Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Mukluk Day Out

OK, so, Mukluks. What's a Mukluk? It's a fatbike. What's a fatbike, then? This:

A fatbike is a machine for taking you freakin' ANYWHERE. Superficially, they're mountain bikes, but instead of 2ish inch tires, these are built around silly-huge 4 or even 5 inch wide rubber. All that tire means you can run single-digit air pressure, and that means you float over sand, snow, glop, whatever.

Sand? Wherever might one find sand in Western Michigan??? Well, I found some today!

Yeah, those are my tracks, there. Note how I sink in much less than a person walking! Oh, and, check out my sweet stem cap:

Next summer I aim to ride over the beach, into the water, and out to the sand bar. With tires like these, I think my chances are pretty dang good!

So, Mukkery. It's a whole new way to get yer Bike Face on! And you have the opportunity to win one! $5 per ticket at VCC, and the proceeds go to JDRF. How cool is that?!?!?

Hey, y'all have a great Christmas, OK? See ya soon, I hope...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wanna Win a MukLuk? (And support a team mate?)

If you've been on Coach Did's, Kaat's, JD's or my FaceBook page in the last 2-3 weeks you are well aware that we've all got a pretty flaming case of MukLuk Fever! (If you haven't - and are curious - here's a link for ya:

Anyway - the point here is that you can win one! Uber-team mate and all-around-good-guy Roy Logan has purchased one to be raffled off w/ 100% of the proceeds going to his Ride Account.

Is this the epitome of a "Win-Win" or what? You get a shot at winning a $1600 bike for 5 bucks AND all the $ goes to JDRF!

(Note: since the $ isn't a direct donation to JDRF it's not tax-deductible but big whup, it's 5 bucks, right?)

Anyway - the tickets are available here @ the shop - or you can contact me ( or 616-610-0334) if you need to make other arrangements.

The drawing will be done @ 5pm on 2/29/12.
You need not be present to win.
You can buy as many tickets as ya wanna.
The bike is a Salsa MukLuk 3 - we're gonna try and get the winner the proper size but the bikes are in high demand right now and there may be a delay in doing so. (Jus' sayin')

Questions? you know how to reach me!

Coach Mike

Monday, November 21, 2011

Need ride money?

I was reading Cindy’s latest email request for help at the Van Andel and remembered writing the note below before we went to Death Valley, so I thought I’d finally publish it:

Isn’t the VanAndel Arena great?  I mean, I know that it’s not always a picnic, but I get to see team members I don’t usually get to see over the winter.  This past year I’d say that a good 80+% of the $4000+ that I earned was from that.  This past year I also enlisted more people to help me.  The Howard team in the past 12 months has consisted of Tim and I with guest appearances by Teresa, Taylor, Jasmine, Dawn with a few other rock stars sprinkled in.  If you think about it, if we make $50/person/shift, I had nights when I had 4 of us working and plunking $200 into my ride account.  Once I reached my goal (May or June I think?) then my hours shifted to Tim’s account –  all 6 of us were working on it.  We had no problem hitting the $8000 nut that Tim and I had to cover. 
No problem.
Actually, thanks to the Circus and Hockey events the few couple weeks I’m already $300ish into 2012 (before we even went to DV 2011).
When Cindy sends a good sized schedule I sit down with the calendar and see which days work well for me.  I like weekday hockey and the occasional concert.  The event doesn't matter, we all end up with the same rate per hour at the end of the quarter.  I find just can’t work more than 1 event a week (although I sometimes do).  During the Late Fall and Winter I have Master’s classes, so I have to work around my study time.  But I send back to Cindy as early as I can, a list of what I can work so she can sleep better at night.  I always try to bring a friend with me too.  I want a minimum of $100 going into my account every time I work!

Never done it?  Scared to try?  No problem!  We’ll show you what to do.  Maybe you just want to pour pop?  Great!  Maybe you know how to run a cash register?  Fantastic!  It’s all pretty easy stuff, especially if we have a full crew for an evening.
The point – the VA is a great way to raise funds.  It pains me to hear Cindy struggling with finding resources at the last minute and talking about cancelling events.  It also pains me to see people struggling to fill their ride account$ late in the game.  It’s to our advantage to have a strong pool of willing people.  I don't want to lose this great way to raise funds for the cause.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!  - Mike (

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Feeding Fest - Ride Team, family and friends

Tonight is the night at Tom Miller's in Grand Haven area. Don't have the address, contact Nicole or me at 616 405 4845.

Maggie's special Mexican Chile has been simmering off and on since Wednesday. Lots of goodies are on the list.

I'm posting this just in case you missed all the other notices about this annual event that is a kick off for those going to the Tucson ride and a reminiscing time for those who have already participated in one of the other JDRF fund raising bicycle rides.

See you there,


Friday, October 21, 2011

Bikes coming home TODAY!

Apologies for the late posting, here - I was trying to think of desert limericks and forgot that HEY! Your Bike Will Be Home Today!

So, you need to come pick it up, again from JD Stone's office garage at 10963 Paw Paw Drive just east of Holland (mmmaaap). Pickup times are from 5pm-9pm Friday, October 21 (that's tonight!), or Saturday, October 22 from 10am-2pm. If you can't make one of those times, and you live in the GR area, Coach Mike will be able to bring a VERY few noble steeds to the KissCross race on Sunday at Manhattan Park. Bring a cowbell!

If none of the above options work for you, you need to get in touch with us to make other arrangements. Storage is extremely limited, so we really need you to get your bike today or tomorrow.

Yah OK!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bike Room Verse

So - I'm not quite ready to write about DV yet.....gimme a few days. (Don't let that stop ya'll though - hint!) but I was goin' through the huge pile of receipts and stuff from the last 2 Rides and I found some haiku and other stuff from the Tahoe Ride. It turns out that Patti "Pea" Bills shares my fondness for playin' with words and we started taping little notes all over the wall of the Bike Room w/ our respective efforts at capturing the mood. Since there's not really anywhere else to put it - here ya go:

From lycra and sweat
Riders forge their own stories
Of hope and a cure (MC)

On Ride to Cure eve
Riders, coaches, families
anticipate joy (PB)

Bike Room Onomatopoeia:
Snap Crackle Pop
Whirl Whrrr Grind Turn Squeak & Squish
Slide Spin Crank & Smile (PB)

Greasy hands throbbing
bikes leaving boxes behind
BikeFace in the air (MC)

There once was a wrench wench named Pea
Her skills were there for all to see
She'd put 'em together
No matter the weather
And actually did it for free! (MC)

Riders wear stories
of diagnosis and hope
on bikes and in hearts (PB)

Quiet in the Bike Room
nervous stomachs try to sleep
pedals await cleats (MC)

Anyway.......ignore at will!

Friday, October 7, 2011

SAVE THE DATE (Because the fun continues!)


2011 JDRF West Michigan Ride Team Celebration
Saturday, November 5
6:00 p.m.
Tom Miller's House
Grand Haven, MI
(address is in your email!)

Plan to join this awesome team for a celebration of all we've accomplished in 2011. We'll have fresh DV stories to share, lots of memories from Vermont/Wisconsin/Tahoe, and even one rider looking forward to an awesome ride in Tucson/Tuscon later in the month!

More details to come, but plan on a pot luck fiesta. We'll have awards, photos, pool, ping pong, and lots of good cheer too. Kids welcome.

*For those of you riding the Iceman that morning up north--we can't wait to hear the tales that night @ the party!

More to come!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Updated Death Valley Primer

It's been a year since Tom Scheidel wrote this invaluable thing, and pretty much all of it is valid. There are a couple of updates, though, numero uno being cell phone coverage. Due to a stubby little tower right near the playgroud, there is now one billion times more cell phone coverage. AT&T folks even get 3G data; Verizoners have to make due with just coverage. Once you're away from the oasis, though, that coverage drops away reeeeal fast.

That said, anyone caught holed up in their room on Facebook will be have their phone mailed to Cuba, and will be forced to pick all the fleas off of Mr. Coyote's nether regions.

I'm not sure we mentioned it, but you might want to hydrate.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Leave your bike after Saturday's ride???

If any out of towners care to leave their bikes after Saturday's taco tour, I will open the garage at my old office. Don't forget the bag with your helmet, CO2's, shoes, etc....and have your name, Great Lakes West Michigan on a secure tag on the bike and the bag.

I know, parting with your wheels is difficult, so waiting till Thursday PM or Friday all day - but NO LATER THAN 5 PM may work better for you.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Word to the team, yo!

In 17 days we'll be travelling to Death Valley.


I'm fighting the urge to start my annual packing spreadsheet - and it's a fight I'm losing.

BUT! There's plenty to do before that, first and foremost ridin' yo' bike! We have one more team ride coming up, and it's really high up on the do-not-miss list. Our hosts will be none other than Mike and Linda Clark, which means that it's the Fajita Bash Ride! We'll have a couple of loops in the 35-40 mile range (or, if you prefer, the 32ish-37ish range), followed by arse-kickingly good grilled chicken fajitas and whatever sides or desserts or drinks or whatever that you'd like to bring.

So, details:

Date: SATURDAY October 1

Times: Loop 1 rollout 9am, loop 2 rollout Noon

Location: Casa de Clark in Holland - address and map will be mailed.

Bring: LAWN CHAIRS, desserts/appetizers/side dishes to share, and whatever you want to drink.

PLEASE RSVP to Me or MC or Nicole or on the Facebook event.

Now, some advance planning for Death Valley - I think we've made it known that you'll need to have your bike dropped off for shipping to the ride on Friday, October 7. We're changing the location for that, though - instead of taking your bike to the shop, we're going to stage them at JD Stone's office, at 10963 PawPaw Drive 49424 in Holland; his is the 4th office on the left. He's got a nice big garage there. You can drop your bike off on Thursday, October 6 between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm, or on Friday, October 7 between 8 am and noon, or after 1:30 pm. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR BIKE THERE BY 5 PM, period, no exceptions! If you can't get your bike there in the times listed, please get in touch with us and we'll figure something out.

So, lots of important stuff is coming up - if you've got any questions, uncertainties, needs, whatever, that's what we're here for. We want you to have the kind of experience that's made us the coolest team on earth!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A little humor courtesy of Adam@Home