Friday, August 31, 2012

Leaving in one week

We leave for Lake Tahoe one week from today. Our road bikes left last Sunday so we have been riding our mountain bikes. We spent most of this week renting a vacation home with Mary's extended family up near Mackinaw City. We were staying at The Headlands, one of only six designated dark sky parks in the USA. Unfortunately it was close to a full moon the entire week so that washed out most of the stars, except for a spectacular moonset on Wednesday and Thursday early morning.
Mary and I spent a good deal of time riding our mountain bikes on the many trails in the park. We did about eight miles Wednesday and five more on Thursday. The trails were scenic although not real technical. Still it was great, low impact, vacation riding to help keep us tuned up for Tahoe.

The view of Lake Michigan from our Headlands house.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Two weeks and counting

Yesterday was our last team ride before the big JDRF ride in Lake Tahoe. It's 72 very hilly miles around Lake Tahoe, so in preparation, yesterday we rode 72 very hilly miles in West Michigan. It was a good ride with over 25 of our team mates participating in two loops that started on the shores of Barlow Lake. The first loop was just shy of 30 miles and featured the rolling hills of Parmalee Road. 

The team assembles before the start of  30 mile Loop 1.

The second loop was considerably longer. It clocked in at 42 miles, which gave those who did both loops the 72 we needed to match Tahoe. This loop started with a long flat stretch of Patterson Road going north. We may have even had a tail wind considering our group was riding along at 20-23 MPH.  Once we turned east and then south the existence on a southerly wind was confirmed as our speeds dropped by almost 10 miles an hour. We also hit a few more hills and our cohesive group got splintered all to heck.

Our pace-line jamming along at 23 MPH.

Eventually our team ended up in groups of 2s, 3s and 4s as we took various routes back to the cottage at the start/finish. Even though it was a difficult ride I felt good and the reward of swimming in the lake and a big cookout afterwards made it all worthwhile. When it was all done we packed up our bikes for the trip to Lake Tahoe. The bikes leave this week, we leave on September 7th. And on September 9th we conquer one more challenge on our rode to find a cure for diabetes.

The lead pack on the Paul Henry Trail, about 10 miles from the finish.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Busy ride weekend

Saturday was the One Day Ride Across Michigan. It's a 150 mile ride from Montague to Bay City. Since I was one of the organizers I didn't actually ride in it. Instead I drove the route to offer support and take photos. Then, after the ride, I hauled bikes from the finish line back to the start. We had over 260 people who participated and all the proceeds are being donated to JDRF.

On Sunday Mary and I rode from my parent's house north of Lowell back to our house in Rockford. A leisurely 16 miles. Tonight I went out by myself on the White Pine Trail and knocked out a quick 20 miles. Actually I wasn't by myself because I think the entire city of Rockford was out enjoying the trail tonight.

Got to get the miles in because we leave for Lake Tahoe two weeks from Friday.

Riders enjoying a beautiful day during ODRAM.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thank you to our donors

It takes a lot of people to make the Ride to Cure Diabetes a success. Sure Mary, Ian and I are riding the miles, but the real thanks needs to go to the people that are financially supporting our ride. We have a family goal of $12,000. While we are not quite there yet (hint, hint) we did want to thank those people and organizations that have already donated. Because of people like you we will find a cure for diabetes.

Aaron Brown
Chris Radford
Christine Davenport
TruVue, Inc.
Daniel Flynn
David Pasciak
Kim Summers
Leo Isaguirre
Mark Shirey
Mary Jelsma
Michelle Bassett
Mike Klosner
Thomas and Florence Scheidel
Paul Schab
Brian Mogg
Cheryl Cammenga
X-Cel Chemical Specialties Co.
Craig Gietzen
Derek Dykstra
Leo Isaguirre
Rick Wylie
The Scheidel Group
Ruth Haverkamp
Clay Grueber
Glenna Hennip
Henry Wieten
Kerry and Amy Bean
Mary Koziol
Michael Walenta
Stewart Morrisey
Tim Sundt
Christine Behrens
XS Energy Drinks
The Awesome Foundation

Sunday, August 12, 2012

One month to go

Four weeks from today we will be participating in the JDRF Lake Tahoe Ride to Cure Diabetes. We prepared for that by doing a fairly long team ride. 61 miles from Ada to Ionia and back. A few hill climbs and lots of rolling hills. We also had several straight flat stretches where our little peloton was keeping a consistent 18-20 mph pace. With today's ride I am now over 1000 miles for the season. Based on previous year's training numbers I am right on schedule. I've been riding about 1500 miles a year so I'm on pace to do that again. The JDRF rides are quite intense and require that much training to ensure a "safe, sound and smiling" finish.

Our coaches, MC and Derek, strategizing during the ride.
Paul Brown, our host for today's ride, waves to the camera
JD Stone and Mary Scheidel enjoying a beautiful day of riding

Monday, August 6, 2012

Longest ride of the year

Yesterday we had a JDRF West Michigan team ride. There were two loops that started from Long Like Park near Cedar Springs. The first loop (which you can see here thanks to Map My Ride) was 30 miles and we traveled in a clockwise direction. The second loop followed the same basic route but we rode a little farther south and east and we went counter-clockwise. That loop was 42 miles. So taken together we ended up with 72 miles yesterday. Coincidentally, the same distance as the the Lake Tahoe ride. Although we only had about half the climbing we'll have out there. Speaking of climbing, I finally got the chance to ride up Fisk Knob. It's a pretty large hill on Algoma Avenue. While riding north you gain about 100 feet of elevation in less than a mile. Not Tour Du France but not too shabby. Ian, of course, beat everyone to the top. Mary also made it without having to stop. Our bike fitness level is improving. I'm in my late summer training range of riding 60-100 miles each week. Which is where I need to be since we ride in Tahoe in a little less than 5 weeks.

Mary and Coach Mike after the descent from Fisk Knob.
The team makes an ice cream stop in Cedar Springs on loop 2.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More than 10,000 miles

Tonight was the night. I rolled over 10,000 miles on my Cannondale SR500. This journey started late in 2005. I had been riding my old mountain bike as I prepared for my first JDRF ride in Death Valley. By August of that year it became obvious that riding 100 miles in the desert on a mountain bike, while not impossible, was not in the best interest of my overall health. So in early September I bought the Cannondale. I put about 300 miles on it before we got to Death Valley in mid-October. I completed my first century ride on that bike in Death Valley on my 48th birthday. Many more miles have rolled under those tires since.
Almost to 10,000 miles, along the White Pine Trail
Tonight's ride was kind of special. I rolled over 10,000 on the White Pine Trail. This has been my main training route over the last eight years, so it seems fitting that this milestone was achieved there. I also decided to wear my JDRF jersey from our first ride in 2005. Lots of history on tonight's ride. I rode up to Rockford and then home for a total of 15.5 miles. I hit my goal on the way home.
I rolled over the odometer on my way home from Rockford.
A funny thing happened when the odometer rolled over to 10,000. Apparently that number doesn't exist, too many digits for the little bike computer. So after 9999.9 the next number I saw was 0.0. That was a little disappointing but now I can resell the bike as a "low mileage" vehicle.

To paraphrase the Proclaimers "Oh, I will ride 10,000 miles. Then I will ride 10,000 more."