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