Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Hey Team!

So...........2008 is just about in the books, huh? Although the news and history books might disagree I gotta say that it's been a HELLUVA year! Thanks to each and everyone of you for sharing your hearts and sweat and effort and time as we continue this journey together.

And here's to even bigger and better things in 2009!

I have a tentative schedule set up for the Ultimate Cycling Challenge in Feb. The times that I "assigned" to everyone are based on what'cha told me 2-3 weeks ago when I first brought it up so I'm more than prepared to hear that I need to make changes! (I used a pencil!) As you can see there are still a few spots open so let me know if you wanna get in on the fun! (Also - I need a minimum donation of 30 bux a head when you get a chance. Make checks out to "Ultimate Cycle Challenge" and send them to my attentiion here @ the shop. Velo City, 77 East 8th Holland Mich 49423).

Here's what I have so far:
8-9: MC
9-10: Heather A-B
10-11: Chris R
Midnight-1: Nicole N
2-3: Did
3-4: John J
4-5: Ross S
5-6: Kevin O
8-9: Joe S
9-11: Scott P & Linda T-P
11-Noon: Melanie W
Noon -1: Amy F2
1-2: Katie C
2-3: Steve C
3-4: Jack C
5-6: Brad S

Again - the dates are 2-20/21 and it runs from 8pm to 8pm. The rumors that Team members JD Stone, Brian Bowe, Heather Allegrina-Bowe and I are forming a band for the sole purpose of playing a set @ the event on Saturday afternoon are pretty much true, so you got that goin' for you, which is nice. There will also be a Velo City Cycles Team so if you are afraid that you won't get enought trainer time.............talk to me!

Need more details? Surf on over to www.ultimatecyclechallenge.com (I tried it - it works!)

Other stuff:
New Year's Day Ride @ the shop - 1:00pm
Outdoor Road rides on Tuesdays @ 6pm & Fridays @ 8:30am
Dirt Road "Adventure Rides" from the Hamilton Grocery Store on Sundays @ 2:00pm
Heather's Tuesday Night Yoga @ the shop at 8pm
Indoor Training Rides on Wednesdays @ 8pm & Saturdays @ 8am

Let me know if you need me to add you to the U.C.C. list, change your slot or if you have any questions about this (or any other!) stuff!

Ride on!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

All I Really Need to Know I Learned Working $1 Beer and Dog Night at Van Andel

So, tonight was my first experience working at Van Andel (yeah, yeah…I know, it’s long overdue). I selected an infamous $1 beer/dog night as my inaugural gig. I heard plenty of warnings prior to tonight, and must say, it was pretty intense at times. But, I worked with a rockin’ group of riders from our ever-so-awesome team, and really did have a great time. Now, as I relax after a hellacious white-knuckled icy and foggy drive home, I realize that one can actually take away several life lessons from this cool set up at VA…

Be diplomatic. Explain nicely that beer and hot dog limits are in place so that we DON’T run out before 8:00 p.m. Plus, we don’t have a tray to give you anyway, so just take what you can carry and go watch the game, man.

Be assertive. It’s ok to card a 60+ year old man on $1 beer night. There’s even a little sign on the counter that says so.

Be an example in patience. When faced with 75+ Griffins fans waiting for the beer taps (yes, ALL of them stopped working at the same time) to be fixed…keep your cool.

Shrug your shoulders, smile, and try to look cute when faced with an angry mob. See previous comment regarding extended lack of beer.

Flattery will get you everywhere. Just ask Chris Radford who kept carding all of those “21 year olds.”

Be appreciative. Giving a big ol’ “thank you!” and quick plug for the awesome cause for which we’re working after each tip (also, just loud enough so the next guy in line can hear it too!) makes everyone feel good.

Be frugal. Apparently, those little cheese cups are counted. Don’t give them away.

Wash your hands. Please.

Trust people. When the “Queen of the Cash” comes by and takes a wad of money out of your drawer, it’s cool. She knows what she’s doing. And dang…she is GOOD at this stuff.

Respect authority. When you don’t really know what the heck you’re doing (you know, like on your first night working at VA), just keep asking what you can do, and then do it. e.g. “Count these cups…No, Nicole…those stacks should only have 40 in them….”

Smile. Everyone has more fun when you do.

Healthy competition is a good thing. I’m pretty sure “Tip for the girls!” FAR outnumbered “Tip for the guys!” tonight. And even if it didn't, we still pulled in a ton of tips by fostering a little bit of competition.

Pass blame whenever possible. It’s not my fault beer sales cease at the end of the 2nd period. “Sorry, sir. It’s arena policy to end beer sales at this time.”

Reward yourself after working hard. Usually you won’t have to twist Cindy’s arm to visit her favorite coney/bar across the street from VA after working.

Call home. Especially when you have to go 60+ miles in fog that most closely resembles potato soup.

Team: What other lessons have been learned during Van Andel events? :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow in DV

What a difference a couple of months make! Wouldn't a little snow and ice make the ride down from Jubilee Pass even more exciting?

Current conditions in Death Valley as of 7:12 pm PST
Light Snow

Feels Like: 34°

Barometer: 29.8 in and steady

Humidity: 93%

Visibility: 3 mi

Dewpoint: 32°

Wind: W 7 mph

Sunrise: 6:54 am

Sunset: 4:35 pm

High: 49° Low: 31°

Training Video

You know, Herb & I spend so much time on trainers during the off-season that it struck me - why haven't we made a neat little training video with the West Michigan JDRF Ride to Cure team hosted by Coach Mike? It wouldn't have to be as high-tech as the Coach Troy videos, but Tom with his video camera & Coach Mike narrating, I think it could be a super-seller. All those jealous non-Coach Mike teams would be begging to buy them from us. A nice little 20-25 mile ride in Ada, or maybe something along the lakeshore would be perfect. It would also be a cool recruitment tool for new riders.

Now I can't make this thing, but if Tom can or somebody else, I'd certainly be your first customer.

Happy Kwanzhanumas everybody! Or if Festivus is your thing, Happy Festivus. I, too, find tinsel distracting.

On a more serious note, Merry Christmas everybody. & have a great New Year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great write-up of Death Valley!

Hey All! Our team mate JD has a cool account of his DV ride on his blog. Check it out!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Too Quiet!

Hey Ya'll! I know that it's winter and we can't register for the Ride(s) yet and it's cold and it's snowy and all kinds of crappy out but that doesn't mean that the World's Coolest Team is in hibernation!

Ooooohhhh Nooo! Just take a peek here @ some of the stuff that some of your team mates are up to (and think about joinin' the fun!)

Outdoor rides from VCC on Tuesday @ 6:00pm
Yoga for Cyclists @ VCC on Tuesday @ 8:00pm
Indoor Training Rides @ VCC on Wednesday @ 8:00Pm & Saturday @ 8:00AM
The Last Cyclo-Cross Race of the Year this Sunday in Holland @ 11:00AM (followed by a big party @ New Holland hosted by the local club!)
The big Mel Trotter Benefit Party @ McFadden's in GR on Wed 12/17 (featuring the Last Call Band*)
"Holiday Ride" from VCC on 12/21 @ 2:00PM
New Year's Eve Party @ Schiedels!
New Years' Day Ride from VCC @ 1:00PM (1-1-1..get it?)
The Ultimate Cycling Challenge is "only" 10.5 weeks away! I'll have a sign-up sheet goin' soon. We were the 2nd Team to register ('cuz we're from the Planet Awesome!)

That's just a taste....be sure to post up and let everyone know what you're up to, okay?

Coach Mike

(* Those guys are playin' this Friday @ New Holland and Saturday @ the Saugatuck Brewery as well)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Since I started doing JDRF rides back in '05 I started logging my miles to this site www.bikejournal.com . It has been extremely helpful in keeping me motivated. Logging my miles after each ride and keeping a journal of the rides has helped me a lot in my training. I also include indoor training miles since those are the most brutal. I set up a club on the site called JDRF West Michigan if you want to join and you will be able to see how many miles everyone else is doing.