important part is the emotion displayed by the participants. This ride is truly "More than 100 miles", it is helping to find a cure for diabetes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A great day to ride

It was absolutely perfect to be out riding today. We had a team ride in Holland that left from Coach Mike's house. The route was basically half the Holland Hundred in reverse. We rode through Saugatuck, past Hutchens Lake, then Fennville and New Richmond. We had about 30 riders out on the roads. I did the shorter of the two routes, knocking out 43 miles. That gives me my first 100 mile week. The Killington ride takes place 7 weeks from yesterday, so it feels good to finally be getting some serious miles in.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Remembering Rod Stephens

Rod and Diana Stephens at the Whitefish JDRF Ride in 2007

The JDRF family lost an important member recently. Rod Stephens, former JDRF board member and Ride Team member in 2005 and 2007, passed away on July 3rd after a long battle with cancer. Rod worked for Herman Miller and was instrumental in that company becoming a sponsor of the West Michigan Ride Team. Rod was a great guy and will be missed by all who knew him.
I first met Rod when we served on the JDRF Board together, shortly after our sons had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Our families got together a number of times over the years and it was fun to watch the kids grow up. Rod didn't ride with us in 2006 because of his cancer, but he recovered and rode in the Whitefish, Montana ride in 2007. Even when the cancer returned last year Rod maintained a positive attitude. I will miss Rod and our families prayers go out to his family.
A memorial service will be held this evening at Fellowship Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jake's Music Festival

While we are preparing for the ride in August (20 miles for Mary yesterday, 16 miles for Tom today) we are also preparing for a great evening and our major fundraiser. I'm talking about Jake's Music Festival. This is an evening of music featuring independent bands from West Michigan who donate their time to the JDRF cause. This year marks our fifth annual event. The show happens on September 19, 2009 at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids. We just confirmed all the bands and we have a dynamite line-up. There is a link to our Music Fest blog on the left or you can just click here for more information.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beautiful Sunday Ride

Today was a great day to ride. Warm, sunny and only a little breezy. Mary and I rode all the way into Grand Rapids and went to the Fulton Street ARTisans Market. Lots of really cool artsy things there and we saw our friend Karen Schuler, who makes really nice purses. We rode the WPT south past the ball park and crossed the river at North Park. Then we rode thru Riverside Park and turned east on Knapp. We took Knapp all the way to Diamond and turned south. Crossing Michigan St. was a little dicey, but not bad on a Sunday afternoon. We next turned east on Fountain and in two blocks found ourselves at the market. For the route home we basically took Fulton down to Monroe then hooked back up with the trail in Riverside Park and backtracked home. Urban riding is very different than riding the nice quiet country roads we usually frequent. I'm not sure I would want to do this on a weekday with normal traffic. Although some good news on that front. Monroe is almost done being repaved and they've added a bike lane from Leonard St. to Ann St.
I also rolled over 500 miles for this year's training. Not nearly enough considering how soon the big ride is, but I'll be putting in lots of miles over the next six weeks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Getting back into it

We have not done a lot of riding lately because of work and vacation. However, vacation is done, see the family photo from Olympic National Park in Washington. And work, while busy, is not the all consuming beast it was before we left on our trip. So now it's about the ride. The Ride to Cure Diabetes. We leave in about 7 weeks and I have to admit I don't feel ready. But I intend to get a lot of miles in between now and then.
Yesterday I rode the WPT south around Whitecaps park. Today Mary and I went north on the trail all the way to Cedar Spring and back. We were on a scouting mission for the 6 x 46. More on that ride later.
Also, the first JDRF ride of the year took place last weekend in Sonoma. A couple of first time riders we know from Tennessee took part. You can read about their story by clicking here. There are also photos of the ride posted here. I have to admit I like the new green and blue jerseys.