Friday, June 15, 2007

Greetings again. Time for another installment of My Latest Challenge 2.0 - my continuing quest to punish my body on a bicycle while raising money to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma. My fundraising deadline is coming up, so let's go to the tote board to see how I'm doing against my goal of riding a mile for every dollar raised. I've raised $3,541 and I've ridden 2,200 miles. The good news is I still have plenty of riding to do but the fundraising deadline June 22nd. That means if you want to punish me through the summer, you need to get your donation in. Simply go to my fundraising site and make a donation.

I realized I tend to get cranky in my updates. I usually complain about some transgression from squirrels and motorists. This update I'll refrain from focusing on the negative experiences, like one particular idiot motorist on Mt. Diablo a couple days ago, and I'll focus on some of the positive effects.

First, riding over 2000 miles in a few months really tones up your legs and buttocks. Seriously, who doesn't like toned buttocks? "They" say that you can strengthen your buttocks so much that you can actually crack walnuts between your butt-cheeks. I have to say, this claim has always intrigued me. So I decided to see whether one could actually crush walnuts between one's butt-cheeks. Getting the walnuts is the easy part. The hard part is finding a person actually willing to test this claim. I figured all the women on the team were out of the question. I couldn't bring myself to actually ask any of them whether they would attempt to crush a walnut with their butt cheeks. Something tells me they may not take that request in the scientific vein it was offered. Though I'm sure some of them are "walnut crushing fit."

So that leaves the guys on the team. It didn't take very long for me to realize, that I couldn't ask the guys on the team either. That left only two possible courses of action - I would try to sneak a walnut onto their bike seat just as they were about to sit down. This seemed like a brilliant plan. There were only a few problems with it. What if they couldn't actually crush the walnut? They might react with stunned surprise. Have you ever noticed how sharp walnut shells are? What if they crushed the walnuts only to cut themselves on the shells. Again, their reaction towards me may be less than friendly.

Clearly, my only option was to personally put this theory to the test. While I was at it, I decided to determine other crush-worthy items - grapes, marshmallows, oreo cookies, and ping pong balls to name a few. If you want to learn the results of the walnut crushing experiments you have to go here.

Pretty surprising, huh? The things we do in the name of science.

Continuing with my positive attitude, I have to give props to my teammates. I have to say it has been a pleasure riding with such a diverse group of people. We have business owners, surgeons, dentists, nurses, epidemioligists, educators, students, nurses, and anesthetists. All of them are focused on the same goal - fighting cancer and riding farther and climbing higher than they've ever done before. If you're not busy on July 14th and happen to be around the town of Markleeville, you should head over to highway 88 and check these folks out as they make their way up Carson Pass. You'll be inspired as regular folks grind their way up a grueling climb. They'll appreciate the support.

Check out the blog at http://notabouttheback.blogspot.com/ and visit the fundraising site. Next update will be after our next two gut wrenching rides.

Steve