I took a video camera along for the ride, and here's what it saw:
I took a video camera along for the ride, and here's what it saw:
First, thank you to the many who supported of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Ride to Cure. A friend and pioneer in the treatment of diabetes used to tell me, "Managing this disease is a numbers game." With that in mind, here are some numbers from last week's 2010 Death Valley Ride to Cure:
1.3 million: Dollars raised to date by participants in JDRF's Death Valley Ride to Cure. This continues to grow.
5 million: Projected dollars raised by all 2010 Rides to Cure.
85 cents: The amount of each dollar that will go toward research into the causes and prevention of Type 1 diabetes.
350: Riders who started the Death Valley Ride to Cure.
15: Age of the top teenaged fundraiser.
25,000: Dollars she raised using only email and Facebook.
104: Number of miles of the complete Ride to Cure route. And, number of miles I rode.
-278 & 1,293: Lowest and highest elevations on the route.
6: Length of the longest climb, in miles.
111: High temperature on Ride day.
24: Estimated number of bottles of water and energy drink I consumed during the ride.
Of course, numbers only tell part of the story. Take a moment to view some of my photos from the Ride.
Again, thank you for your support (and if you wish to make a donation, you can do so here). It's because of you that we're getting closer to a cure.
Late July, my wife and I were standing on the Champs Élysée in Paris. We watched the final stage of the Tour de France, saw Lance finish for the last time in his career, got close enough to Alberto Contador to see the stitching on his yellow jersey, and did the wave with about a billion fans who were in the middle of the biggest spectacle in cycling.
Being at the Tour is a big deal for any cyclist, particularly if like me you've been a rapid cycling fan most of your life. It was everything I thought it would be. I took, oh, about a thousand photos that day, some of which you can see here. And I'll get around to writing about the experience so if you haven't been there, you can get a glimpse of what it's like.
I spent last Thursday through Monday at a different kind of cycling event, the JDRF Ride to Cure in LaCrosse, WI. This was my third Ride to Cure, but it was the first time I didn't have my bike with me. Instead, I had a bag of camera equipment so I could play the role of Ride photographer.
I took about 2,500 photos while I was there. Of the people. Of the events. Of the Ride itself. And what I captured was, in its own way, more exciting than the Tour de France.
I spent those days with 250+ riders, and what seemed like that many volunteers, family and friends. Their motivations vary. Some live with Type 1 diabetes, or have a family member, friend or co-worker who does. Some have no connection to the disease at all. Some are casual cyclists who are satisfied with riding a few miles; others want to finish the century course as fast as they can. They're all ages, and from all backgrounds.
To a person, they're focused on wiping out diabetes, they're motivated, and they joyfully celebrate what they've accomplished.
Through the viewfinder, I saw thousands of smiles, countless small moments of celebration, people who are too humble to use the word "epic" go beyond themselves to accomplish great things, and watched everyone – everyone – say no to diabetes.
Watching a race is one thing. Seeing life-changing, life-affirming moments – everywhere I looked, every time I turned around – is a magnitude greater.
Want to see more from the LaCrosse Ride to Cure? Visit my Flickr gallery for a few of my images from the event. And, visit the Ride to Cure page on Facebook to see what other riders have to say about the experience.
The new cyclingnews.com, in Twitterese: #cyclingnewsfail.
Friend Deadwood pointed out that this blog sucks because I'm not posting enough. I'm not riding enough, either, but that's neither here nor there.
Yesterday I did manage to ride the annual Tour de Lions with some folks from the JDRF team. The ride is a favorite of mine, not only because of the lack of traffic and great roads, but for the brownies at the finish. The folks in Grays Chapel put on a great ride.
Things are a bit rockier at the Giro, with plenty of crashes, including a header off a 200 foot cliff. Today the riders said enough is enough and stopped after entering Milan. Following a conversation with the race chief and an apology to the crowd, the group rode piano until the final few Ks, where they let it rip. Nothing like an extra rest day.
The Greensboro Velo Club and JDRF are teaming up for Hammering Happy Hill, a charity ride on June 27. Info and online registration here.
After wearing my Sidi road shoes for three years or so I've suddenly developed foot pain. Weird -- it's not related to the pedals I'm using (it started with my Speedplays and continued when I switched to Look Keos). After about 30 miles the small toes on my right foot start falling asleep. Cleat position doesn't affect it, nor does a change of insoles. Maybe it's a sign to change shoes. I've had good experiences with Specialized shoes, and checked out a pair of Bontragers the other day that looked pretty sweet. Then there are Shimanos and the new Mavics. Lots to choose from....
Want to try out a Storck bike? This week's Roaming Ride starts at Revolution Cycles on Spring Garden St. The Storck demo team will be on hand, and riders can try a Storck for an extended time. Details: Thursday 6 PM; 25-30 miles at a moderate pace.
Finally, if a mechanic tells you to use a Park glueless patch to repair a cut in a Hutchinson tubeless road tire, don't believe it. I patched my tire in just such a fashion, squirted a can of Fast Air into the tire, and watched in wonder as latex foam shot out of the ostensibly sealed cuts. Crap.... So, a new tire is on the way, and I plan to order the Hutchinson Rep Air kit, which is designed to seal cuts. Fast Air, though spendy, is pretty cool and easy to use, so I'll start carrying a can instead of one of the two tubes that sit in my seat bag.
We have a small, but hopefully growing JDRF team headed for Killington, VT in August. It's going to be a first class ride, and I'm hoping to see more people join us. Our training rides are starting up; we'll have one in Winston-Salem this weekend, and Rides to Cure team members are welcome to join the Roaming Ride Thursday. Email me if you want details.
My training has been sub-par, to say the least. Last weekend was a bust, due to horrible weather and other (non-cycling) commitments. I'm hoping the weather gods treat me better this weekend. With Cycle NC and the Burnsville Metric on the horizon, I need some miles.
I've taken an interest in a more systematic approach to training, which has coincided nicely with my becoming a coach for our JDRF chapter's ride team. I recently took the test for my USA Level 3 coaching certification (and apparently passed, though I haven't received notification beyond seeing my name on the Web site). Through my coaching ambitions are limited to the JDRF team, I'm looking forward to having access to training information, some of which I hope to put into practice. I'll share anything noteworthy here.
Local JDRF Rides to Cure training rides start 3/14. Email me if you're interested.
JDRF has added another ride to the year's schedule: The Cider Mill Century Ride.
Registration for the JDRF Rides to Cure is open. I'm registered for the Killington ride.