Saturday, June 30, 2007

OK, note the time...

Full moon? Check.
Country roads? Check.
Warm clothes? Check.
Bright headlight and taillight? Check.

Midnight bike rides totally rock.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Directions to Casa de Clark. (Coach Mike's House)

Here's the analog version.............I have no idea how to do a Google Map (whatever that is!)

From the east: Take the 2nd Holland exit off of 1-96, go right @ the stop sign and head west until you hit River Ave. (You'll cross US-31, go past a cemetery, across RR tracks and there's a Shellmart on your right when you're @ River Ave.) Turn left on River up 2 blocks to 18th St. Go right on 18th and go a block and 1/2 to 130 West 18th. There are a couple white birch trees just east of our house. Park wherever and go around to the gate at the end of the driveway. Don't worry about the racket that Max-the-Dog is probably making as you arrive.

From the north: Us-31 to 16th, go right and follow the above directions.

From the south: Ditto.

Questions? More guidance? or 616-610-0334

Hopeta seeya there!


Monday, June 25, 2007

Team Ride Report, 6-24-07

We met up @ Kenowa Hills High School out there on the N.W. edge of Grand Rapids for Team JDRF West Michigan's 7th big training ride. 10AM was plenty early for those of us that'd been up waaayyy too late playin' music in the bar the night before, but I digress. In attendence were:
Sarah, Cindy, Derek, Matt S, Herb-n-Brenda, Patti, Jack, Special Guest and maybe-future-rider Eric, Kevin, Lin and me-own-self. The route took us west and north, crossing but not using the Muskatawa Trail and featuring an elevation profile that looked like a heartrate EKG w/ all the ups and downs! No real drama, despite an impromptu flat-fixin' demo brought on by a blowout on our tandem (just another of the many services we offer!) and a slight modification to the planned route by Ms. Andro and Ms. Bills that required a massive 30+mph chase on the tandem to correct. ( was maybe half a mile at just seemed "massive", those guys were hauling!)

The roads were nice but I wanna apologise to everyone present once again about the traffic volume. This was the last time we'll be on a route that was designed w/out the benefit of local knowlege, I promise! I thought everyone did a great job of riding safe but it might be appropriate here to review the Michigan Vehicle Code which states that we are allowed to ride 2 abreast at all times, but never more than that. I think it's good manners to go single-file on crowded roads, and safer as well. Again...........good job everyone!

My favorite quote of the day was uttered by Lin, who was 1/4 mile away from finishing her longest ride of the year and was feeling it just a bit. It was about 30 minutes after we had chased down the errant duo who had missed a turn.........we were about 20 yards behind Cindy as she approached the final turn into the school and she said "If she misses this turn she' on her own, okay?"

Hee Hee!

I gotta tell you guys..........everyone is riding really well! I think we'll be ready! Team Ride is this coming Sunday, 7/1 @ my house here in Holland. Ride time is 2:00pm and we'll be doing a great route that the locals call the Hutchin's Lake Loop. It's about 45-48 miles and features the best riding that Allegan County has to offer; a trip across the historic New Richmond Bridge, through Fennville, around Hutchin's Lake, past the Fenn Valley Winery, (near Ann's house!) into Douglas along the bayou, through Saugatuck and back to casa de Clark for a post-ride Tex-Mex feast. (I'll have a shortcut on the maps as well!) Friends and Fam are more than welcome, along w/ anyone that you're riding for. We oughta be back to the house around 5:00, but any non-riding guests are welcome to hang out or gimme a shout and we'll come up w/ a diversion for them while we're riding.

TOP SECRET! It's Patti Bill's Birthday Sunday! Don't tell her! Feel free to bring a card or something however. (Sarah's on Cake Duty)

Speaking of that...........folks have asked what they can bring. Folding chairs will come in handy, along w/ your favorite beverage. I'm planning on your basic fajita fixxin's, meat, beans, rice, salse, chips, veggies, etc. If someone wants to do guacamole, some kind of salad or more desserts.......that'd be cool but don't feel that you have to, okay? Maybe you could post here what'cher bringing so we don't end up w/ 9 different desserts? (Not that it'd be a bad thing!)
(Special requests and/or requirements? Lemme know!)

I think that's it for now. Looking forward to seeing a buncha ya'll this weekend!
Coach Mike

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

C'mon out! The cicadas are great!

When people think about riding bikes in Chicago, the lakefront path almost always comes to mind. And while it is beautiful, it's crowded as all get-out and nearly impossible to ever get above about 12 mph. Not so great for training. So, I find my way up to the North Branch Trail for a bit more serenity and open space. This past Sunday, my ride was joined by what we're affectionately calling around here "Brood XIII". The 17-year cicadas have invaded northern Illinois this spring, and while their arrival was nauseatingly over-hyped and delayed about two weeks later than the experts thought, rest assured that these little guys have arrived. Their presence in the city is limited (too much concrete for them to come up through), but out in the woods--watch out.

My 39 mile ride was great, minus the hearing loss due to their piercing mating call (it is impossible to describe the volume and tone with which these critters are looking for 'that special someone'), a cicada stuck in my helmet, and dozens of dead ones stuck to my tires.

Maybe the lakefront path isn't so bad.

Oh, and Chicago even has its own little blog about these things. Cicada haiku, anyone?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ride Report, 6-18-07

We had a great ride yesterday, even if one of us wasn't feeling....well......all that zippy! There were 14 of us all together, Alumni John J, the Schiedel's, (our hosts!) Diane A, Derek D and myself and first-year riders Carmen H, Patti B, John S, Donald & Linda M, Cindy A and Herb & Brenda B. (Oh yeah...and me!) (The not-so-zippy one) It was AWESOME to see some of @ your first ride!

We rode east and north from Tom-n-Mary's place near Rockford, hitting' some nice rollers and quiet country roads. Patti won the "Let's throw the coach a mechanical curve" award and we ened up w/ 36 miles before gathering back @ the Schiedel's for fresh-baked cookies, chips-n-salsa, strawberries and suchlike. Needless to say..........a great time was had by all!

Our next ride is this coming Sunday. We'll be meeting @ Kenowa Hills High School @ 10:00am for a 45 miler. I'd encourage everyone to join us, it's getting a little late in the year to pass on team rides 'cuz you're shy about keeping up or riding in a group. Remember....our team rides are just that..TEAM rides! No one cares if you are fast or slow, we all get there and it's better when we all get there together!

On July 1st we have a ride scheduled from my house in Holland. The ride starts @ 2:00pm, we'll be doing the famous and lovely "Hutchins Lake Loop", a timeless classic in this part of the world. Afterwards we'll be hitting the backyard hard and feasting on grilled fajitas, home-made salsa and related calorie-replenishers.

Be sure to spread the word and talk up the rides w/ your team's a big part of what we're up to after all!

See you this sunday! (Can't wait!)


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Team Ride Photos

The team heads out through the orchards on the Ridge, north of Grand Rapids.

Donald and Linda Milanowski of Holland, preparing for the Whitefish ride.

John Jasker, Death Valley veteran, getting ready for another jaunt through the desert.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Directions for Sunday's ride

Almost forgot to send directions to our house (Tom and Mary Scheidel) in Rockford. Click here for a link to Google Maps. For the less technologically savvy, below are the old fashioned directions.

From Grand Rapids:
Take East Beltline north until it crosses the Grand River
Go up the hill, Blythfield Country Club will be on your left
Turn left (west) at the first stop light on top of the hill, Rogue River Drive
Take an immediate right on Kuttshill
The first left is Archer
Archer makes a big right hand turn, we are on the right one block after the turn
Two story white house with a white picket fence (how suburban)

From elsewhere:
Take 131 and get off at Whitecaps Ballpark (exit 91)
At the end of the ramp turn left onto West River Drive
Take West River to Northland Drive and turn left (north)
Go up the hill, Blythfield Country Club will be on your left
Turn left (west) at the first stop light on top of the hill, Rogue River Drive
Take an immediate right on Kuttshill
The first left is Archer
Archer makes a big right hand turn, we are on the right one block after the turn
Two story white house with a white picket fence

We are planning on about 40 miles, past rivers, lakes and farmland. Don't forget your sunscreen. See you Sunday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Let's Eat!

Hot dogs! Monday night at the Corner Bar in Rockford. Come on up and support the team by eating and drinking. The Corner is giving us 15% on all food sold Monday between 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. Last year we had a great turn out by team members, so come early, stay late, eat lots. You know the drill.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cool picture...

From's reporting of the Dauphiné Libéré:

For cool pictures, cycling is exceeded only by sailing. With a bit of luck, when we have our team ride up in my neck o' the woods, we'll ride next to a field of sunflowers, which is about as iconic a cycling image as you can get.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Team Ride Report, 6/11/07

Well, It was a select-but-determined group of intrepid JDRF-ers that gathered @ Ada Park yesterday for the last-minute training ride. Ted, Sarah, Bonnie, Danielle, Cindy and I rolled east down Grand River then south towards Alaska (no, not THAT Alaska!) and back along the Thornapple River. Highlights included a big Elk farm (full of big elk that remained unswayed by Bonnie's attempts to make friends), a stop @ Bonnie's parent's house for a water re-fill, watermelon, conversayion and a chance to have your shoes dog-slobbered on and a perfectly executed water attack perpetrated on Danielle's person by Ted and myself.

Ya shoulda seen it!

The scoop................46 miles, plenty of up and down, great roads and a detour to see a house that Ted-n-Sarah are lookin' at. (It was kind of yellow though.)

Our next ride is this Sunday, 1:00pm from the Schiedel's house in Rockford. I hope to see lots of you all there. We have a ride the following Sunday as well, 10:00am from Kenowa Hills H.S.
Come to think of it....there's a ride the next Sunday too! That one's @ my house in Holland and you know what that means, right? The major Tex-Mex post-ride bash, that's what!

Details to follow!

Gotta go for now, I'll be talkin' at'cha soon!

Ride lots, be safe, have fun and I hope to see you soon!

Coach Mike

Saturday, June 9, 2007

It's on!

Okay kids, by popular demand we're gonna have a Team Ride this Sunday!

The pertinent details:

Ada Park.
45-50 miles.

Please spread the word and I'll see you there!


Friday, June 8, 2007

Who's gettin' wet Saturday?

Who all's goin' to the pool par-tay Saturday evening? We'll have the didlet there...


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Death Valley Ride Map

For those of you who have been there this will look familiar. For those new to Death Valley check out the elevation gain. Start working on your hill climbing. You can click on the map for a larger view.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Anyone wanna ride on Sunday the 10th?

Hey gang!
Sarah and I are tryin' to drum up a ride for this Sunday. I'm racing the Cedar Creek Road Race in the AM, but I could be somewhere in the general GR area by 2:00 or so and I think that'd work for her. Let's try to get a group together and get some miles in, what'cha say?



Don't forget.........we have official training rides scheduled for 6/17 and 6/24!

Hope to see you this weekend!

Coach Mike

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Nice one!

The ad-hoc ride went great (well, actually, it's probably still going on - it was about 2 hours ago that I split off, and the rest of the group had to get back to Pere Marquette park, which was a solid 30 miles away). I left home at a bit after 7 and rode back roads down to Muskegon. After a moment at Torreson Marine ogling a 45' sailing trimaran, I met HMI/JDRF riders Herb, Brenda, Peggy, and Kevin, and "support" riders (always mucho welcome!) Jeff, Larry, and Eric.

We rode through Muskegon along the shoreline boardwalk/bike path, which is really, really nice. Normally I'm not a big fan of riding on bike paths, but in this case they're a whole lot better than Muskegon city streets. Once in to North Muskegon, we toodled along Ruddiman (I think) to Muskegon State Park, where we turned and suffered our way up Blockhouse Hill. From there, we rolled all the way up to the White Lake channel lighthouse. After a bit of rest, we all headed home, which was only about 7 miles away for me. I finished with 66 - longest ride of the year by far, and my first metric century of the year, too. Kudos to Herb for putting this one together!

Tonight I'll see Herb, Brenda, and Peggy again, as we're staffing a concessions stand at Van Andel Arena for a GR Rampage game. Hopefully we'll all be able to stay upright all evening...

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ad Hoc Ride Opportunity

Anyone interested in a 50 mile ride, be at Pere Marquette State Park in Muskegon by 8:45 Saturday morning (yeah, that's tomorrow). Looks like it'll be a pretty relaxed pace heading through Muskegon and then north up to Whitehall and back. May include lunch at the Red Rooster, too, so bring some cash.

Don't forget the Pasta Ride from VeloCity in Holland Sunday at 2 pm, also...