Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer is here, lots to share...

Hi everyone! Summer is here, lots to share with you. 

EARN CASH NOW: HOLLAND HUNDREDWe have now confirmed details for volunteering at the Holland Hundred on Saturday, July 16 to earn cash for your Ride account ($20+/hour plus bonuses). View all details and the spreadsheet here. You should be able to add your name directly. PLEASE PLEASE read the instructions carefully. Much has changed from previous years, and your commitment, while longer in time, will result in a LOT more cash toward your goal.

Enter your name AFTER reading the instructions, and please commit no later than Friday, July 8. Contact Tom Miller with questions.
UPCOMING RIDES: In short, there’s lots of ‘em. Saturday 7/2: In Montague @ Katie Clark’s folks’ house on White Lake. 9:30am roll-out, 30ish miles, boat/lake/hot dogs on the fire afterward.   See blog post here for more details.
Sunday 7/3: Johnson Park in GR, 1:00pm roll-out, 40ish miles
Monday 7/4: Velo City in Holland, 11:00am roll-out, 40ish miles
Sunday 7/10: Sarah Andro’s place in GR
Sunday 7/24: Cliff & Nic’s place in Saugatuck/Hamilton
Sunday 8/7: Jason Sigal’s place in GR
Sunday 8/24: tentative Barlow Lake ride with Linda Thompson-Poeder’s gang

Ongoing rides you should check out:
- 6:30pm roll-out from the Holland Aquatic Center (Macatawa Cycling Club). Lotsa groups, lotsa paces.
- 6:00pm roll-out for the internationally famous Velo City Cycles Tuesday Night Ride. Lotsa
 groups, lotsa paces.
Wednesdays: - Call/email/Facebook someone. We bet you’ll find someone who wants to ride.
- 8:30am roll-out for the VCC Recovery Ride, 25-30 miles followed by bagels at The Good Earth.
- 6:00pm 
Tom Miller is now also hosting a weekly ride from his place in Grand Haven. Show up & ride!
- 8:15pm roll-out for the VCC Thursday Night Lights ride - lights required. Night rides are so cool.
Fridays:- 8:30am roll-out for the VCC Bagel Ride. 25-30 miles followed by bagels at The Good Earth (yes, again).
Saturdays:- 8:00am roll-out for the VCC Sprint or No-Sprint Ride. Your pick.

BIKE TRANSPORTATION FOR DEATH VALLEYWe are thrilled to report that bike transportation has been secured for ALL of our riders heading to Death Valley this fall. If you selected the Gold fundraising option, your bike transportation is covered by your fundraising goal. If picked the Silver or Bronze package, you will be responsible for the cost, which will be, likely, less than $200 per bike (for reference, this is a super good deal). Details to come later this summer, but please know that we’re really excited to have this covered, and even more excited that Friend of Team Joe Kovacs will be joining us in DV!

SHIRTS & JERSEY UPDATELooks like we’ll all be sporting excellent BikeFace tshirts this summer, soon! Thanks for your votes. Shirts will be available in July, hopefully in time for the Holland Hundred volunteers. You are allocated one shirt if you’re on the team this year. If you’re a Friend of the Team, or would like to purchase extra shirt(s) for family/friends/donors, you may do so. Cost/payment info will be shared on the blog later this week.

Most of you expressed interest in purchasing a team training jersey to start phasing out the pink pancreas cell jerseys. The design is nearly finished, and will be posted soon for you to check out.  We should have these in-hand by mid-August.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?Why do you ride? Why do your ride for JDRF?
Send an electronic photo (or, if it’s easier, a link to a webpage photo is fine!) of the person/people that keep you pedaling to Nicole Nelles by Friday, July 15.

So, it’s basically July.  Have you been to some training rides? Are you logging enough miles on your own (at least 50 per week if you’re going to DV)? Do you have a healthy jump on your fundraising goal (DV folks should have $750 by mid-July)? Have you sent out your emails/letters to donors? We’re not trying to hound you…but we want to be sure that you’re on top of things so you can enjoy this experience as much as possible. If we haven’t seen you at a training ride yet (you know who you are!), carve out some time and c’mon out. We have groups cruising at 14mph and groups hammering at 20mph+, and everyone in between. One of the bonuses of being on the Coolest Team Ever is, well, that we’re a team that has a heckuva good time when we’re together. If you haven’t gotten a good start on fundraising, there’s no time like the present. Your teammates can help you with some ideas on that, too.

Katie wrote a blog post about this just today.  Check it out here.

That’s it. Let us know if you have any questions or need ANYTHING at all.
See you this weekend, we hope!
Coach MC, Coach Did, Nicole, Katie, Tom, Cindy, and Cathy

unofficial Team Ride in Montague on July 2nd

It's not an official Ride Team team ride, but Katie & Steve will be taking over her parents house on White Lake in Montague, MI while they go visit friends across the state.     Ssssshhhhh!  ;-) 

   Ride Start Time:  9:30am 
   Start Location:  Katie's Parents House (it's 60 minutes from Grand Rapids)
   Who:  anyone who wants to ride 30 - 40 miles (Derek is making the route - that's a big "ish") and their family who want to hang out at the beach, or see the World's Largest Weathervane, Pier, White Lake Lighthouse, etc.  while we ride.  
   What about a sitter:   Yes, we will have one - the same one who watches kids at our house (Kaley - just so happens she's from Montague ;-) 
    That's a long drive for 30-mile ride:  BUT, we'll have hotdog roast, and play in the water and on the boat all afternoon.  We have kayaks too.  It'll be a fun way to start the 4th weekend.
    What to bring?    We'll have hotdogs and s'more makings.  We'll provide the paper products as well.  We'll have some cold XS Energy & water on ice as well.  Bring a beverage of your choice and if you want - something easy to eat by a campfire on the beach.   

(oh, and this isn't roughing it - the house is just up the hill from the firepit & beach)

  What if I can't be there by 9:30am?  Come on over around 1pm for an afternoon at the lake.

Please let Katie know if you will be there.  Comment here, call her (299-3637) or email her.     If you want to use the sitter, let Katie know that too so she can let Kaley know (she may choose to bring backup!).  

Hope you can make it!  

The SCARY part of the Ride to Cure Diabetes - FUND RAISING!

Riding your bike is fun. You've met tons of great people, have had lots of laughs, but it's not really why we are here. We signed up for this adventure to raise money for JDRF so they can find that elusive cure for type 1 diabetes.

It's time to get in gear and start raising some dough…

I know, I know: It's scary. It's hard. and I know, you "don't like asking people for money". I get it. No one does. You are not alone (interestingly enough - I use this line many times with newly diagnosed type 1 families.) To try to help you get started, I've put together a list of ways our Ride to Cure team have raised funds in the past and the contact info of those who have done the various projects:

Work Van Andel events (and bring your friends to raise money for you!): Basically, you schlep beer and hot dogs to concert/game/event-goers and get paid an hourly wage (somewhere between $10 & $15/hr). Most events are 5 hours. Bring a friend or two and you can see how the money can start adding up fast. Contact Cindy Aley to get on the email list.

Host a "thing" Party - That thing can be almost anything - jewelry, food, makeup, candles, purses, plastic containers, etc. The idea is the person who comes to your house (the sales associate) gives you their "salary" for the nigh
t in exchange for something (usually, the 'host' gift, or something like that). These parties can raise $150 - $250 each. Becky Machuta, & Katie Clark have both done these types of parties.

Have a Get-together/Party & ask for donations - invite your friends & family over to your house or a park and ask for donations. Obviously - you have to give them something - ask a local band to play, have an entertainer donate their time (balloons?), get local store/restaurant to donate food/drink, etc. Some restaurants will give you a discounted price per person for buffet meals - JUST ASK!

Work the Holland 100 on July 16 - it's easy - direct cars parking, answer questions, give directions, pick up garbage. See team email and blog post coming soon about how to sign up for this year!

Have a Restaurant Fund-raiser. BW3, Corner Bar in Rockford, Beltline Bar & On the Border have all had fundraisers organized by our Ride team members. Normally the restaurant will donate 10 - 20% of their food sales for your chosen time period to JDRF. It's easy - call the restaurant and work out a date with the manager and find out how/where you can hand out flyers (some will just put them on all the tables for you, some will ask you not solicit their patrons and rather spread the word before the event). Another $100 - $500 event that is easy to organize. Nicole Nelles, Tom Scheidel, & Cindy Aley have all done these types of events.

Hold an Event - Golf Outing (Katie Clark, Linda Thompson-Poeder), a 5K, a family fun day (Chris Radford), a cycling event, etc. This takes some work - a crew of volunteers to put on, but it can be done and can be a very big money raiser. These events also tend to do better on repeat attempts - first time is a lot of work and lots of lessons are learned - 2nd year tends to be more organized, and can raise more money.

Sell XS Energy Drink. This one is less hard and scary. Tom Scheidel has lined up a corporate sponsor in XS Energy Drinks. Tell Tom what you need, and sell them by the case for $15 each. ALL money goes directly to your Ride. There is no cost to you (and Tom & Mary would appreciate getting the cases of XS out of their garage). (Note: for those hosting events - Tom also has cases of water - no charge to use at your event that raises money for your Ride!)

Wear jeans/shorts/hat at Work Day - talk to your boss/manager about holding a dress-down day for your work place. People pay $5 ($10?, $20?) to wear less dressy clothes to work. Have JDRF stickers or something that people wear to show they paid. Easy! This is a proven fundraising endeavor used by lots of charities!

Send a Snail Mail Letter to everyone you have ever met with a self-addressed (not stamped!!!) envelope. The money starts rolling into your mailbox and it's exciting. Examples of letters sent in the past are on the website here. This, again, is a proven way to raise money for JDRF.

The easiest thing is to send an email from your Ride site with a brief messages as to why you are riding. JDRF National information systems staff have noted that the average donation online is larger (30%?) than for those made in cash & check form. Be sure to include an address that this individuals who don't like putting in credit card information online can send you a check made out to JDRF. Need help getting into the site and sending the email? Call the JDRF Michigan Great Lakes West Chapter at 616.957.1838 or email Katie.

The hardest part about fundraising is asking. Just do it. You'll be amazed at how many people give, and how much!

Any checks you get - have them made out to JDRF and send them to the JDRF office & the staff will apply those to your Ride account!

4595 Broadmoor Avenue SE, Suite 230
Kentwood, MI 49512.

Good luck. Email me if you have questions or need more ideas. There are lots of blogs and fundraising ideas out there on the Internet - we can find one that will work for you to help you reach your fundraising goal!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Team Ride Photos

Posted some photos from the team ride at Johnson Park back in May and the Allegrina 100 from Sunday. You can view them by clicking HERE.
Or you can watch the small version slide show below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey, Hew, The Weekend in Review!

When in doubt, rhyme it out, yo.

So, Team Ride Numero Six-O is in the bag, and it turned out - as is inevitable with US - awesome! And it may have featured the highest food-to-rider ratio that I've ever seen.

The call of the roll:
JD & Maggie, tandeming
John VDB
Kirsten the person
Kiersten the Nerf Cat
Kobie the Diabetic Pooch
Linda "look over there while I grab a pretzel stick" TP
Paul B
Superhost Stewart
New Rider Dawn MM - who arrived with 12 miles on her bike and left with more than triple that!
Chris R, with expanded family along for the eatin' (Hey Julie, when're we gonna see you rolling?)
SGS and Mistress of the Grill Brenda B
SGSs Kevin C and Dawn R - nice to see you two!
MC and Linda, also tandeming, and topping 47 mph down 7 Mile Hill
and li'l ol' me.

We covered 25 surprisingly chilly and perhaps a bit hilly miles, and were able to resist the call to ride the Blue Loop at Luton as we rode past. For the second loop, we lost a couple of riders but picked up a bunch more, and rolled our pleasant 35 miles uneventfully despite picking our way through Summerfest in Rockford.

Back at the ranch, we enjoyed turkey burgers that redefined what a turkey burger could taste like, and cookies, cheesy potatos, more cookies, some chips, and then a cookie or seven. Big, big, BIG props to Stewart and the sadly-absent Nathen for the spread, to Brenda for the grillwork, and to Cindy for somehow keeping the didlet from eating ALL of the saltwater taffy despite a sprained foot.

Now, turning our eyes forward - it's summer (or at least it's trying to be), so that means it's riding season! There are ride opportunities up the wazoo, and you're crazy if you don't hit at least some of them!

Saturday, June 18 (that's this Saturday!) - the ALS Iron Horse Ride from Fallasburg Park in Lowell. Up to 100 miles. Organized by our own Alpha-Plus rider Stacey Orsted, raising money for the ALS Association. Stacey's offered JDRF riders a discounted entry fee - contact me for details. Past rider Peggy Essenberg will be there - Peg lost her Mom to ALS. You and your bike have an almost unlimited capacity to do good!

Sunday, June 26: the 3rd annual Allegrina 100. One week after Father's day, our own Heather Allegrina hosts a ride honoring her late father, and all fathers. There will be 3 loops of 30-40 miles each and returning to Heather's house after each, so you can tailor the ride to as you see fit. Big post-ride hangout bash, too - if you come, you might maybe get a taste of some fine New Glarus beer! There will be a LOT of your team-mates at this one; I highly recommend putting it on your personal ride calendar. Heather's going to have childcare available, but she needs to know a solid week in advance. This is at the very top of my looking-forward-to-it list. There's more info at the Facebook link up there, or again with the contacting me for more info.

July 3 and or 4: there will be some sort of organized ride somewhere - stay tuned for deets!

July 10 we'll have a Team Ride in the Grand Rapids area; info's forthcoming.

July 16 is the Holland Hundred. JDRF is a named beneficiary for this huge event; we'll be looking for a chunk of volunteers to work that day, and you'll get an hourly rate deposited in to your fundraising account. Or, of course, you can ride! LOTS more information to come.

July 24 will be another Team Ride, location TBA.

Now, how about weekly scheduled rides? Yeah, there's a few of those:

6:30 pm rollout from the Holland Aquatic Center is the Macatawa Cycling Club Monday Night Ride. Big attendance, lots of groups, lots of paces.

6pm rollout for the internationally famous VeloCity Cycles Tuesday Night Ride. Lotsa groups, lotsa paces, lotsa distances.

6pm in the Muskegon area there's a nice women's ride that Kirsten really likes. Contact me if you're interested, the start location changes weekly.

6pm rollout for the VCC Not Racing At Grattan ride, 30ish miles

6pm-6:40 pm at Grattan Raceway you can ride the track while the racers warm up. $5 per rider to cover the insurance and track rental. Then you can watch the Grattan races. You NEED to see the Grattan races. NEED. Really. Monster awesome. Bring a camera and a cowbell.

8:30 am rollout for the VCC Recovery Ride, 25-30 miles followed by bagels at The Good Earth.

6pm rollout at Rock&Road Cycles Grand Haven, great for paceline learnin' as they break it up enough to keep the groups down to 8-12 people.

8:15 pm rollout for the VCC Thursday Night Lights ride - lights required. Night rides are so cool.

8:30 am rollout for the VCC Bagel Ride. 25-30 miles followed by bagels at The Good Earth (yes, again).

8 am rollout for the VCC Sprint Ride. Feelin' frisky and fierce? This ride's for you.
8 am rollout for the VCC No-Sprint Ride. You sweep up the remains of the Sprint Ride.

That's a PARTIAL selection of what's available to you. Don't wanna ride alone? You pretty much never have to! And, hey, put up a flag if you want to ride but none of these work for ya - we'll find a way, because (wait for it... waaaaait for it...nnnnNOW!) YOU ALL ROCK!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Riders doing "other" stuff

Hey - I just found out we have riders doing some ride "stuff" for other organizations.  Pretty cool....

Walt Florido of our awesome cycling team is riding 100 miles tomorrow (June 11th) in the American Diabetes Associations Tour de Cure in Brighton.    Go Walt!  http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/MichiganArea?pg=entry&fr_id=7589


Stacey Orsted, one of our original riders (way back in 2005, and then rode with us in 2010 too), works for ALS Association and is putting on their Iron Horse Ride and then Beers & Gears event in Lowell on June 18th.    http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?fr_id=7560&pg=entry

Cool stuff and we wish them well on their JDRF Ride extracurricular activities.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 Michigan Great Lakes West T-shirt design contest

Below are the entries for the 2011 Michigan Great Lakes West Ride team tshirt (click each image for larger view).

Vote using the poll at right by Wednesday, June 15! (over there -------------> )




Choice B



Hey Team!
Well - if you missed a chance to ride under sunny skies w/ us last Sunday....and eat fine chow alongside the lake....and take advantage of the pool and the playset and the shade...well...we missed you too!

MASSIVE thanks and kudos go out to JD and Maggie Stone (w/ help from John Jasker) for the hospitality, the food and the locale. MASSIVE!

Here's a list of who we got to hang out and ride with:

Cliff & Nicole, Becky & Chris, Coach Did & Kirsten, Lin & MC, Walt, John J, Tom, Jason, Tyson & Danielle, JD & Maggie, Kaat, John VDB, Heather & Brian, Paul, Brad "Crash" S, Dan, Chris, Julie & Travis R, Amy 2F, Melanie and bro Dan, the whole Berger fam (Jeremy, Joy and Sabine), Team Walker (SGS Nathan, Kevin & Keith), Cliff's folks and son.....if I missed you speak up! ( A thousand sorries!)

Extra GREAT to see so many new riders, so many Special Guest Stars and have so many fam members join us after the ride!

The "Dang! Almost made it home!" awards go to Tom and Kirsten for getting flats within 3 miles of the finish and an extra special "Bike Face in the Face of Adversity" Award goes to Kirsten for being so thrilled at her first flat.

Back @ the marina we enjoyed grilled chicken, brats and dogs plus snacks, salads n' sides of every description. YUM!

All in all - one of the best days of the season thus far.........................

..................which brings us to the NEXT "best day of the season so far"!

The next Team Ride is this Sunday, June 12. Read on for the scoop puh-leeze:

Where?: Hosted by Stewart, Nathen (in absentia) & Cindy. Map to their crib is here: http://tinyurl.com/nathenstewartcindy

When?: Once again - 2 options for your riding pleasure! Roll out @ 11:00 for 25-ish miles and/or @ 1:00 for 35-ish.

Then what?: Stewart's gonna fire up the grill and serve burgers. Feel free to add whatever else you think we're gonna want to the feast. For the sake of having enough food PLEASE RSVP TO COACH DEREK OR MYSELF!

Also - it'd be great if everyone brought along a chair or 2.........

The weather forecast keeps changing ((and no doubt will continue to do so) but it looks like it's gonna dry and cooler than it's been lately.

So - hopefully we'll have the pleasure of rollin' wit'cha this weekend. Hopefully you are getting some good miles under your wheels and your fund-raising is coming along as well. Be sure to let Coach Derek, myself and/or any member of the Ride Commitee know if you have any issues or concersns - be they bike, fitness, nutrition, fund raising or even fashion related! That's what we're here for!

That's it for now you Rock Stars! Be sure to spread the word if you see any team mates, past team mates or potential future team mates! They are all always welcome! (As long as they RSVP! :) )

You guys rock, but you know that - right! I'm proud as All Hell to roll with you!

Coach Mike