Thursday, May 31, 2007

Let the REAL training begin

Last night I went on what I am calling my first official training ride for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. In less than 3 months I'll be in Whitefish, Montana, peddling my butt off. My ride last night was pretty meager, just 14.6 miles, but it provided a valuable learning experience.

Based on last nights experience, there are two key ingredients that are missing from my current cycling program.

  • Strength
  • Endurance

I began last nights ride by doing circles in my drive way, practicing getting my feet out of my pedals without falling. Once I felt that I mastered that, I hit the road. Luckily, there was not a breath of wind last night. I would not have been able to tolerate a head wind. After I had been on the road for a few minutes, I performed a quick visual inspection of the bike because I felt that something was preventing my forward progress. I expected to find a brake dragging or perhaps a flat tire, maybe even a t-shirt wrapped around my wheel. Finding none of the above, it dawned on me that it was my own lack of strength that was the impediment. A bitter pill to swallow, to be sure, but I forged ahead. Most of my 14.6 miles took me through rolling hills, so I felt like it was a worthwhile ride, given the terrain we're expecting to find in Whitefish.

There are a couple of other miscellaneous observations worth noting.

  • My left foot kept going numb. Not sure if my shoe was too tight or what. It was the first ride for the shoes as well, so maybe they just need to be broken in. It may have been an issue of the socks...I just had plain ole socks, not fancy riding socks. (If there is such a thing as "riding socks".
  • Also, my hands were sore. I got the fancy gel tape on the bars, but maybe some gloves are in order.
  • And lastly, my butt really hurt. Like, really hurt. Now, I have nothing to which I can compare this sensation, but is it possible that a colony of fire ants has taken up residence in the chamois of my biking shorts? (Question...has chamios technology changed a lot over the last decade? My shorts are OLD...maybe that's the problem)

Despite these annoyances, I really enjoyed myself, and I'm anxious to make it to one of the team training rides soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Team Ride Report, 5-27-07

What a hoot! We had the best turnout of the season for the ride last Sunday........15 riders met up @ Townsend Park in bee-yoo-ti-ful Cannonsburg for 38 rolling and occasionally windy miles. The roiute was great and I have my buddy Jim to thank for settin' me up w/ a cool loop that took us north and west from the park, back through Rockford and back to the park for the customary post-ride chip-n-salsa.
The roster: Alumni Sarah, John, Derrick, Steve, Katie, Nicole, Danielle.
'07 DV'ers Kevin, Ted, Kelly (Sarah's cuz from Chicago).
'07 Whitefish'ers Jack and Cindy.
Special Guests Scott and Linda (Spouse-types of Danielle and meself).

(Man....I hope I didn't miss anyone! If I did.....let me know and I'll owe you one!)

Everyone rode well and the whining wa kept to a minimum....(well, unless you were riding w/ Katie like I was!) I think we have a buncha good riders this season and I can't wait to see how folks ride out west!

Our next rides are on 6/17 and 6/24, be sure to check the website for the details.

Other ride opportunities comin up:
The 100 Grand in GR is this Saturday. It's a great ride and a chance to get lotsa miles. We're also doing the Ride support tent there as Katie if you wanna pitch in.
The shop is hosting the "Pasta Bash Ride" on Sunday the 3rd. This is the June edition of our "Fun-Raiser" series and there will be pasta served post ride. No charge and there will be 2 loops (about 25 and 35 miles) and groups for all abilities. The roll-out is @ 2:00.
Don't forget the weekly Tuesday Night leaves the shop @ 6:00.
Speaking of Tuesday nights......we're also offering "Bike School" every Tuesday @ 5PM. 45-50 minutes of discussion and demonstration on everything from roadside repairs to proper shifting. No charge of course and the details are on our website (
By the way....on Tuesday the 12th we'll have the Cannondale Demo Van here for the ride. You can meet Jason, the C-Dale rep that's been so supportive of the team, and ride some new bikes.

I think that's all I have to report at the's the time of the season when's there's tons of stuff going on and it's greta to be a cyclist! Be sure to let me know what you need from me!

Remember....all the rides still have room for more riders. Keeep talkin' to your friends, family and co-workers about what a cool deal this is!

You guys rock, have I mentioned that lately?

Ride lots, be safe, let's kick diabetes' butt!
Coach Mike

Thursday, May 24, 2007

sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

Hey, everyone - just sendin' out a reminder that this Sunday, May 27, is another team ride. We'll be leaving from Townsend Park in Cannonsburg - yarr, here be a map!

Start time is 2, but get there early and we'll do a tire-changin' seminar. Doin' your first tire change in a nice gazebo in the company of sympathetic experts is way better than doin' it by the side of the road next to, say, a rodeo parking lot.

Pop up a comment if you'll be there - weather looks a little questionable, but that just means you get extra hard-core points for showing up.

Post-ride snackies are quite likely, too. Wouldn't want you to get too skinny, y'know.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

A couple of additions to information

Hopefully, since you are reading this... you've already seen the addition of the Team Training and Fundraising Event calendars to this blog site. No? Look to the right, silly!

We've also added some info to the Rider Info at the JDRF West Michigan chapter Ride site! Check it out. Training programs and more info from Coach Mike are out there!

We also added the calendars to the Ride site on their own respective pages.

Enjoy. (and get out there and RIDE!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Teammates in the News!

BIG shout-out to Paul and Kathryn McBride!

They made the Bay City Times yesterday with an article about a really neat fundraising effort they've started. Great work!

Let us know when the t-shirts are for sale!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ride Report, 5-13-07

We had a great ride on Mother's Day out in the Ada area!8 riders braved the potential fall-out from doin' a ride on Mom's special day..........Death Valley vets Sarah and Katie, Herman Miller / Whitefish riders Cindy, Dawn and Kevin, Death Valley '07 rider Patti, your reporter / coach and we also were blessed w/ a special (if somewhat tardy) appearance from DV vet Rob, all the way from Chi-town! (4 moms on the ride too.......if you're keeping score)

We did 32 somewhat "roll-y" miles, w/ a big climb right away designed to get everyone mad @ me. (It worked!) Everyone rode well and there really isn't any drama, flats or extra "hard-core" points to report. We hung out back at the park and did our best to match Katie's chips-n-salsa consumption........but in the end we all had to admit defeat and bow to her superior form!

We also had the first Flat Tire Fixing Seminar before the ride and Katie is a graduate so you can count on her if you have a flat. (Call her anytime....24/7......really!)

The next Team Ride is on Sunday 5/27 @ Townsend Park in Cannonsburg. The route will be 35-38 miles and there will (as always!) be a shorter option if need be. I'm gonna ask Derek "I like maps" Dykstra to make sure that maps to all the ride locations are on the website. (Derek......please, please, pretty please?)

Speaking of the website.......Katie and I are going to have all the various Training plans, Manuals and such up on the site by the end of this week. Check it out and be sure to let me know if and when you have any questions! You should have also recieved the May edition of the Training Times from the the JDRF National office today. If not....they don't have your correct e-mail address! Please let myself, Sherri @ the GR ( office or Trish @ the National office ( know so we can get'cha hooked up! There's some good stuff in there!

This Saturday is the next opportunity to participate in a Team Fund-Raiser as our crew will be taking off the wraps on our new ride support tent @ the Allegan Pride Ride. We'll be offering post-ride snacks, drinks and massage (thanks to Team Supporter and C.M.T. Joy Wilkens) to the tour riders as they finish. Katie Clark is the her if you wanna be involved. (

This is National Bike to Work Week.............maybe you oughta try it, eh? I realize that it's easier (or even possible) for some than others but don't overlook the potential of combining training w/ commuting. It's a great way to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone! (Apologies to pacifist bird fans!)

According the the Training Times there are still spots left @ every late season ride so if you have friends, co-workers or family that have been thinking about it.........sign 'em up! They still have plenty of time to get ready and they'll have a blast!

Okay, that's it for now. I hope to get a chance to ride with or talk with everyone soon!

Coach Mike

Monday, May 14, 2007

O Yellow Dust, begone from my sinuses!

Anyone else creamed by the pollen? My car is yellow, my roof is yellow, the fresh black pavement near my house is yellow, and my head feels full enough to burst (which would release MORE pollen into the air, I'm sure). We need a good hard rain to knock this stuff down! Finally our schedule looks like I can put some time into riding, and this stuff blasts out of the trees and makes breathing kinda undesirable. Claritin only knocks the edge off. Anyone have any secrets?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Where to Go For Info

Hello friends and fellow riders,

Someone posted a comment yesterday asking for a schedule of the training rides. Ask, and we shall deliver. :)

All Ride information can be found at our JDRF West Michigan Ride Team site.

'Training Calendar' and 'Ride Events' are great resources to check as you're updating your Outlook / family calendar / PDA / whatever.

See you all soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


It's hot in Death Valley.

Just in case you weren't sure. Y'know.

I'm bored.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Oh, coolness

Some of you may recall me gushing about the dark sky in Death Valley last fall. Well, today's Astronomy Picture of the Day (AKA the APOD for the cognoscenti) highlights that overwhelming darkness and perfect clarity with a huge panoramic image. Look and enjoy - click the little image to go to the APOD site (and bookmark it while you're there!), then click the big image there to get a HUGE image!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Some fun stuff

Last year there was a lot of talk about the type of person who rides 105 miles in the desert. Aside from "crazy" we used words like "driven", "Type A personality", and "determined". I found this little personality test on the web. This description is for Tom. Click the link on the bottom to take a very short test to determine your personality.

Your Personality is Very Rare (ENTP)

Your personality type is optimistic, curious, enthusiastic, and open.

Only about 4% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 5% of all men.

You are Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.

I was looking at diddidit's routeslip routes and saw his for Death Valley. Take a look at that elevation chart!!!

What you can't see in this map and elevation grid is the dry heat, the salt crusting on your eyelashes, nor the long stretches of road with NOTHING (and I'm not kidding - NOTHING!) in sight.

Maybe Mike or someone who went to Whitefish last year can do a route for that ride.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

My first ride

Well, since Chad admitted to just starting training, I guess I will to. I got out on Sunday inbetween painting pictures frames and creating cement garden stones with the girls. It was a crafting weekend, but I decided (was forced) to get some bike time in.

My bike has been in the basement, unused for many, MANY moons. I walked by it every once in a while, but did not miss it. Steve brought it upstairs and pumped my tires for me (because I am the ultimate lazy person on Sundays - and he knew I'd never go if he didn't push me along).

I have to say, once I got the shorts & jersey on, it felt good. I only did a 7+ mile loop near our house. I may have gone longer, however, there are about a BILLION churches around us and people apparently are in a great rush to get to church on time. I had a few near misses with nice church going folk not wanting to share the road. I wish I could put Xs on the map below for every church I passed. In my head right now I'm counting eight on the route.

Here's my route. (Thanks Derek for the link, I like it!)

Good news: I wasn't tired, it actually felt good and I now realize I like riding my bike again. I'm going to try to get out again tonight. Thinking about riding this:

Humble Beginnings

And so, it begins. Last night I went on what I’m calling my first official training ride for the JDRF Ride To Cure Diabetes. It was a humble little ride…very humble. Like, 5 miles humble. In my own defense, I had 3 kids with me. Grace, 3, in a seat on my mountain bike, and Emma and Ben on their single speed beaters. Taking 3 kids on a 5 mile bike ride is sure to provide some drama, and Benny didn’t disappoint. We had just started going down the little hill on Paw Paw Drive, when I heard Benny screaming behind me. Emma was also screaming for me to stop, saying, “Benny’s gonna die, he’s gonna die!” I got my bike stopped and turned around just in time to see Ben veer off the bike path, bust through two scraggly pine trees, and ditch it in the grass. His chain had fallen off and, on his older coaster brake bike, that meant no brakes. He does have a front hand brake, but in the panic of the moment, he forgot about it. All things considered, it was a pretty soft landing. Ben was a little scratched up, and he was very upset because he thought he’d have to walk home. But I, dad, fixer of all things, was able to get his chain back on and we continued from there.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. Grace rode silently in the seat behind me, just taking it all in. Emma and Ben had to walk their bikes up the big hill on 16th street, but otherwise they did great. I have a feeling that it will be very hard for me to get away and train on my own this summer, but I don’t mind. The kids had sooo much fun. What I should probably do is put Grace in the Burly, then put Anna in the seat behind me. That would be really good exercise.

Another interesting item to note about this ride is the effect that it had on Ben’s BG numbers. For some reason, we totally forgot to have him check himself before dinner, and didn’t realize until we were ready to leave on the ride that we hadn’t covered any of the carbs that he had just eaten. I decided just to keep an eye on him. I had his kit along with glucose tabs, candy, and his meter, so we had everything we needed to treat a low. I didn’t expect a low because we hadn’t covered his supper, but you never know. When we got home, he checked himself before he ate a snack and he was 102. That’s perfect! A perfect number without covering supper just 90 minutes earlier. That’s cool. I knew that exercise affects your body long after the activity has passed, so I checked him before I went to bed at 10:30. He had dropped to 89, so I woke him up and gave him a little drink of orange juice. Just to be safe, I set my alarm for 2AM and checked him again. He was 130…another great number. I was very pleased to see the positive effect that this exercise had on him.

Anyway, that was my first of what I hope will be many more bike rides this summer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


28 miles, no flat tire! w00t!