Friday, February 23, 2007

Challenges are Everywhere

Hello again. I'm back for another update about my Latest Challenge 2.0. I didn't have enough challenges so I'm back for another year of self-punishment in the form of hundreds of miles and hours on my bicycle. Once again I'm on quest to conquer 129 miles over 5 mountain passes in one day and raise $5,000 to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma in the process. If you want to support my cause visit my donation website at ( If you want to know more about my quest, then visit my blog. ( Let me catch you up on the latest developments.

Me and my big mouth
In my last update I pledged to ride 100 training miles for every $100 donated. Right now I have trained 250.7 miles but your generous donations are at $520. I have a 270 mile deficit. I intend to reduce this deficit considerably this weekend. As I explained to one naysayer, I have a plan that will allow me to keep my mileage up. More about that in a future update, for now you have an opportunity to make me work. You won't get another chance at that.

I did consider other forms of incentives but after careful consideration I thought better of it. The most intriguing was a company that makes personalized bricks. What better way to reward your patronage than to have a brick engraved with your personal message. I was going to offer to carry the bricks on a ride with me and realized that I had enough trouble hauling my own weight around let alone a bunch of bricks.

He Ain't Heavy...He's Fat!
Speaking of weight, I also mentioned that I would lose 35 pounds in the process. To help me in the goal, my loving wife, bought me a super-fancy scale for Christmas. This scale tells me everything, most of which I don't want to know. She would have gotten me a talking scale, but I couldn't bear the sound of a scale telling me "One at a time please" or "The freight scale is in the back" or "What did I do to you?". Thinking I could endure anything the uber-scale could tell me, I learned the hard way that I was wrong. You see, the scale has this one measurement that tells you your metabolic age. Effectively it computes your fitness and provides you with what your age should be. Here's the deal, my drivers license says that I am in my 40s. My scale tells me that I am in my 50s. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather my scale make cutting remarks than to simply tell me I am old. All this time I bought into the line - "You're as young as you feel". Now I know "You're as young as your scale says you are". My newly added goal is to get my scale age below my real age. I know this is possible because my superfit cousin, who happens to be 10 years older than I, is only 26 according to the scale.

Well that's enough update for now. Tomorrow we tackle a 54 mile ride. This should be a real test for the back. While I'm riding, check out the blog for a tear-jerker story that pretty much sums up why I ride to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

From on My Back to on My Bike

I bet some of you were wondering whatever happened to those nice updates we used to get from that bike riding guy. Others of you are probably saying, "I'm glad I don't get those updates anymore." And others are wondering, "How did he get my email address?"

Once again I'm going to be filling your inbox with inane blather about how I'm doing on my latest challenge. As some of you will recall, last year I took on the ill conceived challenge of rding my bicycle 129 miles over 5 mountain passes. I did this as part of a challenge to raise funds to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma. Well thanks to many of you, I collected over $7,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my late mother-in-law, Margie Griffin and my friend Stacy Bowman, who is a leukemia survivor.

So what am I up to you say? Well shortly after I completed the Death Ride last year I was contacted by my coaches from Team in Training and asked if I wanted to be a mentor for this years Death Ride team. Coincidentally, I was recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured disk in my lower back. So while wondering whether I was going to walk upright, let alone ride a bike, I did the only reasonable thing...I said "Yes". That's right, a gimpy overweight guy, i.e. me, is going to do the Death Ride again. It sounds ludicrous and don't tell my surgeon, but I'm determined to give complete this very difficult ride.

Here's the deal - after all that effort to raise money to support cancer research and patient services, they still haven't found a cure. I know, I'm as shocked as you are. Since over 76% of the funds raised by the Leukemia and Lymphoma go to fund important research and care, I felt what better way to invest my time.

So if you think that helping to find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma is a pretty good idea, and if you want to support my goal of raising $5,000 to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, then check out my fundraising site at To make things more interesting, I'm committing to ride 100 miles this year for each $100 dollars raised. I figure that if people want to spite me, they'll donate more.

I'll keep you updated on my progress along with various experiences along the way. If you do not want to receive updates, drop me a line and let me know.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why I Ride for Team in Training

For those that don't understand why I raise money to fight blood-related cancers, this story pretty much says it.

From the book, Life Lessons, by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler.

“Some years ago, I knew a young boy who was eager to spread love and find life, even though he was at the end of his. He had had cancer for six of his nine years. In the hospital, I took one look at him and knew he was finished fighting. He had just had it. He had accepted the reality of his death. I stopped by to say good-bye the day he was going home. To my surprise, he asked me to go home with him. When I tried to sneak a peak at my watch, he assured me that it would not take long.

And so we drove into his driveway and parked. He told his father to take down his bicycle, which had been hanging in the garage, unused, for three years. His biggest dream was to ride around the block once—he had never been able to do that. He asked his father to put the training wheels on his bicycle. That takes a lot of courage for a little boy to do: it’s humiliating to be seen with training wheels when your peers are popping wheelies and performing tricks with their bikes. With tears in his eyes, the father did so.

Then the boy looked at me and said, “Your job is to hold my mom back.”You know how moms are, they want to protect you all the time. She wanted to hold him up all the way around the block, but that would cheat him out of his great victory. His mother understood. She knew that one of the last things she could do for her son was to refrain, out of love, from hovering over him as he undertook his last, great challenge.We waited as he rode off. It seemed like an eternity.

Then he came around the corner, barely able to balance. He was terribly drawn and pale. Nobody thought he could ride a bike. But he rode up to us beaming. Then he had his father take off the training wheels and we carried the bike, and him, upstairs. “When my brother comes home from school, would you send him in?” he asked.

Two weeks later the little brother, a first-grader, told us that his brother had given him the bicycle as a birthday present, since he knew he would not be around for the birthday. With not much time or energy left, this brave boy had lived out his final dreams, riding his bike around the corner and passing it on to his younger sibling.”