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