Monday, January 25, 2010

Hi, nice ta meetcha

Well, it took a lot of late-night negotiation sessions, but I have indeed agreed to be a coach this year. It was the offer of being allowed to use the JDRF Ferrari that ultimately sealed the deal (it’s the only Ferrari in the world with a 4-bike hitch rack installed).

On a more serious note, Coach Emeritus Nicole deserves a round of thanks and appreciation for all that she did last year. She set the bar seriously high with the amount of work she put in to coaching last year, and really broke the new ground necessary to being the team’s assistant coach. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, whatever I achieve this year, Nicole deserves much of the credit for. So, in advance of what is sure to be an awesome year, thanks Nic – in a team of folks who rock, your rocking knows no bounds.

I am no less indebted to our stellar Chief Coach Mike Clark – there’s a reason this dude’s been tapped so heavily by the National ride program. I may be a coach, but MC is still MY coach.

Now, me – who is this oaf, anyway? Well, a full explanation would take almost half a page, so the basics: as Nic said, I started this adventure in 2005 with the first formation of the West Michigan ride team. I remain somewhat startled by what that turned in to; I would never, ever have guessed in those early days that I would still be doing it 6 years later, would have spent hours selling dollar hot dogs at Van Andel Arena, and certainly that I would be a coach on the team. Why all that did happen is due to another thing I didn’t expect – that I would meet all of you, and that type 1 diabetes would change from something I didn’t know about to something that hurts my dear friends. I can point to a string of eye-opening moments that have cemented my resolve to see that thing ended.

As for the other stuff, yeah, all of our bikes have names, as do our cars, our computers, our cats, and even our child. Due to an unfortunate year during which I couldn’t go 50 miles without a flat, I am pretty good at swapping a tube by the side of the road. Any other mechanical aptitude is really just me just liking shiny things. As for strength, well, this potato-shaped lump of flesh I call home takes some effort to get movin’.

And there is nothing wrong with pink cable housing. Ruby likes a bit of color.

With all that up and out of the way, my first official act as a coachy person is to re-plant the idea of the upcoming Ultimate Cycling Challenge; we have a JDRF team registered for this event, and we need to fill 24 hours worth of time slots. To sign up, you need to register for the event, and then get in touch with MC to pick out a time slot. Don’t write off those middle-of-the-night spots, either – I’ve done a couple of those, and it’s way cool.

Things are starting to ramp up, folks, and I’m thrilled to be where I am. I hope you are too; you’re the folks who make this thing get better every year. Hey, I get to officially say it now – you all rock!


Katie said...

As was with Nicole, I will follow you anywhere, Did. Glad to have you leading us on the road. And glad Nicole is now leading us off the road as Chair of this event for JDRF Michigan Great Lakes West.

Good luck to both of you keeping Coach Clark in line. ;-)

Linda TP said...

Does this mean I have to call you Mr. Did?