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)