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)