Sunday, May 31, 2015

A good week of riding

I got out three times this week on three very different rides. On Monday, which just happened to be Memorial Day, Mary and I went for a ride around Lake Paw Paw with Elvin and Susan Hayes. They have a cottage there and we have a tradition of getting together with them on Memorial Day weekend. 2105 marked our 30th consecutive get-together. Orignally we went camping, but for the last ten years we've mostly been to their cottage. The ride around the lake was 15 pretty flat miles at a leisurely pace. A really good holiday weekend type of ride.

On Friday morning I went out for a solo training ride. I did a sprint ride up to Rockford and back along the White Pine Trail. It was just put my head down a hammer for 15 miles.

Today we had a team ride from Sarah Andro's house in Ada. It was cold, windy, cloudy and quite hilly. We started by following the time trial route along Grand River Drive. Normally this wouldn't have been very difficult, but today there was a very stiff wind out of the east. If we were doing the time trial the wind would have been okay, because then we would have had a tailwind on the way back. But instead of turning around we turned right and climbed up to 36th Street. Heading back along that road brought us many hills. Nothing horrible, but a bit like a roller coaster, consistently up and down. We finished with 27 miles which gives me 57 for the week and 251 for the season.

Linda and Mary showing off the new West Michigan team jersey.

We also got our new team jerseys this week. Thanks to jersey sponsor Perrin Brewing Company and designer Terry VandenAkker. If you really like them (we do) you can get your own at the Perrin Brewing tap room in Comstock Park. The jerseys are made by Primal and $5 of each purchase is donated to JDRF.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tour de Taco

Once the riding season starts we have a team ride every two weeks. Because our team is spread out all over the western half of the lower peninsula (plus parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana) we move the team ride locations around. This past Sunday we started from Coach Mike Clark's house. This ride is affectionately known as the Tour de Taco because Mike fixes up a whole mess 'o tacos when we are done. Everyone brings a dish to pass, keeping with the theme where possible. It's good eats after a good ride.

This particular Sunday we had options of 22, 28 and 39 miles to choose from. Mary and I opted for the 38 mile route, making this our longest ride of the year so far. The route started in Holland, went south through Saugatuck/Douglas, west toward Fennville and then finally north back to the start. It was a very windy day. Luckily we had a large group and by keeping to a tight pace line we were acheiving pretty decent speeds. Until we turned north to head home. Then, glory of glories, we recieved the best gift a cyclist can get at the end of a ride - a tail wind. For the last 10 miles we had a pretty steady breeze blowing up our back sides. Our average speed went from around 15 to over 20 mph. There was a one mile split that clocked in at 23 mph. I believe Mary was on the front at that point. When we rolled through the little village of Graafshap it was a slight downhill with the wind at our backs. I stopped pedaling and coasted for several blocks at 21 mph. That was fun.

The JDRF West Michigan Ride Team assembles for the annual Tour de Taco ride.
This year we are riding in LaCrosse in mid August. Two months sooner than our usual Death Valley ride. That means two months less fund raising, so if you'd like to send a donation - now would be a good time. Just click on one of the "Donate to..." links on the left side of this page. Thanks.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the Fourth be with you

The overused Star Wars joke in the title has nothing to do with this post, it was just an opportunity to let my inner geek out for a stroll. The real reason for this post is that Mary and I got out for a little 13 mile tonight. She also rode 29 miles with the JDRF team yesterday and I got 14 miles in on Saturday evening. That gives me 110 miles for the year so far. Not a lot, but the weather is improving daily, so I see big miles in our future.

For some reason I missed posting in the entire month of April. The big news from last month is that we held Jake's Music Festival on April 11 and raised $5,000. I also rode a little bit. There will be more posts going forward. I promise.