Sunday, August 31, 2008

This week's rides

Not a lot of riding this week, but just enough to keep the legs loose. On Tuesday Tom rode south on the White Pine Trail to past Whitecaps Park and back, for a total of 14 miles. On Thursday we took Ian to soccer practice and did oecause ur usual Algoma area loop. This week was a bit different because Tom was having some flat tire issues and needed to stop at local Rockford bike shop Speed Merchants to get a new rim tape put on. He then rode north as Mary rode south and we met up on 12 Mile Road and continued our ride together.

This week's ride totals:
8/26 - 14 miles; WPT south (Tom)
8/28 - 22.8 miles; Algoma area loop
Total: 36.8 miles (Tom)
Total: 22.8 miles (Mary)

6 days until Jake's Music Festival

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jake's Music Festival is coming soon

Our major fund-raiser to support the ride across Death Valley is coming up on September 6. That will be the 4th annual Jake's Music Festival at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids. There will be great music including Mid-Life Crisis, Truckstop Cobras, the Waxies and Karisa Wilson among others. For a full line-up go to You can also hear some of the music at The show starts at 6:00 p.m. and the fun doesn't stop until midnight. There's even going to be a silent auction. So come early and stay late, it's the most fun you can have in Grand Rapids for only $10.

Oh, and Tom rode 14 miles today.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The week that was

This was a very busy week so we didn't get a lot of riding in. We have another small home improvement project going on. Mary took Colleen back to college (Fire up Chips!). And our friend Roy is here from Seattle. We did get a couple of rides in and hope to do better once the boys are back in school and on a regular schedule next week.

This week's ride totals:
8/19 - 14 miles - Algoma loop (Mary)
8/19 - 22.6 miles - Algoma loop to home (Tom)
8/21 - 25.4 miles - WPT to Cedar Springs and back (Tom)

Total: 14 miles (Mary)
Total: 48 miles (Tom)

13 days until Jake's Music Festival

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Morning Ride

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, so before it got too hot Tom hopped on his Cannondale and headed for the White Pine Trail. He took the trail all the way to Cedar Springs and back for a 25.4 mile round trip. The best part is it took just over and hour and a half. At that pace he could finish the Death Valley ride in 7 hours. Except DV has more hills, the Jubilee Pass climb and horrible headwinds. Other than that, piece of cake.

14 days until Jake's Music Festival

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rides and flats

Our plan tonight was to take our son Ian to soccer practice and then ride from Algoma Township Park for an hour and half. Unfortunately Tom had his second flat in as many rides. (One on front of the Dog House saloon on the 5 x 55 last Saturday) And this one was only about 2 miles into the ride. We got the tube changes, but that really cut into our ride time. We put in about 14 miles. Then Tom rode home while Mary drove Ian home. That got Tom's mileage up to 22.6 miles.

18 days until Jake's Music Festival.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What a great time

The first 5 x 55 Ride yesterday was a rousing success. We had over 30 riders, some from the West Michigan Ride Team, some friends from the Chicago and Detroit areas, and even some folks from Indiana. It was very cool to see almost three dozen spandex clad cyclists taking over the little town bars on a Saturday afternoon. The Musketawa Trail is thankfully straight and flat, because after the second stop it was obvious that this was going to be a long, potentially wobbly, day. We started the ride at noon and finished about 8:30 p.m. The large group broke into several smaller groups. Some rode faster than others and some stopped longer at the bars. Stop #3 in Muskegon, the Dog House Saloon, was our lunch break and all the riders were there together for at least part of the time. The Ravenna Pub (in Ravenna, of course) was Stop #2 and #4. Fenian's in Conklin, Stop #1 and #5, was probably the overall favorite. For pictures of the event click here. As fellow Death Valley rider Derek Dykstra said "It was way, way, WAY fun." And thanks to Jim "Elvin" Hayes of Chicago for helping to organize the event.

This week's ride totals:
8/12 - 16 miles; Algoma Park to Sparta and back
8/16 - 55 miles; The 5 x 55 Ride
Total: 71 miles (Tom and Mary)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saturday Fun Ride

The 5 x 55 is a completely FLAT ride and only half the distance of a century. Plus there are adult beverages along the way. We will be assembling at the eastern end of the Musketawa Trail near Marne. Click here for a link to the trail web site and then click on the MAPS link. Assemble time is 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 16. Roll out is 12 noon. The sun sets at 8:46 p.m. so we want to start on time. Now you may be asking yourself "Eight and a half hours to do a 55 mile flat ride? What's up with that?" Well, on the way out we will be stopping at Fenian's Irish Pub in Conklin and the Ravenna Pub in Ravenna. The turnaround point is the Dog House Tavern in Muskegon. On the way back we hit the Ravenna Pub and Fenian's again. So bring some cash for food and drink. You may also want to bring a lock. Remember this is a self supported ride. No SAG, no massages, no women with hillbilly teeth. (There's a story there) But it will be big fun. Use the comment area to let us know if you plan on coming. This is NOT an official JDRF event, so feel free to pass the word to other friends and riders.
See you Saturday.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Skipping a week

We didn't do a Sunday night update last week because we were off the grid. After the team ride at Ann O'Conner's last week we left for vacation in North Carolina. We rented a cabin up in the Smokey Mountains. No internet access until we got to Asheville on Friday. There we hooked up with the portion of West Michigan Ride Team that was doing the Asheville ride. There were 24 riders and probably another dozen volunteers and supporters. West Michigan was well represented at the ride. We had the second best fundraiser, Nick Dunn; the top recruiter, Coach Mike Clark; and five people who completed their first century ride. It was a very cool weekend and we shot lots of photos and videos which will be posted soon.
So this update is actually for last week since this was a no-ride week for us. This week will be big though, with the 5x55 coming up on Saturday.

This week's ride totals:
7/29 - 15.6 miles; Algoma-14 Mile area
7/31 - 23.1 miles; Rockford-Sparta airport loop
8/3 - 45 miles; Pullman, Fennville, Saugatuck loop

Total: 83.7 miles (Tom & Mary)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A good week

We had two good rides this week with a great one scheduled for tomorrow. Tuesday we dropped Ian off at soccer practice at Algoma Field and rode from there. We headed west out 14 Mile Road and rode around the farmland in that area. A little over 15 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes.
Then on Thursday Cindy Aley from our team joined us for a 23 mile ride. We left from our house and rode north to Rockford, then west on 12 Mile out to Division. We went by the Sparta Airport and came home via 9 Mile and Post Road.
Tomorrow is one of the best team rides of the year. We leave early from Ann O'Conner's house in Pullman and then when we finish we have a big pool party with all the riders and their families. It promises to be a great finish to a great week.