Thursday, July 29, 2010


Saturday. You usually like that approaching day. You get to ride, sometimes with friends, and without the limitations of a schedule (or at least less limitations). And after riding you can relax, bask in the pleasant fatigue with those friends, remembering the past and relishing the future. It's, simply put, you time.

This Saturday is for someone else, and for hurting - not in the way that brings pride and stories, but in the way that can't be trained away or remembered fondly later. It's hurt born of a haunting fear made real.

We're a pretty big team, so I suppose statistics suggests that we'll have our losses. I'd say we've had more than our share, especially last year. I'd hoped that things would, put callously, average out. But, no. We've had, and I know we'll have again, wonderful highs, but this low is so deep. Can you see someone lose their child and not think of your own? We're empathetic people - we wouldn't be doing this if we weren't. We feel the hope of an end to finger pricks and site changes and giving a crap about A1C. We worry about someone going low while we ride, and we find ourselves carrying jelly beans and knowing where the nearest convenience store is, just in case.

And perhaps we think - we hope - that we're helping, but then, this. Not the thing on our jerseys. Not... anything. Just raw tragedy, something that no amount of miles ridden or letters sent or anything else can prevent, let alone reverse. There's no cure for this. There's no sense to this. It just is.

It sort of dawned on me that most of you don't know Stacey at all, but, well, you really do. I don't think I'd know many of you without her. I'd know Peggy and Jack and Herb through work, and maybe Cindy, but... probably none of the rest of you. No Scheidels or Andros or Howards or Fishers or Williamsons or Kaats or Peas or J2s or N2s or JDs or Mildogs or crap I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

I'd have a serious shortage of Clarks.

Stacey started this. Calling her an alpha rider doesn't do justice - I joined what she founded. We all did. It's evolved and grown, sure, but without the spark that put West Michigan on saddles back in 2005, there would be no... us.

So, Saturday, we'll ride again, in all our regalia, but slowly and quietly, for friendship and memory. For Stacey and Brad, Mazzy and Chloe. For Marley.

8 am rollout from VeloCity.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Team Note, Team Ride, Team Stuff!

Hey all!

If you're going to LaCrosse to ride, you've got about 430 hours of training time left.

I don't think we've got anyone going to Tahoe, but it's about 1,125 hours to ride time there.

Death Valley folks, you've got about 1,940 hours to go.

Tucson? About 2,780 hours.

Let's have a team ride, shall we? This Sunday we'll do 50-somethingish miles (with a shorter option or two, natch') from Mike and Teresa Howard's place with an 11 am rollout time; check your email for a map to their house. If you happen to have some goodies floating around your house and you need help eating them, bring 'em along, I expect you'll find some takers. Maybe I'll give a watermelon-peeling demonstration.

See ya this weekend!

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend UpdKABOOOOM!!!!ate

Yeah, it was fun riding in the thunderstorm on Sunday, wasn't it?

But first!

Saturday was a good steamer of a day, and we had, uh, uhm, er, a bunch of us riding, with about 1600 of our closest buddies. The Holland Hundred appears to have been a smashing success, with by far the largest turnout ever. Special thanks are due to Herman Miller for the facility (with bracingly cold showers!) and the tents and the whatnot, and to the volunteers out on the course and at the rest stops, and to the Macatawa Cycling Club for putting the thing on and letting us benefit. If ya worked, you'll get paid $15 an hour, though I'm not certain when you'll see that money in your ride tracker account - we'll let ya know.

Sunday we had really excellent turnout for the team ride; in attendance were:

Amy FF, the hostess with the mostess-t
SGS Laurie (I think)
Mel and Scott W.
Katie and Steve C.
Becky and Chris M.
Mister Jasker
Tom M.
Tom and Mary S.
Scott and Linda P.
Chris R, who may have a T-shirt for you
Nick M.
SGS and ACTW Kirsten
SGS and ACM (that's Assistant Coaches Mom) Ginger
aaaand Chief Meteorologist Me.

From our absolutely gorgeous start at Amy's parent's house in Mona Lake, we rode south under lovely skies to Miss Lisa's Ice Cream in Ferrysburg, and then I checked the weather radar on my phone and wondered if my coach's liability insurance covered lightning strikes 'cuz DAMN that was a big blob of red coming. So, we bagged the longer loop and raced north, hoping to stay dry.

We failed.


I don't think I've ever been that wet without actually being immersed in a pool. It was hard to breathe.

Well, none of us melted, at least, and none of us got zapped, and really the storm passed through pretty quickly and was replaced by nice puffy clouds and blue skies. The food came out, the grill came on, and there was eating and cameraderying and stand-up paddling and footbiking and then a really, really nice pontoon boat ride out to Lake Michigan for some swimming. This ended up easily being a top-10 list team ride, once it was all said and done!

Our next team ride will be August 1, hosted by Mike Howard - more information to come!

Thanks for coming out Sunday; you folks define rocking!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hey! Stuff! Riding! Weekend! Words!

This Saturday is the Holland Hundred - are you riding? Let's use this spot to maybe plan up when to meet and start riding, if you want to be riding with some folks. Right now, it looks like we've got a few people starting right around 7 in the morning. It appears that the event is going to be pretty big, so getting rolling early might be advisable, from an "I really like pancakes" point of view.

Or, are you working? $15 an hour into your ride tracker account (or $30, or $45, if you can round up some family and/or friends to help)! We have spots open on the morning parking patrol from 6-9 am, and there may be others as well - give me a shout and I'll put you in touch with the appropriate personnel.

And Sunday we will, of course, have a team ride, because, well, that's pretty much how the schedule has worked out this year, isn't it? As we did after the 100 Grand, we'll have a main route and an ice cream route for you and your possibly sore tuckus to choose between. Rollout time will be the crack o' noon, and we'll be riding from Amy Fisher's parents' place on Mona Lake - look for an email with map information later this week.

Also Saturday, whatever you're doing, bend some thoughts to the East, 'cause Lynne Gallagher will be kicking off the official Ride season out at the Burlington, VT Ride. Coach Mike will be out there as well, with his National Head Coach hat on.

Represent, yo!

Friday, July 9, 2010


I'm a tad squemish about using this blog for anything that hints of "commercial enterprise" but I had waterbottles made that match this year's jersey to have in the bike Room @ the Rides and it'd be a dang shame if the members of the World's Coolest Team didn't get first crack at 'em, huh?

4 bucks. Any profits will go to JDRF in one form or another.

Have I mentioned lately how much youse guyz ROCK!?!?!?!?!??!


Thursday, July 8, 2010


If you ordered one of the famous "Pink Pancreas Peloton" jerseys the wait is over!

If you work @ the Spring Lake HM facility Coach Did picked yours up today and will be delivering it soon

If you ordered (and paid for) one - it's @ Velo City waitin' for you. Coach Did will also have the box of jerseys w/ him @ the Holland Hundred. (And we'll have 'em at all the Team Rides 'til they're gone)

If you ordered one but have yet to pay for it - it's @ Velo City....but it's not on "hold" and there's no guarantee that someone else won't buy it. (So get'cher butt down here is what I'm sayin')

Wow - can you believe it's Holland Hundred time already!?!?!?!? I sure can't believe that I'll be in VT a week from now, at the first Ride to Cure of 2010! As bummed as I am to be missing the HH I can't wait to get this season rolling - 'cuz it's gonna be the best ever!

You guys have fun and be safe next weekend as you rock the HH and the Team Ride the following day - I'l be thinkin' about 'cha!

You guys rock - and I'll never get tired of telling you all that!

Coach Mike

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Team Ride Video

Okay, for those of you who haven't been on FaceBook or checked out our blog here's the video from last weekend's ride.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Team Ride Report, Jooleye ThreeJD

Undeterred by the looming Celebrate-America-By-Blowing-Part-Of-It-To-Smithereens holiday festivities, twenty-one brave souls gathered at Holland's Smallenburg Park today for what proved to be an entertainingly eventfull not-quite-45-mile ride.

Roll call:

First off, Lynne G - who will be representin' for the team at the Burlington, Vermont ride in exactly TWO WEEKS!
Cindy A. & SGS Greg E.
Herb & Brenda B.
SGS Bonnie S.
Charles B (up from K-zoo for possibly his first team ride)
Becky & Chris M.
Stewart M.
Chris R.
Tom & Ian Sch.
Kaaaaaat (every thousand miles she gets an extra "a" in her knickname)
Jeff H.
SGS and ACTW (and team pack horse) Kirsten D.
MC & Linda C.
and Head Oaf Me.

We had a couple of encounters with the dread chipseal monster, one of which gave Cindy her first flat of the day (note the implication that there were more!), and probably contributed to MC's front going mushy too. Hopefully that'll be more packed down and less loose by the Holland Hundred. Much more impressive was the kamikaze wildlife focusing on Ian - first a butterfly gave a go, and then, of all things, a bird strike! Understandably startled, Ian executed the cycling equivalent of the Triple Lindy, somehow managing to stay upright while extracting himself from his ditch-bound bike. Well done, young sir; I salute you.

One more flat pink tire and a bunch of miles later, we returned to the park for the inevitable void-filling session, featuring SGS Bonnie's Texas Sheet Cake, which you need to experience, as well as those funny little sandwich buns that are showing up in stores now (with, of course, some sandwich fixins to stick in 'em). Camaraderie was much in abundance, as it always is with this fine bunch o' folks.

So, our next team ride will be July 18 - which is the day after the Holland Hundred, and so will prominently feature a "recovery loop" option ideally including ice cream. Right now we're looking at riding from Ada Park; we'll confirm that as we get closer, though, and if you'd be interested in hosting lemme know.

Now, the Holland Hundred! Are ya riding? Are ya workin? Are ya both-ing? Awesome! I expect we're still looking for volunteers to work Friday night before, and at various times on Saturday during the ride. John Jasker's your contact person for that; his contact info will be in your email. If you're riding, I know Kirsten and I will be looking for company; we're planning on doing the whole kit n' kaboodle, leaving pretty early in the morning. Get in touch and we'll make arrangements, eh?

Hey, they Tour de France is on now! It's just like what we do! Except really, really fast. And with guys with names like Fabian and Cadel. And much less, y'know, awesome. We know awesome quite well, don't we?

Friday, July 2, 2010


Hey Gang!

An e-mail from New Team Guy Walt got me to thinking - why don't we have a way for team mates to let each other know about any other rides that they do on a regular (or at least semi-regular) basis? This blog is the perfect way to do that - let's all get in the habit of listing any rides that we think our teammies may wanna get in on 'cuz the more chances to ride the better says I!

I'll go first - just 'cuz that's how I like to roll:

Tuesday - VCC ride @ 6:00pm. 4 groups, 19 and 29 mile loops.
Thursday - VCC ride @ 8:30am. 25-ish miles @ a "recovery" pace of 17-18. Bagel stop!
Thursday - VCC ride @ 8:15pm. 35-40 miles in the twilight.
Friday - VCC ride @ 8:30am. 25 miles @ 19-20mph. Bagel stop!
Saturday - VCC ride @ 8am. Fast! Stop Ahead Sign sprints, lotsa high 20's mph. 25 miles.
Details on all these rides @ and the shop's FB page.

Other Holland area rides include the Macatawa Cycling Club's Monday Night Ride @ 6:30pm and the Sweet Roll Ride on Sat morning. More info @

Any or all of these rides would give you a few more chances to ride during the week. Fellow JDRF-ers John Jasker, Tom Miller, Brad Spooner, Cindy Aley, Nicole Nelles, Coach Did & Kaat Tahy are often spotted along for the ride(s)!

Who's next?

See you guys tomorrow (hopefully) or soon!

Coach Mike