Sunday, December 16, 2007

What do cyclists do in the winter?

They shop, of course.

We went to Chicago over the weekend and hooked up with fellow Death Valley rider and Chicago resident Nicole Nellis. This is a shot of Mary and Nicole looking at the big tree in the Walnut Room at Macy's. We had a great time bopping around downtown in the middle of a blizzard. We went to the Kriskindle Market on Daley Plaza, shopped on the Miracle Mile and checked out Millennium Park.

This is our group reflected in a giant silver sculpture called "The Bean" by the locals. We had hoped to have Rob Andro join us, but he ended up having to work. It was great meeting up with part of the "western" West Michigan team. We are looking forward to trading in the winter jackets for spandex as soon as possible.

Friday, December 07, 2007

New photo link

Over on the left side of this page you will find a Flickr badge. This links to our 2007 ride photos. Once you are into the Flickr website you can also look back through the photostream to see pictures from 2006 and 2005.
And... we are starting to plan for the 2008 ride. More details coming soon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ride team video is on-line

We have posted the 2007 West Michigan Ride Team video to YouTube. You can follow this link or just watch it here. The video encapsulates the whole year including training rides, fund raising and the Death Valley and Whitefish rides.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A cool ride

Tom got out on his bike for the first time since returning from Death Valley. It was sunny, windy, and relatively warm (57 degrees) yesterday, so a ride on the White Pine Trail was in order. It was just a quick 12 miles during lunch but it felt good to be outside riding again. Now the last time we rode it was sunny, real windy, and very warm (104 degrees).
We had a end of the season party over at New Holland Brewery on Tuesday night. It was great seeing all our teammates again. We also kicked off the 2008 ride season. There were several new people at the party that we are recruiting to ride with us next year. Oh, and the (almost) final total for money raised by the West Michigan Ride Team is $250,000. Thanks to everyone who contributed and watch this space for more news about next year's ride.

Monday, November 05, 2007

This Year's Ride Totals

Well, that headline looks pretty final. That's not to say we won't get some more riding in this year, but with temperatures in the 30's and 40's and snow in the forecast it might be awhile before we do any outdoor riding. We know we have team mates who ride year round. They are better men and women than we are.
So the final numbers for the 2007 JDRF Ride training season are:
Tom: 1,683 miles
Mary: 1,187 miles

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More thoughts on the ride

After we returned from Death Valley our team was swapping emails about the ride. We are reposting here the one that Tom sent out on Wednesday

I’ve been looking at photos, watching videos and reading emails this morning and I am amazed at what this team has accomplished in three short years. Our first year, 2005, we had 14 riders in Death Valley and 12 more in Ashville. We were all “newbies”. We had no idea about the Death Valley terrain or the route. “Jubilee Pass is how high?” We didn’t know about posters on the room doors or identifying markings on our helmets. And why do we need a “supply” stop in Parhrump? Today we are the rock stars of the Valley. The un-official coolest team at the ride. My sides hurt all weekend. Sometimes from the riding, but more often from the laughs we shared around the pool and dinner. I will take away many memories from this ride that will last the rest of my life.

Carmen’s incredible enthusiasm for every part of the experience.

John Jasker riding up to the top of Jubilee twice to help other riders on our team achieve their goals.

Sean and Rob and Ted’s four letter shout outs.

The dorm party on Saturday night.

Our little pace line on the way back from Ashford Mills. Patti, Nicole, Carmen, Melanie and I. Plus the guys we picked up along the way, Micah from Israel and the kid whose name I forgot.

Helmet stars? A great idea. Bunny ears and a tail? It looked good on Rob.

Did I mention that Melanie Williamson is a monster climber?

Seeing Mark and Terry Hereen on Friday night and then out on the road on Saturday. And in Vegas on Sunday and Monday. Thanks for all the rides.

Underwater photography by Kevin Owens.

Sitting around for hours in the hot tub at the Flamingo in Vegas, discussing the ride.

The convenience store lunch on Friday with Katie, Steve and Nicole.

The crash and my interesting scar.

Dave the Ninja.

Finishing the ride in a sandstorm. Is that what normal people do on a Saturday night?

Turning 50 surrounded by some of the most positive people I have ever met in my life.

And to the two people who made this whole weekend possible, Coach Mike and Cruise Director Mary. While we were having fun before the ride they were working behind the scenes to make sure everything went off without a hitch. Thanks to them and Linda Clark and Sophie, our West Michigan support team.

One last thought. With 98 miles completed I was done. The wind was too strong. It was too hot. My body had nothing left. There were other riders on our team, much stronger than me, who had already sagged in. I looked up to see another long climb on the stretch between Badwater and the turn for Furnace Creek. I was done. I then looked down at the little card that had been on my handlebars since the start. One quote caught my eye. “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” At that point I looked at the photo of my son and said, “Well Jake, I’ve got no more energy, I guess we’ll have to use a double dose of persistence.” And our little pace line crossed the finish line together. Thanks to everyone who participated. You are all rock stars in my book. And if we can conquer the ride in Death Valley, I have no doubt that we can also conquer diabetes.

Ride On.


Friday, October 26, 2007

More Ride News

Those of us who rode in Death Valley have been sharing emails and photos this week. It's great to relive those great memories. Obviously that doesn't include the winds and heat. Our team is great. Not only great cyclists, but great people as well. Our bikes arrived back on the Gainey Transportation truck this morning. We had half a dozen people show up early to help unload. We are already starting to plan for next year.
Here's a photo of us at the top of Jubilee Pass. We are smiling because we think we've accomplished the hardest part of the ride. The winds haven't started yet and the temperature is still below 90.For more photos from us and the rest of the team click on the new link to the left under the 2007 Ride Photos headline. Or click here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Photos from the 2007 Ride

The West Michigan Ride Team on Friday morning, just before the training ride up to Zabriski Point.

Dust storm at sunset. The end of the 2007 Death Valley Ride.

Tom and Mary, very happy to have completed another adventure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We are home

This year's Death Valley Ride was incredible. We just got home after three fantastic days in DV and a couple of birthday celebration days in Las Vegas. There will be several more posts over the next couple of days with all the details and many photos. But first here are the basics.
We fought a head wind on the way back from Jubilee Pass again this year. This time it was a sustained 30 MPH with gusts to 40. The last 5 miles were ridden in a sandstorm! It was also hotter than last year. The temperature peaked at 3:40 in the afternoon at 104 degrees. The heat and the wind took their toll on Mary as she completed 88 miles of the route. Tom rode the entire 105, but it took 11 hours. Many people on our team and Death Valley ride veterans from other teams said it was the hardest thing they have ever done. More on that later...

This week's ride totals:
10/19 - 10 miles; Tune up ride to Zabriske Point and back
10/20 - 88 miles; Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes (Mary)
10/20 - 105 miles; Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes (Tom)
Total: 98 miles (Mary)
Total: 115 miles (Tom)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bye bye

Tomorrow is fly away day. We board our flight at 8:30 Thursday morning, change planes in Chicago, pick up a rental car in Las Vegas, and arrive in Death Valley about 2:00 PDT. That is providing the big midwest storm doesn't mess up our plans. Right now there is rain in the forecast for Death Valley on Saturday. Rain?!? In Death Valley?!? The last time it rained there there were floods and roads got washed away. Then there were flowers.
This is probably the last post until we return. But then we'll have lots to talk about and tons of cool photos.

Here's a memory from 2006.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just days away

We have been training since March. We have logged hundreds, probably over 1000, miles. The air has turned cold in Michigan. Our bikes are gone! It must be time to head to Death Valley.
On Thursday morning, 36 people from the West Michigan Bike Team will board airplanes and fly to Las Vegas. From there we will catch shuttle buses out to the Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley. On Friday morning there will be a 10 mile, get reacquainted with your bike seat ride. On Saturday we will pedal 105 miles across Death Valley for JDRF. On Sunday, we sleep by the pool in Las Vegas. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this worthy cause. We'll have more reports on the actual ride in the days ahead.

This week's ride totals:
10/8 - 37 miles; WPT north to Sand Lake (Mary)
10/8 - 32.7 miles; WPT north to Cedar Springs (Tom)
Total: 37 miles - Mary
Total: 32.7 miles - Tom

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Riding the trail

We both rode the White Pine Trail yesterday, but at separate time. Mary took off in the 86 degree heat around lunch time and rode all the way to Sand Lake. The new paving has added eight miles to the WPT. Of course it does go all the way to Cadillac, but after Sand Lake the trail becomes dirt. Mary did the paved portion and logged 37 miles. Later in the day Tom rode to Cedar Springs on the trail, putting in 32.6 miles. The additional paving will allow us to put in some great training miles next year, as this ride season is just about done. Our bikes leave for Death Valley tomorrow and the weather has turned colder. We might get out for a short mountain bike ride between now and the 18th, but the next time we'll be on the roadies will be in Death Valley, California.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Two weeks to DV-Day

Yesterday was our final team ride of the season. In two weeks we will be pedaling across Death Valley. And the temperatures yesterday were quite Death Valley-like. It was over 85 degrees at ride time as 12 of the West Michigan team headed out from Sue and Pete Dow's house. The Dow's treated us to several hills on our way out to Wabasis Lake. But hills and heat are what we need. We broke away from the group at the lake to take care of kid duties, but then hooked back up post-ride at the Dow's for chili and beer. Yum.

This week's ride totals:
10/4 - 15.6 miles; WPT north (Tom)
10/4 - 8 miles; WPT south (Mary)
10/6 - 31.4 miles; Forest Hills to Wabasis Lake to home
Total: 47 miles (Tom)
Total: 39.4 miles (Mary)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

80 degrees in October???

We have been having some beautiful weather here in Michigan so far this fall. It's been in the 70's or 80's every day. Although it is getting into the 40's at night. Tom and Mary both went on separate rides today. With the sun setting so much earlier now it's tough to get in long rides during the week. Tom took the White Pine Trail north to 12 Mile Road for a 15.6 mile round trip. Just before nightfall Mary took the WPT south for a quick 8 miler. The good news is our rear ends felt no effects after getting back on the bike after the century ride on Sunday. Coach Mike would call that "good saddle fitness."
Two weeks from today we head out to Death Valley!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Apple Cider Century photos

Our group about to start at 7:45 a.m. Eddie, Bill, Elvin, Clark, Tom, Mary, Chan, and Susan.

Susan and Mary spinning thru the quiet streets of New Buffalo, almost half-way to the 100.

Here we are at the end of the ride. One century done, looking forward to the next one in Death Valley.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Best Week Ever

Today we completed our first non-JDRF century ride! We rode in the Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks with our friends Elvin and Susan Hayes from Chicago. We actually had a group of eight who started the ride together. We quickly split into three groups, a fast group that did the full 100, a slower group that did 75 and Mary and Tom, who did the 100. This is our third time at the ACC. Two years ago we rode a metric century (62 miles), last year we did the 75 mile route, and this year we completed the full century. There were almost 5000 riders there, including our JDRF team mates Rick Blackmar and Lynn Elker. We heard from Lynn that the Schmeider men were riding, but we didn't see them. It was a great day to ride. We started a little before 8:00 a.m. in 55 degree weather. We finished about 5:00 p.m. in 80 degree weather. Did we mention there was also a 20 MPH wind out of the south? Or that a large portion of the ride is in Indiana? And since Indiana is south of Michigan that meant several miles of going straight into the wind. Sometimes uphill and in the sun at the same time. Very Death Valley like, except for the trees.

This week's ride totals:
9/24 - 15 miles; WPT south (Tom)
9/27 - 11.7 miles; WPT north (Tom)
9/30 - 100 miles; Apple Cider Century
Total: 126.7 miles (Tom)
Total: 100 miles (Mary)

Friday, September 28, 2007

More Donor Thanks

This Saturday will mark three weeks out from the ride. We'd like to take a moment and thank some of our recent donors.

Brent & Jennifer Deuel
Roy Dodman
Jim & Connie Hennip
Mary Ellen Koziol
Marc & Jane Longstreet
Dennis & Kim Moline
Greg & Gail Raap
David & Jennifer Shane
Kim Summers
Bill & Ginger Young
Home Care Services - Lynette Dykhouse
Stonecrest Productions - Dave Mackenzie
XCEL Chemical - Laryy & Amy Hewitt

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's Apple Pickin' Time

Yesterday we did a long ride thru the apple orchards in the Fruit Ridge Road area. We actually made it all the way out to 40th Street in Ottawa County. We went out Post Road to 9 Mile and headed west then went south on Stage Rd. to 8 Mile and took that to 40th. Then we rode north to 10 Mile and turned east to start heading home. We fought a pretty stiff head wind while going west. In fact the first 24 miles took two hours, and the last 17 miles took one hour. What a difference a tail wind makes. Next weekend is the Apple Cider Century and this year we will be trying for the full 100 miles.

This weeks ride totals:
9/18 - 30.7 miles; WPT north (Tom)
9/20 - 18.5 miles; eastern loop (Tom)
9/20 - 11.1 miles; WPT south (Mary)
9/22 - 41.4 miles; western apple orchard loop
Total: 90.6 miles (Tom)
Total: 52.5 miles (Mary)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A word from one of our sponsors.

XS Energy Drinks has donated hundreds of cases of energy drink and water for our ride team to use as a fund raiser. If you are interested in purchasing some please let us know. 100% of the proceeds go to fund our ride team.

Thanks to XS and thanks to you for your support!

One month to go

It's hard to believe that after training since March, we are only one month from riding in Death Valley. We noticed the high temperature there today was only 87. I don't think we'll get that lucky. Heat we can take, we're just hoping for less wind than last year. The training is going well. Tom rode north on the WPT all the way to Cedar Springs but then had to turn east when large road making machines blocked his path. It seems they are putting the final top coat on the trail. Today Tom took the eastern loop (lots of hills) from the house and Mary rode the WPT south to Whitecaps ballpark. Next weekend we will be riding in the Apple Cider century and our goal is to go the full 100 miles.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The White Pine Trail

The WPT is becoming the bike riders highway thru west Michigan. On Thursday Tom rode from our house all the way to Cedar Springs. The trail is now paved to Sand Lake. It's not "officially" open, but you just have to ignore a couple of "Trail Closed" signs. On Sunday the trip went south all the way to downtown Grand Rapids. A one way ride from GR to Sand Lake would cover approximately 26 miles. Now if we can just find a way to limit the strollers and skaters in Rockford we can really fly. :)

This week's ride totals:
9/13 - 25.2 miles; WPT north to Cedar Springs (Tom)
9/16 - 22.7 miles; WPT south to GR (Tom)
Total: 47.9 miles (Tom)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Why we do this

Today provided a great reminder of why we go through all the training and suffer through century rides in deserts and over mountains. This afternoon there was a small get together in Holland for the riders who completed the Whitefish ride. Since Mary had been out there as a volunteer we were invited as well. There was good food, great pictures and wonderful stories. Near the end of the party Dawn Wilson, a Herman Miller employee and brand new JDRF rider, gave a short speech. It seems that Dawn got a little emotional when she crossed the finish line. Now Dawn is one tough rider. She has been kicking it in through training and in Whitefish. So when the tears flowed on the finish line it surprised most everyone. Today she explained, " I finally figured out what this was all about. I thought I was just going out there to do a cool bike ride. But then I found out that (fellow rider) Jake Clark is diabetic. And I kept looking at the picture that had been attached to my bike of this little girl. It hit me that she has diabetes and that's why we're here. This ride changed my life." Dawn may have cried at the finish line, but she had everyone in the room crying today.

We have a great group of riders on the West Michigan team. Half of us have done the ride and the other half go soon. These rides continue to change lives, not just of the riders, but of the kids afflicted with diabetes. Thanks Dawn, for making that point so clear today.

This week's ride totals:
9/3 - 16.4 miles; WPT north (Tom)
9/5 - 13.7 miles; WPT south
9/9 - 23.5 miles; Tunnel Park to Kirk Park (Ottawa County) and back
Total: 37.2 miles (Mary)
Total: 53.6 miles (Tom)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

This week's roundup

We had a great ride yesterday. We rode from our house to Tom's parents house just north of Lowell. We took Cannonsburg Road thru Parnell and past Murray Lake to Lincoln Lake Road. It was a 36 mile round trip on a beautiful late summer day. We are now seven weeks away from riding across Death Valley.

This week's ride totals:
8/28 - 14 miles; WPT south (Tom)
8/31 - 16.7 miles; WPT north (Tom)
9/1 - 36 miles; Cannonsburg Rd. to Lincoln Lake Rd.
Total: 66.7 miles (Tom)
Total: 36 miles (Mary)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Michigan, Montana and points in-between

A crazy busy week. Mary took Colleen back to Central Michigan University on Thursday and then was supposed to fly to Montana to support the 20 West Michigan riders participating in the Whitefish Ride to Cure Diabetes. Because of the storms that rolled thru the midwest that day she ended up driving to Chicago early Friday morning and catching a flight to Missoula, Montana. The ride out there went great and the West Michigan folks had a fantastic time. We'll be posting photos here and at the team blog site later.
Tom stayed in Michigan, putting in many work hours but also setting up the JDRF goodie tent at the Rockford Criterium on Saturday. Today he got out for a ride and actually made it up to Sand Lake and rode on 3 miles of newly paved WPT. Yeah! At long last the paving project is underway. When finished in September we will be able to do a 36 mile round trip on the trail from our front door. Because the trail isn't completely paved yet Tom had to do some regular roads and the ride ended up being 41 miles.

This week's ride totals:
8/21 - 16.4 miles; Post, 9 Mile, Division, WPT loop
8/26 - 41 miles; WPT paved sections north (Tom)
Total: 16.4 miles -Mary
Total: 57.4 miles -Tom

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Riding between raindrops

We are making up for our dry summer this week. Lots of rain every day. We did get out right after work yesterday for a quick ride. Took Post Road out to Pine Island and then west on 9 Mile. We turned south at Division and rode that all the way to Comstock Park. Hopped on the WPT and headed home. An easy 16.4 miles before dinner.
Tomorrow Mary leaves with half our team for the ride in Whitefish, Montana. She won't be riding, she's there to help with logistics. We have 20 riders in Whitefish this month, another five there in September and about 37 of us in Death Valley in October. Altogether we'll raise nearly a quarter of a million dollars for diabetes research. Woo hoo!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Busy week

This week was crazy busy. Tom had a big event that went all week long so he was only able to get out Monday morning and Friday afternoon. On Friday he rode down to the JDRF offices via Grand River Drive and rode home with Mary. Today was supposed to be the annual West Michigan Ride Team ride and pool party. But it got cancelled because of rain. We haven't had any rain in a month and so on the day we plan a pool party the state gets dumped on. Oh well, at least the lawn is a better shade of brown.

This week's ride totals:
8/13 - 21 miles; Courtland, Meyers Lake, 13 miles, WPT (Tom)
8/17 - 22 miles; Grand River Dr. (Tom)
8/17 - 11 miles; Grand River Dr. (Mary)
Total: 43 miles (Tom)
Total: 11 miles (Mary)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fundraising week

We didn't get a lot of miles in this week because we were getting ready for Jake's Music Festival. This is a major fundraiser for us and it took place last night. We're still counting money, but it looks like we made over $2,000. Since we each have to raise $4,000 in order to ride in Death Valley, last night's concert took us a long way toward our goal.

This week's ride totals:
8/8 - 23 miles; WPT north (Tom)
8/10 - 21 miles; WPT south (Tom)
Total: 44 miles (Tom)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Jake's Music Festival THIS Saturday

Head on down to the Wealthy Street Theatre in Grand Rapids this Saturday night for the best concert of the summer. The show starts at 6:00 p.m. and features local acts FLEDfive, Craic Wisely, Common Shiner, Creolization, Los Cobras and Bad Dolly. Tickets are only $10 and all proceeds go to support the West Michigan Ride Team. See you there.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Is that a hill?

We had a great team ride today. 15 riders in all, evenly mixed between Whitefish and Death Valley participants. We left from Joe Schmeider's house and headed east from Knapp from Grand River. We then did several north and south streets as we went through Parnell, Murray Lake, and Fallasburg Park. Then it was back via Bailey and the hills of Honey Creek. A couple more north/south jogs and we climbed Joe's long driveway to finish the 48 mile ride. Our total climbing was 1,221 feet. Thankfully Mike Clark did not call this a "rolling hills" route. These were big hills but good training. The Whitefish folks do their JDRF ride in 3 weeks.

This week's ride totals:
8/2 - 14 miles; WPT Coit loop (Tom)
8/3 - 14.5 miles; WPT north (Tom)
8/5 - 48.5 miles; Schmeider's hill route (see above)

Total: 48.5 miles - Mary
Total: 77 miles - Tom

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Death Valley style heat

It has been very hot this week. Temperatures in the 90's all week with Tuesday topping out at 97. Unlike Death Valley this is not a dry heat. It's humid and very uncomfortable. So today Tom took off early in the morning to get a ride in. South on the WPT, east on North Park, North on Coit, over the Grand River on the Jupiter bridge and then home. A 14 mile loop. Not a big ride, but there was work to do today.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another big week

We both got out and rode 4 times this week, with Tom doing his second 100+ mile week in a row. Remember, in Death Valley we are doing 105 miles in one day. Still, it feels great to be getting some big miles in and we have almost 3 months until we head out to the desert.
On a separate note, Tom seems to have come down with DID disease, named for fellow rider Derek Dykstra. He had two flats on Friday and another one today. We've thinking about seeing if we can get a team bulk discount on tubes.

This week's ride totals:
7/23 - 20 miles; WPT north (Tom)
7/24 - 11 miles; Cascade to home (Mary)
7/25 - 11 miles; Cascade to home again (Mary)
7/25 - 24.7 miles; Western farmland loop (Tom)
7/27 - 37.3 miles; Musketawa Trail
7/29 - 28 miles; Wabasis Lake and back (Tom)
7/29 - 32 miles; Wabasis Lake and back (Mary)
Total: 110 miles - Tom
Total: 91.3 miles - Mary

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Muskatawa Trail

We had a great ride yesterday. Our friends, Susan and Jim Hayes came up from Chicago and we rode 37 miles on the Muskatawa Trail. That's another converted rail line that runs between Marne and Muskegon. Lots of cornfields out there but you do travel thru the little towns of Ravenna and Conklin. In Conklin we stopped at Fenian's Irish Pub and had a pint (or maybe two). We also got an idea for a fun ride. Coming soon The Five By Fifty. Watch this space for details.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's just a little bunny rabbit

One of the weirdest biking experiences ever befell Tom on his 20 mile ride yesterday. He was hit by a rabbit. Not your tiny little hopper munching on carrots, oh no, this guy was big. I could hear him crashing through the brush to my right as I was on the WPT. Now we have rabbits and chipmunks and birds cut in front of us all the time on the trail. We've even scared up some deer. But this rabbit misjudged his and my speed. Instead off cutting in front of me, he jumped and hit me in the right calf, then passed through the open frame of the bike and hit my left knee. He fell to the ground where he got bonked by a pedal. Somehow I didn't fall and when I looked back he was hopping away, although more slowly. No blood on either of us so we moved along. I wonder what kind of story he's telling his friends?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Holland Hundred

At the start of the Holland Hundred in our new jerseys provided by West Michigan Ride Team sponsor XS Energy Drink.

Tom and Mary cruising along Lake Michigan on our way to completing a metric century ride at the Holland Hundred.

Saturday was a perfect day for riding. Cool in the morning, warm with a light breeze in the afternoon. A great day to knock out 67 miles, also known as a 100 kilometers. We took part in the Holland Hundred and rode east from Holland for about 15 miles then headed back west and stopped for a pancake breakfast at the 28 miles mark. We then turned south for Fennville, headed west to the lakeshore, and north to Saugatuck. We crossed the Kalamazoo River on the chain ferry and then had a short ride back to Holland. We saw lots of out JDRF Ride team mates, including Joe and John Schmeider, Linda and Don Milanowski, Rod and Diane Stevens and John Jasker. There were more there but with 1300 riders it's difficult to meet up with everyone. Coach Mike, Ted Bently and the crew from VeloCity did a great job helping organize the ride. A great way to cap off a big ride week.

This week's ride totals:
7/16 - 20 miles; WPT south (Tom)
7/17 - 20 miles; WPT north
7/18 - 30 miles; Townsend Park, Gratten, home loop (Mary)
7/19 - 12 miles; Rocky's for ice cream with Ian (Tom)
7/21 - 67 miles; Holland Hundred
Total: 119 miles (Tom)
Total: 117 miles (Mary)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Photos from trail riding

Mary riding through an area we like to call "Children of the Corn" in Manistee National Forest.

Doesn't this look like it could be an ad for Specialized trail bikes?

Tom heading back to the campsite. All done for the day.

Bikes and blues

This is getting to be a habit. On Tuesday night we rode the WPT up to Rockford to listen to the Rouge River Blues series. Last night featured the Jimmy Stagger Band. We watched the first set and then continued our ride north to where the pavement ends and turned around to head for home. We did 20 miles in all at an average speed of 14.8 MPH.
On Monday Tom did the southern WPT, riding through Riverside Park all the way to Ann Street in Grand Rapids and then home. Another 20 miler.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mixed week

We were camping up in Manistee National Forest from Thursday thru Sunday, so we did trail riding this weekend. Not lots of miles but lots of sand and gravel and little hills and bumps and one fall for Tom. It was fun being on the trail bikes again and we did one great 5.7 mile loop on Saturday on some old fire roads. We even surprised some back country campers. The best part is Jake and Ian rode with us.

This week's ride totals:
7/9 - 25 miles; WPT south to Grand Rapids and back (Mary)
7/10 - 21 miles; WPT north from North Park to Rockford and home (Tom)
7/12-7/14 - 12 miles; Trail riding in Manistee national Forest
Total: 37 miles (Mary)
Total: 35 miles (Tom)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dang, it's hot outside!

The weather finally broke this morning but we had 90 degree temperatures this week to give us lots of practice for Death Valley. Mary rode on Monday in the early evening and put in 25 very sweaty miles by heading south on the WPT and then bopping around on some city streets in northern Grand Rapids. Tom rode early in the morning on Tuesday. After dropping off the van for service he headed north on the WPT, starting at the trail head on North Park, and rode north all the way to 12 Mile before turning around and heading home. 21 miles with the heat creeping into the mid-80's. This weekend we will be doing some dirt trail riding so we'll be pulling the trail bikes down from the garage rafters. We'll report on that on Sunday.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A hot week

It was very warm in Michigan this week, but it gets us ready for riding in Death Valley.

This Week's Ride Totals:
7/3 - 24.7 miles; WPT and east
7/5 - 25.5 miles; eastern Rockford loop (Tom)
7/6 - 8.8 miles; Apline ave to WPT and home (Mary)
7/7 - 13 miles; WPT to Rockford and back (Tom)
Total: 63.2 miles (Tom)
Total: 33.5 miles (Mary)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Separate Rides

Tom went out yesterday and did a 25.5 mile loop. Started east on 7 Mile, north on Blakely, then east on 9 Mile all the way to East Rockford Middle School. Then turned north and ended up on Ramsdell and 11 Mile and turned for home. The problem in that neck of the woods is many streets don't go through or turn to dirt. After picking his way around Tom finally headed south on Shaner, west on 10 Mile then south on Courtland, rode past Rockford High School and home.

Mary took the van in for service this morning over on Alpine Avenue and rode her bike home. She went Alpine to Turner to North Park and then took the WPT north to home. 8.8 miles and think of the gas she saved.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th

We had a nice ride on Tuesday afternoon. Everyone seemed to be getting ready for the holiday so the White Pine Trail was pretty empty. We rode to the end of the pavement and then turned west, crossing 131 on Indian Trails Rd, then taking Edgerton south to 13 Mile. Going east on 13 Mile hooked us back up with the WPT for the quick buzz home. Almost 25 miles in all.

Monday, July 02, 2007

July First Team Ride Photos

Our Chicago pal and fellow Death Valley rider Nicole.

Somewhere on the backroads between Holland and Fennville.

Post-ride fajita fandango at Coach Mike's house.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A very good week

Wednesday was a 20 mile ride for Tom, out to Townsend Park, north to Bostwick Lake and then home via 10 Mile, along few jogs here and there. Kept up a 16 MPH pace over the entire ride. On Friday Tom did his infamous hill training route, 5 hill climbs in 10 miles. Hit 38 MPH going down hill on House Street.
Today was our team ride from Coach Mike's house in Holland. We did a 44 mile loop that took us through Fennville and Saugatuck. The best part was a group of about 20 of us riding right through downtown Saugatuck. Did we get some looks from the tourists. We had about 30 riders altogether, almost half our team. It was by far the best team ride showing we've had. Probably because of the fajitas Mike made upon our return. We'll be posting photos of all the fun later in the week.

This week's ride totals:
6/27 - 20 miles; Townsend park, Bostwick Lake loop (Tom)
6/29 - 10 miles; Hill training (Tom)
7/1 - 44 miles; Holland, Fennville, Saugatuck loop

Total: 44 miles (Mary)
Total: 74 miles (Tom)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Donor Thank You's part 2

We would like to send out our sincere thanks to the following people who have contributed to help us find a cure to diabetes.
Chris Behrens
Jim & Mary Clinthorne
Robin Duvall
Steve & Stacy Farr
June Hennip
Jim & Connie Hennip
Mike & Jean Oele
Joe & Dena Reetz
and all the people that ate at the Corner Bar on June 18th.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jake's Music Festival

This is an advance notice for the most fun fundraiser of the summer. Jake's Music Festival takes place on Saturday, August 11 at the Wealthy Street Theatre in Grand Rapids. There will be five great bands and the cost is only $10. For more info check out or

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday...

We didn't make the team ride today because we were out of town . We were visiting our friends, the Hayes', at their cottage on Lake Paw Paw. As we do when we visit we brought our bikes and did a tour through the vineyards and orchards of southwestern Michigan. Really don't know where we rode thanks to the odd street naming system in Allegan County. Let's say one is riding down County Road (CR) 387. You cross CR 681, the next road you cross is CR 272. Therefore the next road you cross will be ???? CR 597, of course. I mean, aren't there any dead Presidents they could name these roads after? Or at least number them in some kind of logical order? Regardless, it was a beautiful morning for a ride and we traveled through 33 miles of gently rolling hills. Then we spent the afternoon boating and swimming.

This week's ride totals:
6/19 - 17.5 miles: WPT to Rogue River Blues
6/22 - 15.5 miles; WPT south to the ballpark (Tom)
6/24 - 33 miles; loop east of Lake Paw Paw

Total: 50.5 miles (Mary)
Total: 66 miles (Tom)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yummy dogs again

We had a nice turnout at the Corner Bar on Monday for our Dogs for Dollars fundraiser. We made some money for the ride team and had some good food too. We may have even recruited another rider (our waiter).
Yesterday we were in downtown Rockford again. This time we rode in and enjoyed a little of the Rogue River Blues concert. Put in 17 and 1/2 miles on the WPT last night. We do love these long summer nights with the late sunset. We can actually get a ride in after dinner.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Team Ride and Update

We had a great team ride today. 14 riders left from our house in Rockford and completed a 36 mile loop that took us all the way into Ottawa County. We started off by crossing the Rogue River on Packer Road and then headed across 131 on Post Road. We took 9 Mile west through orchards and farmland. We made a few jogs and ended up on 8th Avenue just inside the Ottawa County line. We headed home along 6 Mile and then rode through Belmont to get home. The traditional post-ride chips and salsa feast was enjoyed on our patio. Lots more training rides over the next few weeks. The Whitefish riders will be heading out at the end of August. Those of going to Death Valley have until October to train.

This week's ride totals:
6/12 - 15.6 miles; WPT to Rockford and back (Tom)
6/13 - 13 miles; WPT to Rockford and back (Mary)
6/15 - 20 miles; WPT south to Riverside Park and back (Tom)
6/17 - 36.8 miles; western loop with the team

Total: 72.4 miles (Tom)
Total: 49.8 miles (Mary)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blues and bikes

Tuesday night Tom and our 16 year old son Jake (the guy we do all this for) rode up the WPT to Rockford to take in the opening night of the Rogue River Blues Series. Tom was on his roadie and Jake on his off-roadie. Together they did 15.6 miles and got to hear some good blues music. So if you are looking for a nice ride, head to Rockford on a Tuesday night this summer, check out the tunes for a bit and then ride home.

This afternoon Mary and our other son, 12 year old Ian, rode to Rockford for Corner Bar hotdogs, a stop at the library and ice cream. The WPT sure makes it convenient to bop up to Rockford for a quick bite. We can hardly wait until it's paved to Sand Lake.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A good week

We both got three days of riding in this week, but only one was together. On Monday we rode the WPT to Rockford for lunch at the Corner Bar (See you there on June 18). On Wednesday Mary rode with Sarah and they did 30 miles out in the Ada/Cascade area. Tom rode alone for 14 miles. On Friday Mary rode from Grandville to Rockford via Kent trails, through downtown Grand Rapids and then the WPT. 20 miles that day. Tom rode on Sunday and logged 35 miles, checking out a western loop that we will use for the team ride next Sunday. Tom took Post Road out to 9 Mile and ended up in Ottawa County. The return trip was via 6 Mile Road. Lots of orchards and farm land. And several "rolling" hills.

This Weeks Ride Totals:
6/4 - 12 miles; Rockford for hot dogs
6/6 - 30 miles; Cascade/Ada/Lowell (Mary)
6/6 - 14 miles; WPT south (Tom)
6/8 - 20 miles; Grandville to Rockford (Mary)
6/10 - 35 miles; western farmland loop (Tom)
Total: 62 miles (Mary)
Total: 61 miles (Tom)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Take a look at where we are going

Mary and Tom went their separate ways for rides tonight. Mary rode with Sarah Andro and they did the Cascade to Lowell loop down Grand River Ave. 30 miles in all. Tom rode alone and only did 14 miles, south on the WPT to the ballpark and back. We found this great route map of Death Valley on the JDRF ride web site. Who said the desert was flat? Check out the elevation gain. (Click on the map to see a larger image.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mmmm... hot dogs

So yesterday were both home at lunch time so we rode up to Rockford and had lunch at the Corner Bar. A little over 12 miles and three hot dogs. Speaking of the Corner we are holding our next food related fundraiser there on Monday, June 18th. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. a portion of the price of every meal goes to the JDRF West Michigan Ride Team. So print the coupon below and come to Rockford on the 18th for good food and help promote a good cause. You'll also get a chance to meet several members of the Ride Team. Because if there one thing we love more than riding it's eating.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another update

Not much to report this week. Only one ride for Tom and none for Mary. Between rain, home improvement projects, soccer and Sarah's wedding shower this weekend was a washout for riding. We do have a yummy fundraiser coming up in a couple of weeks, more on that later.

This week's ride totals:
5/31 - 19.6 miles; Rockford via Childsdale and Summit
Total: 19.6 miles (Tom)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

New twist on an old route

A Tom only ride tonight. I followed the course of the White Pine Trail north to Rockford, but spent very little time on the trail. Started by heading up the Chilsdale hill and then following Childsdale all the way to downtown. I buzzed through the Rockford streets and hooked up with the WPT north of the dam. I got off the trail where it crosses Summit and took Summit to Russell Road. There I turned south on the WPT and blasted for home. 19.6 miles in about an hour and 20 minutes.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Monday Night Update

This being a holiday weekend and all I was nowhere near my computer Sunday night, so the update happens on Monday instead. Tuesday was a quick, Tom only, ride on the WPT. But today we visited our friends Elvin and Susan Hayes at their cottage on Lake Paw Paw and did some riding with them. We rode from the lake, through some beautiful farmland, all the way to South Haven. We stopped at a bluff overlooking the beach and Lake Michigan. Lots of sailboats out this morning. Then we headed back to the cottage. A little over 34 miles round trip.
So this week's numbers are skewed a bit with the holiday making it an eight day week, but we only rode twice.
This week's ride totals:
5/22 - 15 miles; WPT north (Tom only)
5/28 - 34.3 miles; Lake Paw Paw to South Haven and back
Total: 34.3 miles - Mary
Total: 49.3 miles - Tom

Friday, May 25, 2007

Nearing the end...

of the basement project, that is. We will be so glad when that's done (probably right after Memorial Day). We've been very busy with work, and when not working we are working on the basement office. That leaves little time for riding. Tom did get out on Tuesday for a quick 15 miles on the White Pine Trail. We hope to do some biking this weekend at our friend's cottage on Lake Paw Paw. Depends on whether the weather cooperates.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The weekend warrior report

Between several work projects and the basement project at home riding has only taken place on the weekend. This is temporary thankfully, so as we move through the summer things should get better -riding-wise.
Saturday -Tom alone (sniff)
Rode out Post Road to Pine Island Road and took that south to West River Drive near Comstock Park. Hopped on the White Pine Trail heading north to return home. A quick 14 miles between soccer games and dinner.
Sunday - Tom and Mary (yeah)
We rode from our current home in Rockford, south on the White Pine Trail, through the west side of Grand Rapids to our old home on Scott Street. It was neat to see the first house we owned again, we even talked to the current owner (A very nice young lady). A tree we planted as a seedling when Collen was born 19 years ago is now over 25 feet tall. We had a couple of big hill climbs to get up to our old house, but it was worth it. We then retraced our route to get home, logging 28 miles in all.

This week's ride totals:
5/19 - 14.1. miles; Post to Pine Island to WPT loop
5/20 - 28.3 miles: Rockford house to old GR house and back
Total: 42.4 miles (Tom)
Total: 28.3 miles (Mary)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Riding the WPT

While the White Pine Trail is relatively flat and the part that runs through Rockford is ALWAYS crowded it is still a great place to get a quick training ride in. It's about two miles of rolling hills to get to the trail from our house. Depending a which route we take we can have a small, gradual climb (taking Rouge River Drive) a short steep climb followed by an extended easy climb (Packer Rd.) or a very intense hill experience (Childsdale Rd. to House Rd.). This makes up for the flatness of the trail.
Tom was out on the trail on his own this week. Wednesday was south to the Whitecaps ballpark and then home. Today was north to Russell Road and then home. Still no paving north of Russell yet. But the DOT said it would happen this spring. We'll see.

This week's ride totals:
5/9 - 13.8 miles; WPT south
5/13 - 20 miles; WPT north
Total: 33.8 miles (Tom only)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Death Valley Memory

The starting line at 6:30 a.m. The sun will come up in 20 minutes. There is a 20 MPH wind blowing. It will be a tail wind on the way to Jubilee Pass and a head wind on the way back. The winds will also gust to 30 MPH. We will be back at this spot in 11 hours. The sun will have already set.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Good Week

At least it was a good week for this early in the season. Mary rode with Sara Andro on Wednesday. They went north on the White Pine Trail and then came home via the Childsdale hill. Mary said she wanted to get better at hills and there's only one way to do that. On Thursday Tom went east from the house out 7 Mile Rd. and did a loop up Courtland, over on Belding Rd. to Blakely then south back to 7 Mile. He ended the ride with a cruise past Rockford High School. Today Tom went west out Post Road to 9 Mile then north on Division to 13 Mile then south on the WPT finishing with the Childsdale hill.
A shout out to ace bike mechanic Ted Bentley of Velo-City. Tom was having rear tire blowout problems so Ted gave the bike the once over. He suggested new skinnier tires.
"They'll make you fast", said Ted.
"Fast?" asked Tom.
"Okay. Faster." said Ted.
And truth be told, they did! Those Michelin Speediums indeed made Tom speedy. A good 3-5 MPH faster on similar routes. And they handle better then the tires that came with the Cannondale. But truthfully Tom thinks that replacing the silver stem with a new black one is what really made him faster.

This week's ride totals:
5/2 - 11.6 miles; WPT north (Mary)
5/3 - 11.4 miles: Eastern loop (Tom)
5/6 - 23 miles; Western loop (Tom)

Totals: 11.6 miles (Mary)
Totals: 34.4 miles (Tom)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The First Donor Thank-Yous of 2007

Many people contribute to the success of the Death Valley Ride. Some of those are riders and some are support personnel. But the vast majority are our donors. At this time we'd like to thank our first group of donors to the 2007 ride. Check back often to see if your name has been listed.

Chris & Paula Briggs
Tim & Gloria Buist
Dinah Waldsmith Dittman
Lynn Elker
Kevin Owens
Laurence & Colleen Pierson
John & Rosie Scheidel
Smiley Family Dentistry
Henry & MariJane Wieten

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Boom Boom Boom

That's the sound of Tom's rear tire this past week. Last Sunday he had a very loud blowout while riding with Ted and Sara. Saturday the tube blew while the bike was sitting in the garage. After changing the tire yet again (I'm starting to get good at this, darn it) Tom had another blowout 5 miles down the road. Obviously there is an issue to deal with. So while our favorite bike mechanic, Ted Bently of VeloCity, is giving the black beast the once over, Tom will be "strength training" on his mountain bike.
Mary had a much better week. On Saturday she drove to her Mom's house in Grandville. She then biked home following Kent trails, cutting across the west side of Grand Rapids to Riverside Park and then hooking up with the south end of the White Pine Trail. Almost 20 miles in all. On Sunday she reversed the trip and drove home. So we have different mileage totals again this week.

This weeks ride totals:
4/28 - 19.7 miles; Grandville to Rockford (Mary)
4/28 - 10 miles; WPT and Rouge River nature trail (Tom)
4/29 - 19.7 miles; Rockford to Grandville (Mary)
4/29 - 5 miles; around the neighborhood with son Ian (Tom)

Total: 39.4 miles (Mary)
Total: 15 miles (Tom)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's Sunday night, you know what that means

The weather in Michigan finally warmed up. After a down right frigid spring the sun returned this week, with temperatures climbing into the high 70's this weekend. On Thursday we took a quick pre-dinner jaunt up the White Pine Trail through Rockford. It was a mostly wonderful ride except for the teenage stunt riders and skate boarders who seem to have issues with sharing the trail. Note to self, avoid the WPT through Rockford after school hours on weekdays.

Today we hooked up with Sara Andro and Ted Bently, fellow Death Valley riders, and rode from the Ada/Cascade area out to Lowell and back, almost 30 miles round trip. It was a great ride, even with the massive blowout on Tom's rear tire while descending the first of several hills. Thanks for the help in changing that tire, Ted! This was our longest ride of the season so far. We are putting in more mileage earlier this year than last. Seems like I wrote that same thing in this blog about a year ago.

Finally, if you'd like to donate to the cause it's super easy this year. We have set a family goal of $8,000. To donate to Tom's ride click on the "Donate to Tom" link on the left. To donate to Mary's ride click the "Donate to Mary" link. Then just follow the simple instructions. As much as we enjoy riding our bikes on a beautiful day like today, our primary reason for being out there is to raise money for diabetes research. Thanks to those of you who have supported us in the past. Ride On!

This week's ride totals:
4/19 - 13.4 miles; WPT north
4/22 - 28.7 miles; Cascade to Lowell and back
Total: 42.1 miles

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday night of a crummy week

So not much riding weather this week, but today was the first JDRF team ride. Nine hardy souls got out in the sunshine and 50 degree weather to travel the White Pine Trail from Whitecaps Park up to where the pavement ends (that's still Russell Road) and back again. Mary was one of those nine, but Tom was not. He was busy building a room in our basement. It looks like we may have to keep separate weekly ride totals this year. So far Mary is kicking Tom's butt. However, it is a long season.
Also, this Wednesday night is the Ride Team Kick-Off party at New Holland Brewery in Holland. That will be big fun. Stop by and have a beer with the team.

This week's totals:
4/15 - 24 miles; WPT (Mary only)
Total: 24 miles

Friday, April 13, 2007


It's been awhile since the last post because shortly after the previous Sunday Night Update our lovely Michigan spring weather turned to crap. Cold, cloudy and windy. We even had 5 inches of snow on Wednesday. Not ideal bike riding weather. Not any kind of bike riding weather as far as I'm concerned. The warm-up is predicted for this week so if the temps can peek above 50 we'll be back on the road again. Why do we live in this state again?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sunday night update

Today Tom did the reverse of Mary's Thursday ride. I started south on the White Pine Trail and rode to Riverside Park. Fighting 20 to 30 MPH winds the whole way to Ann Street. It's a lot more fun riding with a 20 MPH tail wind.

This weeks ride totals:
3/26 - 14.7 miles; WPT north
3/29 - 20.0 miles; Riverside Park north to WPT (Mary only)
4/1 - 19.1 miles; W PT south to Riverside Park (Tom only)
This weeks total: 33.8 miles
plus 1 extra mile for Mary

Friday, March 30, 2007

A new blog

Katie Clark and Nicole Nellis from the West Michigan Ride Team have put together a new blog that several team members are contributing to. This will be a great way to keep up with what the whole team is doing, not just yours truly.
The blog is
We have also put up a link to it. While you are at it check out all the Ride links. There's some cool stuff over there.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Out like a lamb

The end of March has been muy bueno. The nice weather has allowed us to get out on the bikes several times this month. On Monday, Mary and Tom rode the White Pine Trail north for a trip of about 14 and a half miles. Then today Mary and Death Valley team mates Sara Andro and Tracey Graves went out for 20 miles. They started at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids and then hooked up with the WPT. We are getting longer rides in earlier this year than last. Part of that is the weather and part is being in better condition. It is amazing to think about what kind of shape we were in before the first Death Valley ride 2 1/2 years ago. Back then a 10 mile ride meant we were done for the day, now 10 miles is a warm-up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Season's First Sunday Night Update

The weather was fairly mild this past week and we did manage to get outside riding once, so that means we need an Update. We do not update based on indoor training rides. We don't like riding indoors. We do it to stay in shape. We ride outdoors because we enjoy it, and we stay in shape. But that is a extra benefit.

This week's ride totals:

3/13 - 10.5 miles, White Pine Trail south

Total: 10.5 miles

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let the season begin

March 13 is still officially winter but we were out on our bikes yesterday. The temperature was pushing 70 degrees and it was sunny, sooo... we pulled down the road bikes and zipped off to the White Pine Trail for a quick 10 mile ride. There was even a slight head wind on the way out, which is nice, because we love the wind. Now I know there are hard core riders out there who bike all winter long in the ice and snow. Let me just say, we are not that type of biker. Although we have great respect for those who are. We are really looking forward to the bike season getting underway in full in the next few weeks. It felt really good to be out on the trail yesterday. The snow is melting and the gears are turning.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

UCC Challenge

Last Saturday Mary rode in the UCC Challenge in Holland along with several other members of the West Michigan Ride Team. The Challenge is a 12 or 24 hour indoor team ride done on spinners. Coach Mike Clark, Rob Andro, Sarah Andro, Joe Schmeider, Dave
Berkiner and Ted Bentley joined Mary on the JDRF team for 12 hours of fun. The team wore their very stylish JDRF jerseys to help build awareness for the cause.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Death Valley Ride 2006 Video

For when we ride outside again

I found this on the web. Some of it's funny, but all is good advice. Thanks to the Bicycle Diaries blog.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Donations just got easier

While we really enjoy riding our bikes, the real reason we put ourselves through the "torture" of Death Valley is to raise funds for a cure to Type 1 diabetes. The folks at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have just made donating to the cause a whole lot easier Click HERE or on the DONATE link to the left. This will take you directly to a new page that will allow you to make your donation on-line and also show you how close we are to our goal.
Thanks in advance for your support of this worthwhile cause.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


It's snowing again. Or should I say "still". One of the lovely things about living on the west side of Michigan is this thing called lake effect snow. The weather could be beautiful throughout the Midwest and we'll get dumped on. It's hard to ride bikes in 2 feet of white stuff.

We have made the commitment to ride Death Valley again this year. The ride is on October 20, 2007 so we have several months to train and fund raise. Right now the training is indoors, yuck. But soon (not soon enough) we'll be outside, on the trail, on the road and having fun.

Ride on!

Friday, January 12, 2007

This Just In...

From this evening issue of the Grand Rapids Press.

Which is why I am tickled to announce that another eight-mile section of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail will be paved this spring from Russell Road to Sand Lake, the Kent County line -- at long last."The engineering is done," said Dave Heyboer, chairman of the Friends of the White Pine Trail. "The paving will be done by the end of May."

Great news for those of us who train on the trail. With the paving to Sand Lake we will now have a 36 mile out and back route from our house up the White Pine Trail. It's going to be a great summer.

Also, here's a link to a video I put on YouTube of the 2006 Death Valley Ride.