Monday, September 27, 2010


'Twas a hardy (and select!) buncha JDRF teammies gathered in the wind, occasional drizzle and chill last Saturday @ Ada Park for the next-to-last Team Ride of September. Coach Did had prepared 2 rides fulla challenge and elevation change and after a few minutes of discussion it was "onward and upward" for the group, comprised of Coach Did, Tom M, Nick M, myself and for the 1st time - Dara from Dewitt, the latest addition to The World's Coolest Team. We rolled east, then up the big climb on Snow and played around on that side o' town. Tom had the only flat of the day but we ended up cuttin' it a bit short to get back to the park by 11:40 to be ready for the "2nd shift". 29 miles to be exact.
Waiting for us @ the park were the Machutas, Mike H and the lovely Linda C. Dara took off, having accomplished her longest ride ever, and off we went for points north. We went through Ada and up towards Cannonsburg and all the hills and dales up that-a-way. It was still pretty breezy, kinda chilly and spit a little rain every once in awhile. We hung in, bid Tom adieu about 15 miles in and worked our way up, around and over for a total of 47 miles. (Or as Linda would call it- "50") Cookies and various munchies were consumed in the parking lot afterwards before we split up for the day. Total for both rides - 76 miles (or as Linda would say "80", 1 flat, lotsa climbing.

The next day brought us to the Apple Cider Century, a great ride down near the In border featuring (surprise!) apple cider, 5 routes and 5500 riders. I saw a buncha team mates down there - Brad S, Team Scheidel (all 3), John J, Penny E, Kaat T, Herb and Brenda B, Stewart M, Cindy A and Mel W. It was a challenging day - hilly, windy and brisk. Easily yhr toughest century I've done this year! Still - a day in the saddle w/ friends 'tis a fine day indeed and we were blessed to have just exactly that!

So - that's enough about the past - even the pretty-dang-recent past! Let's talk about the future! Egg-zac-lee 17 days from right now our DV squad will be in or en route to Death Valley! I dunno about y'all but I can not wait! To those of you that will be @ your 1st Ride - I envy you and for the rest of you - you know what I'm talkin' about ! It's going to be a wild, wonderful, inspiring and exhausting weekend!
I promise!
Now - 'tween now and then are 2 important things so read on please!

This Saturday is the last team ride before Death Valley and I really hope we see a good turnout! It'd be awesome-beyond-awesome to see our LaCrosse, VT and Tucson riders here to show their support for their desert-bound teammies too. Here's the scoop:

We'll roll fromVelo City Cycles in Holland (the reason for that will be revealed in a paragraph or two) @ 10:00 sharp. The 1st ride will be the infamous "Llama Loop" of shopride fame - a 28 or so mile jaunt out S.W. of town. We'll roll back in and meet up w/ anyone that wants to join us for Ride numero dos, which'll roll @ 12:30. That one will be 45-50 miles so we'll be back around 4pm. There is talk of grabbin 'a bite across the street @ the brewpub afterwards so stay flexible if you can.

Afterwards you can leave you bike @ the shop 'cuz the Gainey Truck will be here later that day to pick 'em up for the trip to DV. Again - make sure your bike is ready to ship - remove computers, bottles etc and you can also send a bag (well marked and identified) along w/ your bike.

Not able to make the ride? Your bike needs to be here by 5pm Saturday 10/2 or it ain't gonna be waiting for ya in the Valley! If you're gonna want some work done make sure we have it a day or 2 ahead of time, okay?

I think that covers it - thanks for working your way all the way to the end here - I know that was lotsa words but - hey - lotsa say, y'know?

Hard to believe it's almost October - hard to believe we're talking about the last ride prior to DV, hard to believe that we've been on this journey for 6 seasons now. (The Ride journey that is - I know that many of you have been on the Type 1 journey for far longer than that and I salute and admire you!)

In 19 days we'll be on the road to Jubilee Pass, riding in that desert heat and sun and wind surrounded by 400-some of the finest people you'd ever wanna meet. It's going to be awesome - just like all of you are - and I can't wait.

So - keep riding, keep raising $, keep rocking like you all do so well!

See you this weekend!
Coach Mike

Dogs for Dollars TONIGHT

Come on up to Rockford tonight. Join us at the Corner Bar between 5 and 9 p.m. The Corner will be donating 15% of all food purchases to the JDRF Ride Team, specifically Tom, Mary and Ian Scheidel. Print the attached coupon and bring it along. If you forget, don't worry, we'll have some available there.
We did this a couple a years ago right before we left for Death Valley and had a great time. Sort of a team send off party. See you tonight.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


It would seem to be a bit toasty in Death Valley...

Who'da guessed?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good News, Everyone! Ya get to keep yer bike longer!

Hey folks, change in our bike shipping plans for Death Valley!

We've been able to move the pickup date back to Saturday, October 2 in the evening. Not coincidentally, we're having a team ride that day, from Velo City Cycles - so you'll be able to get in a last ride, then you'll be able to leave your bike to be lovingly placed into the sweet embrace of a mess o' shipping blankets way up at the front of the trailer.

I've also confirmed that you can send a small bag with some stuff in it, as long as you make sure that it's clearly labelled as yours, and where it's going, and all that. That bag's a good place to put your helmet, shoes, and water bottles, assuming you won't need those items in the week and a half after the last team ride (*cough* Colorburst Tour *hack* October 9 *wheeze* if you've got a spare bike *cough*).

So, cool beans, eh?

Now, you're going to get an email very shortly here that you MUST respond to - by the end of the day Friday, we have to have a list of bikes that are going to on the truck, regardless of what fundraising package you're signed up for. So, look for that.

Otherwise, the rest of the information stands - team ride this Saturday from Ada Park, 9am rollout! Doing the team ride AND the Apple Cider Century on Sunday would be great training, I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Awright, now, pay attention!

I just got off the phone with MC, who had just gotten off the phone with Aly at the JDRF.

We have finalized Death Valley bike transportation information for EVERYONE on the team.

First off, for Silver and Bronze Package riders, you CAN ship your bike on the truck to Death Valley. The cost will be $150 for the round-trip shipment.

So that's good news.

Now, for EVERYONE on the team who is going to Death Valley:

The truck will be picking up the bikes in the morning on Thursday, September 30. Yes, that is in 9 days. We are not yet certain where the bikes will be picked up from, but it's a safe bet it'll be either the Chapter office in GR, or from Velo City in Holland. We'll have that information for you shortly.

You will need to have your bike to the pick-up location by the end of the day on Wednesday, September 29.

Paul (the driver) is not planning to be in Death Valley until the Thursday before the ride, and our bikes will be waaaay up at the front of the truck. So, if you are one of the few folks planning to do MC's Thursday ride up to Dante's View and around Golden Canyon, you will need to box and ship your bike to Death Valley - please investigate the AirCaddy/ option for that. I suppose you could do that if you don't want to give up your bike so early, but for Gold package people my guess is that you'd be on your own for that, cost-wise, since JDRF is already paying for the truck.

So, that's not the greatest situation for us, I guess - it means that your last chance to go on a really good long ride is this weekend - but, then again, it doesn't matter one whit what how much, or even if, we ride in Death Valley. It's the money we've raised that will get us closer to a cure!

Team Ride Report, Team Ride Notice, etc.

Yeah, so, I know, we didn’t publicize the team ride Saturday morning all that well, but nevertheless, the parking lot at Richmond Park was full of cars, and the place was humming with activity! Tents were being set up, people in strange clothes wandered around chatting with each other, it was the busiest team ride I’ve ever seen!

Ok, so the vast majority of the people were there for the Grand Rapids Pagan Pride day festivities. In fact, they all were, except for 3 of us. And two of us were coaches. That would not stop us from our planned 51ish mile ride, no sir it would not! Nor would the rain or the really awesome lightning! Yep, we headed out, a peloton of 3, and rolled south, and promptly stopped for a flat tire. With the shard of brown glass extracted from Coach Mike's front tire, we continued south, and promptly stopped to visit the nice folks at the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. Some of these nice folks looked vaguely familiar, although I have trouble recognizing people in non-skintight clothing.

Well, after inserting ourselves in to a team photo, we continued riding north! The city streets disappeared beneath our wheels as Kaat guided us along through Grand Rapids, unfailingly bringing us to Richmond Park, where... wait, what? Weren't we just there? Ah, bugger it. Kaat had to go to work, MC wanted to get his 'cross bike prepped for racing, and me, well, my saddle and I haven't been on the best terms lately, so after a whopping 6.24 miles, that was kinda enough. We changed clothes and went for some breakfast.

So there ya go.

Now, THIS Saturday, September 25, we'll try this again! We will have a team ride from Ada Park (here: with a 9 am sharp rollout time for the first loop, and a Noon rollout for the second loop. Figure on 35 miles for loop 1, 45 or so for loop 2, and some basic gustation between and after the rides. It's 3 weeks before the Death Valley ride, so a couple of good, long rides would definitely be appropriate.

On Sunday, the 26th, there are a few of us going to visit one of our more far-flung team members; if you're interested in meeting and riding with Dara, let me know. Or just go and have fun at the Apple Cider Century!

As always, keep riding the good ride and rocking the good rock - we're getting hard in to the buildup to DV, so keep your eyes open for information and never hesitate to ask me or Mike or any of the Ride Committee for anything if you've got questions!

See ya Saturday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

WXMI-17 news tomorrow

Tuesday is the TV live shot at the dam in Rockford. If you can't be there at 4:00 try and come by at 6:00. We'd like lots of riders in the background for the live shots. Wear JDRF or pink pancreas jerseys. If you have questions contact Tom Scheidel.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Harvest Ride 2010

A weekend of Maggies - Maggie DeBoer, Peggy (Maggie) Miller and Maggie Stone.

Hosted by Peggy Miller - who Saturday late afternoon/evening treated not only the Maggies, but also Tom Miller, Rob Andro and yours truly JD Stone to a fabulous afternoon and evening that included a canoe ride, far East appetizers, pasta dinner with caesar salad (Maggie Stone supplied), fabulous local breads, a spectacular view of Lake Leelanau, and after dinner a roaring fire in the fireplace laced with great conversation, many laughs and some semi serious discussion on where things stand with finding a cure. Oh and did I mention the five berry pie locally baked earlier that day. Scrumptuous topped with ice cream.

Then it was early to bed and very early to ride - up at 5:45. Broke the fast with yogurt, granola, some fruit, and of course hot coffee.

The group broke into two - those doing the 25 mile loop Maggie S and Peggy with some of her relatives - who kinda got to sleep in while the other group of Tom, Rob, Maggie D and JD made lots of noise getting dressed for the metric century ride trying to figure out what to wear when the current temp is 45 degrees but expected to rise to the mid to high 50's.

Knees were covered most of the day. Two miles into the ride for all routes is a grade 7 climb(that's steeper than the Jubilee climb at DV) up to inspiration point. We commenced promptly at 8 AM and it was COLD!!

Blessed with sunshine it began to warm as the sun poked through. Beautiful views througout the day. Our mini-pace line was joined for awhile by an older gentleman by the name of Douglas who rode his 26 mtb wearing sandals, and shorts with a very unique riding form.

Food stop #1 about 24 miles in - really great cookies along with the customary bananas, misc. munchies and beverages.

The route took us east of lake Michigan and then north almost to the top of the east side of lake Leelanau (North lake L) and at the northern most point was Food Stop #2.

Some of the best chili we've ever had - Rob was horsing it down and warned the rest of us not to miss it. We didn't.

From there it was south along the Western shore of Lake L (south lake L) and of course more hills. There was no paucity of hills. In fact there was virtually no flat during this ride, you were either climbing at 7 or 8 mph or screaming down hills at speeds at times exceeding 35 pmh.

Food stop #3 had the best cookies - all home made and many varieties - I had the pumpkin with cranberry and added some locally made peanut butter.

Finally we made it to the finish - changed in to civies and guess what a hot meal of browned rice, with steamed vegetables garnished with a choice of plumb , sweet & sour or terriyake(sp?) sauce, a salad w choice of dressing. Followed by home-made ice cream cones, served outside at picnic tables.

All of this was included in the entry fee. What a deal. Great views, cool weather, lots of friendly people, a challenging Death Valley esq ride, and the hostes and host Peggy and Gene-O Miller - who shared their cottage built in the early 1900's with the JDRF crew who were able to make it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Be a TV star

Another great publicity opportunity has come our way. TV 17 wants to feature our team on their September 21st newscasts. This will include some taped interviews that will run during the 10:00 p.m. news and a live shot at 6:15 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. So if you want to be involved (and why wouldn't you) here's the details.

Show up at the Rockford dam in downtown Rockford at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21. Wear JDRF or pink peleton jerseys. Tim Doty from TV 17 will meet us there. He will conduct some interviews then we'll do a short ride north on the White Pine Trail. We will stop at a couple of locations to allow the cameraman to get some action shots. For those who want to ride more there will be an extended route available. We will plan on being back at the dam area at 6:00 p.m. to get ready for the live shot. The dam is one block west of the Corner Bar. A good after party location.

This will be happening rain or shine. If you want more details please contact Tom Scheidel.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Hi from the Reno Int'l Airport & Casino

Here we sit, one tired person (me) and two absolutely dead wiped out people (MC & Berger) waiting to hurtle through the stratosphere in an aluminum tube. Ya ever wonder what Orville and Wilbur Wright might think of air travel a century after they first flew? I sometimes think they'd just apologize then go home and burn their Flyer.

Then again, without the $5 stale peanuts and flabby, smelly seatmates, I wouldn't have gotten out to the Lake Tahoe area for the past couple of days. I got to see a JDRF ride from a different point of view, and it's pretty much just as cool. I got here Sunday mid-afternoon, and had the slightly discordant experience of following a couple of fully kitted up JDRF riders as they rolled their bikes across the casino floor to the Bike Room.

Lake Tahoe is almost indescribably gorgeous - shades of blue going from pale to deep as the lake gets deeper, with rocky, wooded mountains all around. Indeed, the only ugly spot - the pimple on the supermodel - is Stateline, Nevada, home of the Montbleu Casino and the headquarters of the Ride. As MC said, it's a pretty blah place, at least 20 years older than the Vegas Strip places. Without the casino, it'd just be a kinda meh hotel, I guess. What made it not so hot for us was that the Bike Room was a windowless conference room in the bowels of the place, with inadequate light and distant bathrooms. And we spent a LOT of time in there. Maybe that's why we got through packing the bikes quicker than we'd expected; the urge to get out of there was powerful.

Out we got, though, for some good foodstuffs and, yesterday afternoon, a drive around the course backwards from the ride direction.

Just, wow. There are ride-off-the-side-of-the-road views almost everywhere. I wanted to be on my bike really badly, with a whole day to kill and full batteries in a nice camera.

So, would I recommend riding here? Well, mostly, yeah. The route is a no-brainer. It's only 72 miles, no option for 100, but it's very hilly and at high enough altitude to make a big difference. I think you'd need just as much fitness to ride this as you would to ride a full century. You could approach this ride differently, too - you could push and be done by noon and hang out for the rest of the day, or loaf your way through, stopping and soaking it all in. Did I mention the views?

The road surfaces are very good, but there's not much shoulder (or room for a shoulder!) in a lot of it, and the traffic can be tight as a result. But, they do get 1800 riders around the lake; there were lots of event-specific signs and such.

Being a piggyback ride, it'd have a very different feel than the DV all-JDRF all the time enforced cameraderie. Getting away from the casino would help some, at least.

So, basically, yeah, I'd recommend it, as long as you keep your expectations away from the Death Valley standard. Unfortunately that's kind of a damning thing to say about the ride. The DV standard is perhaps unreasonably high - but deservedly so. That place is special.

Anyway, on a more practical front, we WILL have a team ride this Saturday morning. We'll ride from Richmond Park in Grand Rapids at 9 AM, with the intention of doing roughly 50 miles. There won't be a dual-start option this time. We'll roll through the JDRF Walk event area too, so I'd suggest wearing your favorite ride day jersey (the Hincapie ones with the full zip, not necessarily the Pink Peloton jerseys, unless you want to).

4 weeks from today we head to DV! Pahrump! Supplies! The Date Palm Grove! The Pool! The Wonderfulness of Being Us! Daaamn but I can't wait!

See you Saturday...


I'v been here a full week and depending on the moment it seems either much longer or much less than that!

Yesterday went pretty much according to plan - amazingly enough. In the Bike Room by 8, the last 20 bikes packed up (including mine - no trip back up the switchbacks, sigh) by noon. Okay - 12:10. Off to ye olde cheap but yummy burrito emporium and a stop for ice cream. Back to the confines of the Bike Room by 2-ish and the dozen or so boxes containing our tools, workstands, pumps, parts, tubes, tires and suchlike were taped shut and affixed w/ shipping labels by 4:30.



I wanna thank Jeremy for all his work and Derek for comin' out here for the last 3 days. You guys rock!

Last night we were sitting next to the window @ a place called the Blue Agave in Tahoe City on the other side of the lake. Coach Did & I were talking about this Ride and whether you guys might wanna consider it. We sorta decided "yes", w/ a few qualifiers, most of which I covered in earlier posts.

We might oughta talk about it over the winter though.

So, another Ride in the win column and that's pretty dang cool. A Team Ride this weekend - ditto.
Harvest Fest Ride - ditto ditto.
More rides, and before you know it.................a big buncha us will be wingin' it back out this-a-way, bound for Death Valley!

Ditto X 1000000000!

Speaking of this Saturday, details are still being figgered out but you can count on a 9am start time @ a park near downtown GR, a short ride over to the Walk and then back out to get 50-ish miles in.

See you guys soon, can't wait to get back in the 616!

Keep rockin'!

Coach MC

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Turn out the lights, the party's over.

Boy, is it! By noon today virtually everyone of the 200+ riders, staff, crew and families had left Lake Tahoe, their memories glowing hot w/ thoughts of a great weekend and plenty o' BikeFace!

'Cept for the Bike Room Crew - Jeremy, Derek and yours truly. We have lots to do!

I was up @ 5, at breakfast by 6 and in the Bike Room @ 7. Riders started pickin' up their bikes pretty much right away (Jeremy, Did and Chase had packed all the ones goin' home by plane after the Ride on Sunday). By 9:30 'twas pretty much just us and we commenced a-packin' bikes in earnest. (Ok - in boxes, actually.) (Sorry).

Broke for lunch w/ Trish-n-Aly and then bid them adieu and then 'twas truly just the 3 Amigos! Back @ it 'til 7:30 or so and then called it a day. A long but good day.

We have 20 more bikes to pack - kinda thinking we can have them done by noon or so. A quick trip to our fav cheap burrito joint and then back to pack up all our tools and parts and workstands, and pumps and tires and tubes and rags and rolls of tape and...and...and....

...and then we'll be done.

Time to finalize DV plans! (Working on it!)
Time to ride this weekend! (Watch for details soon!)
Time to go home. (!!!!!!!!!!!)

By the way - in the "How Weird is That?" Department it didn't escape mine and Did's notice how fundamentally weird it is to be sitting in the coffee shop of a seedy casino in South Lake Tahoe planning a Team Ride!

Jus' sayin'.

So - another big win for the Good Guys! $650+k raised for research, major BikeFace achieved and recorded and on we go to the next stop for this crazy train!

Sure hope we see you this Saturday - stay tuned for the scoop!



Monday, September 13, 2010

THREE FOR THREE! (Tahoe Report Day 5)

Complete success at that!

In short - a pretty damn great day.

5:00am came early (when doesn't it?) and 1 by 1 we rolled into breakfast. Folks kept checkin' as they shoveled in the eggs, taters, bacon, toast oatmeal etc but no matter how often someone checked it sorta stayed 36-frickin' degrees.

No matter!

6:30 - kitted up in arm and knee warmers, vest, full gloves I gathered up a group and we went across the street to the start line. The choice of attire spanned the range from full shoe covers and balaclavas to a few hardy locals dressed for the anticipated (and hours away) 74 degrees.

Off we roll - in the first wave. The route went right down HWY 50-the same way we've been driving pretty much everyday to this great lil ' burrito joint - and across the state line and into the "cooler" part of South Lake Tahoe. (IE the California side). 5-6 miles through town and then we took a right to follow the shore of the lake. By now faster riders from the next wave were blowin' past us (a precurser to the entire day!) and things got crowded. I found myself (surprise!) @ the back w/ 82 year old Barbara and the 2 of us quickly fell off the pace. Tim St Clair caught us a short time later and for a while she had the entire National Coaching Staff as her personal wingmen. She called it a day @ the base of the 1st big climb (mile 9.5) and climbed into a sag wagon, leaving TSC and I to try and catch our riders up the steepest climb of the day. a few miles later it was obvious that it wasn't gonna happen so Berger jumped us forward 'til we saw some JDRF folks to ride with. Thus we were deprived of riding the steepest portion of the course, but I might try to get out there in the next 2 days and remedy that. Some MAJOR switchbacks to be sure! I hooked up w/ Jenny-from-LA, who I've ridden w/ in Whitefish and Sonoma.
We finished the climb, enjoyed the 2 mile descent and rolled into Breakpoint 2. Found more JDRF riders there - scooped 'em up and enjoyed the flat-out gorgeous North end of the lake.

I bid 'em farewell when we reached the dock where the ferry came in - we had 10-15 riders on it and Tim and I wanted to make sure they weren't behind us. Waited there for a bit, he showed up w/ Lauren-from San Fran and we started up the other big climb of the day, a Jubilee pass-esque romp up to Spooner Junction, the high point of the ride @ 7044'. From there a mostly downhill (yes, I mean that) 16 mile ride into the finish awaited.

I rode in w/ Lauren and a couple women from Tex that I remember from previous years. (Too bad I can't remember their names!) We came in around 4pm, about 5 minutes ahead of Tim ridin' sweep w/ Coach Keith and our last rider.

Dinner was great - after a pretty low-key Friday night TSC and I split up the mic duties and managed to rev 'em up a bit. David Nestveld did a great job presenting the 2 (!!!) Spirit jerseys and....well......I think we achieved both BikeFace and goosebumps!

As I said - we're 3 for 3! And I gotta tell ya - it feels damn good!

So - should we consider this Ride? Well...the answer is yes and no. Here are a few thoughts:

Yes - a fabulous route. Imagine the best of Whitefish and Asheville turned to 11! The nearly constant views of the lake, the cool little towns (all way cali!) the weather - all awesome!

No - LOTS of traffic! I mean lots. The route is mostly on tight and sometimes twisty 2 lanes, with or without guardrails. The locals were described as "cyclist friendly and accustomed to sharing the road" but.......not all of 'em got that memo it would seem! Lotsa cyclist traffic too, w/ a total of 1800+ riders. Not many of 'em have heard of the concept of "on your left" neither, based on the evidence. The other issue (for me at least) has been this shabby, 2nd rate old casino as Ride HQ and chief lodging. Now - obviously if I'm on record as hating Vegas then S. Tahoe's Vegas-wannabe nature ain't gonna thrill me. Based on the feedback I bet they change the venue.

Maybe - the limited route selection. There is only a 36 and 73 mile option and given that it's a loop ride the only way to cut it short is via a sag wagon.

Now - there's also the whole "It's Not Just Our Ride" thing, but that might hafta be another post 'cuz your ol' buddy MC is hittin' the wall HARD and is gonna call it a day. A great day, but a day nonetheless.

2 more days of hard work remain. As of noon tomorrow Jeremy, Did and I will be it. Gonna be lonely!

See you next weekend I hope! Look for details of the Saturday Team Ride soon!

Love you guys, you rock!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Off-the-books somewhat team Ride on Sunday, 9/26

Hi team. Was talking with our teammate Dara B. the other day. She's back from her family vacation to Ireland, and ready to Ride. Dara lives in DeWitt, which happens to be where Steve & I lived before we became Grand Rapidians, and also happens to be where my brother lives.

So... we've put together an off-the-books, somewhat of a team ride for Sunday, 9/26. We'll plan on a 50+ pretty flat miles route (I don't remember ANY hills up there - but I was never on a bike so.... ). We'll start at 10a at Katie's brother's house (look for team email with location).

We know some people are riding in the team ride on Saturday the 25th, and there are a bunch of the team riding in the Apple Cider Century on Sunday too. We hope there are a few people who want to trek to a spot just north of Lansing to meet a new rider (who has come within a few bucks of her minimum already!!), and enjoy a nice Fall ride. We are hoping to snag in past-Ride to Cure riders Patti Bills & Kris Bentley-Couturier to join us.

Let Katie know if you are interested in joining.


So - it's come to this. 160-some riders. 10 crew. 3 staff. An untold # of volunteers. All gathered here in (or at least in the vicinity of) a slightly shabby hotel/casino in South Lake Tahoe. Riders from 35 Chapters. Coaches from 12. Bikes from all over.

I guess we might as well ride tomorrow, huh?

Let's pause a sec here for the weather report: Sunny. No humidity (like none, like Death Valley none!) Low of 48. High of 85. Ooooohhhhhh dang!

Now, as someone that's spent the better part of every waking minute since Wed in a gloomy conference room deep in the bowels of this joint you might be getting the impression that I'm more-than-ready to ride tomorrow.

Very astute.
Did my poker face slip?

To say that I'm hot to ride is akin to saying that Custer misjudged his opponent. That the captain of the Titanic made a slight error, that......well....never mind. Let's just say that I'm dyin' to soak up some sunshine, breath in some of that high-mountain air and leave it at that.

Anyway - today was a full day. Up and @ breakfast by 6:30. In the Bike Room @ 7:30, off to the Coach's Mtg @ 8 and the riders mtg @ 9. Lotsa weird (to us) logistics on this'n. .....only 2 distance choices, 36 or 72 miles and the shorter one involves a trip 'cross the lake on a sternwheel steamer ferry. 1640 non JDRF riders sharing the roads w/ us. No JDRF-specific vehicles, rest stops or tech support. Weird.

Decent % of new riders here. Tim and I kinda split up dinner after a video about Phil Sutherland that Chris from.......umm........Georgia? made. Not the liveliest crowd I've ever seen @ a Ride to say the least. A "tough crowd" you might say. But we did our thing, green and yellow jerseys distributed, BikeFace discussed, applause shared and accepted.

So - the bikes are ready, tired pumped, bottled filled, kits laid out on spare beds all through the hotel. This time tomorrow the 1st Ever JDRF Tahoe Ride will be history and I'll tell y'all about it as soon as I can.

Goodnight from Rm 807.

Coach MC

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TAHOE REPORT, DAY 3 (tardy!)

Okay, so I had every intention of droppin' y'all a line every night but last night I

In brief, my day started @ 5:30am and I crawled/limped/dragged meself back up here to Rm 807 @ 11:15 pm.

A long day.

As previously stated, Jeremy, Chase and I got 50-some bikes assembled on um.........Thursday maybe? so when we flipped the lights on in the Bike Room 24 hours ago we thought we were in pretty good shape to get everything done that needed to be done by the time the reception started @ 6:30 pm last night. Hell - I'd even confess to thoughts of havin' time to clean up before dinner maybe.


As riders came in all day productivity dropped of as we had to "entertain", visit, catch up etc. Do NOT get me wrong - I freakin' love it - but the result of that was that when dinner was served we were still 7-9 bikes away from being "done". It didn't help that 1 chapter's worth of bikes showed up w/ them on an airport shuttle @ 7pm!

It was a groggy, crabby Bike Room crew that was putting the finishing touches on the last bike @ 11 pm to be sure!

I know - whine whine bitch bitch. Just lemme wallow in it here for a sec, okay? You can always skip down a bit to where I'm telling you how blue the lake is, how fine the weather is, hew flat-out great it is to be lucky enough to be allowed to be a part of the Awesome Thing that a Ride to Cure is.

And it is, to be sure!

Today (since as you have probably ascertained the Ride is on Sunday) is coach meeting, rider meeting, tune-up ride, fit seminar, bike 101 seminar and maybe even drive the course day. Hopefully the weather stays just like this for tomorrow - not a cloud, temps in the high 60's ( we are @ 6200' after all - it's gonna be cold @ the start!) and in a day or so I'm telling you that once again this Ride was the Best One Ever.

Stay tuned. Have I mentioned how much y'all rock?

Keep Tahoe Blue!


Friday, September 10, 2010


Okay - so when you say "Lake Tahoe" I don't immediately think "low rent Vegas-y casino" but that's kinda where we are. The Montbleu Casino and Resort in downtown South Lake Tahoe to be egg-zact. Complete w/ the clamor of slot machines, the faint (at least!) smell of cigerette smoke and the umm......colorful people watching!

Not 100% our style, would you say?

I'd hafta agree.

Still - we're here and as of tomorrow so will some 180 riders and family and volunteers. And come Sunday they'll join 1650 other riders for a challenging and ab-so-lut-ly BEAUTIFUL ride around that awesome lake I can see glimpses of from the hotel.

I think it'll be just fine.

We got here about 4pm yesterday, got the Bike Room set up, grabbed dinner @ a forgettable Mex joint (one of 15 or so!) and got 10 bikes assembled before the combination of gettin' up @ 3am, travel and a 3 hour time change caught up w/ us. Today we cranked about 40 more together, so we have 25-35 to do tomorrow. The riders show up tomorrow, for the most part. (The Ride is on Sunday so everything's a day off). Chase has been helping build bikes and Derek will be here(yep - our Derek!) for the even bigger job of re-packing bikes early next week.

Stay tuned - I'll fill you in as the week unfolds.

I hope some of you are gonna ride the MapleLeaf this weekend........DV ain't too far off y'know!

Ride on Rockstars!

Coach Mike

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Raise Funds by Eating

There are two opportunities coming up where you can help raise money for the cause and all you have to do is eat. You're probably asking yourself "Can fighting diabetes really be that easy?" You betcha! Check this out.

Wednesday, September 15th, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids.
15% of all food and non-alcohol sales will be donated to JDRF. This event is organized by riders Nicole Nelles and Chris and Becky Machuta. Click here for the flyer. Wet burrito anyone?

Monday, September 27th, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Corner Bar in Rockford.
15% of all food sales will be donated to JDRF. Come on up and have a few world famous Corner Bar hot dogs. This event is organized by riders Tom, Mary and Ian Scheidel. Click here for a flyer to print and give to your server.

Join us as we eat our way to a cure.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Hey Team!

Lin and I (and our entire extended fam) are down here in the Ozarks celebratin' my folks 50th anniversary and I just wanted to wish y'all a great ride today, a fabulous holiday weekend and a happy start to September!

The fact that it's September means that Death Valley is next freakin' month for many of us and that gets me all kinds of fired up!

It means that Tucson is ever closer as well!

I leave (along w/ Berger) for the Tahoe Ride 1st thing Wed morn - we have twice as many bikes as ever before to assemble so we'll be there a full week to get it all done. Coach Did is even comin' out after the Ride to help us pack 'em all up so despite the fact that we have no riders in Tahoe - yet again West Mi will be represented!

Lotsa rides comin' up - "official" Team Rides as well as plenty of tours. Let's talk amongst ourselves and make sure that we take advantage of the opportunities, okay? Looking ahead there's the MapleLeaf Metric, The Harvest Tour, The Apple Cider Century and the Colorburst Tour 'tween now and DV!

Speaking of DV - I know that there's been lotsa talk about bike transport (for Silver and Bronze package folks) and I'll have a handle on that when we get back from Tahoe. The loss of the Gainey truck sponsorship for this season has forced us to improvise a bit and basically we're figuring out the logistics of the next Ride while we're @ the current one. Less than ideal? Probably, but we'll get it done.

So - have a great ride if you can make it, make sure to remember why we're all hip-deep in this project in the 1st place and I'll look forward to seeing and riding w/you soon!

You guys are rockstars, you know that, right?


Be safe, ride lots!

Coach MC

Friday, September 3, 2010

New ride video

Here you go. A short video from this past Sunday's team ride.

I'm watchin' you!

Just wondering if this would work!