Monday, September 29, 2008

One Dollar

Anyone have any idea why we (at least some of us) had JDRF donate $1 to ourselves this month. I just received a credit card bill for $1 from JDRF. Only $1, but just find it strange.


Sunday Team Ride

No, we didn't have 5000 people like the Apple Cider ride, we had 5. But as the saying goes, "It's not the size of the hook, but how you wiggle the worm". We wiggled it for about 58 miles.

Jack "Lefty" Clark
Herb "Click" Baushke
Amy "Herb is my sweet spot" Fisher
Eric "Spit" can't remember his last name, but is Herb's step-brother
Don "Gravel" Milanowski

We started out @ Muskegon's Pier Marquette beach & headed north through North Muskegon & Block House Hill, over to Duck Lake & the lighthouse @ White Lake channel & back. It was a great ride, cool & a few good climbs. The roads, with the exception of Scenic Drive in North Muskegon, were all nice.

I hope everybody got in a good ride this weekend.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Impromptu team ride Saturday...

Hey folks, you might have seen my email, but here's public notice - some of us are going to get together Saturday morning. We'll repeat the lurvely (and appropriately hilly) 62 mile loop that we did a
couple of weeks ago from Cindy's house.

Rollout time is planned for 10 am; we'll have at least 2 food/fuel stops along the way. If you want, bring some food to share post-ride. I'll email out a map to Cindy's place later today.

Extra hardcore points are available for doing both this ride and the Apple Cider Century on Sunday...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Apple Cider

Who's goin'? I know it's no Leelanau tour (holy cow that sounded like an awesome time!), but....

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

Sunday Team Ride

Cast - Peggy Miller, Maggie DeBoer, Cindy Aley, Brenda Baushke, Dawn Anderson (new 2009 rider), JD & Maggie Stone, Joe Schmeider & friend (sorry, I can't remember his name but he kind of looks like Chris Parnell from SNL), Rob Andro, Jerry Lewallen (potential 2009 rider) & me.

To those of you who could not make it, my heart goes out to you. You missed the most amazing ride. It was absolutely beautiful. The ride was challenging, some really nice hills, but also some awesome descents where you could FLY, & the roads were very smooth, wide shoulders most of the way, light traffic & the views were better than any ride I have ever done.

Am I exaggerating? I think not. I (as well as Joe I believe & others) would love to petition JDRF to do one of their rides up on Leelenau Peninsula. I believe it would be a HUGE success. If you are in power, able to make the JDRF decision to do a ride up there & are willing to accept all of the credit for suggesting & putting this thing together & getting all of the praise from the riders across the country about how this is the best century ride they have ever done, well now is your time to act. We need to do this thing.

Hopefully Rob can post some of his pictures on the site (Rob, please?). A big thank you to Peg for having a lot of the JDRF members stay with her up @ her wonderful cottage (I only got a view of it from across the lake) & Jerry for hosting me. It was a wonderful weekend & a great, great ride.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

One month from today

Monday, September 15, 2008


For a week, at least.

Last weekend's trip to Whitefish is kind of a blur.....the Rides are kinda runnin' together a bit, but I'll try and sort 'em out if you're interested. Workin' on the Ride Crew is different than being in the bike Room or on the road as a coach. It tends to be more like interval work - periods of calm interspersed w/ furious activity - but there still didn't seem to be much time for sleep! The MAIN THING is that the Ride Program is now 4 for 4 in delivering exactly the sort of meaningful and memorable experieince that we set out to provide for every Ride and every rider. Nothing's gonna do more to ensure the future of the Program and allow it to grow than that. Everyone behind the scenes worked hard, the weather was freakin' perfect (again!) and the riders had a blast.


Compared to that......what else matters?

I flew into WF on Wednesday, met Bill (another crew guy) @ the airport and we picked up our van. Went to Grouse Mountain Lodge, met up w/ Chase, John, Amy and bossman Brock and went over assignments. Basically we had until Friday morning to get all the shopping for food done, mark the route, set up the Rest Stops, pack all 5 SAG wagons, get the radios set up, set up the start/finish area w/ tents and tables and such and a buncha other little stuff, all of which had the ability ot make-or-break the weekend from the rider's point of view. (For instance - we ran outta safty pins...twice...and that was a borderline disaster of epic proportions to some riders!)
On Thursday the riders started showin' up, I spent some time helpin' out in the Bike Room and things got busy @ the Lodge. with 225 riders this was to be the biggest Whitefish Ride ever and /w Big Ride Program Boss Mike Malekofff in attendance the pressure was for damnsure on.

At dinner Thursday night Head Coach Tim St. Clair expressed his opinion that we were "fixin' to have the Best Ride to Cure Ever" and that set the tone for the weekend. The tune up ride went off okay - although I really think the route needs work - and Saturday morning dawned clear and bright. Of course when I say "dawn" I mean 4:30 am, 'cuz that's when our day started. It was about 40 degrees @ that moment, maybe, but the eastern sky held hope of bright sun and warmth. The riders rolled out in jackets, vests and leg warmers as the sun rose and started takin' the chill off. I was Sag Wagon #1 and my "beat" was the Whitefish Lake route until about 1:00. Very little business for me...and that's just how I like it! Lots of happy riders and bikes that were rollin' along. Later in the afternoon I switched to the North Fork leg of the route and followed the last riders and coaches in @ 5:20. Then it was time to hit it hard as we still had the course to tear down, 2 semi trucks to load and 5-6 hours more heavy lifting to do. Sleep came easy Saturday night for the crew....just like it does for the riders!

Sunday was for farewells and hugs, sort of like when the circus leaves town.

I can't wait for Death Valley! All you Ride Vets - Death Valley, Asheville or Whitefish - know what I mean when I say the same thing I said from the podium @ dinner Friday night.....I am so envious of anyone who gets to be @ their first Ride! I know that it's gonna be everything that you are hoping that it is.

I hope you guys had a great weekend, I havben't heard much about whatever rides folks did while I was gone. I'll be gone this weekend as well...but it sounds like there's stuff goin' on!

We leave for DV in egg-zac-lee 31 days! Your basic month, in other words. Let's make sure that we're it riding fitness or fund-raising!

I can't wait!

More soon..............MC

Friday, September 12, 2008

Whitefish '0, take 2, part 2.

So..........Friday. Pre-Ride Day. Get the course ready day. We've been at it since a little after breakfast....settin' up for the "tune-up ride", marking the course, getting the gear and tools ready for the SAG Wagons, packin' the box truck for our 4:30 am (!!!) start up to the top of Star Meadow so we can drop off the tents, tables and other big stuff and stay ahead of the lead riders. At Head Coach TSC's request I sat in on the Coach's Meeting......he started applying some of the things that we've been talkin' about since Asheville - we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

This is my 3rd Ride to Cure this summer where I don't get to "chamois up" and ride and I gotta kinda sucks! I'd rather ride for sure! Still....I'm here, I'm w' the crew and the riders and that something to take lightly and I don't.

Tomorrow will be a l-o-n-g day for damnsure! It'll commence @ 4am and I'll be lucky to get back here to my room before midnight so please excuse me if I don't post an update 'til Sunday!

Gotta 'nother meeting!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whitefish '08, Take 2!

So, here I am again. It's been exactly 9 days since I left this bee-yoo-ti-ful little chunk of the world. It's good to be back, good to feel the slow-risin' buzz of another Ride to Cure, good to see Trish and Aly and Brock and Chase and all the other members of the JDRF Traveling Circus and Medicine Show. I ran into some folks from Oklahoma that I met a tear ago....they were 1st year riders then, w/ hardly any team a'tall and now they're here, all 18 of 'em rarin' to go.

How cool is that, huh?

Different hat again this time 'round........I'm a member of the "Ride Production Team" which means lots of loading trucks, running errands and driving tech support. I can dig it.

Bad news from Death Valley rider Nathen wiped out on his mountainbike and busted his collarbone - he's doubtful for DV. Bummer.

It's cold and clear outside my window @ 10:00pm...........the weather here is pretty much a carbon copy of back home. It's supposed to be around 70 on Saturday....we can work w/ that!

Time to crash, it's been a long day! More later, I promise


Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday Ride?

Ladies and Gents...Derek and I have been tossing around the idea of a ride Sunday before the yoga session. We're thinking 50-ish miles. Anyone interested?


Well, sort of, anyways. Nice cool mornings, that whole "will I need these arm warmers?" deal as you pack your ride bag for the day...I kinda dig it.

We had a great ride up @ Cindy's yesterday, I sent out an e-mail w/ all the inside scoop on it, the next coupla weekends and such so watch your inbox!

5 weeks 'til Death Valley Week! Holy crap! (Insert cliche-yet-factual comment about how fast the year's flying by here___________!) 2008 is gonna be the best season ever for JDRF's Coolest Team and that's exactly how it oughta be!

Thanks for all you bring to the Team and the Program!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jake's Music Festival is this weekend

Jake’s Music Festival is a combination of great music and a great cause. On Saturday, September 6, for the fourth consecutive year, local bands will get together for a concert to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Festival was started by Tom and Mary Scheidel of Rockford and named for their son Jake who was diagnosed with Type 1 or juvenile diabetes 11 years ago when he was only six. Local performers MidLife Crisis, Truckstop Cobras, The Waxies, End Times Orchestra, Karisa Wilson, Todd Herring and Andy Holtgrieve donate their time to this worthy cause. The show takes place at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids and runs from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. There will even be a family hour from 6:00 to 7:00 featuring Irish family band Five Leaf Clover and the debut of the Grand Rapids School of Rock. Tickets are only $10 and available at the JDRF office, at the door, or by emailing This is the music event of the year. Make sure you're there.