Monday, September 22, 2008

The Ride "Up North"

JD, Rob, Dawn, Peggy, Brenda, Jerry, Cindy, Maggie S., Jack, Maggie D. and Joe

Final thoughts from Leelanau (boy, did you guys miss a great weekend):

First, Peggy Miller might be one of the greatest hostess’ around. Peggy and her husband Gene put on quite a show and couldn’t have made us feel more welcome. Their cottage is a fantastic, rustic home on Lake Leelanau. Saturday night’s dinner was as robust as they come and provided the perfect fuel for Sunday’s ride. The Miller’s invited some of their family and friends to dinner as well, so it felt more like a party than a simple dinner with teammates. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there wasn’t enough alcohol enjoyed to get Brenda to swing from the roof of the house (maybe next year!). For those of us who spent the night (JD and his wife Maggie, Cindy, Brenda, Dawn A., and myself) the cottage provided a great night of rest. Peggy and Maggie (they stayed at Peggy’s house, a half mile away) even had oatmeal and coffee ready in the morning, so when we met Jack and Joe at Glen Lake HS, we were all anxious and ready.

Our home away from home.

Sunday’s ride was, in a word: awesome. If you haven’t spent any time riding in Leelanau County, you won’t find a better place to pile on the miles. The roads are HILLY with great shoulders, great views, and a tolerant driving population. It really is one of the most rider-friendly places I’ve ever ridden. If that wasn’t enough to draw you there, the Cherry Capital Cycling Club puts on a top-notch ride. The route was amazing and clearly marked. The rest stops were perfectly placed (each one was in a beautiful, lakeside park…the highlight was the homemade vegetable chili at stop #2), well supplied, and staffed by some of the kindest, friendliest volunteers.

Stop #1 - Cleveland Township Park on Little Traverse Lake

Stop #2 - Lake Leelanau...CHILI!

Stop #3 - Solon Township Park on Lake Leelanau

Random view of Lake Leelanau from the top of another climb

As for us, your teammates, we all had a great day. Maggie Stone rode the 45 mile route and made some new friends (she even delivered them to the airport following their ride). The rest of us (including our new “teammates” Gene and Jerry, Joe and Jack’s hosts Saturday night) did the metric century which turned out to be just over 64 miles. We rode in two groups. Brenda rode with Dawn while the rest of tried to maintain our DV fitness level, and pushed a slightly more aggressive pace. Jerry was our early leader, until time became an issue for him...something about getting home to finish some hardwood flooring, but I think we were just too slow for him…: ). Once he bid us adieu, everyone took turns leading the pace line, and everyone seemed very happy with the day. It was a great experience, great exercise, and great practice. By the time we reached the final rest stop, we had already started planning the future Leelanau peninsula JDRF ride. When we crossed the finish line we were greeted with a bluegrass band, a pasta lunch, and ice cream cones…not bad at all!

So what are my final thoughts following our trip to Leland:

- I’m really glad that Brenda didn’t ride the swing from the roof of the back porch…

- I really enjoyed sharing the road trip with Maggie DeBoer, she is an interesting woman and great teammate…
- The Miller Family is awesome and their daughter Annie, age 12, is a sweetheart! I can’t wait to hang out with Peggy again. She is a perfect teammate and will be a riot to hang with in Death Valley and Las Vegas…
- The real champs of the weekend were Peggy Miller and Dawn Anderson. They both completed the 64 mile route, which is now their longest ride to date!

Bottom line: It was a truly GREAT weekend, and one that needs to be repeated. Next season’s training schedule must include a September trip to Peggy and Gene’s!

The West Michigan JDRF Team at Inspiration Point overlooking Glen Lake


Tom and Mary Scheidel said...

I am so jealous.

Linda TP said...

Dang Rob....Scott and I are so in next year!! Get it on the calendar now!
Peggy and Dawn...congratulations on your ride...I know you were a bundle of nerves Dawn, but look what you accomplished! So proud of you!

Nicole said...

Impossible to capture my jealous of the time you all had this weekend. (A close friend got married on Sat. here in Chicago...darn timing). Can't wait for the next one!

club-velo said...

HOO-KAY! OBVIOUSLY we're gonna need a NEW TEAM RULE and we need it right dang NOW!!!!!!! From now on NO having this much fun w/out the coach!!!!!It might not be safe and it for sure is a trend that I feel needs to be nipped in the bud.

Seriously.....I'm sittin' here in Las Vegas reading the posts and grinnin' from ear to ear. The spirit, vitality and fire in this Team is SO cool and SO obvious that it's no wonder that you guys are the talk of the JDRF Ride Program.

You guys ROCK, has anyone ever mentioned that?

Can't wait to ride w/ya'll again!

JD said...

Have to tell you, the pancreatic jerseys were the hit of the ride. We heard comments like - Hey, we need to form a team - do you guys work for Herman Miller? - great color - and best was - how can we get involved in the ride to cure?