Friday, June 29, 2012

The XS is here! The XS is here!

A pallet of XS Energy Drink overtakes Team Scheidel's garage.
Yes, the XS Energy is here. Please help get it out of my garage. As many of you know XS Energy Drink has been a sponsor of the West Michigan Ride Team since our first year in 2005. They donate a pallet of energy drinks (222 cases) that team members can sell. All proceeds from the sales go to the ride account of the person who sells it. An easy and tasty way to make money toward your goal.

XS is not like most energy drinks that rely on sugar and lots of caffeine for their boost. XS has no sugar and is loaded with B vitamins.  Click here for more detailed info. We have several flavors to choose from. They all come in 12 can cases. Some flavors are in 8 ounce cans and some are in 12 ounce cans. The 8 oz. cases sell for $20, the 12 oz. cases sell for $25. Remember 100% of what you sell them for goes to your ride account.

Cranberry-Grape - 8 oz.
Citrus - 8 oz.
Tropical - 8 oz.
Wild Berry - 8 oz.
Cherry - 8 oz.
Electric Lemon - 8 oz.
Black Cherry Cola - 8 oz.
Root Beer - 8 oz.
Cola - 8 oz.
Naranja (Orange) - 12 oz.
Summit Blast - 12 oz.
Classic Blast - 12 oz.
Variety Pack - 8 oz.

If you want to help me clean out my garage and make some money toward your ride goal, give me a call or send an email and we'll arrange getting you as many cases as you want.

Thank you once again to XS Energy Drinks for your continuing support.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fractional Team Rides

No, not fractious team team rides! These are drop-ins in the schedule to give you more chances to see the rest of the cool kids.

First off, this Sunday, July 1, we'll ride from Townsend Park in Cannonsburg, 11am rollout time. Figure on a 45-50 mile distance, hopefully with a shortcut. MC's outta town (I think the guy should get a timeshare in Utah, as often as he's there), so you'll have to make due with one coach.

Second, on July 4, if you're not busy celebrating our nation's birth by blowing stuff up, we're tacking together an opportunity to do up to a century. If you want to get in a full 100 miles, we'll have a 7am rollout time from Velo-City Cycles; you'll ride up to Grand Haven and back, with a quick stop at the coffee shop in GH for a cinnamon roll or something. We'll roll back to the shop, so if you want to join up and do 50, be there and ready to roll by 11 am. Post-ride, MC's offered to fire up the grill at his house!

See y'all soon, I hope...


Monday, June 25, 2012

Hope Rides (& kicks some butt!) on 2 Wheels

So- as unlikely as it sounds.....I'm sitting in a bagel shop and screwin' around w/ my iPad dealie & trying to decompress from a pretty intense weekend.

Wanna hear about it?..........jump in the van w/ me...........

Background- the Hope on 2 Wheels Ride is the brainchild of Scott Kasper of Mt. Laurel NJ. I met him last year @ the Tahoe Ride, which was his 1st Ride to Cure. His mom and 2 of his 3 sons have T1D so he was pretty primed for a great big dose of the kool-aid and...well...he got it! Enough so that within 3 weeks of returning home from Tahoe he had become the Coach of the South Jersey Chapter and had cooked up this other crazy idea. Namely that 24 riders and a support caravan really needed to ride from NYC to Washington DC (252 miles) non-stop to try and raise awareness of both JDRF's mission and the need for more research in search of a cure in general. The plan was to ride "relay style", employing the same basic technique used by Team Type 1 while winning the Race Across America- separate teams leap-frogging each other to keep the pace up & the effort manageable. Needless to say when he invited me I was ALL about it! And that brings us back to the past 5 days.......

WEDNESDAY- I hit the road for NJ early. My 1st job is to get to Scott's place in Mt Laurel & assemble any bikes that team members shipped. I loaded Lin's car w/ bikes and tools and drove the 760 miles to Scott's, arriving in time to catch up and crash.

THURSDAY- As it turned out there were only 5 bikes that needed to be assembled so I talked Scott into a ride "before it got too hot." ( we rolled about 9:30- it was only 95 when we finished 20 miles later!) By the way- that part of NJ is why the license plates all say "The Garden State", it's bee-YOO-ti-ful! Quiet country roads, dead flat (hear that Cindy!?!), bunch a cool lil' towns, fields of everything from soybeans to blueberries to bamboo! Yup- bamboo! I know- weird, right? Anyway, after the ride we met Scott's co-coach Mike and Mike's little brother for lunch and after that I cranked bikes together while they ran errands.

FRIDAY- Scott and I got the last things on the list crossed off (find moving blankets, buy bananas & bagels for Sat AM, etc) then we met the ever-growing team of riders and crew and loaded up the vans for the drive down to NYC. (here's the thing- I SAY "down" but I basically had ZERO idea where I was the whole time I was there. for all I know we drove "down", "over" or all of the above!) Regardless- a couple of hours later & Mrs Clark's Favorite Son had his first bite of the Big Apple!

  ( Irony Alert- Those words were typed while I sit IN a Big Apple Bagel!!!)

Team HQ was a hotel right next to the site of the still-in-progress World Trade Center Memorial- the same swank joint that JDRF uses for visiting BigWigs & Other Important Types- so that was kinda cool in an intense sort of way. As we unloaded the vans who do ya think might've come sauntering up the sidewalk? None other than West Michigan's own Queen of BikeFace Patti Bills! Now- I knew she was there for her studies, this was a planned encounter but still.....kinda cool, huh?

Pea and I ditched the squad for a whirlwind 4 hour tour o' the city.....some pizza, a surly cabbie, Times Square, Central Park, Broadway, some KILLER gelato and a subway ride back to the hotel.

 (I figure I pretty much know everything the is to know about NYC now, thanks Pea!)

Dinner that night was in the restaurant on the 20th floor of our hotel....yep, the one w/ the huge deck overlooking the city and the WTC site. It was sponsored by Sanofi- who has a way cool new iPhone blood sugar app dealie they're pretty excited about. During dinner Patti got word that her flight was cancelled so on the spot she decided to hang out, crew for the ride and drive back w/ me. After introductions, a few well-chosen words from Scott & Mike it was time to try and get some sleep.....our 5:00 am roll out time was gonna come early!

Yup, sure did!

I was up @ 4:00, fed and kitted up by 4:30 and on my bike by 4:45. All 24 of us rode through the empty streets of Manhattan over to JDRF's Headquaters. We were met there by a young man that goes by the name of "The Diabetes Dude". His entire family had driven down from Boston to see us off & wish us well. From there's we rode to the Staten Island Ferry dock and after a 25 minute wait ( and a through inspection from one of New York's finest K9 security officers we rolled onto the ferry. It blasted off, took us right past that famous statue of the chick w/ the robe and huge cigarette lighter and then.....Staten Island! Okay! Let's rock and roll! We have 248 miles to go!

Yeah.....about that.....Staten Island is home to 1.5 million displace Italians and by all appearances they have a traffic problem. The solution they've gone w/is to put a traffic light on EVERY freaking corner and make sure that they're utterly out of sync.


As it turned out...the time we lost on that first leg across Staten Island would have significant consequences 18 hours and 200+ miles later..... After a further 35 minute delay waiting for our escort vehicles from the Port Authority to escort us across the bridge and into NJ (TOTALLY worth the wait in awesome though!) we got to the first stop. The plan here was to divide into 3 teams, cleverly labeled "A", "B", guessed it...."C". This was also 23 miles into the ride and most of you know the significance of that # within the JDRF Ride community. Jesse's mom Michelle was on our team so we spent a few minutes there remembering him as well as everyone else that we've lost.....while a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace". (dammit- it's too cold in here for goosebumps!!!)

And with that the A Team took our 1st shift. Our 8 riders included Tim & Erin from Team Type 1, your reporter, 2 other Mikes (one an MC!) 2 Matts & big Josh from MN. 20ish miles later we pulled into the stop and the B team took over. Josh and Erin decided the B group was more to their liking so we pressed on w/ 6 of us for the next 2 shifts, then we were 5 for the rest of the ride.

Our "assignment" was to hammer in a effort to keep the timetable (which was tight to begin with) from getting too screwed up. At one point we took a double pull 'cuz the next team was stuck in construction traffic.

And so passed the day....and the miles. In a blur of chamois cream, re-filling bottles, energy bars, sweaty helmets and brief frenzied " which way do we turn?!?!?!?!" sessions.

Mid-Jersey is as industrial as South Jersey is bucolic, Delaware is barely there (still flat though!) and Maryland is lovely.....if awfully roll-y for the last state on a four state ride!

Despite everyone's efforts sundown found us still a good 60+ miles from the finish line, a couple hours behind schedule. My group was prepping for our last blast.....18 hilly, winding miles to the last stop, from which the plan was to get all 24 riders back on 2 wheels for the last 20 miles. Alas- word came from a support vehicle that the C Team was stalled...the road was pitch black, the traffic heavy (lots of deer too) & their lights either dead or inadequate. The call was made for safety's sake to go pick them up and sag them ahead to the final stop.

In the meantime my 4 compadres and I clipped in and fired up the lights. With a van on our tail for safely we blasted over that last 18 miles at what felt to my weary legs to be full-on race pace.

 (Despite being a member of the 2008 TT1 RAAM team, Tim had made no secret of the fact that he'd had quite enough chamois time for the day thank you and sure seemed to be in a rush to get this last leg over with!

In other words I clung to his wheel like a desperate slobbering fool with my eyes crossed and my tongue in my front wheel. I will say that we DID get there in a hurry though!

Once we got the entire team in one place for the first time since Mile 23 over 15 hours ago it was pow wow time. 20 more hilly miles w/ minimal street lights. Half the team w/ no working lights. 10:30pm at that point. Scott and Mike made the right call in the time-honored JDRF "Safe, Sound & Smiling" tradition.....we piled into the vans, drove into Bethesda and unloaded about 2 miles from the finish.

We rode in en masse.....24 strong behind a phalanx of Harleys & followed by all 6 support vehicles. Waiting at the finish line- despite the late hour- was a bevy of family and well-wishers.

'Twas quite a scene to be sure! We rolled in @ 11:59 by the way.....a long day! An hour later we were still feasting on BBQ, pizza, beer and ice cream. It was a lot like being back in high school!

SUNDAY- The team scattered to the 4 winds.....back to MN, Atlanta, New England, wherever. After breakfast a few of us loaded up the van and headed back to NJ. There Patti and I re-packed the bikes, grabbed some lunch, said our good byes and hit the road. By 7:00 this morning we were back in the the whole thing was just a massive dream!


I didn't actually count or inquire, but my impression is at at least 50% of the riders were Type 1.

The support crew was awesome- all 8 (9? 10?) of 'em. There were 3 flats, 2 minor crashes and one IV administered for cramps. (he rode the rest of the way w/ the needle still in his arm....said it was " gonna come in handy @ the bar".)

Did I mention that Maryland is hilly?

Tony Luke (of Philly Cheesesteak fame)is a jerk. He promised sandwiches and other lunch stuff, stiffed us and wouldn't answer the phone all day. I'm not gonna wear my tee shirt 'till I draw a big red circle w/ a slash through their logo!

This was a huge project - it's consumed Scott's life for the last 9 months. It was an even bigger success. We made some noise, brought some new folks into the JDRF community and......well.......brought some awareness and hope!

It was one of the Top Five Days on a Bike for me easily! Maybe Top Three. (m-a-y-b-e, just maybe.....Best Day Ever. Except you guys weren't there)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Right now, our coach Mike is eastbound (although, not in a semi truck smuggling goods across state lines…we think) headed for New Jersey. He has been invited to take part in an amazing event called Hope on 2 Wheels. (Hats off to the guys planning this ride—we hear Mike was the first person who came to mind when they began inviting participants…clearly they know the perfect guy when they see him.)

On Saturday morning, Mike and 23 other cyclists (including two members of Team Type 1) will depart from JDRF headquarters in New York on a 252-mile ride to Washington DC. They’ll be greeted along the way with JDRF supporters, music, and lots of surprises, all aimed at supporting this amazing effort and all our continued dedication to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.

It’s apparent that being asked to partake in this one of a kind event has really struck a chord with our dear MC. He’s done some cool stuff over the last several years as coach of our team, national co-head coach, and bike room guy. But this, a gathering of some of the most passionate and active people in the JDRF ride sphere, for a new high-profile event—that’s something to celebrate all over again. And he’s psyched.

We couldn’t be prouder or more in awe of our coach. Let’s remind him how much he means to our team, and to the entire JDRF family. Send Mike some happy vibes on Facebook, text, email, whatever, over the next few days, and think of him and the team on Saturday as they bring a whole new brand of awareness of JDRF.

Know somebody that lives in NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, or VA? Send them the route information and ask them to go out and cheer for these dedicated and amazing cyclists. We promise it will be one of the coolest things they ever do, and those 24 cyclists will appreciate it beyond belief.

Check out Hope on 2 Wheels on Facebook or the web.

Thanks for keeping the hope alive, MC. We love you.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Hey Team! - was a strong - n- select group that showed up for our Father's Day Team Ride this past weekend. Whether they were lured by the idea of seeing Michelle's new bike, the promise of watching Coach Did and your trusy reporter whine-n-wobble the day after the Lumberjack 100 race or the general idea of a nice ride w/ an ice cream stop......14 riders were in attendence.

To be precise:

All 3 Dykstras, including newly crowned Lumberjack Did
Michelle C (w/ her new bike!)
Mark S and his stoker Katie
Paul B
Lindsay S
Linda C
Not-as-busted Kaat
Special Guests Kevin C and Dawn R
and my own sore self (MC)

We had a great ride on a perfect day...up and around the lakeshore - an ice cream stop (!!!!!) - a trip up-n-over Blockhouse Hill - lotsa views of the Big Lake.......'twas grand indeed!

We ended up splitting into 2 groups - a 33 mile contingent and a 46 mile group. (It was Michelle's longest ride EVER!)

Back at the park the remnents of the group feasted on cookies, chips, watermelon and suchlike.....all the while enjoying the company and the day.

The next OFFICIAL Team Ride isn't until July 8 - but watch for info on some other options - including a Fourth of July Early Century!

Thanks for reading, thanks for riding, thanks for rockin' like y'all do!

See you soon.................Coach MC

Monday, June 11, 2012

Team Ride 6 this Sunday, June 17...

Our grand tradition of having a team ride on Father's Day continues!

At least, I think it's a grand tradition. I dunno for sure.

Anyway, so, yeah, Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY! We're riding from Mullaly Park in North Muskegon with a 1pm rollout time (so, like, be there 15 minutes early and all that). I've got 33 and 48 mile options that stay together for the first 32 miles (how's that for planning!), and feature riding past the Duck Lake State Park beach on the recently-paved Scenic Drive, and an opportunity to stop for ice cream.

I can promise you that these routes will be as flat as possible. No kidding here. Flat. I mean, you'll have the option to do Blockhouse Hill if you're so inclined, but that's gonna be a detour from the "main" route. Flat's the name of the game. If you don't know why, you have to come up to ride!

So, deets:

Sunday, June 17, 1pm rollout time
Mullaly Park - map here
33/48 miles (FLAT!)
Post ride munchies & storytelling

OK? Pester me if'n you've got questions - see you Sunday!

Rockitty rock...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Team ride, uh, what was that? Five?

Yeah, we'll call it Team Ride 5 - there was a sort of a 4.5 in there, but it was Memorial Day weekend so I'm not all that inclined to over-count it.

Anyway, Five! Mos' def' a highlight-ride, we started with gorgeous weather - blue skies with fluffy clouds, perfect temperatures, and not too much breeze. Folks taking advantage of that weather included:


Steve Clark
Michelle "Grand Valley" C, tagging her first 40+ mile ride (and 3rd flat tire - we might have a contender for the Queen of the Flats, here!)
Lindsey S
Sarah "I wanna try sailing" S.
Chris & Becky M.
Jeff W
Tom M
Lori H
Diana S
Tom & Mary
MC & Linda
A big did and a little did
Amy F
Brenda B
Paul & Nick & Spencer
Heather A-B
Host-with-the-most JD

Grillin' and Chillin':

And there to show off her stylin' new black cast was our less-broken-every-day (but dammit hurry up and heal!) Kaat.

The roads were lovely, and we were pleased to see how many folks rode together in bunches, rather than trickling along individually. This cycling thing is so much better in groups, and it's pretty awesome to begin with, so, yeah, cool beans. 

But, let's not beat around the bottom bracket, here - this ride was pretty heavily weighted towards the post-ride gig, and it didn't disappoint. I think we had 4 different kinds of brownie, and at least that many kinds of cookie. And I think Pea somehow violated the laws of quantum mechanics with her chocolate brownie creation; I'd think only some super-advanced civilization could put that much chocolate into a single foodstuff. And it was versatile, too! I mean, it started out as brownies, but changed as the day wore on to something that could be spread on cookies. Truly awesome!

Hmm. Gotta compose myself a little - had a little chocolate moment there.

Next Team Ride! We'll ride again on Father's Day, June 17 - details will be forthcoming, but the tentative plan is to ride from Mulally Park in North Muskegon.

In the meantime, everyone keep riding and fundraising! You all rock!