Monday, May 4, 2015

Bike MS Fundraising



I'm really struggling with my fundraising for Bike MS.  I'm not getting much interest from social media or from coworkers.  This week, they've challenged us to raise as much as possible toward our goals and even threw in prizes.  Could you help me out by making a donation?  The amount of your donation does is not what counts, but that you give!  I have a goal of raising $500 and so far I've only raised about 16% of that goal.  I really need some other people to help me reach that goal as I'm riding in June!

Visit my personal ride page and click "Donate To Me"!  I'll be so grateful to anyone that can give.  I'm also working on finding some prizes to throw into a drawing for anyone who donates, so you may even have a shot at winning a prize!

Thank you so much for reading and considering making a donation toward my $500 goal!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Planning for a Week Long Bicycle Ride

I'm super excited about riding this year.  My bike is currently in the shop for maintenance.  Apparently I've put a lot of wear on it.  They checked my chain and said it was really worn.  The tires are close to needing replaced, and the handlebar tape was starting to tear.  So, they are cleaning all the mechanical parts, replacing the chain, re-wrapping the handlebars, and possibly replacing my tubes and tires.  Wow.  My bike has around 2200 miles on it.  It's hard to believe I've ridden that much in 3 years.

I can't wait to push my body to do a 7 day bike ride called GOBA, Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure in June.  For one, I love seeing what I'm actually capable of.  Secondly, I hope to make some friends and meet new people.  I'm not a very outgoing person, so that might be a little bit of a challenge.  The other exciting part is that the route mostly goes through areas very close to home and where I grew up.

Planning for a week long bicycle ride is a lot more of a task than I expected.  I've realized there are a lot of things I'll need that I just don't have.  I need to also figure out what kinds of snacks I want to carry with me.  There are a lot of stops planned in small towns we'll be riding through, but I want to be sure I have things that I know fuel me well and that I like.  I also need to determine how much Nuun to pack!

Here's a list of things I think I need to get before I take off on this adventure later this year.  I'm hoping to do this at the least cost possible!


  • Battery pack for charging my cell phone in case power sources aren't available.
  • CO2 Pump and Cartridges (Been stuck trying to hand pump my bike once and don't want to do it again if I can help it.)
  • Seatpost rack and trunk bag to carry additional items on the bike with me.
  • New mirror (mine is really cloudy and is getting tough to see things in.)
  • Sun Screen (I burn really easily, so I'll need lots of this!)
  • Foldable sandals that I can pack away or stuff in a jersey pocket for stops where cleats aren't allowed.
  • Multi-tool with more tools on it. My current tool has come in handy, but has been proven to be missing some things before.
  • Spare tubes just in case.
  • Tent (Our tent is several years old, large, and some parts have fallen off. I'd love to get a tent just the right size to hold me and my bag.)
  • Sleeping Bag and Pad (Ours got eaten by the washing machine two years ago and we never replaced them.)
  • New cycling gloves (My cycling gloves are 3 years old and have been worn for most of my 2200 miles.)
  • Rain jacket or poncho in case of rain  (I bought one last year, but it doesn't breathe at all and I ended up miserable at the end of the ride.)
  • Chamois Cream of some sort.  I've only had to use it once before, but I'm sure over a week long ride, things will rub.
  • Camera (This is a wish item so I can take pictures with something other than my cell phone. I'm not real worried about this item.)
That's the list of items I have so far that I know I will need to buy.  I have a feeling there will be other items I'll need.  Even with all the preparation that is going to happen between now and the ride, I'm still excited for this new experience!  Anyone have any tips for me?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Scheduling More 2015 Cycling

2015 is going to be a great year of cycling.  I've already registered for three rides, one of which is a 3 day ride, and another that is a 7 day event.  I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can start riding/training!

I already talked briefly about Amishland and Lakes that is in August.  I always love this ride.  This will be my third year riding it, but I've never felt up to riding the third day.  I'm determined to ride all three days even if I only ride a short route on Sunday.

I also recently registered for Bike MS to raise awareness and support for the National MS Society.  My wife's aunt and cousin both have MS and I saw this as a way to ride a fun event and raise awareness and support for the organization's research and services!  I still have a long way to go on my fundraising, so I encourage you to make a donation if you are able!  Just click the banner below.


Additionally, I registered last night for The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure.  This is a seven day ride around Northwest Ohio.  I can't wait for this one as it rides through both the area I live in now and the area I grew up in.  I've never done a ride this long, but it is only 50-60 miles per day with two layover days that we aren't required to ride.  It includes tent camping each night, so it will be exactly what the name depicts, an adventure.  I'm not a greatly outgoing person, so my hope is that this will force me out of my comfort zone a little bit and I'll make some new friends along the way!

I'm kind of disappointed that I'll miss the Buckeye Bridge Ride this year because I'll be on the big adventure ride the day of that one.  Hopefully, I'll be able to do that one again next year.

At work, we're doing a Biggest Loser Challenge for our wellness program.  I've needed to take a few pounds off for a while, mostly because I love to eat...and eat a lot!  I've committed to eating right at least 6 out of 7 days a week (I have to have a day I can cheat each week) and working out 4-5 days a week.  So far, I've lost close to 6 pounds in about a week and a half.

Both of my boys have birthdays in March, so it's fun planning parties, but hard to believe how quick they grow up.  One will be 9 and the other will be 2.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy 2015 - Time to Start Planning Rides

Happy 2015! It's been a long time since I've blogged.  It seems I just don't have the time I wish I did to dedicate to writing posts.  It's a snowy day here in Ohio, so I'm just relaxing.  My son is busy watching the kitten bowl on TV. Not exactly my kind of show to watch!

I got news late in the year that I was selected as a Nuun Ambassador for 2015.  I'm so excited because I love Nuun.  When I found it, I fell in love because it has quite a bit of sodium which seems to keep my leg cramps on the bike at bay.  I fell more in love when I tried Nuun Energy for the first time.  I'm excited to represent such an awesome product!  I even ordered Nuun bib shorts and a Nuun jersey for cycling.  I am excited as this is my first "branded" cycling clothes purchase.  Most of my cycling jerseys are cheap jerseys I found at discount stores.


I was also super excited when I got the email that registration is open for Amishland and Lakes, a 3 day bike ride I've participated in for the past two years.  I love this ride for several reasons.  First, it's a fairly flat ride, so it is pretty easy to complete 100 miles on Saturday.  Second, it's mostly on beautiful country roads, passing many Amish farms.  Third, several of the Amish families provide snacks in their front yard for the cyclists as we pass.  Fourth, there's a great Italian restaurant in Howe, IN, where the ride start and finish is.

I have set a goal to complete 1,500 miles in 2015.  In 2014, I rode 1,112 miles.  To get this additional mileage in 2015, I'm looking for more ride events to participate in.  I'm seriously considering doing Bike MS, but I'm a little bit nervous because it will be the first ride that requires some fund raising.  I'm hoping if I commit that I'll be able to raise the funds required.  I would love to ride this in honor of my wife's aunt and cousin that both have MS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Looking Back Over 2014

This past Sunday, I was able to get out and ride 18.6 miles, which put me over my latest cycling goal in 2014.  My initial goal this year was 800 miles.  This proved to be rather simple to get.  Once I hit that, I realized I was on track to hit another milestone.  I hit 1000 miles this fall and then noticed another milestone as I looked back over the past three years.  In 2012 and 2013 combined, I completed 1,110.74 miles.  I was really close to going over that, so I set forth to double my pre-2014 mileage.

This became a bit difficult when I cut my thumb on a chainsaw during my time off for Thanksgiving.  The ER told me it was a good chainsaw injury in that it only require 3 stitches and wasn't the loss of a body part or head trauma.  This actually kept me from getting out because of the pain when I'd try to grasp anything like handlebars...or my toothbrush.

This weekend, the temperatures reached the mid-40's and I knew I only needed 17.5 miles to go over my mileage for the past two years combined, so I headed out for a ride between church and the children's program at church that evening.  I was able to complete 18.6 miles, bringing my year total to 1,111.95 miles.  That's crazy to think I rode over 1,110 miles in a single year!  That included two 100 mile rides, with one of those being the same weekend as another ride that I participated in.  That weekend, I completed 164 miles between Saturday and Sunday.  I never thought I'd complete that kind of mileage in a single weekend!

I'm looking forward to more riding next year and am trying to decide what goals to set for myself.  I'm also starting to consider other gear I may need.  Below is a list of items I'm starting to think I may need:

  • Toe covers to help keep the cold off of my toes while riding in cooler weather.
  • Winter long legged bibs for warmth in cooler weather.
  • Long-fingered gloves.
  • Rear rack with pannier bags for longer rides or commuting to work.
  • Professional bike fitting to make sure I'm on the bike right.  My back and shoulders always bother me after a ride, so I think there may be some adjustments needed.
  • RoadID. I have a ID on my shoe that my wife got me, but I really like the design of the RoadID bracelets.
  • CO2 tire inflater.  Had to hand pump up a tire early this year and that was not fun along the side the road.
  • Faster bike?  Or is it that I need to pedal harder or faster?
  • Heart rate monitor bracelet (no chest strap!).
A few products I've come to love this year:

  • NUUN Energy
  • Rip Van Wafel
  • Honey Stinger Waffles
  • Gu Energy Gels (Vanilla and Root Beer)
  • Several different energy bars and protein bars
Well, I guess that's all I really wanted to share.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year if I don't write again before 2015!