Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So - back from the 1st Ride of the season. Since alla y'all weren't there I'll try to fill you in. Lot's to tell so pull up a chair and sit for a spell..............

Jeremy left w/ the Bike Room Truck on Tuesday, plannin' on stayin' overnight somewhere 'tween here and there and arriving Wed around lunchtime. A combination of caffeine and a lack of handy hotels conspired to convince him to drive straight through and...there he was. After giggin' on Wed night I caught the 1st flight outta GR and was in Burlington before some of you had your 2nd cuppa coffee. Got to the host hotel and started getting acclimated. (To the scene that is - the weather was just like it was and steamy). The riders (all 85-ish of 'em) started arriving that afternoon and pretty soon it was time to get my Head Coach Outfit on and do my thing. It was great to see Lynn Gallagher and her fam there too!

Thursday night was pretty low key - dinner was a stand around sort of buffet / mixer / sorta thing w/ mercifully little blather from the microphone. Friday dawned clear and fine and after breakfast we did the tune-up ride thing (although w/ 80+% of the riders drivin' in w/ their bikes there was less need forr that) and then folks scattered to explore the town and area. (No trips to the Vermont Country Store that I'm aware of).

Friday's dinner was one of those JDRF Ride times where you can't get rid of the goosebumps! Somehow I managed to keep it together and not screw up but presenting the Green and Yellow jerseys was somethin' else! The winner of the Green Jersey raised some 85 grand! He gave us a brief but eloquent thank you and then I introduced the winner of the Yellow Jersey. His name is Tim, he's from the DC area and I met him in Tucson (Tuscon?) last Nov. He won the Green Jersey then. Think about that for a sec - he's been Type 1 forever, both of his kids are, and he rode for the first time ever w/ us 8 months ago. Raised enough coin then to win the Green Jersey and was so affected by the weekend that he signed up for the next Ride and recruited 7 friends and fam to join him! Dang! There's a great little video of his very moving "speech" on the JDRF Ride to Cure FB page. After a bunch more warm fuzzies and goosebumps we called it a night and everyone hit the sack to get ready for the Big Day.

Speakin' of the Big Day - it dawned clear......warm......big puffy clouds and a little more wind than you might have wished for. Still - compared to last year it was 100% awesome for all concerned. We rolled south, bound for places called Verginnes and Middlebury on nice asphalt and over rolling hills. I was riding sweep, 'natch, and soon found myself riding w/ Mary from Chicago, a Type 1 new rider that had been a huge bundle of nerves all weekend. It was obvious to me pretty early that she and the rest of the folks I was ridin' with weren't gonna make the time cut off @ Breakpoint 3 to continue on for the full century so I commenced the "reality check" talk early so that it wouldn't be too big of a downer. For a "flat-ish" route (which it was by JDRF standards) there were plenty of tough little rollers and a viscious 18-20% climb up into Verginnes and BP #3. There was freakin' Ben & Jerry's ice cream there though so it was allll good! That's as far south as I got, since all the other coaches had continued on and plenty of riders were heading back to the start/finish by that point. I road w/ Mary and a few others until she decided to get sagged in and I caught a ride back out to BP #2 and then rode in again. At some point I was very pleased to come across Lynn G - riding strong and lookin' good. We rode in together and I had the distinct pleasure of seeing her complete her 1st century. An hour later I rode in again w/ Mike Malekoff and the last rider and the 2010 Burlington Ride to Cure was in the books. We did the post-ride bar-b-q thing, ruined our arms patting ourselves on the backs for jobs well done and then it was off to the bar. Or bed. Or wherever. ( I invited Mary to join us on the rest o' our team rides - that might happen)

It was pretty much perfect. Great route. Perfectly fine hotel that seemd to want us there. Great Bike Room (big enough to ride around in!). Good eats. A great collection of riders, most but not all from the NorthEast. Chuck Hodge brought hsi "A Team" for the crew. The Head Coach didn't screw up too bad. 85+ riders raised over $400,000! No injuries, few flats. The sag wagons and med folks were pretty much bored and that's how we like it. The route was great - we rode along the coast of Lake Champlain, over a covered wooden bridge, on mostly great road surfaces and little traffic. In other words - it was the "anti-Killington" that everyone was looking for! I can highly recommend this Ride if its offered again next season and we will need more riders there to make it viable - 85-ish was great but they really need 100 more to make it a solid player on the calendar.

I'm still high from the emotions of the weekend. I'm sorry that I've failed so utterly to pass that along to y'all here - there's just no way, not even for a far more skilled writer than I am - to capture what went on there in words and pixels.

Check out the JDRF Ride to Cure FB page for links and pics. And I can't wait to hear what Lynn has to say about her Ride and weekend!

So proud of you guys, so honored to be allowed to be a part of this Team, this Program, this thing we have going on! Thank you!

You guys rock, but you know that. It was clear to me all weekend that everyone else in the JDRF universe knows it too (even if our T-shirt printer can't spell).

I hope to see you all @ the next Team Ride on 8/1 if not before. Details about that ride and other things team-esque will be forthcoming soon. Stay tuned and keep ridin' , rockin' and fund raising! ( I saw the Hincapie pack that you'll get for going 1k over your FR goal and it's pretty much awesome!)

Thanks again (and again and again!) for all you bring to our Team & JDRF!

Coach MC

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I wonder if someone will open a "Tuscon Desert Store" someday.

Congrats to MC and all for an amazing event in the books. And a HUGE HUGE HUGE congrats to Lynne for her amazing performance on ride day. You are awesome!