Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Saturday was one of those wonderful days we seldom get in Michigan in December, sunny and 50 degrees. So we hopped on our bikes for one last ride in the 2006 season. We rode up to Rockford along the White Pine Trail. Great news on the trail, the local governments are now saying that the White Pine will be paved all the way to Sand Lake this summer. I know we've been hearing that for awhile, but it looks like it's really going to happen now.

The final Sunday Night Update for 2006
12/30 - 11.5 miles; WPT north
2006 total mileage: 1,469 miles

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas

I hope Santa was good to everyone this year. Tom got an "Italia" cycling jersey. Very cool. Mary got a fluffy robe and warm hat, scarf and gloves. Not real practical for bike riding, but necessary for Michigan winters. We also have assembled all the photos taken in Death Valley by all the different West Michigan riders. It's almost 2 gigabytes of material. It's a little post Christmas gift to our fellow riders. We'll be giving those out at our 2007 Ride Kick-off Party on January 9th. Thanks to Digital Video Services of Grand Rapids, Michigan for donating the disc duplication.
Have a happy holiday season.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day. It's time to put on that winter layer of fat that we will all work so hard to get rid of come Spring. It was a great weekend weather-wise for this time of year in the Mid-West. So after finishing raking leaves and putting up Christmas lights today I went on a bike ride. It was actually my first time on a bike since our return from Death Valley and it felt really good. Just a quick trip up the White Pine Trail to Rockford and back. We are hoping for some more nice days this Fall/Winter but realize that we may be on exercise cycles at the gym for the next four months. Yuck.

This week's ride totals:
11/27 - 12 miles; WPT north

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Winter in Michigan

Okay, technically it's not winter yet, but November is probably the most depressing month in this state. Everything is gray. The sky is gray. The trees are gray. When there is snow (which could be any day now) it's gray. Oh how I long for the warm temperatures and blue skies of Death Valley. Check out this photo. This has not been filtered or Photoshopped. The sky was really that blue.
And finally for the people out there who are into stats, it's amazing where people have been logging into this blog from. We've had visitors from 38 states including the District of Columbia and 18 countries other than the U.S. And over 1,300 hits. Now if each of those hits would just donate $10 we'd be well on our way to making next year's goal. Yeah, we're going to do this again next year. More on that later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Greetings from Detroit

On the road again, but this time for work, not to ride. We had a great post ride get together at Sarah and Rob Andro's parents house on Sunday. Most of the Ride Team was there. We ate, drank, swapped stories and started making plans for next year. Almost everyone committed to coming back to Death Valley and bringing along more riders. We want to take the title of Largest Ride Team away from Wisconsin. Keep watching this blog for more updates and news as we wrap up the 2006 ride and get ready for 2007.
Oh, and speaking of stories, the mojito shower that Nicole provided in Las Vegas was very refreshing. True to her word, she didn't have a repeat performance at the Andro's, but there is always next year.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Donor Thank You's

We'd like to thank all the people who have donated to the ride so far. There is still time to give to this worthy cause if you haven't already. Just click on the DONATE link to the left or mail a check to the address on the left. Our recent contributors include:

John and Carrie Kasper
Jack and Karen Kleinhecksel
Brian and Darolyn Mogg
Paul and Brenda Schab
Tom and Florence Scheidel
Pat and Renee Smith
Dave Usleton and SueLynn Ritsema
Paul and Sallie Wieringa
The Corner Bar
Stonecrest Productions
Tru-Vue, Inc.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Ride - part 3

We shot some video with our little still camera while we were in Death Valley and Las Vegas. Some of it can even be shared. Check out YouTube. There are 4 video clips. After clicking on the following link the first video should show up and the rest should be in the playlist. Derek Dykstra also has a few clips. Here's the link

We want to thank the folks from Adventure Corps for organizing the logistics of the ride. Here's a link to their photos

There are also photos from Bright Room. You can see them at
Tom's bib number was 757, Mary's was 758.

We also noticed that we didn't have a Sunday night update last week. That could have been because we were relaxing in Las Vegas last Sunday. But here it is, a week late.

This (last) week's ride totals:
10/20 - 10 miles; Zabriski Point, Death Valley, CA
10/21 - 105 miles; Ride for the Cure, Death Valley, CA
Total: 115 miles

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Ride - part 2

I've been on the road for work practically since we got back from Death Valley so it's taken awhile to get the next entry about the ride. I said in part one we didn't have any injuries, but we did have two riders, Ann and Andrea, who were nursing injuries and were unable to ride in Death Valley, even though they made the trip. We also had several riders who have Type 1 diabetes. They were out there fighting the heat and wind with the rest of us. I know how hard it was for us, I'm in awe of someone with a life threatening disease being able to do that course. Last Saturday was a very hard day. At 5:00 a.m., when we got up, it was already warm and unlike the day before it was windy. The ride is "out and back" style. 52.5 miles with a light wind mostly at our back. We made great time. Then we turned around and came back 52.5 miles, into a 20 MPH head wind with gusts to 30 MPH. Also, the last 6 miles before the turn around is the climb up to Jubilee Pass. 6 miles at a 6% grade. It took us an hour. The wind made a difficult course a little piece of hell on earth. There were very good riders who said it was one of the toughest rides they've ever done. Our fastest riders got in a pace line on the way back so they could go 11 miles an hour! That passed for fast in Death Valley.
Another member of our team is Danielle Musto, who is the ranked second in mountain bike racing. Danielle was the first woman to finish the ride. She also has a blog and you can read her thoughts on the ride there. Just click on the new link to the left or on her name above.
Speaking of links, click on the Flickr badge on the left and you'll see a whole bunch of pictures from the ride. In part three we'll post links to other people's photos and some video.

This is the part of the team (we had 34 riders) that we rode most of the course with. Sue, Mary, Tom, Peggy, Lynn, Nicole, and Joe.

Beautiful but desolate countryside.

The day of the ride was Mary's birthday. The day after the ride we recuperated in Las Vegas and it was Tom's birthday. Use the comment section to guess how old we are.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Ride - part 1

We arrived in Death Valley on Thursday evening after traveling all day. We had a nice dinner and hooked up with the rest of our team at the Furnace Creek Ranch. Friday morning was the training ride. Five miles uphill to Zabriski Point in 85 degree heat, but no wind. The wind would come on Saturday. After enjoying the view and posing for pictures it was five miles downhill back to the Ranch. On Friday afternoon some folks went on a hike, others hung out by the pool, still others rode their bikes some more. That night we had a pasta laden dinner in the date palm grove and got to bed relatively early to be ready for our team photo op at 6:20 a.m. on Saturday. Tom had the first flat at the top of Zabriski. As a team we suffered at least 15 flat tires over the weekend, but no injuries, except for some VERY sore muscles on Sunday. More photos and more stories about the actual ride in the next few days.

The West Michigan Team at Zabriski Point, the site of the Friday training ride.

Tom and Mary at the top of Jubilee Pass. This is the half way point. After this we rode back into a 20 MPH head wind.

"Naughty kitties" Peggy, Sue and Mary at Badwater.

Monday, October 23, 2006

We are back!

Wow, wow, and wow. It was an incredible trip. So much to tell and so little time tonight. I will post stories and pictures soon but here's a brief synopsis of the Ride to Cure Diabetes.

There were 284 riders from all across the country. 37 of those came from West Michigan. We were the second biggest team there after Wisconsin. We don't have the exact figure yet, but the ride raised between 1.5 and 2 million dollars for diabetes research. Mary and Tom both completed the full 105 mile course, which was made incredibly difficult this year by a 20 MPH head wind for the last 50 miles. Danille Musto, of the West Michigan team, was the first women to cross the finish line. (Remember, this is not a race.) West Michigan coach Mike Clark was named coach of the year. And the high temperature during the ride was only about 90 degrees. We'll have lots more soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yummy dogs

The "Dogs for Dollars" promotion at the Corner Bar in Rockford was a big success. The manager there said it was one of the best nights they have had in awhile. Several members of the Ride Team showed up as well as lots of other folks. We all had a real good time eating great food and discussing our upcoming adventure.
tomorrow morning we're leavin' on a jet plan for the ride. It's been a great spring and summer of training, and now our time is here. We'll post lots of photos when we return.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Soon and very soon

So our bikes left Wednesday and then it snowed on Thursday and Friday. I guess the bikes gods sent snow so we wouldn't feel so bad about not being able to ride our roadies. Today the weather was sunny, if not exactly warm (52 degrees). Usually when we ride north on the White Pine Trail we turn around where the pavement ends at Russell Road. Today we drove up to Russell Road and took the mountain bikes north on the dirt part of the trail past Cedar Springs. It was only an 11 mile jaunt, but boy oh boy, it felt like a lot longer after training on the roadie all summer. Tomorrow night is our fundraiser at the Corner Bar in Rockford. Our plane leaves Thursday morning for Las Vegas and then we take a bus to Death Valley. Boy oh boy.

This week's ride totals
10/15 - 11 miles; WPT (dirt) north
Total: 11 miles

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bye Bye Bicycle

Our bikes left for Death Valley without us. Thanks to Gainey Transportation for donating the bike pick up and delivery for riders all over the country. We will meet back up with our bikes next Thursday when we fly into Death Valley. Actually, we fly into Las Vegas and then are bussed into DV. It's supposed to snow here in Michigan the next two days, so I probably won't miss my ride too much.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Final team ride

We are getting close to the Death Valley Ride. Our bikes leave this Wednesday and we leave next Thursday. Today was our final team ride. Ten riders took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed out for some rolling hills between Ada and Alaska. We did a little over 33 miles. That's probably our last long ride until we get out to the California desert. It's hard to believe that we are less than two weeks away. We've been training since early spring and now it's autumn. We are ready!

This week's ride totals
10/3 - 20 miles; WPT north
10/6 - 13.1 miles; WPT south
10/8 - 33.7 miles; Ada to Alaska loop
Total: 66.8 miles

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dogs for Dollars

On Monday, October 16th we will be having a fundraiser to support the West Michigan Ride Team. Come to the Corner Bar in Rockford, Michigan and have a hot dog (or whatever else you'd like to eat). 15% of all dinner checks will be donated to JDRF. Print the coupon below and bring it to the Corner next Monday. Have some good food and help the team.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Apple Cider photos

Mary, Clark, Susan, Eddie, Tom and Elvin in the back row. Bridget up front, ready to start the ride.

Mary along the Apple Cider Century route.

Mary, Tom, Elvin and Eddie at the finish line, 6 hours and 78 miles after we started.

More donors, more thanks

We are approaching our fundraising goal. We'd like to say "Thank you" to our most recent contributors.

Dave & Rebecca Behrens
Jaap & Janis Bosmeijer
Chris & Paula Briggs
Roy Dodman
Larry & Amy Hewitt
Dennis & Kim Moline
Jane Quinn
Mike Silverstein
Bryce & Margo Spencer
Digital Video Services
KVO Audio & Video

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Love the Cider

What a great day for a bike ride! We participated in the Apple Cider Century Ride today. Last year we completed a Metric Century (62 miles). Today we did the 75 mile loop, which actually was almost 78 miles. There were over 4000 riders that left from the little town of Three Oaks, right down near the Indiana border. We rode with our friends from Chicago, Susan and Elvin Hayes, their children Eddie and Bridget and Clark Bushman from the Detroit area. Susan and Bridget rode 25 miles and Elvin, Eddie, Clark, Tom and Mary did 75 miles. We even have the certificates to prove it! We'll post some pictures from the ride later this week.
Three weeks until Death Valley!

This week's ride totals:
9/25 - 11 miles; hill work
9/26 - 16.8 miles; WPT south
10/1 - 77.6 miles; Apple Cider Century
Total: 105.4 miles

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Getting ready for Cider

This weekend we will be riding in the Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks, Michigan. We did a metric century last year (62 miles). This year our goal is 75 miles and if the spirit moves us we'll try for the full 100. So this week has consisted of a couple of short training rides on the White Pine Trail and east of our house on the hills. We did 11 miles on Monday and 16.8 miles on Tuesday. We'll post pictures of the Apple Cider early next week.

If you haven't donated to the cause yet, it's not too late. You can click on the DONATE link to the left or mail a check made out to JDRF to Tom Scheidel, 6184 Archer ST. NE, Rockford, MI 49341.
Thanks for your help in eradicating diabetes.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

An easy week

This was not a great week for riding. Rain, rain, cold, rain and a friend from out of town have severely limited our bike riding. So just two quick trips early in the week. We will have to crank up the mileage this week as we are only four weeks away from the Ride.

This week's ride totals:
9/18 - 13.1 miles; WPT south
9/20 - 21 miles; WPT north
Total: 34.1 miles

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fun Food Fundraiser

Join us for a hot dog on Monday, October 16th at the Corner Bar in Rockford, Michigan. The Corner Bar is well known for the Hot Dog Hall of Fame and on October 16th a portion of every dinner sold will go to the JDRF Ride Team. So pedal on down to the corner (just off the White Pine Trail) have a hot dog (or something else) and support the Ride to Cure Diabetes.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday night update

Even with the crummy weather and being gone to a soccer tournament this weekend, we did manage to get a couple of good rides in. Thursday was north on the White Pine Trail to where the pavement currently ends. (Can't wait for the fall paving project to Sand Lake to get started.) Friday we went over to Holland and rode some of the trails on the north side of the city, out to the state park and north along Lake Michigan. It was a very pretty (and quite flat) ride. While in Holland we stopped off at Velo City Bike Shop and saw coach Mike. Thanks to Ted for the tune up on our bikes while we were there.

This week's totals:
9/14 - 22.2 miles; WPT north
9/15 - 24.3 miles; Holland loop
Total: 46.7 miles

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moab report

The weather has been nasty this week. Cold and rainy. We should be die-hards and ride anyway. We aren't and we haven't. Although it is supposed to warm up and dry out starting tomorrow.
So since we have no personal riding to report I thought I'd post a picture of head coach Mike (center) and assistant coaches Patrick and Rachel on their recent mountain biking trip to Moab. You can see more of their really cool photos by clicking here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cool day, cool ride

We had a great team ride today. 16 riders took off from our house south of Rockford and headed to Cannonsburg. We turned north at Townsend Park and worked our way over to Wabasis Lake. We then turned back west, picked our way up to 15 Mile, hooked up with the White Pine Trail at Russell Road and cruised home. A nice 40 mile loop in 60 degree weather. The chips and salsa tasted real good at the end. Here's a few photos from today's ride.

The team getting ready to ride.

Assistant coach Rachel

Mary and Nancy approach the half-way point

This week's ride totals:
9/5 - 14.7 miles; WPT north
9/7 - 13 miles; WPT south
9/10 - 40 miles; Wabasis Lake loop
Total: 67.7 miles

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lunch time ride

With Mary working out of the house now it has opened up other opportunities for us to go biking. Today, for example, we rode our bikes for an hour during lunch. Just a little jaunt down the WPT past the ballpark and back. 13 miles in all. Not something she could do when she was teaching school.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

This week in biking

Tuesday was a quick ride down the White Pine Trail past Whitecaps Park and then back. On Friday went north on the WPT and checked out another portion of the route we'll be riding with the team next week. Today we rode from our house south on the WPT, through Riverside Park, across the West side of Grand Rapids, hooked up with Kent Trails and rode that to Douglas Walker Park in Byron Center. Over 28 miles, and most of it on converted rail trails. It is becoming easier and easier to take really long rides and not have to fight with car traffic. Looking forward to more paving of the WPT this fall.

This week's ride totals:
8/29 - 15 miles; WPT south
9/1 - 26.5 miles; WPT north, then to 15 Mile and back
9/3 - 28.3 miles; WPT and Kent Trails to Byron Center
Total: 69.8 miles

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Thanks to these donors

Here's the current list of people who have donated to help find a cure for diabetes. Click on the DONATE link if you'd like to join them.

Christine Behrens
Brent & Jennifer Deuel
Jim & Susan Hayes
Mary Ellen Koziol
Donald & Linda Milanowski
Craig Moulten
Jeff & Julia Poole
Mickel & Jeanne Scheidel
Denise Sherwood
Sharon Turnquist
Bill & Ginger Young

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's Sunday night

On Saturday we rode up to Rockford to watch a little bit of the Rockford Criterium bike race. Man, do those guys ride fast. I much prefer the relatively leisurely pace of a Death Valley century ride.
Today we tried out a route we are going to do as a team ride in couple of weeks. From our house to Wabasis Lake and back. We ran in to a few dirt roads that made us reroute our route, and so we ended up doing 39 miles. The more direct route for the team will probably be a couple of miles less.

This week's ride totals:
8/23 - 17.6 miles; WPT north
8/26 - 20 miles; WPT north
8/27 - 39 miles; to Wabasis Lake and back
Total: 76.7 miles

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A note from the Coach

Here's an email we got from Coach Mike Clark after last Saturday's JDRF Ride in Montana. BTW... Death Valley is 2 months away.

"Hey Team!

Wow, what a ride! Your team mates are back from Whitefish Montana, ( I'm gonna refer to it from now on "The Land of 10,000 Subarus") and it'd be safe to say that the First Ever JDRF Big Sky Ride was a huge success for JDRF and the West Michigan Team. The course and weather were great, the people were fantastic (especially the support crew and volunteers) and everyone had a blast! It's pretty much a done deal that we'll be goin' back there and at least one JDRF BigWig that I spoke with feels that Whitefish could well become the centerpiece of the ride Program in the near future.

Congradulations are in order for Dave, Mac, Chip and Marlene who all succeeded in tallying 100+ miles on a pretty hilly course. Our "adopted" riders Kim and Kathy had good rides as well. We enjoyed the enthusiastic support from the many JDRF staffers and volunteers all weekend, foremost of which was supplied by our own Alison Hoye and Linda Clark.

Once again I left a JDRF ride humbled and inspired. Humbled to be allowed to be a part of such a project and inspired by the passion of everyone involved. I finished my ride Saturday by keepin' an eye on Chelsea and her mom from Northern Indiana. Chelsea's 13 and has been on 3 JDRF rides. She has Type 1 and she and her mom were out there doing the miles and rasing the money and trying to matter in this world, y'know?

I've said it before and I'll say it guys ROCK !!"

Sunday, August 20, 2006

THE Sunday night update

Tom was in Detroit all week on a job and Mary has been having foot trouble, so not much riding during the week. However, today we did a group ride and put in our most mileage of the year for a single ride, a little over 42 miles. We took the White Pine Trail south and hooked up with the team at Monroe and North Park in Grand Rapids. We then rode the trail north to Belmont and headed west into the apple orchards of alpine Township. We came back east on 13 Mile Road on road the WPT south to home. We had 11 people on the ride today. Which is good considering that part of the team is in Montana this weekend at another JDRF ride. We'll share an update on how they did once coach Mike gets back.

This week's totals:
8/18 - 20.4 miles; WPT north to Russell Rd. and back
8/20 - 42.8 miles; the loop described above
Total: 63.2 miles

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The best week ever (at least for this year)

Got out on the bike SIX times this week. Only missed Saturday. None of the rides were especially long, ranging from 10 to 27 miles, but we were going for consistency. And it was also a good way to break up the training a little bit.
Today was a nice cruise from Lake Paw Paw to South Haven and back. We went with our friends Elvin and Susan Hayes. The weather was perfect, the ride was level and we could have done more if we had more time.
This week's ride totals:
8/7 - 10.2 miles; hill work
8/8 - 13.4 miles; to Rockford and back
8/9 - 15.3 miles; WPT south
8/10 - 16 miles; to Cannonsburg and back
8/11 - 11.7 miles; to the gym, worked out, rode back
8/ 13 - 27.6 miles; Lake PawPaw to South Haven and back
Total: 94.3 miles

Friday, August 11, 2006

Puttin' in the miles

Trying something different this week. Instead a couple short rides and a long ride on the weekend, we're trying to ride every day this week. So far so good. 10 miles Monday, 13 miles Tuesday, 15 miles Wednesday, and 16 miles yesterday. We'll see if we can maintain that for a few more days.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Keep on rollin'

Monday was a hill work day. Only 10 miles but it took about 45 minutes because of all the long extended hills we rode. Near where we live there are a lot of hills if we aren't riding the White Pine Trail. That's the nice thing about the converted railway lines, the hills are very gradual. But that doesn't help get us ready for the nasty hills in Death Valley. So we submitted to a little self inflicted pain.
Yesterday was a leisurely ride up the WPT to Rockford. Listened to some live music (a local group called Organissimo) and had ice cream. An easy 13 miles.
And finally here's a photo from last Thursday's Jake's Music Festival. See more photos at the JMF web site.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Whew... what a week

This has been a very busy week. Between work, Jake's Music Festival and Mary's garage sale we didn't get a lot of riding in. But what we did was fairly long. We had a great ride yesterday. We went west out Post Road to Pine Island Drive then over to 9 mile and continued to Division. We followed that north to 14 Mile Road and picked our way around some lakes before we hooked back up with the White Pine Trail and headed south to home. 28 miles in all. With the weather predicted to be cooler this week and a lot of our busy stuff out of the way, this coming week should see lots of miles.

This weeks ride totals:
8/4 - 20.2 miles: WPT north and then south
8/5 - 28.2 miles: loop west and north of home
Total: 48.4 miles

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Links and things

First the things...

A banner week of riding, the best week so far as far as total mileage, over 80 miles. Yesterday was the big ride, 32 miles. Started north on the White Pine Trail until the pavement ended at Russell Road. Then headed north on the street all the way to 20 mile and took that east to Northland Drive. Rode down thru Cedar Springs, hooked back up with the WPT and was home is just a shade over 2 hours. Today, we took a leisurely ride with the boys up to Rockford for hot dogs and ice cream. This Thursday night is Jake's Music Festival, a benefit concert to support our ride team. Check out info on the concert at the link below. Only $10 to see four great bands.

Now the links...

For more information about Jake's Music Festival, click here.

Derek Dykstra took some great photos of the ride team in action last Sunday. See his photos here.

To donate to Mary click here.

To donate to Tom click here.

And to see some photos from our Europe trip click here.

And finally, the Sunday night roundup...

7/25 - 16.2 miles; Myers lake to 11 miles to WPT south
7/27 - 22 miles; WPT south to Riverside Park and downtown GR and back
7/29 - 32 miles; WPT north to 20 Mile, loop thru Cedar Springs
7/30 - 11.9 miles; Rockford and back for ice cream
Total: 82.1 miles

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More photos

First off the ride report. We rode 16.2 miles today, north on Myers Lake Road to 11 Mile, across to the WPT and south to home. Nothing eventful, except for the truck that almost ran over Tom, just a training ride. Now to the pictures...

The West Michigan Ride Team getting ready to head out from Ann O'Conner's.

Rachel and Nicole somewhere near Fennville.

"Rookie marks" on someone's leg. Someone with a brand new bike. Hmm...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What a great ride

Today was a perfect day for a bike ride. It was also our big team ride in Pullman at Ann O'Conner's house. We had over 20 riders there and about 40 people for the pool party afterwards. The weather couldn't have been better. Sunny, warm, a light breeze and great people to ride with. After the 40 miles we had a cookout around Ann's pool. Lot's of people brought their kids and we all had a great time. We'll post pictures later on. For Mary and Tom, today was our longest ride of the year. This was also the most miles we've done in a week so far this year.

This week's ride totals:
7/18 - 18 miles: WPT north
7/20 - 16.2 miles: Holland loop
7/23 - 40.5 miles: Pullman to Douglas and back
Total: 74.7 miles

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bike Lust "parte due"

Tom got a new Cannondale bike last year so this year it was Mary's turn for a new ride. She purchased a pearly white Bianchi. Mary selected the Italian bike either because she loved Italy when we were there last month, or because Mike Clark was having a great sale at Velo City. Either way it's a great bike. We broke it in with a 16 mile loop around Holland. The big test will come this Sunday when we do our major team ride in Pullman. Mary loves the new bike, especially the granny gear. "The better to get up a 6 mile hill at a 6 percent grade, my dear." And it's much lighter than her antique Schwinn. So if you know anyone who wants an old bike (with $150 of new parts from last year) please let us know.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Thanks to our donors

We'd like to thank those people who have sent in a donation to help find a cure for diabetes.
Tim & Gloria Buist - Kentwood, MI
Jim & Connie Hennip - Byron Township, MI
Mike & Michelle Kenney - Dewitt, MI
Marc & Jane Longstreet - Hudsonville, MI
Ed & Nancy Reed - Grand Rapids, MI
Michelle Reed - Rockford, MI
Chris & Collette Smiley - Rockford, MI
Kim Summers - Belmont, MI
Pete & Kay Timinskis - Lowell, MI
Hank & Mari Wieten - Grand Rapids, MI
Larry & Dorothy Scheidel - Wayland, MI

It's easy to donate on-line. Just click here or follow the DONATE link to the left. Or you can support us the old fashioned way, by mailing a check. Make it out to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and mail it to Thomas Scheidel, 6184 Archer St. NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Thanks to all who have helped so far.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Sunday Night Update for July 16

On Saturday morning we rode south on Coit Ave. to North Park, crossed the Grand River on the North Park bridge and then came home north on the White Pine Trail. It was about a 13 mile loop. Then in the afternoon we were driving in the Saugatuck area and saw fellow Death Valley rider Derek Dykstra riding in the Holland Hundred. He was looking fine in his new Herman Miller bike jersey. You can check out Derek's blog here. Or click on the link on the left of this page.

This week's ride totals:
7/12 - 15.4 miles; part of the Holland 100 route
7/13 - 21.6 miles; WPT north to the end of pavement
7/15 - 13.5 miles; Coit to North Park to WPT
Total: 50.5 miles

Friday, July 14, 2006

A new bike is coming

It seems that Mike out at Velo City Bikes in Holland is running a Tour Du France sale. So we went out there to check it out. Mary ended up test riding a new Cannondale. We did a 15 mile loop in Holland, basically following the Tuesday night Macatawa Bike Club route. It was a great ride and Mary really enjoyed the C-dale after all the time on her "antique" Schwinn. We decided to get her something and we pick it up next Thursday. We'll post photos of the new ride once we get it home.
Yesterday we rode the White Pine Trail north to where the pavement ends (for now) and then back home. That's a 21.6 mile out and back. Not a lot to report on that, just a basic training ride on our usual trail.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Okay, I know the headline has nothing to do with biking, but we got hooked on World Cup Football (Soccer here in the States) while we were in Europe. Italy defeated France in the finals 1-1. That may look like a tie, and it was after regulation and overtime. But Italy won on penalty kicks 5-3, so the Italians win the match and the World Cup. We were happy. We liked Italy when we were there, and it is fun to know how crazy there are going to be over there tonight.

In biking news we had a good team ride yesterday. We had a group of 12 that left from Ada Park and rode out Grand River Ave. toward Lowell. Five of us turned around there because of other commitments and the rest of the group continued on for what they said was going to be 40 miles. It was a good week of riding, we got out four times for the first time this summer. None of the rides were especially long, but we are building stamina.

This weeks ride totals:
7/5 - 17 miles; east of Rockford and WPT
7/6 - 14 miles; Myers Lake and WPT
7/7 - 13 miles; Cannonburg Rd.
7/8 - 15.8 miles; Ada to Lowell and back
Total: 59.8 miles

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Riding and music

We took a short ride this afternoon. Started out on Meyer's Lake Road near Cannonsburg and picked our way north and west until we ended up in downtown Rockford. Then we took the white Pine Trail south until we got home. 14 miles in all. There is a team ride Saturday that we are also going to try and make.

In other news, get ready for the second annual Jake's Music Festival. This is a major fundraiser for our Ride Team and features four great West Michigan bands. The show takes place on August 3rd from 6:00 p.m. until midnight at the Wave Room at Celebration Cinema in northern Grand Rapids. For more information check out our website

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Blog Anniversary

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of our Ride Blog. It was also the 230th anniversary of the founding of the United States. We celebrated by taking a 17 mile early 4th of July morning bike ride. We rode north on Courtland drive to 12 Mile, then over to the White Pine Trail and then south to home. Great trail news! The State of Michigan accepted Fred Meijer's donation to the White Pine Trail and soon it will be paved all the way to Cadillac. Woo hoo! 90 miles of paved trail from Grand Rapids to the north country. The Russell Road to Sand Lake portion is supposed to be paved by this fall. Let's hope the remainder follows quickly.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Summer Holidays

The Sunday night update is a bit late this week due to Independence Day holiday. Between getting back from vacation and going away again for this long weekend we did get some riding in. North on the White Pine Trail on Tuesday and south on Friday. We've got a couple more team rides coming up in the next few weeks. It will be good to catch up with the ride team again.

This week's ride totals:
6/27 - 10.9 miles; WPT north
6/30 - 18.4 miles; WPT south to Ann Street in GR
Total: 29.3 miles

Friday, June 30, 2006

We are back

We haven't had a lot of posts lately because we've been out of the country. We took a family vacation to Europe. Don't worry, I'm not going to link anyone to the 700 photos we took. I just included one of Mary and I in Sienna, Italy. We rented bikes at our hotel one morning and went riding around that very old city. Sienna is between 2500 and 3500 years old. It was very cool. The whole trip was cool, but that's information for a different blog. This blog is about preparing for the Death Valley Ride. So even though we only rode once in the last two weeks, we walked a LOT! Our legs are in great shape. We are really looking forward to putting in some serious miles now that summer is here.

Tom and Mary on Piazza Il Campo in Sienna, Italy.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Busy time is finishing

It has been tough to get out and ride this spring. With school getting done, our daughter graduating from high school, graduation parties and getting ready for vacation bike riding hasn't been a high priority. We are getting out some, and today was beautiful. We did a team ride on the Musketawa Trail, a rails-to-trail conversion that runs from Marne to Muskegon. Logged 31 miles with a big group. We had 16 people along for the ride, which is the biggest group for a team ride this year. And it's actually more people than rode for our team in Death Valley last year. We are really looking forward to some serious training once we get back from vacation. And boy will we have some photos to share from that. More in a couple of weeks.

This weeks totals:
06/06/06 - 10.8 miles, WPT north
6/11/06 - 31.2 miles, Musketawa Trail
Total: 42 miles

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's Sunday night, time for the update

We didn't get a lot of riding in this week, but what we did do was good. Today was a team ride. 10 folks from the West Michigan Ride Team took off from Ada Park and touring the "rolling" hills of the Saranac/Lowell/Ada area. We rode just a shade under 28 miles. Coach Mike was there along with one of our new assistant coaches, Patrick. And we took some photos. It was a lovely day and we're going to share photos of a couple of lovely ladies.

This week's ride totals:
6/4 - 28 miles; Ada to Lowell loop

Mary Scheidel, south of Lowell.

JDRF Executive Director Stacey Chase crossing the Grand River.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A good week

Got out three times this week. Wednesday was just a quick ride around the neighborhood of about 7 miles. This weekend we went down to our friends cottage on Lake Paw Paw and took two trips around the lake. 12.8 miles on Saturday and 12.2 miles on Sunday. It's nice to have nice weather.
This week's totals:
5/24 - 7.7 miles; the neighborhood
5/27 - 12.8 miles; around Lake Paw Paw
5/28 - 12.2 miles; around Lake Paw Paw again
Weekly total: 32.7 miles

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Who's swinging down the streets of the city...

...everyone knows it's Windy.
To steal a line from an old 60's song. It has been very windy this week, so not a lot of miles, but they were hard miles baby. Against the wind. Uphill. Both ways. I'm tellin' you.
But seriously folks, Wednesday was a quick 11 mile jaunt between rain storms and today was 21 miles on the White Pine Trail. All the way to where the pavement ends and then back home again.
And we are holding Jake's Music Festival again this August. Check out the website for all the details.
This week's totals:
5/17 - 11.2 miles; WPT north
5/21 - 21 miles; WPT farther north
Total: 32.2 miles

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I can't stand the rain

What a crummy week for bike riding. All that nice weather we had earlier in the spring has deserted us. For the most part this week has been cold and rainy. Thursday it was raining sideways! So we only got out twice this week. A short ride around the neighborhood on Wednesday and a longer ride between rainstorms today. Today's right was south on the White Pine Trail, past the ballpark and through Riverside Park, all the way to Ann Street in Grand Rapids. A 19 mile round trip. More rain in the forecast for this week. Yuck.

This week's ride totals:
5/9 - 6.5 miles; the neighborhood
5/14 - 19 miles; WPT south to Riverside Park
Total: 25.5 miles

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Busy week, some biking

It was very nice outside, this first week of May. However, work was very busy, so we didn't get a lot of riding in. However the little we did was relatively long for this time of year. On Wednesday we rode a little hill route that Mary found and then went north on the White Pine Trail for a little over 17 miles. On Sunday we took a trip from our house out to, and around, Meyers Lake. Round trip total of 21 and a half miles. Hopefully we'll be able to grab a few more rides this week.
Weekly Ride Totals:
5/3 - 17.25 miles; hills and the WPT
5/7 - 21.5 miles; Meyers Lake
Total: 38.75 miles

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Three dog night

Actually, that should say "three ride week". We got out three times in a week for the first time this season. Thursday was a 12 mile ride from our house out around the Lake Bella Vista area. Then on Friday (back to back days) we took the White Pine Trail south and rode 13 miles. Finally we got in our first team ride of the season. Nine folks from the West Michigan Ride Team braved the rain and rode the WPT from the ball park north to Russell Road where the paved trail ends. That was a 26 mile jaunt. So we hit our mileage goal for this week. Of course next week that goal increases.

This week's ride totals:
4/27 - Lake Bella Vista: 12 miles
4/28 - WPT south: 13 miles
4/30 - WPT north: 26 miles
Total - 51 miles

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another Sunday night review

It was beautiful all week and then today, when we were supposed to have our first West Michigan team ride. It rained, and it was only 50 degrees. Not the best cycling weather. So instead of getting out three times this week we only rode twice. Friday was a good ride. Out and back on the White Pine Trail for one hour exactly and rode 15.2 miles. That would make our average speed 15.2 miles per hour. That's about 4 MPH better than at this time last year. Better bikes and better clothes probably have something to do with it.

4/18 - 8 miles; hills and interval training
4/21 - 15.2 miles; WPT north
Total: 23.2 miles

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What a difference a year makes

Here are a couple of photos that are humorous because of the change they show. The first one shows Tom, Mary and Jacob from the donation letter we are sending out this year.

The second picture is the photo we sent out last year when we were "trying" to look like cyclists. Amazing what a year's worth of training can do. Not to mention the spandex.

Also, did some interval training today. Eight miles of sprints and hills in 30 minutes. Boy was that fun.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

We hope the Bunny brought you everything you desired today. It was a good week of riding. Not a lot of miles, but good, sunny miles. We took the White Pine Trail north on Friday for 15 and 1/2 miles. Thought about riding to my mother-in-law's house for Easter dinner, but it's a little too far for this early in the season. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

This week's ride totals:

4/13 - 12.7 miles; WPT south
4/14 - 15.5 miles; WPT north
Total: 28.2 miles

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We love SPRING!

A little 60+ degree weather, a little rain, and "bang" things start turning green. The lawn, the trees, the bruise from where you fell last week. Today was one of those good early spring days to ride, sorta sunny, a light breeze and lots of pent up energy. We did 12.7 miles on the White Pine Trail Training Course. Took the southern route down to Whitecaps ball park. There is a carnival going on right now. Whoopee!
In other news, make sure to check out Coach Mike Clark's Club-Velo web site. There is a link to it over in the link list on the left. Mike says it's even better than the regular bike shop site.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A double header

Well, not a true double header in the baseball sense of the word. We mean getting out on the bike twice in the same week. It was pretty decent for those of us spending Spring Break in Michigan. We did have a couple of nice days to ride. Thursday was 10 miles up to Rockford along the White Pine Trail and the return route took us up Childsdale hill. The first true hill work of the season.
Sunday was a serpentine route to a friend's house on 5 Mile Road near Thousand Oaks Golf Club. It's about 2 1/2 miles if you go straight, or over 11 if you take my way. Lots of hills. Tom also achieved his personal best speed, clocking in at 40 MPH coming down East Beltline.
This week also saw the arrival of our training schedules from coach Mike Clark. The training officially starts this week with a mileage goal of 60 miles. We'll see if the weather cooperates.

This week's totals:
4/6 - 10.3 miles; WPT north
4/9 - 11.3 miles; Plainfield area
Total: 21.6 miles

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Riding

It's hard to get outside and ride consistently this time of year. However this week we did have one warm (60's) and sunny day, so we hit the trail and did 12.3 miles. It really feels good to be out and you can tell that the weather is changing and soon we'll be out several times a week. Then the Sunday Night Update won't have just one entry.

This week's ride totals:

3/30 - 12.3 miles: White Pine Trail south

Monday, March 13, 2006

Donating just got easier

Great news! As you probably know, the Ride to Cure Diabetes is a fundraiser. As much "fun" as it is to pedal 105 miles through the desert, the real reason we go out there is to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. There is now an on-line link to allow you to easily donate to the cause. Just click on to go to the donation page. Once there enter the rider name, either Thomas Scheidel or Mary Scheidel and follow the prompts. It's quick and easy and will go a long way toward helping us eradicate this disease.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The return of the Sunday night update

It was a beautiful weekend here in West Michigan, sunny and in the 60's, so we got out and rode. I was able to get on my Cannondale and not have to use my mountain bike like I did earlier in the year. It was so nice to be on a smooth riding bicycle once again. I did the northern training ride; from our house north on the White Pine Trail (WPT) past Rockford and then back home. A round trip of 14.5 miles. Not a lot of miles but a good first time out.
As those of you who read this blog last year may remember on Sunday night we would post our mileage totals for the week. So here we go for the first time in the 2006 season.

This week's mileage totals:
3/12/06 - 14.5 miles, north on WPT

Thursday, March 02, 2006

We're doing it again

Our rear ends have finally healed so we've decided to do the Death Valley Ride again. We are officially signed up (and some may say officially crazy) to take our bikes and bodies back to the desert. Last year there were 14 riders from West Michigan and this year we have 53 registered. The ride is capped at 300 riders, so West Michigan is going to have great representation.
Please remember that this is a fund raiser and we are always looking for support. Soon we'll be adding a link so you can easily donate over the web. In the meantime you can use the address under our picture. A big thanks to everyone who donated last year, and an advance thanks to those who will donate this year.
Ride on!