Monday, June 29, 2009


So, check this, y'all..........On friday morning @ about 2:00 Team Type 1 won the Race Across America for the 2nd time in 3 years. The 8 man team set a new world record of 5 days, 9 hours and 5 minutes for the 3, 021 miles (or 4, 821 km if you prefer). As our resident math geeks SC and LTP can tell you, that's an average speed of 23.41 mph.

As you probably know - every member of the Team is Type 1.

Read more about it here:

As you probably didn't know - one of the riders, Jeff Bannink, is from Holland freakin' Michigan and worked at my shop in the '80's! He was the first person I ever met w/ Type 1 and some of you have probably heard the story of when he went way low, trashed the shop, passed out in his car, ended up in the ER and went on to place 13th in the National JR Time Trial race 2 days later. (If you haven't, and you know where to find me. It's a good'un!)

Is this a weird / crazy / cool world or what?

Great job yesterday, hangin' tough in the wind and all. Sure would've rather been there than in the plane. See you soon!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Post-Ride Report, 6/28/2009

Well, Coach MC couldn't join us for today's rides of 54ish and 38ish miles, but it seems that some brutally gusty headwinds were happy to show up in his place. I'm just speaking for me here, but I prefer his company MUCH more.

Still, even with not-quite-DV-07-but-close gusts, and a few somewhat wacky things (flying water bottles and inhalers for Steve and Lin, an uncooperative wheel & tube set for Herb, a granny gear that just wasn't havin' it on Kris' bike, Pea's H2O cage deciding to start flying in the breeze, and my own computer taking a nose dive into the weeds), the people that made the trek today made it all good. As usual. :)

Speaking of people...Roll call (I hope I got everyone!): Heather, Brian, Did (riding faster with the absence of his flowing locks that hindered his aerodynamics), Katie, Steve, Cindy, Tom Miller, Karen (left early with a temperamental knee again--get better!), Chris Radford, Lin, Kris (no, she's not an aunt again yet), Cath, Chris Machuta, Herb, Doug, Pea, Linda, Nick, and yours truly.

Next ride is 7/12 in Holland at Casa de Clark for the Tour de Taco. This is hands-down one of the best rides and post-rides of the year...highly recommended if you haven't been there before (and if you have, I'm not telling you anything new)! Details to come.

Also, if you want to work the Holland Hundred, make sure you let Jasker know this week. And, if you're taking the bus to Killington and still owe some cash, another installment would be greatly appreciated. It's still $125 a head.

T-shirts are in the works and should be off to the printer this week. Stay tuned!


Let's look at the numbers, shall we?

76 riders. (same as '08)

102 mile route.

104 degrees inland (where we were from 11:30 on.)

6500' of brutal climbing.

11+ hours in the saddle.

'Twas a l-o-n-g day, to say the least. (and I never do) But.....the day was a complete success - from the Hendrix-esque National Anthem from Michael Ward, the cool-and-funky little NorCal towns and roads (Bohemian Highway, anyone?) the crew and! What a beautiful part of the world! Pelicans and hawks, sheep and horses, vineyards, shoreline, palm trees and did I mention the hills? There were a lot of hills! Most everyone rode well - only visit to the Med Tent, amazing in this weather methinks. I am more-than-willing to state for the record that this was the most challenging route I've ever ridden in a JDRF event, hands down. Now - am I shattered as DV '07? No. But this was a tough loop.

Having said that.....................................

I know it's early in the year.
I know we'd hafta fly.
I know I just said that it's a bitch.

I also know that many of you would freakin' love this Ride!

More tales later. I sure wish I was on a red-eye flight right now so I could ride wit'choo tomorrow!

MC Weary

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Wow...long day! Got up @ 6:00 for breakfast - then led the coaches' meeting and did the "Expectations of the Ride" seminar w/ Chuck. Kitted up for the Tune Up Ride and spent an hour or so w/ Tiburon (yep - that's her name!) from Salt Lake, who has (or - hopefully - had) some fit issues. Went on a bike shop / In and Out Burger run w/ Berger (no relation), Tiburon, Dave-from-LA and Eric, or other wrench dude. (Local guy that I worked w/ in '08) Got back, led the basics of Bike Fit Seminar, the Cycling 101 seminar and sat in on the Riding w/ Type 1 seminar. (5 of the 7 coaches here are Type 1!) Then clean up for dinner - do most of the talking - give out the yellow and green jerseys, introduce the coaches, etc. Then hang out in the Bike Room, meet Mike Ward, guitarist for The Wallflowers and Ben Harper, co-creator of the Mike and the Bike book, do a few last minute things for various riders and head for home.

Tomorrow is gonna be a helluva day - I can't tell you guys how much I wish you were here!

Many hugs...........MC

Friday, June 26, 2009


Hey guys! Dang do I wish that you were all here w/ me this weekend....that'd be awesome! We (Main wrench Jeremy, his wife Joy and wonder-baby Sabine) landed in SanFran about noon yesterday. 2+ hours later we were here in Santa Rosa, @ the Hyatt on a hill overlooking the city. The weather is unbelievable - sunny, dry and hot in the afternoon but cool enough a2 night to wish that you'd brought a fleece jacket. We set up the Bike Room and went into town w/ the crew for dinner. Today we set up bikes and I played host for the bike Room and the Ride. Riders started showing up in the afternoon and tonight we had a dinner/reception on the deck overlooking the town.

Tomorrow is breakfast, then I hafta lead the Coaches meeting &the Rider's meeting. The I wann asit in on the "Riding w/ Diabetes" meeting - of the 7 coaches out here 5 are Type 1 so I think I can learn stuff! Then it's the Warm Up Ride, a seminar on bike fit, the ride meeting.......etc. Tomorrow will be a full day!

Wish you were all here........can't wait 'til Killington and DV!

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

Hey gang,

We're all set for this Sunday, June 28 at Ada Park. Roll-out time will be 12:00 noon sharp (and I think we're getting sharper!). Map below.

We'll have two options, like usual. Our fearless leader Coach Mike won’t be with us for this one, as he’ll be still riding the wave of a deliriously awesome and amazing first JDRF ride of 2009 in Sonoma. Come on out and get your next helmet star (and any I owe you from the 100 Grand or the last ride in Holland!) and have a great time with the best team in the land.

We’ll hang out in Ada Park after the ride and share snacks—bring a little somethin’ if you like.

And, seriously, for this and every ride, pick the loop that makes sense for you. We make two loops on purpose, and hope that you feel comfortable riding whichever one is best for your ride goal, the ride site you’ve selected (DV people, you have a LOT more weeks till your event!), how you’re feeling on that particular day, and one that will getcha back to the park to hang out with everyone at about the same time. Cool?

See you Sunday!
Nicole (& MC in spirit)

View Ada Park in a larger map

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Props for the World's Coolest Team!

So.......Aly @ the National Office sent me a DVD last week. It's a recording of the "2009 Virtual Annual Conference" for JDRF International. I guess it was attended by pretty much everyone working for or with JDRF all over the place. In it.....the CEO of JDRF - Dr. Alan Lewis - made special mention of our lil 'ol team!

I'm paraphrasing here a tad but he was name-checking 3 Chapters that had good success in the Walk Programs in the face of the economic challenges of the past year. Then he said "And while we're recognizing success let's not forget the Western Michigan Chapter and their stellar success in the Ride Program. They field the 2nd largest Team in the program and their revenue was up 16%."

We were the only Ride Team mentioned.

Pretty cool, huh?

Yet more evidence to the level at which you guys rock!

Ride on!

Monday, June 15, 2009


WOW! GEEZ! HOLY COW! OMG! (etc. etc. etc.)

Was that a perfect day or what!? Yesterday was the nicest weather of 2009 and therefore it seemd appropriate that we gather the World's Coolest Team here in Holland and have us a real fine time!

And so we did just that!

Over 35 riders and countless family members found their way to the Eldean Shipyard on Lake Macatawa to enjoy the hospitality, great roads and fine post-ride feast. Thanks go out to JD and Maggie Stone for setting up the day and to John Jasker for doing much of the "heavy lifting" as far as covering the details. As far as I can recall here's a list of folks that rode:

Heather and Brian J (the latest celebrity in our midst)
Brenda and Herb
Mary and Tom
Dawn and Kevin
Linda and Scott
John and Janet
Linda and I
Coach Nicole
Chris R
Chris M
Kris (received the "I drove the farthest" award!)
Dawn A
Tom M
Tom S
as well as Special Guests Carmen, Glenn and Jay!

The route took us from the shore of Lake Mac out into the countryside south and west of Holland. The longer loop (48miles / 80 K) treated the group to the sights, sounds (and smells!) of New Richmond, Fennville, Hutchin's Lake, Douglas, Lake Michigan, Saugatuck & Gilligan Lake while the meduim loop (36 miles / 60 K) featured a stop in bee-yoo-ti-ful downtown Douglas as well. There were 3 flats (Dawn A, Heather and Steve), one rescued kitty and, alas, no buffalo sightings. Everyone rode well, there was at least one "longest ride ever" accomplishment (go Chris M!) and the burgers, brats, hot dogs, corn, salad, chips, cookies, brownies and other related "replenishment accessories" were a welcome sight for weary travelers.

All in all.................'twas pretty much perfect!

Thanks again to our hosts, thanks again to everyone that made the trip and thanks to all of you for making this team the remarkable thing that it is!

Note - if someone finds themselves in possession of one of those "bathroom keys" from yesterday - JD needs it back! (Or it'll cost him 25 bucks) Please let me know if you find it and we'll make sure it finds its way home.

The next Team Ride is set for Sunday, 6/28. I'll be en route from the Sonoma Ride that day so be nice to Coach Nic, okay? Watch the Blog for more details!

I saw it on a sign so it must be true.......You guys rock!. ( I knew that already!)

Coach Mike

A couple things to think about.........please?

Hey Team!
As wonderful as yesterday was (and all of our rides for that matter) there are a few things that we could all work on that might make 'em even better, so bear w/ me here for a sec, 'kay?

There were a few times yesterday where we sort of "forgot our manners" as far as sharing the road. At one point (just north of Fennville) a fortunately patient driver in a white pick up was stuck behind a chunk of our group for far too long. Given that we are always gonna try and ride on the quietest and purtiest roads we can find that means we're gonna spend a lot of our time on country 2-lanes. That means that we're gonna hafta stay aware of traffic at all times and be ready to move over when need be. There are several reasons for this, and all of 'em are good ones:

#1 - It's the law. The Michigan Vehicle Code limits us to a maximum of 2 abreast. Simple as that. If an approaching driver (or me, at the back) can see more than 4 butt cheeks....guess what? We ain't 2 abreast! Haviing to move in everytime someone yells "car back" is more dangerous than staying 2 abreast as we ride.
#2 - It'll be the rule in Vermont so we might as well get used to it. (In DV it's even more strict - single file!!!)
#3 - We're representing JDRF AND the "greater cycling community". A small effort on our part will go a long way to making it a better world for all cyclists.

Now - I'm NOT saying here that we are lesser beings on the road. Any of you that have ever ridden w/ me knows better than that! We have every right to the road and I intend to see to it that we take it. But.......there's a flip side to that and that's what I'm gettin' at here, dig?

The other thing that we need to work on just a bit is trying' to get to the Rides on time. As the planned routes get longer we're gonna need more time to be in the saddle so striving to arrive 30 minutes before the posted time so you are ready to roll would be much appreciated! The posted time for a Ride is "Roll Out Time", okay?

Thanks for listening.......thanks for riding, thanks for everything!


Thursday, June 11, 2009


Hey gang! It's time once again for The World's Coolest Team to gather up our collective energy and spirit and cover some miles! I really hope to have the pleasure of your company this weekend! Here are the details of this week's ride, hosted by the Holland contingent of the Team - J.D. Stone, John Jasker, Linda and myself:

Where?: Eldeans' Shipyard (3222 S. Shore Dr, Holland 49423) There's a pool, hot tub, grills, deck, etc.

When?: Arrive any time after 12:00 noon, we ride @ 1:00pm

Who?: You! Plus your family (they can hang by the pool while we ride) and any "guest riders' that you think oughta be invited. There's a great playground for kids of all ages too!

What's the route?: The long loop will be a variation of the locally-infamous Hutchin's Lake Loop - featuring quiet farm country roads, the Kalamazoo river, Saugatuck, Douglas, Fennville, Lake Michigan & more! Figure on 46-50 miles. There will be a option to trim it to approx. 30 miles as well. (Still a very cool ride!)

What's to eat?: Burgers, brats, corn on the cob, cookies, pizza, whatever else anyone brings.

What do I bring?: Lawn chairs, swimsuit, flip-flops, pool toys, rubber duckies, towels, sunscreen & other items of a "pool-y" nature.

Thanks to Herb @ Pat Eldean (JDRF donors!), the Piper restaurant (for the pizza) & J.D and Maggie Stone for setting this up. Thanks to John Jasker for helpin' w/ the route and the detail work.

Directions for you non-MapQuest folks . (There are a few of us left, aren't there?)
From the east (G.R., Lansing, Flint, Boston)) take the 2nd Holland exit from I-196. Go right (west) @ the stop sign to Country Club Road. (2 lights) Go left (south) on C. Club to 32nd street. ( 2 lights) . Turn right (west) on 32nd and follow it all the way 'till it curves right and ends @ South Shore Drive. You are there - look for the signs and cars w/ bike racks.
From the north (Grand Haven, Montague, Alaska) take US 31 to the 32nd Street intersection and turn right.
From the south (Fennville, Saugatuck, Memphis) Take US 31 to 32nd street and go west.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Conversation that I had yesterday..........

.....and just thought I oughta share.

Customer : "Was that group of JDRF riders I saw @ 100 Grand your group?"

Me : "Yep"

Customer : "That was the team you've been working with?"

Me: "Yep." (Wondering if he was gonna bust my chops for riders 4 abreast or something)

Customer : "What a GREAT buncha folks! GREAT riders, GREAT people & real friendly!"

Me : "Yep".

( I knew all along what he was gonna say!)

Nice work kids!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


As you probably have heard by now our good frind and team mate Heather Allegrina's father passed away recently. It so happens that this coming Father's Day would have been his birthday. Heather and Brian have decided to do a ride in his memory so join us if you can on Sunday 6/21 for the first ever Allegrina 100.

This will be an unsupported and somewhat unstructured ride - we're gonna head north from Heather-n-Brian's house and end up back there @ some point. We roll @ 8:30am. There will be pancakes on the deck before the ride and imported Italian salami and Parma ham afterwards. (The only "rule" is that you gotta stay and eat if you ride 'cuz "dad woudn't have it any other way"!)

Don't wanna ride 100 miles? Have other things going on that day? No sweat - Join us for a portion of the ride - whatever works for you.

Contact Heather, Brian or myself for directions.

See you there.........M.C.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The 100 Grand Was Quite Grand Indeed

I'm having a hard time coming up with the right words to describe the fantastic Saturday that was had by 18 team members at the 100 Grand. The weather was glorious, the route was hilly with mostly awesome pavement and hardly any cars (except for one grumpy mail carrier), and the company, obviously, couldn't be beat. We had folks complete what was their longest ride so far this year for most...35, 65, and 105! miles.

Sitting the grass eating roll up sandwiches and BBQ pork, it was hard not to think about how great this entire group is--enjoying the simplicity of a beautiful day on the bike with your pals.

We had several folks approach us throughout the day and either ask what we were all about, or to say that they already know what we do, and that it's pretty darn awesome. Both scenarios are pretty cool--getting some people interested in joining our group one day, and others letting us know that the word about this JDRF team is getting out in the West Michigan cycling world even more.

100 Grand - 2009

Thanks to the following people for making the trek on Saturday:

Brad Spooner
Derek Dykstra
Cindy Aley
Kevin Carnes
Dawn Wilson
Herb Baushke
Brenda Baushke
Cathy Priest
Linda Thompson-Poeder
Scott Poeder
Katie Clark
Steve Clark
Linda Clark
Jack Clark
Nathen Kooi
Chris Machuta
John Jasker
Nicole Nelles

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Documentary showing at Festival

The screening times for the Festival Film Competition have been announced. Since our documentary, More Than 100 Miles: Riding to Cure Diabetes, was one of the award winners it will be shown all three days of Festival. All showings take place at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Show times may vary slightly.
Friday, June 5 - 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, June 6 - 3:35 p.m.
Sunday, June 7 - 3:35 p.m.
So this is an excellent opportunity to see the film if you haven't had the chance yet, or if you'd like to see it again. Plus, like everything else at Festival, it's free admission. For more information check out

Monday, June 1, 2009

Team Ride Report for the 1st o' June!

What can I say? Another great day. Another great ride. Another great group of folks. We met @ Johnson Park in Walker in the bright last day o' May sunshine. 26 riders in all, here's the Roll Call (in order of estimated frame size!)

Patti "Pea" Bills
Cathy Priest / Tahy
Katie Clark
Dawn Anderson
Cindy Aley
Lynne Gallagher
Melanie Williamson
Dawn Wilson
Coach Nicole "This Old House" Nelles
Linda Thompson - Poeder
Jack Clark
Coach Me
Amy Fisher
Steve Clark
Nick Murphy (His 1st Team Ride!)
Kevin Carnes
Linda Clark
Mike Howard (Yea - I know......his trike doesn't have a "frame size")
Special Guest Carmen Hannah
Chris Machuta
Chris Radford
J.D. Stone
Special Guest Mark Davis
Tom Miller
Derek "Did" Dykstra
Rob Andro

We had a great ride on rolling hills out there on GR's west group did a 38-ish mile loop and one group did a 29-ish mile route. 1 flat - Nick Murphy claims the award for this ride but that ain't too bad since it was from this start/finish that Cindy set the Team Flat Record last year!

Back @ the park we feasted on sandwiches, pasta salad, cookies, root beer floats and still-warm-from-the-oven cinnamon bread.


Our next scheduled Team Ride is on 6/14, hosted by JD out here on the lakeshore. The location offers a pool, grills and a great spot for non-riding family members to hang and relax while we ride. Watch for the details soon!

Of course - many members of the Team will be riding in the 100 Grand this Saturday as well.

One thing to think about, if I can put my "Coach Hat" on for a sec............this is a REALLY busy time of year, especially for anyone w/ kids and my guess is that we have folks on the Team that are struggling to find time to get out for a "real" ride. Here's the thing.......if you don't have time to do a 60 minute ride then do a 25 minute ride! Or a 20 minute one. Or a brisk walk. Or run a few flights of stairs. My point is that we all have to find the way that getting some miles and training time is gonna work in our lives. My concern is that someone will fall into the trap of thinking "Well......I was struggling to keep up a month ago and now everyone's riding all the time and I haven't been and now I'll be even farther behind...etc...etc." . Now - the last thing I wanna do here is come across like I'm making light of this, 'cuz I'm not. My goal is to get'cha thinking outside the box, you know? Gotta walk the dog? Make it a workout. Need to run errands? Ride your bike. Can't get outta the house? Use an indoor trainer. We (Lin and I) have one you can borrow and I bet that many of your team mates do as well. Any time you spend w/ your heart rate up will help - you don't have to be "training" to be getting more fit, dig?

Remember that Nicole and I are always here if you need anything! Reach out to either of us w/ any issues about training, bikes, nutrition, etc.

Thanks for reading this far....thanks for being a member of this remarkable thing we have going...thanks for all you do.

One of my favorite songs includes the line "I know I say this all the time like everything else I say" but.....................................

You guys ROCK !

Coach Mike