Jeff’s Triple Double Fall 2017 Challenge

Jeff’s Triple Double Fall 2017 Challenge

i Sep 5th No Comments by

Last year my Challenge was to ride 1,000 miles in August and Jeri and I matched all donations during this time. It was fun, difficult, and successful. Then I rode 165 miles in September and 166 miles in October.

This year I’m going for consistency. I rode a healthy 592 miles in August, climbed 14,449′, and averaged 16 mph. I feel good and am definitely stronger. BUT the weather is already starting to change. Tough to keep up this pace in the rain, wind, cold, and dark.

The Triple – Average 20 miles, 500′ of climbing, & 15 mph

The Double – If I’m on schedule, Jeri and I will match your donation to my LiveSTRONG account through October. If I fall behind, we will match your donation to my LiveSTRONG account at a 501c3 of your choice.

If you want to get in on the action, just make a donation using the link below. I’ll post my progress every Saturday or Sunday. Thanks in advance!

The Road Rider

I Ride For:  Mary

i Aug 24th No Comments by

Having just spent 4 days on Mackinaw Island it was impossiable not to reminisce about “simpler” times.  No cars on the island so only horses and bikes.  And of course walking.  The houses and hotels are big and very open so that the breeze can blow through. And at night when most of the day only visitors are gone, it is quiet, slow, and peaceful.

But.  I could still get to the internet. The roads were paved.  We did have air conditioning in our hotel room. And I was only 2,580 steps from a Starbucks.  So it really was not the “simple” life. We were just pozing.

As I biked around, over, and through Mackinaw Island I wondered what Mary thought of that “simpler” time.  I don’t think she is old enough to pre-date cars, but I bet there were some horses around when she was a little girl.  I imagine she, like the rest of us, think fondly of times when “things” went slower. When not everything was a rush. When writing/receiving a letter was the way we communicated long distance.

But back when she was a little girl cancer meant The End.  There were no successful treatments and even worse no hope.  Mary, like much of her family, is battling cancer with modern day treatments which bring with it that hope for more days with family and friends.

So Mary here is to the thought of days where things moved slower and letters were written and not just typed on Facebook. AND where we can benefit from today’s resources like modern medicine and Starbucks.


The Road Rider

RAGBRAI 2017 – Day 7, Final Post

i Jul 30th 1 Comment by
A&W Rootbeer in a Glass, Glass!

A&W root beer in a Glass, Glass!

Thanks, Jeri!

Thanks, Jeri!

Day 7 – Final Journal for 2017
My 6th RAGBRAI is in the books – 475 miles,
34Hours, 11,260′ .  While we had to end a city early due to logistics of getting everyone home, we still got to do the ride out as a team. After 6 years that is still very cool. As in the past, however, I did not go the final 100′ and dip my tires in the Mississippi.
As we were packing the bus and saying good-bye my teammate Jake asked, “Are you going to be sad to not be here tomorrow?”  My answer was similar to another question another teammate asked me while riding two days ago, “So, what is your next adventure?”
I did not dip my tires and I will think fondly of RAGBRAI tomorrow but not miss it because my next adventure started yesterday!
The end for everyone else is never the end for me.  My RAGBRAI “ended” about two miles from the second to the last town yesterday.  It was at that point that I realized my mind was already working on Monday morning.  So I sat up, slowed down, and soaked in those last two miles.
It has been a great week. I’m still the team wall flower but I spent more time on the road with others than I have in he past. I still cannot sit for more than 30minutes while on the route, but I took time to see the Hobo Museum and the Surf Ballroom. I did not train as much this year, but the riding was less effort than in years past.  I ate Cheese Curds, Grilled Cheese with Bacon, edible cookie dough, Paella, and fresh A&W Root beer for the first time.
So what’s the adventure that started yesterday?  Life!  I love my job, dancing with Jeri, spending the weekend with our kids, chopping wood, seeing my parents, taking out the garbage, selling stuff on eBay, and watching TV.  I like it all. Some is by choice and, as I’ve learned biking, some is attitude.  I try to focus on the stuff I know I like and make the best of the stuff I cannot control.
At that last Hardee’s I stopped at I booked more dance lessons, scheduled a hair cut, and cleared my calendar for this coming Friday so we can go see our youngest two kids in Marquette, MI.  I also planned what days in August I can bike to work and which days I’m gonna have to drive. Life, that’s my next and continuing adventure.
The two pictures attached to this post are my favorite of the last 7 days. The first is of me having fresh A&W root beer out of a real glass. The second is of the love of my life. She knew I was coming to Iowa when I was sure I was not. She is the one who encourages me to go even though she hates it when I travel. She is the only one I know who has never seen it and yet understands RAGBRAI.  She makes all of the great life I have more meaningful and fun!
   The Road Rider
PS  RAGBRAI 2018 is only 358 days away!

RAGBRAI 2017 – Day 6, Post 4

i Jul 29th No Comments by
I Ride For: Janice

I Ride For: Janice





Video: Find Your Peace

RAGBRAI – Day 6, Post 4

I Ride For:  Janice

I am now sitting in front of my tent for the last evening of this trip. All my “work” for the day/night are done.  Bike is ready for tomorrow. Bed is ready for tonight. I am clean. And my super-secret clean clothes for the bus ride home are on the top of my pile. The LiveSTRONG staff is cooking hamburgers for dinner, which means I do not have to bike again until tomorrow.

The setting for tonight’s camp is awesome. We are literally camping on the runway of the local airport. We are on the top of a hill and can see for miles in three directions. From where I’m sitting I can see corn, bean, and wheat fields.  I can see trees in between the fields and most likely creeks. It is sunny and warm with a perfect breeze keeping things cool and dry.  It is super peaceful.

I looked for places like this all day to write exactly this message to Janice.  She has had little peace in her life in the last 15 years. Hers was one of the thousands of homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Then as they were trying to recover, cancer dug in. It has been one thing or another ever sense.  Very little peace and quiet even for a moment.

Today I found a park that was empty, but by the time I had gone to get a bottle of water it was packed. I was biking along with lots of others, but it was pretty quiet and then one bike after another came by with loud music.  Seems like wherever I turned, there was a distraction. Until this evening.

Now it is peaceful. I am so lucky to be in this camp with these people.  I hope/wish Janice can find her peace wherever and whenever it reveals itself.


The Road Rider

RAGBRAI 2017 – Day 3, Post 3

i Jul 28th No Comments by
I Ride For: Anne

I Ride For: Anne

RAGBRAI – Day 6, Post 3

I Ride For:  Anne

It is 1:30 pm and I am sitting at a Hardee’s about 2 miles from our camp site.  I am here because there is shade and air conditioning, they have food and ICE, and they have Wi-Fi that is not yet overloaded. The little towns like this one will be completely swamped by cell and Wi-Fi by 6pm.  There is one more reason why I’m here now instead of later: while my butt is always a little sore by this time in a ride, I actually have a saddle sore. I will not go into any more details here (one R rated post per trip is enough). I am NOT sitting on my bike seat to bike the two miles back here later.

So in the last 6 days, I have been able to sample a double cheeseburger at McDonalds, A&W, and Hardee’s. (All in the name of finding free Wi-Fi of course. Ha!)  In highly educated opinion, A&W was the best.  This may have been influenced by the root beer.  I guzzled the first ice cold frosty mug. It was great. AND IT WAS A GLASS – GLASS.  No plastic bottle.

So how can I spin free Wi-Fi, saddle sores, fast food, and root beer into an I Ride For:?  I cannot really do it. Anne is a best friend of Margo. Margo is the mother of Jimmy. Jimmy ran out of time a couple years ago, but not before he and his sister were the first cancer story I ever heard 20 years ago and got me really started at LiveSTRONG. Their Dad (Margo’s husband) is Dan, who I would like to get on RAGBRAI someday. And I bet Dan would appreciate the air conditioning and Wi-Fi if he were here.  It’s a stretch but the best I can do.

Anne, from what Margo wrote me, you are a care-giving machine.  I bet this makes it tough to be on the other end.  My Mom does a weekly radio program called “Wisdom of the Wounded” and her advice is, you will actually be helping others to let them help you.  If you can, give them a job. There is always vacuuming to be done, lawns to mow, cars to wash, food to be bought or prepared. At a minimum, tell Dan that it would really help you if he did RAGBRAI in 2018 with that weirdo from Michigan that sent you the flag.


The Road Rider