Thursday, July 31, 2008

Something to think about


In my first Ride to Cure, I wasn't thinking much about nutrition and food (mostly, just quick acting carbohydrates for blood glucose levels). It is listed right up there at the top of my many mistakes before doing a century ride in extreme conditions (which, just so happens, a few of you will be doing next weekend!).

So, take this as what it is, simply: a non-professional cyclists food advice.

Eat a mix of food offered on the course. Do not stick with one thing. Be sure to eat those peanut butter and jelly sandwich halves at each stop. The shot-blocks and clif bars, and what not are good for a quick pick me up, but you really need some slow/complex food to digest. I'm not talking oats and granola. I'm talking small amounts of carbs w/ protein of some sort. Remember this at mile 67 - peanut butter sandwich is your friend! They have them out there for a reason.

Same goes for the drinks... don't just keep consuming energy drinks all day. Give your body some plain old water as well. A good routine might be water during riding time and energy drink at the stopping points. (a little shout out to our team sponsor here: XS Energy Drinks! - love 'em, just not ALL the time).

Even if you don't follow my advice, be sure you have a good plan of how you are going to handle food while you are riding on the course. 100 miles takes a while and your body needs nutrition.

Like I said, I had not thought about it much before my first century attempt in Death Valley and by mile 60, my stomach was a mess and the fast carbs were flying through me because I didn't have any of the slower digesting foods in my body. I paid a lot more attention to what I was eating on my 2nd attempt and feel those little peanut butter & jelly sandwich halves were the thing that got me through (ok, to mile 87).

I'd like to hear comments from other veteran riders about what you ate on the course when you rode. Mistakes you made?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ride Report 07-28-08 / The Scoop on 8/3!

Hey Guys!
We had a great ride yesterday out in wild-n-wooly Caledonia! Mucho thanks to our hosts-with-the-most Linda and Scott. Our route took us over hill and dale aaaaaaalll the way down to Middleville (Where Kevin scored a "Love Shack" t-shirt) and back. There were some hills, despite Linda's constant assurances that it "was all downhill from here!" (I didn't put her up to it - honest!) and plenty of sun and fun.

Lin and I had to eat and we missed the best part. The food looked great though. (Too bad about the pool!)

Roll Call: Brian, Tom, Maggie, Amy, Scott, Linda, Scott W, Cindy, Rob, Peggy, Katie, Steve, Lin, Kevin O, Chris, Derek, Mike H, Special Guest Paul and me-own-self.

53 miles for the long group / 32 miles for the not-as-long group.

NEXT RIDE IS THE BIG POOL PARTY / COOKOUT @ ANN-N-JOHN'S PLACE! There have been a few details distributed - here's what I have to add:

Ride time is 9:00am and food time is 1:00. Thusly I have prepared a route from Ann's that will give us 45 miles. (That'll get us back in time to party!) There will be a group leavin' my house @ 7:15 to ride out to Ann's. (24 miles) There will be the chance to ride back as well - if anyone's lookin' to get a total of 93-ish miles. (You can leave stuff in our van for Lin to bring out if you don't want to haul it on your bikes!) The loop I scouted last night is pretty much quiet country roads /w some shade and a few hills.

If there's any chance of makin' it out I highly recommend it! Ann's bash is the "other" traditional get-together of the summer and not to be missed! Be sure to RSVP w/me or Derek, okay?

11 days 'til Asheville! Holy Cow! Are we all ready or what? I can't wait.

82 days 'til Death Valley! Thatll go by like lightning! Like Kevin O on a downhill! Like Peggy on an uphill! Like......well.....really fast, that's my point.

Think Pink Pancreas Power!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Extreme/Far/Really West Michigan Ride Report 7/28/08

Hey all, meet Jason Jeross, a member of our team headed to DV in October (already sporting his jersey!). He was kind enough to invite me out to Timbuktu Shorewood, IL for a ride with the Joliet Bicycle Club on Sunday. I must say, his directions were impeccable, and I arrived earlier than necessary for our 8:00 a.m. roll-out. Definitely a good way to start the day.

Turns out, Shorewood is not near water, and doesn’t have much in the way of trees. But if you’re in the market for cornfields, blue skies, good pavement, and hardly a car in sight—this is your place. Our 42 mile ride (our group had about six of us--but there were probably a dozen or so riders in total) took us through the town of Morris, where we stopped at a bakery on Main St. I'm still deciding what I think of the Deliverance-esque muzak piped through the entire town on an otherwise silent and empty Sunday morning. I've decided. It's creepy.

While a totally awesome guy, Jason hasn’t made it to any of our team rides yet, what with him all living in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and taking care of the five, count ‘em, FIVE kids under the age of 10 he and his wife have (five year old Madison has type 1 and is his inspiration to ride). Plus, he’s training a ton on his own, working to qualify for a team out his way. However, I think I may have convinced him to bring the brood over to O’Connor’s next Sunday so you all can meet this friendly, dedicated, and super cool member of our team.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

12 Hours of Pando approaches!

Hey Team! I wanna put together (at least) 4 hardy JDRF-ers to race the 12 Hours of Pando in Belding next month. It's a 12 hour (duh) off-road relay race and a complete blast! I try and do it every year and it's a full day of riding, racing and hangin' wit'cher buds!

Details: Saturday 8/16. (aka "the week after Asheville") noon to midnight. The cost is $225 per 4 person team if we register by 8/9.

The course is about 4.5 miles of tight singletrack and open field trails. Plenty of short steep ups and tricky downs.

My ulterior motive here is to be on lotsa teams, a la the Ultimate Indoor Challenge, and get to ride a lot.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Half a lifetime

Ellie was born eight years ago today.

She's the only reason Steve & I started to ride. In a few weeks, she'll have lived half of her life with type 1 diabetes.

The sweat, blood & tears we put in on our rides do not compare to what this little girl goes through on a daily basis (and let's not forget the other 3,100 kids in West Michigan who are living with type 1). There are the finger pokes that we've lost count of, and the insulin pump infusion site changes and now the continuous glucose sensor sites. No person should have to be a pin cushion to stay alive. But she does it, she's tough and the outbursts of "I don't want diabetes" are sporadic these days.

When you're not sure you can continue with the fund raising or the riding, just think of Ellie and the rest of those with type 1 who don't get the choice to stop.

Thanks for doing what you do, my friends. We will be the people who cured type 1 diabetes (on bicycles).

Here's my card...

Some of you may have seen the card I handed to the van driver on Sunday. If not, this is what it looks like. Let me know if you want a word file of this that can be printed with your name and cut into business card size. I hand it out when I get in a conversation with person about the ride.

Thanks for Comin' Up!

How wonderful to have so many of you at the GNR,PP,BB,&SO yesterday. Here are some photos....see you soon!


Wow..........the bar keeps going up and up when it comes to post-ride parties for JDRF's Coolest Team!

Many many thanks again to Nicole, Steve-n-Katie, Derek and their assorted (and wide-spread) families for throwing such a shindig yesterday up in bee-yoo-ti-full Montague! The ride was great, thanks to Derek's tireless route work and the food, pool and festivities amazing!

You shoulda been there!

Actually - you may well have been! We had 17 riders - Derek D, Nicole N, Steve & Katie C, Rob "This map is wrong" A, Sarah M, Linda & Scott T.P. Tom & Mary S, Amy F, Ross S, (completing his 250 mile weekend!), John J, Chris R, Scott R, Nathan K and my bad self. The main group did 46 miles and when we got back the pool and deck were a-buzz w/ kids, fellow riders who had ridden the Holland 100m the day before and assorted spouses and family members.

It was a big time!

Congradulations to Mike H for winnig the salsa competition. He definitely benefitted from the judge's old-school attitude that "salsa" should be eaten w/ a tortilla chip and that "fruit salad"...although a fine thing in and of not "salsa". Nice try to all the runners-up and remember........the resluts aren't final until lI have a chance to get Mike his prize so bribes may well still be worth a shot!

Asheville is now less than 3 weeks away! Hopefully everyone has their travel plans nailed down soon. Be sure to let Mary and/or myself know for sure whether I am expecting your bike for transport in the shop trailer! If has to be here @ the shop by 5:00 on Tuesday 8/5!!!!!! I'm looking into ways for non-Hollanders to be able to get me their bikes @ the Team Ride/Pool Party at Anns' place on 8/3......more details later about that. Also - if you get your bike here to the shop by noon Monday I'll have Ted or Aaron give it a good once-over prior to packin' it away in the trailer. (N/C)

Congrats to all the Team Members that rode the Holland Hundred on Saturday! The new team "Pancreus" jerseys were a hit and didja see Jack C, Brenda B, Kevin,C and others inthe local paper yesterday? Lookin' good Team!

Next Training Ride is this Sunday @ Scott and Linda's place in Caledonia. New turf! New roads! (Hopefully they'll have the pool installed by then) (Joke). Roll out is @ 10:00, I believe and there will be plenty o' details to follow.

It was great to just sit there yesterday and look around at all the people..........laughing, smiling, chatting, eating and just being together.............and reflect on how far we've come and what we've already accomplished w/ the Team. You guys are Awesome w/ a capital "A" and Linda and I are so proud to be a part of it. Thanks a ton, you guys rock!

See you soon!
Ride safe / Ride lots!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Great minds think of PINK!


In a totally unplanned surprise, everyone who came to The Great Northern Ride today wore their Pink Pancreas team jerseys (well, all except one, but, y'know, hey. It was unplanned.). So, as we headed north into the wilds of Oceana County, we were tight, together, and unified - it was a truly inspiring sight, from any direction. It was obvious that we were out with a purpose; that netted us a few waves, comments, and one stopped minivan.

We're gonna be the talk of Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, that's for sure. I hope the Ashvillians get a chance to wear theirs en masse at some point.

In any case, the weather smiled on us, with comfortable temperatures and light winds. Most of us did 46 pretty hilly miles, with a few doing 24 so they could get back and get the party prep going. Zero hardcore points were awarded, as we had no flat tires, no crashes, and Coach Mike managed to avoid falling asleep on his fixie.

On our return, we were treated to a most marvelous swimming pool full of goofy kids who had somehow obtained squirt guns, a table full of salsa, and a mountain of baked beans, burgers, hot dogs, and killer good bratwurst (note: I may be tryin' to score points with my wife, who cooked the wursts. Them all being gone at the end of the day was a pretty good indication of their quality, too). And, of course, cookies and ice cream cake. Winner of the salsa competition was Mike Howard, for his most excellent and pretty spicy concoction which he sells as a fundraiser.

The Pink Peloton today was:

Coach Mike
Katie + Steve
Tom + Mary
Scott + Linda
Chris R. with special guest Scott R.
and li'l ol' me.

Big, BIG thanks to Nicole's Grandparents, for offering their house, their pool, their yard, their grill, and their huge amount of help in making this a really, really cool event (and for explaining umpteen times the convoluted relationship between Katie and Nicole). More thanks to all those who came up - it's a hike, I know, and I hope we made it worth yer while. You better believe we'll do it again next year!

Pictures to follow soon, I expect...

Thanks, folks!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tell Your Friends!

After the Holland Hundred this Saturday, our team will be hosting a fundraiser party at New Holland Brewing Company.

A flyer to which you can easily direct everyone you've ever met is here.

Admission is $15 for food and pop, and we're raffling off a Cannondale mountain bike, too. Not a bad gig.

UPDATE ON SUNDAY'S GREAT NORTHERN RIDE: We're currently at 31 people (team members, family, friends) for festivities on Sunday....merry, but could be even merrier with more people. C'mon up and join us! It'll be awesome.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Live Musick this Weekend Too!

So...........not enough goin' on for ya this weekend?

The Holland Hundred and our First-Ever Post-Holland Hundred Patio Party for JDRF and the Big Ride in Montague on Sunday seem kinda tame?

Worried that there's gonna be that 3-4 gap in your life on Saturday evening where you have nothing cool enough to do?

Anxious about getting too much sleep?

I have the solution to all your worries!

Come on down to the newly-reopened Saugatuck Brewery and see the Last Call Band fresh from their big show @ the Poker Bash / Hot Dog Party in Ravenna!

Music from 8:30 to11:30-ish. No smoke, some good eats, and I hear that it's really good beer. (I wouldn't know, but I been told)

Anyway......why should you get to sleep if I don't?!!??!!?!

See you somewhere this weekend, hopefully!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

C'mon Up!

Great Northern Ride, Pool Party, Brat Burn, and Salsa-Off
Sunday, July 20
10:00 a.m. Roll-Out

6450 Indian Point, Montague MI

We know it's just after the Holland Hundred, so we'll have mileage options for both those who want to take it easy after the HH, and those who want to pack on lots of miles Sunday. We'll also have a cyclocross route!

Click image below for details about food and party--all family and loved ones are more than welcome!

Please let me know if you'll make it, and how many you're bringing, so we can have ample food. We'll make it worth the trip, we promise!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A snob

And we shall blame Mike Clark.

I am a bike snob. I'm freely admitting it now. I didn't think of myself as a cyclist before today. But today, the reality hit me. I am a bicycle snob.

I decided to take a spinning class at work at lunch. $20 and you get two classes a week for eight weeks. Not miles so much, but at least my legs are moving in the right motion, right?

So I started on Tuesday. I wore my cycling gear and really did not like the bike I had. It was not comfortable, at all. Adjustments were made, nothing helped. So today, with all my cycling gear in the dirty clothes awaiting a fumigation, I decided I'd just wear shorts like EVERYONE else in the class. Big mistake.

So, come to find out, I only ride bicycles when my behind is padded and I need a Mike Clark/Velo-City cycle custom fitted bicycle to ride. I am a cycling snob.

Ride this Sunday! Yoga too!

Hey guys! There's another one of Heather's* "Yoga for Cyclists" classes this Sunday @ the Satya Yoga Center in Saugatuck. I went to an earlier one and was WAY impressed! When you have as many miles and years on your bod as I do on this old crapped out one of need all the help you can get!'s the details on the class and the various pre-class ride options:

Meet me here @ the shop @ 7:30 and ride down to Satya to meet Brian Bowe for the....

8:30 "pre-ride-ride" from the center or meet us for the ......

10:00 "official" pre-class ride.

The class is @ noon and will last an hour or so.

The pace of the 7:30 and/or 8:30 ride(s) will be nice and mellow...we just wanna get some extra miles. I can't speak for the "official" ride as I'm not leading it..but I doubt it'll be a hammerfest!

(Hungry for more info on Satya and yoga in general? Surf on over to

Hope to see you there!


*Heather's a good friend of the shop, an avid rider, a Yoga-Queen, married to Asheville Rider Brian B. and a pretty dang sure future member of JDRF's coolest team! She'll be accompanying us to A-ville this year to provide moral support.

The 5 x 55 Ride is Coming

The 5 x 55 Ride takes place Saturday, August 16. We'll ride the Musketawa from Marne to Muskegon, that's the 55, as in miles. The 5 is the number of bar stops along the way. We'll be stopping for a cool beverage at Fenien's Irish Pub in Conklin, the Ravenna Pub, and the Dog House in Muskegon on the way out and then revisitng Ravenna Pub and Fenien's on the way back.
The Musketawa Trail is flat and crosses mostly country roads. The bars are small town quaint and the beer will be cold. We are expecting 20 to 50 riders for this self supported event. In other words, don't plan on a SAG wagon and bring your own cash for food and drinks.
This is a fun ride, not a fund-raiser. However, we are selling t-shirts at and a portion of the proceeds go to support the West Michigan JDRF Ride Team.
So come on down and have a good time on what promises to be a very fun ride. Drop us an email if you'd like more info or plan on attending.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Saturday Bash!

Hey, another upcoming event for all y'all (you Ashevillians need to get down with that lingo)! This Saturday is the Summer Bash at Sullivan Township Hall - here's a map:

This is hosted/organized by Herb and Brenda Baushke, Peggy Essenberg, and Jack Clark, and will feature Texas Hold'em, a hot dog bar, and various beverages, and raffles and drawings. They'd like you to
RSVP so they can have proper hot dog quantities on hand - phone numbers and email addresses are in the flyer:

Oh, and this is your (latest) opportunity to see The Last Call Band, featurin' Coach Mike!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Great Ride Today

Thanks to everyone who came along for the ride today. Beautiful weather, good riding, and nice scenery made for a nice day out.

It was a lot of fun. Thanks again!

Whatta Day! Whatta Ride!

WOW! This past weekend was all about remindin' us why we put up w/ this crazy state of ours, huh? Talk about PERFECT!

We had a great ride today. The launch point was Ross-n-Karen Schueller's place in Jenison. Ross was ready w/ a great route - we did 50 miles in a big square around Jenison. Everyone rode well, the roads were good, no flats or other note-worthy incidents and even the headwind wasn't TOO bad! Sure...the last 1/3 of the ride got a little "roll-y" but nothing that we couldn't handle. (Expect a dissenting post from Katie Clark regarding that last sentence!) The only "interesting" little interlude was when we discovered that Scott's tire had sunk into the road tar during a brief break! He and I had to wrest it from the grip of the tarmac and scrape of the huge wad 0' tar from his tire w/ sticks. Can't say that I've ever seen that!

Upon our return to casa de Schueller we were greeted w/ B-B-Q chicken, grilled corn, peppers and other veggies, 4, count 'em 4 pies, brownies, chips and assorted other goodies. Much fellowship was observed being had and we're gonna hafta put this ride up on the scoreboard as a big success!

Riders - Steve and Katie, Linda and Scott, Brian, Derek, Kevin O, Sara, Lorna, Carmen, Ross and myself. My wife Lin and Chris joined us after the ride as well.

This coming Sunday (7/13) there's a Yoga For Cyclists class being offered @ the Satya Yoga Center in Saugatuck. Brian's wife Heather will be the instructor. I went to one of these earlier this season and I thought it was great. Highly recommended! There's a group ride @ 10:30 and the class is @ noon. Brian and I are gonna meet up earlier to get some more mileage...we'll have details soon.

Looking ahead at the rest of the month....things are getting busy! Herb and Brenda have their poker party/cook out this Saturday, the Holland 100 is the 19th (we are going to have a JDRF post-ride party on New Holland's patio...there will be an opportunity to work it and score some donations!), we have Derek, Nicole and Stev & Katie's ride/brat fest/salsa competition/pool party on the 20th, a ride from Linda & Scott's on the 27th, Ann's pool party on 8/3 and then...............ASHEVILLE!!!!!!!! Holy Crap!

No wonder everyone in Sonoma asked me how the West Mich Team got so big and cool so fast! We just are!

Remember Death Valley Riders - we're gettin' c-l-o-s-e to the time cutoff for booking airfare! You each need a minimum of $750 in your accounts by July 18 before they'll purchase your plane tickets! Make sure that you are all set there and that Mary knows your travel plans!

Okay - that's it for now. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, filled w/ miles and smiles.

I hope to see you on the next ride!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

How to make a traffic light turn green

We've all been there. You're on your bike waiting at a traffic light. It seems that it has been red for a VERY long time. Being a good citizen you don't want to cross against the light, but you also don't want to wait there forever. You're probably thinking, I'm just not as heavy as a car so the light doesn't know I'm here. Well that's only partially true. Our boy Jake found this little tidbit on-line and it discusses how to get those lights to finally turn green for you. The web page is

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ride from Ross' House

Ok gang... party at my house this Sunday. Well..."party" might be a bit generous. It's possible that most of us will be pretty tired after the, the "party" will be fairly tame.

So... 10AM start time. Please be prompt. The scheduled ride is supposed to be 50ish miles. So, we really can't afford a late start if we want to have some time to relax in the afternoon.

Our pool and hot tub will be available to everyone before/after the ride. I'm planning to toss some food on the BBQ (chicken and veggies anyone?) for post-ride vittles.

My location...
7849 Hollyhock
Jenison MI 49428

Please email me with questions ( if I missed something important.

Route? Well...I'm still working on that. I think I'll leave it a surprise until I figure out exactly what I want to do.

See you there!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 4 Morning Ride?

If anyone's interested, there's an organized ride early in the morning on Friday the 4th from Rock n' Road Cycle in Grand Haven out to Allendale for breakfast, and then back. Distances range from 43 miles up to 63, and you'll be home in time for afternoon family activities. Departure time is 7AM, and they don't dawdle so if you want to go on the ride, get there by 6:45.

Email me ( if you're interested in the ride. I haven't decided fer certain if I'm going to do it, but if there are JDRFers involved I'll be there.


I'm bailing out on the breakfast ride - I still reccommed going if'n you want, but I got a mess o' other stuff to do and Friday morning's gonna be the time to do some of it.