Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Money makin' opp-or-tunity

Welcome back long time sponsor XS Energy Drinks. They have once again sent us a pallet of energy drinks and a pallet of H2Ultra water. XS Energy Drinks have no carbs and no sugar. They are loaded with B vitamins and taste great. For those new to the team, or just as a refresher, here's how the program works.

A case of energy drink (12 cans) cost $15. You pay that much to the JDRF office and the money is credited to your ride account. You can then drink the XS yourself or sell it to friends and family. All money raised goes to the ride account of the person who sells it. This promotion has generated over $3,000 a year for team. This year some of the flavors are available in 24 packs. These will sell for $30.

We have lots of great flavors:
Citrus Blast (24 packs)
Cherry Blast (24)
Electric Lemon (24)
Root Beer (24)
Root Beer - caffeine free (12 pack)
Cola (12 and 24 packs)
Tropical Blast (12)
Wild Berry Blast (12)
Cranberry-Grape (12)
Black Cherry Cola (12)

The H2Ultra water also comes in 12 packs. It is for use at your events, like golf outings or Family Fun Days. Call Tom or Mary Scheidel for more info. Making money for the ride was never so refreshing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Well - the weather threatened but never delivered on its promise of rain and wind so 6 (only 6!) members of the World's Coolest Team gathered @ Johnson Park in GR and enjoyed a great ride. For the rest of you - here's some of what'cha missed:

A sweet 29 or 38 mile route on the NE side of Grand Rapids.

Coach Did and I performing the rarely seen syncronized dual front flat as we descended into Tallmadge. Yep - 2 flats @ virtually the same instant! (Not that anyone's keeping score but I had mine changed first - jus' sayin'). Some of you might recall that Cindy set the Team Flat Record on this same ride last year (or mebbe 2 years ago?) w/ 4. I took a half-hearted shot @ her record by riding into the park on a slow leak yesterday but fear not Cin - you still de (wo)man!

The sight of Tom Miller, Kaat Tahy, JD Stone & Linda Clark riding strong and displaying the value of doin' some winter training miles.

A considerable spread on the tailgate of the truck back @ the park - chips n salsa, various cookies, gummy teddy bears, yummy cold beverages, etc.

The no-doubt stunned and wondering look on my face as Derek explained to us that the bunch of weird dudes in the green facepaint were in fact "L.A.R.P. ing". (You HAD to be there!)

Lotsa "advice" (probably zero of which will turn out to be of any use whatsoever!) from her teammies as newbie-duathlete Kaat made the mistake of admitting that she was stressing a bit over the tranisitions in her upcoming duathlon.

So - we had fun - lotsa fun - and we missed you! The next Team Ride on the schedule is set for May 16th up @ Tom Miller's place near Grand Haven. (Hopefully he won't need the drawbridge this time!) I sure hope we see you there!

That's a decent amount of time from now - as we set up the schedule we were tryin' to miss Mother's Day and other stuff - and there is some talk of an "unofficial" Team Ride 'tween now and then so stay tuned for info on that as well as All Things Team Related by checking back to this here Blog every once in awhile.

Ride Summation:

Tom Miller, JD Stone, Kaat Tahy, Linda Clark, Coach Derek, Coach Me.
3 flats.
38 miles.
Lotsa hills.
A few drops of rain.
Lotsa food.

Thanks for reading, thanks for riding, thanks for being a part of our Team, thanks for rocking like you all do!

See you soon!
Coach Mike

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Hey Team!

Coach Derek, myself and the rest o' your Ride Commitee sure hope to see your smilin' faces @ Team Ride #2 this Saturday 4/24! Here are the pertinent details:

Where? - Johnson Park on the west side of GR. We've used this park for the past 2-3 seasons. A map to it is here http://tinyurl.com/johnsonparkride

When? - We roll @ 10:00am sharp! A coupla reasons for the earlier start, folks have lotsa social and family stuff goin' on and a goodly # of us will be working @ Van Andel that evening. So - please be there w/ tires inflated, jersey pockets stuffed and ready to roll @ 10:00.

What? - We'll have 2 routes to chose from - one of 28.5 miles and a "long cut" option that'll tack on 'nother 7-8 miles. The cool thing is that you don't hafta decide 'til near the end of the main loop 'cuz the long cut isn't until near the end. It's sort of a roll-y part of the world - no massive climbs but it ain't flat either.

Who? - You! As well as your team mates & any friends you wanna invite along. Remember that exposure to one of our rides has been proven to cause folks to test positive for JDRF infection in the near future. (It's a good way to recruit - that's all I'm sayin')

What else? - There will be the now-standard post-ride social gathering, calorie replacement & mutual admiration society meeting after the ride. I'll bring your basic snacks and everyone else is welcome to do so as you see fit.

I think that covers the basics - feel free to contact Derek or myself if you have any questions.

What's that? You're lookin' for more miles? Read on!
Some of us will be looking to get our "April Century" in on Saturday as well, feel free to join us for some or all of it. We'll be rolling from Riverside Park (basically the South end of the White Pine Trail) @ 6:30am (yeah - I said "6:30am"!) to roll up to the end of the paved trail and back before headin' over to Johnson Park. After the post-ride festivities we'll go back out to get whatever miles we need to check April off the "Century a Month" list. Shouldn't need more than 15-20 at that point) It'd be great to have you join us!

Sunday Stuff - Our team mates Kirsten Dykstra & Cathy "Kaat" Tahy will be competing in the Steelcase Duathlon Sunday morning so wish them luck and send some good vibes their way. Here @ the shop we're hosting the Pineapple Bob Classic Ride - featuring as many dirt and gravel roads as we can link together after rollin' from the shop @ 2:00pm. It'll be do-able on a road bike but a 'cross bike would be best. Food afterwards? You hafta ask?

Looking ahead - The next Team Ride (after Saturday 'natch) is Sunday 5/16 and then again on the 23rd. Sarah Andro is having her "Barbeque, Brews and a Bike Ride" Fun Raiser on 5/21, and you really oughta sign up for ODRAM and ride across the state on 8/21! There are still a few Van Andel gigs coming up (contact Cindy Aley if you wanna get on that train) and as we roll into the season for real there will be more rides, events, fun raising projects, etc. We'd encourage you all to make a habit of checking this blog as well as using it to communicate w/ your team mates.

Okay - to sum up - hope to see y'all Saturday, ride more w/ us if you wanna, bring snacks if you are so inclined, lots going on Sunday & soon, life is good, diabetes sucks and we're out to kick it's ass.

Thanks again and forever more for all you do and for what each and every one of you mean to this Team and JDRF. (And me!)

See you soon - hopefully Saturday!

Coach Mike for the Ride Committee. (Coach Did, Big Cheese Nicole, Katie Clark, Tom Miller, JD Stone, Cindy Aley & Cathy Coury)

By the way - howzabout a HUGE TEAM HOO-RAH for Derek showing that silly little cancer germ just who it was messin' with, huh? Best news I've heard in a l-o-n-g time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sea Otter Report!

Hey Team!

Greetings from (way!) sunny California! Okay - it's like 10:30 as I write this so not all that sunny but there's been nothing but clear skies and warm temps since I got out here Thursday.

Doing what exactly, you ask?

Good one!

I'm out here w/ Trish and Aly (aka the Twin towers of the Ride Program) to promote the Ride @ the Sea Otter Classic - a giant race/consumer bike show/expo/festival in Monterey. We have a 10 x 10 booth and we spent 3 days talkin' up the Rides, handing out flyers (featuring Linda Clark Her Own Self) and DVD's (featuring Lotsa Folks We All Know), giving away socks from the '06-'07 season (remember the green and yellow ones?) and making connections in the bike industry.

It's been quite enlightening - it seems that we (JDRF) has a bit of an image problem in the fact that we ain't got one! An image, that is. 90+% of the folks we talked to thought we were the ADA and that they were "doing your ride in Napa". Or LA. That's one reason we WERE there - to get the word out that we exist, our Rides rock and that we have a cool thing going. Oh sure - hopefully we'll see at least a few of the folks we chatted up register - and I bet we do.....but even if not we fired the 1st shot in a battle that needs to be fought!

I was sorry to miss the Music Festival, and the Yankee Springs TT but we have a Team Ride coming up this Saturday! 10am @ Johnson Park. A not-too-far-in-the-future post here will have a map, more details and more info on the fact that a few of us are talking about riding a century that day and how you can join the fun.

I just wanted to fill y'all in on what I've been up to out here - not that I thought you were wondering - but it was JDRF biz so now you're in the loop.

Homeward bound tomorrow - and I'll hopefully see many of you on Saturday if not before. Stay tuned!

You guys rock - but you knew that, right?

Coach Mike

Friday, April 16, 2010

*clank clack* BRING OUT YER SCRAP

Hey, 'afore I forget again, there's yet another opportunity to raise some money and/or reduce your garage crap pile! It's the, uh, lessee here, carry the 2... 4th Annual Herman Miller Earth Day Scrap Metal (and other stuff) Drive! We're primarily looking for scrap metal, in the form of appliances (including fridges and air conditioners - no need to have the freon removed first), shelves, first-generation Iron Man suits, engines (drain the oil and gas from those, please), nickel-iron meteorites, aluminum (and its close cousin aluminium), old bicycle chains, pipes, you name it, if it's metal, we'll find a way to take it, and we'll even help ya unload yer jalopy.

We'll also take pesticides, garden chemicals, household and car batteries (NOT nickel-cadmium batteries, though), and pretty much any electronics. Please note that there will be a $5 charge to drop off a TV.

As with prior years, you've got two places to drop stuff off - at the HMI Spring Lake Van Wagoner street plant (mappitty map map) in the parking lot, or at HMI's Mainsite building in Zeeland (zip zop zap map), at the Building F dock doors on the east side of the building. At both places we'll be accepting stuff from 3-5 pm today, Friday the 16th, and from 8 am - noon on Saturday the 17th.

Questions? Email coach did...

See ya Saturday night at Jake's Music Fest, if you're going to the Family Fun Day, have a blast! Next team ride is Saturday the 24th at 10 am from Johnson Park in Grand Rapids!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Biggby Coffee fundraiser and TV coverage to boot.

Death Valley rider Jeff Hill got some TV coverage this morning for his first Ride to Cure Diabetes fundraiser.

Hope to see everyone at Biggby at Monroe Center today between 8a and 2pm .

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jake's Music Festival is this Saturday!

Saturday, April 17th at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids.

The Line-up
5:00 PM Spitting Image (Grand Rapids School of Rock)
6:00 PM Those Eighty Acres
6:45 PM Ralston Bowles
7:00 PM Lynn Thompson Band
7:45 PM Lucy Ernst from Bad Dolly wsg Eric Soules from Rhythm Dogs
8:00 PM The Rhythm Dogs
8:45 PM Jared Wekenman of Paucity
9:00 PM Igby Iris
10:00 PM Karisa Wilson
10:15 PM Simien the Whale

It's a free show this year, plus there is a silent auction, free cakes samples, and adult beverages.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Frames Unlimited, Magic Hat #9, WYCE, Natural Landscape Services, PJ's Sound and Backline, and Connie's Cakes.

As always donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are welcome. See you Saturday night.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First Team Ride Report!

Here's ye olde rolle calle of Those who Rocked:

Steve and Katie
Chris and Becky (on her first team ride ever!)
Dawn "I will NOT stop and walk up this hill!" A
Amy FF.
Linda TP.
Cindy A.
Tom and Mary
The Amazing Ian
Head Trophy Wife Linda
Assistant Trophy Wife and Chief Skin Examiner Kirsten
Rick B.
Jeff H. (on his first team ride ever!)
Mike H., looking unusually upright and conspicuously missing a wheel
Chris R.
SGS Bonnie
Tom M.
Nick M.
an me, Whomper McDiddershizzle.

So, out of 6 "first team rides" that I've done, I don't think any could hold a candle to this'un. I mean, 71 degrees on April 11? That's unpossible! And 25 people is a heckova turnout, especially since it was the tail end of spring break week! Everyone looked to be having a good ol' time, riding comfortably in a group, and mushing up those snippy little hills with a minimum of fuss.

If you'll forgive me getting a bit philosophical, last year had a bit of an "eh" overtone to it - I mean, it was only a "really good" year, not as thumpingly excellent as we know is possible - and I think this year will put us back on that most awesome track. There's less of economic gloom and doom hanging over us all; I mean, it's still pretty craptacular out there, but it at least the craptacularity has stabilized enough that you can plan for things. We have a nice crop of first-time riders, and some returning folks we haven't seen in a while. Not least, my wife has FINALLY seen the wisdom of wheels and pedals! I guess what I'm lurching my rhetorical way towards is that y'all are great mood boosters - I was feeling kinda punky last week, spending way too much time being mopey, and there's nothing like a good team ride on a gorgeous day to bump ya out of that kind of rut. So, thanks! I needed that!

Anyway, so: next team ride is Saturday, April 24, from Johnson Park in GR (here's an advance on yer map: http://tinyurl.com/johnsonparkride). We'll do 30ish miles, with options on the low and high ends of the "ish" range. Rollout time is TBD at this point; I know a bunch of you will be working the Elton John concert that night, so we'll plan backwards from that and let you know. Right now we're probably looking at noonish. Food is always welcome, as I don't want to get too skinny, ya know.

Also, we're still fleshing out the ride schedule, and we've got open dates to fill. So, if you're interested in hosting a team ride, let me, MC, or Nicole know. Open dates and distances are:

6/20, 45-50 miles
7/18, 55-60 miles (this is the day after the Holland Hundred, so a shorter option would acceptable too)
9/5, 60-65 miles
9/19, 65-70 miles
10/2, 70-75 miles

Like the Pirate's Code, the distances are really only guidelines; we can work with ya on routes and stuff.

Also also, next weekend chock-full of events: Friday afternoon and Saturday is the Herman Miller Earth Day Scrap Drive, Chris Radford's Family Fun Day is Saturday morning, and Jake's Music Festival is Saturday night. More info will be posted here on the blog!

So, see ya on the 24th, if not before!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Skip Spring Cleaning and Come Ride With Us Sunday (and other awesome ideas for you!)

Hope spring has come and firmly planted itself in your life in the past couple of weeks, and you're getting tons of fresh air and sunshine (with sunscreen, of course!). Here's what we have to share with you this week:

FIRST TEAM RIDE! FIRST TEAM RIDE! FIRST TEAM RIDE! - This Sunday, 4/11, is our first team ride of the season. We'll meet at Steve and Katie Clark's house in Grandville for a 2:00pm roll-out (that means you should show up no later than 1:45pm!). A link to the map is in the e-mail you should have received recently. We'll do 19 or 28 miles (your pick) and stick around for snacks afterward if you want (bring something to share!). There will be a super awesome, totally more than capable, and entirely nice babysitter available for hire as well. Kaley's been watching the Clark girls forever, and is looking forward to watching your kids too, if you like. Please plan on $4/hour for your first kid, and $1-2/hour for each additional kid, and check check in with Katie for more details. Current forecast is 65 and party cloudy... approximately 14,238 times better than this ride last year. Feel free to call me (Nicole) at 616.745.8974 or Coach Did (231.557.8490) if you need anything. Including sunscreen.

T-SHIRT CONTEST - It's time for our annual ploy to get you to do some of our work for us....the t-shirt design contest! As has become team tradition, we'll collect (starting today!) design ideas for our 2010 team shirts. We'll post all the entries here on the blog for voting, and the winner is, well, the winner. The rules: the design must fit on (approx) a standard 8.5X11" sheet of paper, include no more than two colors (three if you count the shirt itself as a color), and in the past...we've learned that dark screens on lighter shirts work best. Ideally we'd like our team/Chapter name (Michigan Great Lakes West), the year, and the JDRF ride logo (we can give you that) somewhere in the design...but it's totally up to you and not required. The committee reserves the right to change colors (don't worry, we'll tell ya first) on the winning design to make it work for printing...but really, anything goes. PLEASE SUBMIT ALL ENTRIES TO KATIE CLARK BY WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14. Electronic is best, but if you want to draw it, that's fine too--just bring it to Sunday's ride at her house or mail it.

VAN ANDEL - Every now and then you might receive an e-mail from Cindy Aley about upcoming events at Van Andel. This is a fundraising opportunity unique to our team, and a totally great moneymaker for a lot of folks. Thing is, sometimes people wait until the last minute to step up and help out...which, frankly, isn't cool to Cindy who spends tons of time and energy organizing our people/time and working with the VA contact to ensure we get the best pick of stuff. Let's try to help maintain her sanity (and let her enjoy bike season even more!) by being extra responsive to Van Andel requests, and committing time early. There's only a few events left this season, but most of them are BIG ones that will be great moneymakers for this quarter. Get in on the cash and the fun...grab your favorite black slacks and white shirt and c'mon down! (Not on Cindy's list yet? Just shoot her an e-mail!)

JERSEYS - The pink jersey reorder is in motion. Thanks to everyone that responded with their request. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough interest to do the bibs/shorts in addition to the jerseys...but, we'll have final pricing and delivery details ASAP.

JERSEYS PART DEUX - You will be contacted before long by Brenda Byers, newest Special Events Coordinator (Welcome Brenda to the chapter and to our extended team!) at the chapter office, to confirm your size for the ride day jersey. This is something you selected upon registration--she's just going to confirm that you still want the size you indicated. As in recent years, they will be men-/women-specific Hincapie Club Cut jerseys (click here for sizing chart).

RAISE MORE FUNDS! - So, last year, folks who went above and beyond their fundraising goal by $1000 were acknowledged by being offered a really cool jacket from the national folks. While we think (no promises) that the same sort of thing will be in place for 2010, we thought it was important to recognize you at the team level for huge effort like that. Therefore, we're happy to announce that any team member that raises more than 25% over his or her minimum fundraising requirement this year will receive a great team fleece jacket. It will be a source of pride for you, and also a great item to wear around town to start conversations that might even recruit a few folks to join our team. So, log some VA hours, start working on your letter, write some e-mails, or contact anyone on the ride committee for more fundraising ideas!

MILESTONES - Speaking of fundraising...since that is, after all, what we're doing...we recently added some milestone dates for each ride site (along with a TON of other updated information!) to our team Web site. Check it out, and make sure you're on track for a successful year. Let any one of us know if you have any concerns.

Thanks to each and every one of you. Hope to see you all on Sunday!

'Da Committee
Nicole, Katie, Cathy, Coach Mike, Coach Did, Cindy, Tom, and JD

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Week! A Week!

Hey, so, Happy Easter and all, and next Sunday is our first team ride! Rollout time will be 2pm (so, like, try to be there by 1:45, eh?) from Katie and Steve's house; watch your email for a their address, maps, and whatever other contact information you might need. I expect nobody would object if you brought some munchies to share post-ride (or mid-ride, for that matter).

Our next ride after that will be Saturday, April 24...