Tuesday, October 7, 2014


(Well..the last one a'fore Death Valley anyways! I think we oughta keep ridin' when we get back - we have folks a-goin' to Nashville y'know!)

Not gonna lie - 'twas a chilly (and for some of us muddy and weary) group that convened @ Townsend Park last Sunday for One More Ride before a goodly % of us head west to do battle w/ T1 AND the wilds of Death Valley. The weather was dry.....but there was a stiff wind and the temps were in the 40's (at best).  Despite that - this group of hardy riders saddled up and headed out into the hilly terrain around Cannonsburg:

Tom, Mary AND Ian Scheidel (Ian doin' his "One ride'll get me ready, no?" thing)
Kevin Carnes
Brad Spooner ("fresh" from the Manhattan Park CX race)
Megan Taylor
Vern VanHalm
S.G.S. John DesPres
S.G.S. Ginger Dykstra
Kirsten and Coach Did (also still muddy from the CX race)
Suzy Doyle (only somewhat recovered from racin' the Mi Mtn Mayhem gravel race w/ MC the day before)
And me - Coach MC (less-than-fresh from alla the aforementioned)

We set out on A 37 mile loop devised by Coach Did to show off the lovely riding in that area and - of course - give us just a tad more hill training. The weather held.....in that we stayed dry...but it never warmed up and the wind was a constant. The group ended up separating due to a variety of issues ranging from schedule constraints to blood sugars but we were all reunited (and it felt so good!) back at the park to feast on Ginger's killer brownies and Mary's awesome cupcakes.

And with that - after a moment to appreciate Did's cupcake eating technique - bikes went into or onto cars, warm clothing replaced damp lycra and a dozen or so of the World's Coolest Team went their separate ways.

Or did we?

Oh sure - the cars went east or south or north or west - taking the bodies with them. However - the spirits within those bodies (I would argue) did NOT go their separate ways. We're together. We've been together for 10 years now. In Burlington & La Crosse & Nashville & Whitefish & Tahoe & Asheville & Tucson and for sure in Death Valley! Not to mention here at home.


And we're gonna be....on the road, at the finish line, at the pool, back here in the 616.......

And that's JUST the way it oughta be!

Ride on you Rockstars.............ride on!

Coach MC

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Howdy Team!

Well - a buncha us will be heading out to DV in a couple of weeks to administer yet another whuppin' to T1d and there's a few NEW wrinkles that I wanna make sure we are all aware of. As you may have heard - the Park is under a new supervisor and she has initiated a complete Safety Review of every Special Event Request to use the park for any reason. Now - they like us, they really do. Our Ride's have always met standards of safely and organization far beyond their requirements. In fact - it wouldn't be a stretch to say that their new (and far more stringent) safety guidelines are based on stuff we've always done.

But. (you heard that comin', right?)

We will be under far more scrutiny that in years past. They really only have 2 requests. (demands, really) and they are these:

1. We MUST ride single-file.
2. We MUST NOT interfere w/ the ability of other guests to enjoy the park.

They will actually have staff assigned to do nothing on Saturday but watch us.....that's new.

So - please - go out there determined NOT to be the "Million Dollar Rider", okay? (we're gonna raise about 900k+ out there this year, DV is the birthplace and spiritual home of the Ride Program and we can't lose it because our riders can't follow the rules!)

I know that I can count on you guys. Ride single file at all times. Remind others to do the same. When stopping at the rest stops please make sure that you are off of the road and clear of traffic.

A couple of other new wrinkles:

We will not be able to ride up to Zabraskie Point this year. The area is undergoing a complete renovation and isn't open to anyone. (Yes - that means we'll hafta find another place to star-gaze - I bet we can!)

There will also be no going past the rest stop atop Jubilee to get your picture taken @ the infamous sign. The N.P.S. was adamant on that point. Chuck Hodge assures me that he has "something up his sleeve" that will suffice as a replacement - never fear!

Other than those few things...............it's gonna be "business as usual" out in the Valley! We're gonna have a BLAST, ride smart and well and give that big jerk T1d another big ol' kick in the crotch!

This is probably a good time to mention that DV is a great place to have a realistic distance goal. This can be a hard place to ride, not gonna lie, and not the best place to "go for it" and shoot for a personal best in either distance or time. Please roll off of the Start Line w/ a goal in mind that's within reach...and feel free to contact Derek, Kaat, Michelle or myself if you'd like some input on that. We'll all be out there - alongside 18 other coaches - with no agenda other than making sure that YOU have a great ride.

Be smart. Stay hydrated. Stay safe. We need you riding back safe, sound, smiling and under your own power 'cuz that equals a successful ride!

One more thing - please make sure that your bike's are up to the challenge. The Bike Room Gig in DV is extra-challenging 'cuz we can't run down to the local shop to get parts. There ain't no "local shop"! I'll have an extra-large crew and as many spare parts as possible...even spare bikes!....but there's no substitute for riding your own bike and knowing that it's gonna be ready to rock. So - if it's been awhile since you had it tuned up, looked over or had the chain, tires or brake pads checked for wear.....now'd be a good time!

Okay - that seems like a lot...but there's a lot to cover. Please check out the other DV posts here on the Blog for other advice and tips and - above all - please do not hesitate to reach out w/ ANY questions. Your coaching staff has a total of 20-some years of DV Ride experience....we can help!

So - I'll see you in the Valley if not before. I'm proud to be a member of this team and couldn't be more proud or thrilled to ride w/ you all.

You rock w/ a capital "R"....alla y'all!

Coach MC

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Team Ride 14 Report/Team Ride 15 Notice!

Wow, weather, dang. It truly does not get much better than mid-70's and sunny, does it?!?! Eleven good folk rode out of Ada Park today, and visited Saranac, the outskirts of Lowell and Ionia, and the metropolis of Lyons. Ice cream products were consumed with some gusto, though we'll have to note that the ice cream place in the laundromat closes in early September.

Making due with gas station choco-tacos and M&M cookie ice cream sandwiches were:

John J
Scott W
Kevin C
Suzy D
Linda C
Cindy A
Josh M
Kirsten D, giddilly making her maiden voyage on titanium
Special Guest Star Joe K (from 3CC!)
and li'l ol' me.

So,we're gonna have another TEAM RIDE next weekend - after your coaching staff and a fair number of your teammates do a bit of a cyclocross race which you should come watch!

The ride, we'll do from Townsend Park in Cannonsburg (that's here: https://goo.gl/maps/nQ91y). We'll roll at about 2 pm for something like 35-40 miles. As for the race, it's at Manhattan Park (here: https://goo.gl/maps/NYwXh), with an 11am race time. Shouting, heckling, and musical instrument honking would be most delightful!

We're inside 3 weeks to Death Valley, rockstars!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Death Valley Primer - 2014 edition

In exactly one month (October 18th) we will be riding in Death Valley. As Coach Did pointed out in his last post, we have 10 people who have never ridden there before. We also have about 20 more that haven't ridden in DV in at least three years. With that in mind we are posting the following tips for riding in Death Valley. These were originally written back in 2010. This version has been updated with new information and contains addendums that were added as comments to the original post. If any former DV riders have additions to this list please feel free to add them in the comments.

The Death Valley Primer - 2014 edition

1.    It will be hot. Very hot. Inside your oven kind of hot. But it is also dry. Very dry. 4% humidity kind of dry. Dry heat is wonderful in the sauna, not so great on the bicycle. This leads to point number 2…

2. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Have some type of fluid (water, Gatorade, water, juice, water, watermelon, water, etc.) nearby at all times. Because of the lack of humidity your sweat evaporates instantly. So you are losing water all the time, but you don’t feel it. Always have a water bottle with you, even next to your bedside table while you sleep. Drink a lot and drink often. In fact, start now.

3. There is now cell phone coverage in the desert. Actually, it’s mostly just near the Ranch, but you are no longer digitally cut off from civilization. Although if you want to disconnect from the grid Death Valley is the place to do it.

4. Friday afternoon is free time, enjoy it. Go on a hike. Rent a jeep. Sit by the pool. Play golf. Just make sure to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids.

5. Hydrate. That means drink things, like water, ice tea, lemonade, Propel, and XS.

6. The ride will start before sunrise and, if the wind is calm-ish, end shortly before sunset. Plan on spending 9 to 11 hours out in the sun. As weird as it sounds, put on sunscreen before you come to the starting line. Yes, that means you’ll be slathering up in the dark when you can still see the moon. Once the sun pops up over the Funeral Mountains you will be in hot sunshine until the ride is over.

7. Speaking of sunscreen, bring a BIG tube and a small tube you can use on your bike. Use it often. Coach Did suggests you also use some moisturizer. His actual quote, “Your skin will thank you for it.” Bring some good SPF15+ lip balm stuff too.

8. “Drinking!” You will hear this call frequently on the ride. It means one of your team mates is drinking. Whenever you hear call of “Drinking!” you should respond in kind and take a drink. You’ll want to finish a solid 24 ounces of fluid every hour, at least – you should have to pee at every break point.

9. Breakfast starts at 5:00 a.m. Our first year in DV Mike Clark suggested eating early so that your body will have enough time to “properly digest” breakfast, if you know what I mean. It’s 17 miles from the start to the first break point without a tree to be seen.

10. Death Valley is a starkly beautiful landscape. At times it feels like you are on another planet. The air is so dry that you can see for over 20 or 30 miles down the valley. At times this can become a mental challenge. When you’ve ridden for half an hour and the scenery looks exactly the same you begin to wonder if you’re in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

11. The hotel accommodations resemble a college dorm more than a Marriott. This is a good thing. The very dorm-y post-ride, post-dinner hall party is something of a tradition.

12. Things to bring – Sunglasses, wide brimmed hat, swimsuit, light jacket or sweatshirt for the cool mornings/evenings, camera (have you seen the photos? The sky really is that blue out there).

13. What to Wear – T-shirts, tank tops and shorts will get you through most of the trip. For the Friday tune-up ride wear your West Michigan JDRF jersey. For dinner Friday night wear your team t-shirt. For the main ride Saturday wear your 2014 JDRF jersey. It might be a good idea to pack these in your carry-on.

14. The shuttle bus from the airport will stop in Pahrump for “supplies”. These “supplies” are usually found in the liquor aisle. Sadly, these supplies are not a particularly good way to hydrate, but you don’t want to be buying them at the convenience store at the Furnace Creek Ranch – they’ll cost twice as much there.

15. Other “supplies” you might want to grab in Pahrump: food for Friday lunch (that’s the only meal for which you’re on your own – there’s a restaurant at the Ranch, but it’ll be packed and expensive), non-water drinks other than the aforementioned booze, snacky foods, etc.

16. In case we haven’t mentioned it, it is very important to stay hydrated.

17. Maybe bring a flashlight. The Ranch is well-lit in public areas, not so much elsewhere.

18. If you’re a stargazing type, maybe bring binoculars. You’ll see why the first night we’re there. In fact, we’re hoping to get a mess of people up to Zabriskie Point Thursday night for just that purpose.

19. Ride day advice! Here’s the thing: assuming you’re doing the whole 105 miles, the halfway point in mileage terms isn’t necessarily the halfway point in terms of time. You might only be a third done, in fact – here’s some thoughts:

   a. Wind will more than likely be an issue. And it’ll be stronger in the afternoon. And it’ll probably be a headwind then, too. To minimize your exposure to that, the best “how to ride” advice we can give is get south fast. Now, don’t hammer in the morning and wipe yourself out – you gotta ride smart. But the further south you can get before the sun pops out from behind Funeral Peak, the better you’ll be.

   b. Don’t get overexcited in the morning! The first 18 miles to Badwater is a net downhill. It’s cool, you’re in the shade, and you’re with 349 of your closest friends – it’s waaaaay too easy to find yourself going faster than you ought to. Go fast, but not too fast!

   c. Climbing Jubilee Pass is all about rhythm – find a pace you can maintain, then find your Happy Place and keep chuggin’ and drinkin’. Take breaks if you need to. It’s a loooong climb, and it’ll be getting hot.

   d. Eat smart. There’s gonna be LOTS of food out there – if it weren’t for the dehydration you could gain weight on this ride! Don’t overstuff yourself or experiment with foods you’re not sure about.

   e. In the afternoon, especially if it’s windy, find a group to ride in and get a nice paceline going. Keep an eye on each other, especially as people fall to the back of the line – don’t drop anyone!

20. Did we mention the need to drink lots of water? No? Well, drink lots of water. Always!

21. More than anything, enjoy the experience.

The Katie Clark Addendum

1.    I found dumping some ice cold water on my body (head, shoulders, legs, arms, feet, WHOLE BODY) at each break point made for a refreshing first few miles out of each break point.

2.  One year they had towels stored in an ice chest. Get one, put it on your shoulders, tucked into your jersey and leave it there. Re-dunk at each checkpoint (and if you are dying and see a SAG vehicle - they had the coolers of ice in there as well). Refill water bottles too!

3. The name of the game is keeping your body hydrated and cool off at each break point. You will roll in thinking you are going to die, but if you can cool down and rest for a few minutes with a cold cloth on your head, you will be fine.


5. For those who go up Jubilee, come back down and continue onward... You are going to think you are dying between Ashford Mills (bottom of Jubilee) and Mormon Point. You'll be around 70 miles into the ride and it's going to be HOT. And straight. And you can see forever. Did I mention HOT?

6. Plan on just an extra minute or two under the tent at Mormon Point out of the sun. Drink an entire iced water bottle there and then refill it. Dump some ice water on your head. Redunk your towel in ice. This is make or break point at Mormon Point. This is the mentally challenging part. Cool down, breath deep and know that you can do this.

7. If you can get back to Badwater (17 miles from finish line), you will finish. But you have to be mentally prepared to go in and out around those bends about nine times before you get there. You'll see cars go by and you'll see them for a long distance.

8. This game is physically challenging. It will be far more mentally challenging than you ever thought possible. But you can do it, and if you go slow, I will do it with you.

The Mike Howard Addendum

1.    My mood changes as I dehydrate. I get depressed. If you find yourself getting that way stop and drink. It's not a race. If you see me scowling tell me to drink! Bring Ibuprofin too - I may need to ask you for some!

2.    On the way back from Mormon Point to Badwater it seems to take FOREVER. You think Badwater is around the next bend and it's not. I have 2 pictures from 2005 in that stretch, one from the front and one to the back and there's nobody in the pictures. I use it as a time of quiet reflection on what has brought me to that point ... and then Badwater appears around the bend.

The Derek Dykstra Addendum

1.    At the Ashford Mills break point before the Jubilee Pass climb, make sure your bottles are totally full and, if they have them, grab extra bottles and stick 'em in your jersey pockets.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Team Ride Thirteen Reeeeeeeporting for duty SIR

Aaaaaaaaaaand BAM IT'S AUTUMN. No, not Autumn, the girl who turned you down for Prom, quit living in the past you yobbo! We're talkin' about the season colloquially known as Fall! Golden trees! Wool knickers! Cyclocross! Funny-shaped sportsball!

Even though it isn't. It's still summer, no matter how much sheep fur was in our laundry Sunday night.

But we had a heck of nice ride, and a good solid productive one at that, with a hill or eight to climb and I'm pretty sure a headwind no matter what direction we went, and filled out a bit more than 57 miles to boot!

In attendance:
Hosts Megan* and Jordan and Ben and Zoe (or is it Zoë?)
Kevin C*
Scott W*
Tom S
Mary S
Suzy D*
Coach Michelle*
Provisionally approved Michelle-stealin' dude Chase
John J
Suzanne A*
Nick C
Paul C*
Cindy A
Linda TP
Josh M*
Jeremy P*
Special Guest Star Mandy
Special Guest Star Ginger (y'all know that's my mom, right?)
Linda C
Coach MC
Kirsten D
And me, your own hill-findin' did

Those asterisks up there? Those are people who, in one month and 3 days, will experience Death Valley for the first time. How cool is that?!?!?!

On that note - there's gonna be a lot of practical communication coming up in the next few weeks, so pay attention to your email First up, you should have had some info regarding the truck that'll be transporting our bikes out west. Didn't get it? Get in touch with your coaches or with the chapter office staff!

Keep on rocking and riding!

***D'oh! I forgot to write down CLIFF L! I was so excited about figuring out how to do the two little dots over the e in Zoë... I owe ya a Spotted Cow, sir!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Wow......Coach Did and I were chattin' after yesterday's ride and realized that - in the midst of gettin' ready for La Crosse n' all - neither of us ever wrote up a report after Tour de Taco!


Well - suffice to say that a good time was had by a whole buncha extra-fine folks, many calories both solid and fluid were consumed, many miles were ridden and once again The World's Coolest Team flexed its muscles and showed its stuff!

And that brings us to yesterday's ride....hosted by our good friends (and hopefully future teammates!) the Weningers at their lovely cottage down on Barlow Lake in Middleville. It was a perfect day to roll some miles, gobble some burgers n' brats n' dogs and play in the lake!

Doing egg-zac-lee that were:

Vern VH
Steve, Ellie and Anna C
Scott W
SGS Ginger D
Tom & Mary S
Suzy D
Paul & Nic C
Chris, Becky & Katelyn M
Coach Did
Linda C

and me!

(Joinin' us for eatin' and hangin' were Katie C and Cathy C!

We did a 30 and 20 mile loops - both of which were....umm....roll-y and then hit the deck and the lake!

It was a perfect day and we took full advantage!

Next Team Ride is 9/14 - hosted by Megan Taylor................watch for details!

Ride on Rockstars..........you're the best!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Post-Holland-Hundred ride report and whatnot

Hey, we missed you folks on Sunday! It was a seriously nice day, and you missed out on meeting our old neighbor Ed, who REALLY perks up when he hears the word "high" and was visibly disappointed to find out that it was a BG thing and not something more up his nose alley.

At least he had a shirt on.

Anyway, big congrats to Megan T, who completed her first 50 mile ride despite the aforementioned high (and a matching low) - way to stick it to T1!

Other folkses along for the ride were
MC (almost ready to head off to Burlington to kick off Ride Season!)
Linda C (doing her longest ride this year)
SGS GingerMom (doing her longest ride in a few years)
Kevin C (fresh off the Holland Hundred the day before)
Kirsten (also doing a Holland Hundred cool-down half-century)
John J (who gets a parenthetical note so he doesn't feel left out)
and little ol' me.

We rumbled up the Berry Junction and Hart-Montague trails all the way up to Rothbury, back down through Montague again for ice cream at Twisters, then over to Scenic Drive to see Lake Michigan and Blockhouse Hill. Back at Mullally Park there was the usual chips, salsa, shade, and chitchat. It was pretty dang nice!

So NEXT UP on the team ride schedule is the annual famous Casa de Clark Tour de Taco, on August 3. We're gonna have at least a couple of mileage options for any and all riders, we'll hear stories from the Burlington ride, we'll send off our Lacrosse riders with hearts full up to bursting, and we'll eat a whole mess of grilled chicken and stuff. Deets will be forthcoming, but get it up on your calendar now because we want big attendance!

Rock on, rockstars!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Team Ride 9 Report

I've still got water in my ears. How's that for a report? Ah, swimming pools - is there anything better on a nice warm day after a ride? We were all kinda concerned that we'd be riding in rain, or postponing, or even cancelling based on the weather forecast, but the storms had the decency to get here early, do their thing, and then leave us with dang near perfect conditions!

Rolling out from Kim and Chris's's's's (what's the apostrophe rule on that, again? Sorry, Mrs. Scharfenburg...) were:

Scott W
Johnny D
Kevin C
John J
Special Guest Suzy D
Jeremy P
Josh M
Chris R
"Titanium" Tom M
Cindy A
Special Guest Mike H
Linda C
Megan T
Special Mom Ginger D
and your loyal coaches did, Kaat, and MC.

We rode somewhere between 30 and 40 miles, or something like that, depending on when for each of us the lure of the pool overcame any desire to ride up another hill. Our most generous hosts, Kim & Chris, ably assisted by June (and not really all that assisted by Dane, Maali, and Hayden), had burgers galore, and we all had waaay too much sweet stuff. Thanks to all who brought (BELCH) brought food!

And the pool. was. glorious.

NEXT UP! We have the Holland Hundred on Saturday the 19th - routes are anything from 19 to 100 miles, and every distance includes the famous Pancake Breakfast. We've got a new route for the 100 mile, as well, so you won't visit the no mans land of extreme southern Allegan county.

Aaaand just in case you don't want to do the HH, or if you do but want more miles for the weekend, we're gonna have a team ride on Sunday the 20th from Mullally Park in North Muskegon, with a nice 50 mile mostly flat route in the offing. And there will be an ice cream stop! Look for details on Facebook and in your email.

Rock on folks! We're about a month from the Lacrosse ride, 2 months from Tahoe, and 3 months to Death Valley!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Free gear from one of our sponsors

Hey team. Thanks to long time sponsor XS Energy Drinks, every team member will be receiving a free XS Energy jersey and tech t-shirt. The t-shirts are in various colors and come in both men's and women's sizes. The jerseys come in two colors schemes, green and yellow, or red,white and blue, and are uni-sex sizing. We will be distributing them at upcoming team rides and other events. Or you can send Tom Scheidel an email to arrange getting your attire.

XS has also donated a pallet load of energy drinks. All the proceeds from the sale of the drinks goes to the rider who sells them. For example, if you sell 5 cases (12 cans per case) at $20 a case, you would have $100 to put toward your ride account. The great thing about XS Energy Drinks is that they are low carb, no sugar, and low calorie. The energy boost comes from a mixture of B vitamins. And they taste great. Check with Tom or Mary Scheidel to get your supply.

Thanks again to XS Energy Drinks for their support of the West Michigan Ride Team.


Well - we didn't expect a huge turnout when we scheduled a Team Ride for the 4th of Joo-Lie weekend but figured "What the Heck?" y'know?

As it turned out - we had 3 registered riders, 2 extra-special Guest stars & 3 coaches. We all did a roll-y 42 mile loop and enjoyed the day, the company, the post-ride snacks (thanks Coach MC2!) and a fine ride!

The 3 registered riders:
JD Stone
Scott Wycoff
Cliff Lewis

The Extra-Special-Guest-Stars:
Suzy Doyle
Lindsay Stacy

The Coaches:

We rolled from Johnson Park (no sign of LARPers, alas) - headed north and west over to GVSU, out Leonard, skirted Hudsonville (there's a new bike shop there I hear tell) and then back. Everyone rode well and we were lookin' GOOD! ( I know - you knew that - still, it bears mentioning.)

Our NEXT Team Ride is a BIGGIE and I hope to see ALL Y'ALL there! Details are being nailed down as I type this - watch for an e-mail soon - but we'll be riding from Kim Monk's place in Ada. You know what THAT means, right? Okay - it likely means a few hills, true, but it ALSO means a big cookout/pool party after the ride! I can't wait! That's THIS COMIN' SUNDAY so I'll see you there!

Hey kids - it's July. The Ride to Cure Season commences in a few short weeks and for those of you heading to La Crosse - that's NEXT MONTH! We're "in it for real" is what I'm getting at here...I hope everyone is getting the miles in their legs and dollars into their Ride Accounts.

Okay - that covers it for now  - I really hope to see you soon and - as always - thanks for being the complete freakin' ROCK STARS that you continue to be!

XO, Coach MC for your coaches and Ride Committee.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Wow - are we on a roll or what !?!?!?!??! (Har! Another "roll" pun!)

Yesterday's ride had it all - and then some. Hills. Beautiful weather. Hills. Sunshine. Hills. Great food. Hard Cider. Hills. Laughs. Riders from all over. And....yes....a few hills. (Did I mention the hills?)

'Twas a good group that gathered at Sietsema's Orchards out in Ada. I counted 23 riders and more than a few fam and friends takin' advantage of Sarah and Peter's over-the-top-n'-then-some hospitality.

Coach Did did his diabolical thing and came up w/ a couple of loops that offered more than sufficient rollies to get everyone into the mood to consume Peter's taco bar...featuring a veritable bounty of goodies and desserts, all washed down w/ sweet cold hard cider from the orchard.

The cast o' characters:

Chris R
Megan T
Tom n' Mary S
Kevin C
Sarah A
Susanna A (w/ SGS Brad)
Scott n' June W
Lisa B (all the way from Gaylord!)
Melanie G (ditto!)
Vern VH
Jeremy P (who showed up a tad late and did a solo ride then stayed to help party)
SGS Jeremy B
SGS Ginger D
Kirsten D
Linda C
Coach Kaat
Coach Did
and me.

The ride was grand, the company was even better and the food - as I may have previously mentioned - was beyond yummy!

Thanks to Peter and Sarah...thanks to Sietsema's Orchards...thanks to alla y'all that came out to make it the fine day it was.

And thanks to everyone that makes this The World's Coolest Team.....y'all rock like no one else ever has or will!

Next Team Ride - Sunday July 6 from Mullally Park in N. Muskegon. We're thinking an AM ride since it's the weekend of the 4th. Details to follow!

See you on the road!
Coach MC

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


And the streak continues.........! We've been lucky enough to use this particular venue 4-5 times now and the weather is ALWAYS groovy!

And so it was again - after a rainy, cloudy morn the skies cleared and the sun came out to shine down on the World's Coolest Team once again!

MASSIVE Fult-Tilt-Boogie Appreciation to JD and Maggie Stone for being the Hosts With The Most once again!

We had 2 groups - one that did 40-ish miles and one that did 24-ish and then we lounged on the grass, ate handmade jalapeno brats and assorted other goodies.

It was a FINE day indeed!

Roll Call: (See what I did there? "Roll"? HAR!)

Megan T
Brad S
Kevin C
Mike H
Debra W
Kirsten D
Scott W
Tom n' Mary S
Susanne (w/ SGS Brad J)
Linda C
SGS Ginger D (ie "Did's MOM!")
Coaches Kaat, Michelle, Did and yours truly.

So - as great as it was to see 20 of us together - that's still less than 1/2 of our team. Speaking for alla your coaches we sure hope to see you all at the next ride!

Speaking of the "next ride"..............it's 6/22 @ Sietsema's Orchards in Ada. Our hosts will be Sarah Andro and Peter Davison so we're gonna eat good! (Watch your e-mail and Facebook for details)

Okay - that's all for now. Don't forget alla the great opportunities to ride w/ our supporting shop...(Mon, Tues & Sun night, Fri & Sat morning) and we'll see you out there!

You guys are the best.....the very best there is. You knew that, right?

Rock on,
Coach MC

Monday, May 19, 2014


What a great ride! What a fine day! Okay - was it a lil' windy? Yep. Could it have been warmer? Well...sure. But - it was a pretty ok day all in all and 2dozen + of the World's Coolest Team convened at Tom Miller's house up near Grand Haven to celebrate our collective coolness again!

The Roll:
John J
Cliff L
Kirsten D
Tom M
Amy F (!!!!!!!)
Kevin C
Megan T
Linda C
Cindy A
Coach Michelle
Coach Did
Koach Kaat
Coach MC

Special Guest Stars......
Ginger D
Jordan T
Jerry M
John L
Craig Z
Katie Z
and 2, count 'em 2 Mike H!!!

We had or choice of 25 or 35 mile loops and once everyone got back to Tom's our choice of hotdogs or burgers, MC's beans or JD's and a variety of other goodies. We talked, we hung out, we caught up.....and 'twas way cool to have so many of Tom's buddies from his Thursday Night Ride (you DO know about his ride, yes?!??) and in general did that World's Coolest Team Thing that we do so well.

It was wunnerful, in other words.

Next Team Ride is 3 weeks away (boo!) but not to be missed. This'll be our annual gathering at Eldean's Marina out in Holland and THAT means sweet loops along the lakeshore and a cookout alongside Lake Mac. There's a pool too, so barring a recurrence of the Polar Vortext that's an option as well. Watch for more info and an official invite soon!

In the meantime - keep riding (don't forget alla the chances to do that from our sponsoring shop!), keep fund-raising, keep recruiting and keep rockin' like only y'all can do!

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 Team Ride 4 Report

Warm, Sunny, Dry - pick 2! Hey, that's better than picking none and being told that you'll like it. And 50 degrees ain't so bad, so maybe we got 2 and a half. And what's a little wind among friends, right?

So, yeah! We had a nice not-quite-30-mile ride on Sunday in Ada, in the company of:

Vern VH
Cindy A.
Chris R.
Tom M.
Tom & Mary (and a couple of trays of cupcakes)
Linda TP
John J
and li'l ol' did.

To celebrate the big bright thing being out in the sky, we stopped in Saranac for ice cream, because ice cream. And then we had cupcakes.

Your next team ride opportunity will be on Sunday, May 18, from Tom Miller's house south of Grand Haven - details will be on Facebook and in your email early next week. In addition, don't forget that on Tuesdays, we'll always have a JDRF coach there to ride with whoever shows up - we're rolling at 6:30 pm from 3rd Coast Cycles in Hudsonville.

Gettin' warm out there now - go ride!

Monday, April 28, 2014


'Twas a hardy group of T1d - fighting warriors that gathered at the Clark's house yesterday...ready, willing (well - mostly) & able to saddle up and fight a howling wind. We broke into 3 groups, rolled out on the traditional Early-Season-Ride-From-Clark's route and hung out back at the house afterwards to put the hurt on a couple pots of soup, a veritable mound of cupcakes and assorted other offerings.

In other words - we had a blast!

Roll Call:

Coach Michelle
Chris R
Kirsten D
Coach Did
Tom & Mary S
Team G-Ville Clark (minus Anna)
Cliff & Nicole
Megan T
Tom M
Kevin C
Becky & Chris M (let the record show that they rode their bikes to the ride! HARD core!)
John J
Coach Me

and Coach Kaat joined us after she got outta work to make sure we were re-fueling properly!

It was a good day - Katie C debuted her new bike, Megan was rockin' her kickstand (that's how she rolls!), everyone rode well and as a group we were - as usual - cooler than average!

Our next Team Ride is this comin' Sunday from Ada Park - watch FB and your e-mail for the details!

Keep riding!
Keep rockin'!
Keep being the special folks that you are!

See you soon,

Coach MC on behalf of your coaches (Derek, Kaat, Michelle) and your Ride Committee (Tom M, Mary, Becky, Kim, Cindy, Did, Michelle)

Monday, April 7, 2014


Well...... the weather f-i-n-a-l-l-y relented and the non-Spring-Break-traveling members of The World's Coolest Team showed up in force @ 3rd Coast Cycles yesterday to really kick the 2014 Ride Season off in fine style!

We broke into 2 groups....Coach Did led some folks around one of our fav shop ride loops for 32 miles while I took a group on a more "conversational" 18+ mile loop.

Afterwards there was much laughter, snack consumption and sharing of Tall Tales as we embraced teammates both familiar and new.

The Roll:

Special Guest Berger
Susanne A & Special Guest Brad
Cliff L & Special Guest Dave
New Teammie Megan T
Coach Did & Kirsten D
Cindy A
Sarah A & Peter D
Tom M
Kevin C
Peggy E
Chris R & Special Guest Julie
Scott W & Special Guest June
Lisa B
Special Guest Brian VZ
Special Guests Ross and Krista S
and your reporter on the tandem w/ Super Stoker Linda C!

It was a great day - a great ride and it's gonna be a GREAT season! I can't wait to roll w/ you guys again!

You rock - each n' every one of you - (but you knew that, right?)

Thanks for all you do!
Coach MC

NEXT RIDE - Sunday 4/27. The Clark's house in Grandville. 2:00pm roll out. (More details soon!)

Monday, March 24, 2014


Yup - March 23 is a little earlier than we usually start.
Yup - It's been a ridiculously long and brutal winter.

In a way - that's kinda why your Happy Coaching Staff (Derek, Kaat, Michelle n' your's truly) felt that we needed to "tarry not"....we sorta wanted to let Old Man Winter (that putz) and the world know that the World's Coolest Team will NOT be denied - not by snow, unseasonably cold temps or open-and-enticing ski resorts!

Besides - we kinda missed y'all.

So - we got together @ 3CC yesterday for a "Sufferfest" indoor workout, a mess o' baked spaghetti and some serious hangin' out. Everybody got their sweat on (ok - some more than others) and it was Awesome to see so many here!

Speakin' of that - here's the Roll Call:

Coach Did
Kirsten D
Kevin C
John J
Coach Michelle
Scott W
June W
Coach Kaat
Peggy E
Linda C
Tom M
Jen F (Potential New Rider)
Mary G (Supa-Special Guest Star from Chicago and Honorary Teammie)
Dan E (Past and Hopefully Future Rider)
Ross S (Ditto)
Krista S (Hopefully Future Rider)
and me....

...as well as non-riding (but still welcome) appearances by Katie C, Tom S and Chris 'n Julie R.

Thurs 3/27 - Rode to Cure Info Night @ 3CC
Sun 4/6 - Team Ride #2
Sat 4/12 - Dunecross Race
Sat 4/12 - Jake's Music Fest
Sat 4/19 - HellKaat Hundie Gravel Race
Sun 4/27 - Team Ride #3

Okay - that's it for now.......keep (or start!) riding...keep fund-raising....keep tellin' your friends what they're missin' out on and remember...................


See you soon,
Coach MC

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Get to know your team!

Hey Teammates!
In an effort to get to know each other a little better before the actual "ride season" begins we're putting together a "Who's Who on the West Michigan Ride Team." Could you take a few moments to answer these questions about yourself for us to post here? Just send a message to ridewestmichigan@gmail.com with your reponses!
Who are you?
Where do you live?
What do you do in your "real" (ie non JDRF) life?
How long have you been on the team?
What's your connection to JDRF / T1D? (If you wanna share)
What's #1 on your cycling bucket list?
Your favorite post-ride food? Drink?
What's your favorite cycling memory?
If you could ride 25 miles w/ anyone in history, real OR imaginary, who would it be?
When we find a cure for T1D I'm gonna _______!

Also, a picture of yourself would be great, too! It's nice to see what our teammates look like without helmets and sunglasses.
We're looking forward to learning more about you!
Your ride committee

Saturday, January 4, 2014

JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Information Nights

The Michigan Great Lakes West JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Chapter invites you to learn more about riding bicycles to cure type 1 diabetes and to meet the people you can do it with. Riders of all levels take on two challenges: raising the money needed to fund research for better treatments and a cure for diabetes, and reaching a personal training goal to prepare for a destination cycling experience. Your local team rides and raise funds and awareness for the cause, together. Please join us!

Two opportunities to learn more and meet the team:

January 19, 4 - 6pm
February 13, 6 - 8pm
Come and go as you please! Events are held at 3rd Coast Cycles, 5211 Cherry Ave Suite 170, Hudsonville, Michigan 49426.