Friday, December 28, 2012

Winding up 2012

As the year comes to a close it's time to reflect on our 2012 cycling world. In some ways it was an average year and in other it was a great year. From a mileage standpoint it was pretty average. I ended up with 1,386 miles in total. I didn't get a full century (100 miles in a single day) but I did ride at least four metric centuries (100 kilometers or 62 miles). The season started early, we were riding outdoors by mid-March, and continued through November. I even got out once in December. Pretty unusual for a fair weather rider from the northern midwest.

From a fund raising standpoint 2012 was a great year. We raised more money with Jake's Music Festival than ever before. As Team Scheidel, Mary, Ian and I raised over $12,000 to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The entire JDRF Ride Program raised $5,000,000 for the cause. Record numbers all the way around. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Ian, Mary and Tom during the first big climb of the JDRF Tour de Tahoe.
Riding with the JDRF team at Lake Tahoe was one of the best cycling experiences of my life. The scenery was incredible, the weather was perfect, and the people were friendly. We had an absolutely fantastic time and would do that ride again in a minute. In fact, the team is in discussion about where to ride in 2013. The new Nashville ride and Death Valley are the leading contenders, but Tahoe is getting several votes.

In conclusion, I'd like to thank the many people who have ridden with us over the past eight years. 148 people have been part of the JDRF West Michigan team since 2005. Some rode once and others have ridden every year. We appreciate all of them and the contributions they have made both financially and spiritually to this worthy cause. A special thanks to our coach Mike Clark. He has been with us since the beginning and is, in many ways, the heart and soul of the West Michigan team.

There's nothing like the feeling of standing with a dedicated group of cyclists at the starting line at dawn. You've all trained for months. You've all raised thousands of dollars. You're all even wearing the same jersey. All the time and effort are about to be rewarded. You are going for the greatest bike ride of your life with hundreds of other people that feel exactly like you do. It is awe inspiring. Let's do it again in 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Let's ride December

For those who live in warmer climates, or ride year-round regardless of the weather, going for an outdoor bike ride in December may not seem like a big deal. But usually this time of year Michigan has a fair amount of snow on the ground and temperatures in the 20's and 30's. So when the temp's approach 60 it's a great day to get out on the road. Yesterday's ride was short, only about 13 miles to Rockford and back, but nice. It was great to get out. With yesterday's ride I've ridden outdoors in every month in 2012 except January. While overall climate change is probably a bad thing, it sure has made winters in the upper mid-west more bearable.