Thursday, February 28, 2008

Locks of Love - Really Awesome

Wanted to pass along some really cool info about Audrey Feld, the sister of my honored teammate Reagan Feld. Audrey went to the hair salon this morning and participated in the Locks of Love program. For those of you who are not familar with it:
Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

Pretty cool. Especially for a little kid to do. Pictures are below. (Also note that Audrey's holding the bear of Reagan's that rode around Tahoe with me on my first ride and the medal that Team gave her!!! :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A good week to start what will be a good year...

This week was a really great week for riding. I was able to combine getting out on the bike with making sure that I got on the trainer when I couldn't get outside -- and with as crappy as the weather has been around here lately, that's going to be a pretty regular occurrence.

I was able to put in 70 miles this week, which for this time of year is actually pretty good. I'm stoked that this early in the year I am able get that many miles in. It bodes well for establishing a strong base for the season and being about to perform well at Tahoe and later on in the year.

I was inside on the trainer twice this week and out on the road twice. The two times outside couldn't have been more different. Today I was outside and the weather was clear, bright and crisp. It was roughly 45 degrees -- just cool enough to make you feel alive and wake you up. Tuesday night on the other hand was miserable. I went down to Hains Point for our first buddy ride (good turn out of 5 riders) and it was miserable. It was roughly 35 degrees out and the wind was whipping at at least 20 mph. The leg southbound on Hains Point was fine but when I turned the corner and headed northbound I turned into a 20 mph wind that seemed to zip right through my jersey and base layer. It took all the energy I could muster to maintain 12 mph. It took me a good hour after the ride to shake off the cold.

Daylight savings time should kick in soon and I'll be able to get out a little longer after work and ride a little longer at night.

Things are going well with Team this year. I've raised a decent bit of money on line so far and just mailed out a whole bunch of letters in the postal mail (hint hint). If you would like to donate please visit here. I'm pleased with how the season is going and am really pleased that I can support such a good cause.

If you're curious here's my ride today:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Still iffy weather

Unfortunately I wasn't able to put on much in the way of miles this week. The weather here has been pretty miserable this week. We were supposed to do a buddy ride on Tuesday night which we had to cancel the night before because the weather was horrible. If you're not from the area you may have heard about how the polls were kept open late in Maryland on election day. That's because we had a pretty huge ice storm Tuesday afternoon. When I got to my car Tuesday night after work, the door was slightly frozen shut and the car was covered with a coating of ice. Obviously not bike riding weather.

The team had a training ride on Saturday, but unfortunately I had other stuff going on that day so I wasn't able to make it down. A bummer because the ride was on Beach Drive -- one of my favorite places to ride in DC. Fortunately I was able to carve out some time on the trainer and do Spinerval's Hillacious workout It was a good workout and hopefully continued use of Hillacious will improve my climbing this year. Clearly its the weakest part of my riding.
Since I was inside for ride, there is no map, but here's an idea of what my heart rate and cadence looked like during the ride. The bike actually came uncliped form the trainer one time, so that accounts for one of the stops in cadence...the other was probably just me running to refill water or something.

Join the Campaign to Let Levi Ride

Yet another baseless attack by the French against US riders.
Join the Campaign to Let Levi Ride
On February 13th, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008. The ASO owns premiere cycling events like Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, and the famed Tour de France.

The ASO cited the doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France as justification.

There can be no comparison between the Astana team of 2007 and the new Astana. The entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the team’s new General Manager, Johan Bruyneel, who has thoroughly cleaned house. What’s more, Astana has adopted the rigorous doping controls developed by anti-doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, and Astana now spends more money on anti-doping controls than any other team in the pro peloton.

Please sign.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

D.C. Giant to Be Unearthed Next Week for New Digs -

Well it looks like it's finally going to happen. The Awakening will finally be leaving Hains Point.

D.C. Giant to Be Unearthed Next Week for New Digs - "Washington's massive, quirky public sculpture 'The Awakening,' depicting a bearded giant appearing to crawl out of the earth, will be dug up Wednesday and moved from its home at Hains Point, the National Park Service announced last night."

Folks knew this was coming. Apparently some silly regs prohibiting the Park Service from accepting site specific artwork meant that the sculpture was only on loan to the service. Certainly sad to see it go, but it's no one's fault but the Park Service's. Fortunately we'll have a buddy ride there on Tuesday night to wish it a fond farewell.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Howard Schneider - Going the Distance, for Self or Community -

WAPO has a great article today on Team in Training. They sum up the program pretty well.

Howard Schneider - Going the Distance, for Self or Community - "Team in Training has proved to be a powerful model, raising $850 million for the leukemia society over 20 years and coaxing about 360,000 athletes through running, biking and triathlon events. And it is an example of how getting into shape does not have to involve hours of solo time on a machine. Training can be a social outlet and a way to help the community as well -- whether it's by raising money for a charitable cause or, as previous columns have discussed, supporting recreational and athletic opportunities for kids."

Great to see the MSM covering Team and hopefully it will lead to a few more folks on the Tahoe Team with us.

Also BIG KUDOS to the TNT press shop for getting the article placed.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

And AAAway we go

So I'm sitting at the Annapolis Mall waiting for the tires to be changed on the Corolla. I was totally surprised to find out that the mall has free interwebs. If it wasn't for the screaming rugrats and obnoxious teenagers roaming the mall I might spend a bit more time here...but since I have the interwebs at home and I generally prefer to minimize my interactions with people -- strangers in particular -- I suspect I will be blogging from the mall only when absolutely necessary.

Anyway today was the first training ride for the 2008 Tahoe season. We have a huge team. We've got over 80 people signed up on target to raise over $350,000 for cures for blood cancers!

The group we had out this morning was great. All the riders really seem to have everything together. We have a fair number of alumni from previous Tahoe seasons and previous Seagull seasons. The new riders seem really strong and everyone really seems stoked about the season and the training.

The only downside is that with the season starting it signals the return to getting up before the sun. This isn't the worst thing in the world, but it will take a bit of getting used to. I rolled out of bed at 6:10 this morning and was able to get myself out of the house in time to stop at the local drive through starbucks (where Noel almost got half and half in her coffee and had some mystery artificial sweetener which was clearly not her preferred sweet and low foisted upon here) and get to Hains Point by 7:30ish. Since on my last training ride I rode through what I suspect was a bit of construction debris and ripped a nice gash in the sidewall of my tire I had to change the back tire before I could start riding this morning. Since I am a huge cheapskate and the Bike Rack had a nice price on a YELLOW tire, I am now running a bigbird yellow tire on my blue bike. If the spandex doesn't make me look like a huge dork this surely will.

As for the ride it was as good as a Hains Point ride can be. (hains point is a big circle) I spent time riding with different riders introducing myself and checking on folks. Everyone seemed really strong and in control of things. Noel, and I and about four of our Teammates had a nice little peleton going on the last lap. At the turn around Mark (a new rider and competitive inline skater) dropped everyone and we hammered it down the backside. Felt really good to drop the hammer and really open things up a bit. Finished up with somewhere around 23 miles in.

I had a blast and am looking forward to the first "buddy" ride on Tuesday night and really kicking the training into high gear. Course below.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Starting a New Season

Having turned the corner on a new year, I’m beginning again to train for the 2008 America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride. As you may recall (I’m sure you remember all the emails I send), I am riding to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Over the next four months I, and the people I will help train as a TNT Captain, will complete roughly 1,500 miles of training to get ready for the 100 mile bicycle ride around Lake Tahoe on June 1st, 2008.

With the training comes the commitment to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Leukemia and Lymphoma society is one of the top non-profit organizations in the country for managing their funds, with 75% of every dollar you donate (excellent for a non-profit) going directly to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improving the quality of life of patients and their families. My goal this year is to raise $5,400. Since its start twenty years ago, the Team in Training Program has raised over $750,000,000 – three quarters of a BILLION dollars – for cancer research, support and education! That’s money that goes directly towards make the lives of families and patients fighting this disease more healthy and livable.

While training for the race will be a challenge with many days and nights when my legs will burn and my body will ache (if I am doing things right), the next few months for me will be comparatively easy. That's because I'm riding in honor of Reagan Feld a tough four year-old girl who has spent the last two years fighting leukemia. On January 20, 2005, Reagan's parents took her to the doctor's office because she just wasn't quite herself. She was lethargic and had been running a high fever for a week. That afternoon Reagan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Over the next two and a half years Reagan endured five surgeries, 10 bone punctures, 18 spinal taps, 40 needles/injections (at least) and enough pills to open a pharmacy until early last August she was officially declared IN REMISSION. Her fight was amazing and she’s been blessed with great support but there are so many other people who need the work of the Leukemia Society to help them in their fight against blood cancer.

Her friend Rachel has been fighting alongside her and is still needs the help of her community and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On October 25th Rachel was diagnosed with relapsed leukemia after almost two years of being off chemotherapy. The world was flipped upside down for Rachel and her family once again. Since October 26th Rachel has been undergoing chemotherapy and still need a bone marrow stem cell transplant.

Because of the love of their family and parents, the work of their doctors, and their toughness Rachel’s going to beat cancer again this time and join her friend Reagan cancer-free!!!

I'm so proud that I can be a part of the work that has enabled Reagan to return to a normal life and will help Rachel return to school and life as a youngster as soon as possible. When their parents were her age, the survival rate for children with ALL was 53%, but because of the hard work of physicians and scientists supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society the survival rate is now over 85%!

I am going to cross the finish line for the cure again, but I need your help getting there. Each donation helps accelerate cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and brings hope to the patients and families who are on the front lines of the battle against these diseases.

Please donate online quickly and securely at You will receive a confirmation by email of your donation and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. All donations are 100% tax deductible. If you are more comfortable mailing a check, please contact me at and I will send you a donation form. Also many corporations offer matching donations, please check with your HR office. Finally, please donate by March 21st to help me reach my fundraising goal.

On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support and I appreciate your generosity!

A Photographic Guide to Cycling Gear

I wanted to take a few moments to post some information on cycling gear. When I first started riding I didn't have a terribly good idea of what I should or shouldn't be wearing.

I figured it might be helpful to give a small picture of what some of the gear that would be helpful to pick up looks like. If you click on the links to the left it will take you to my flickr page where I have annotated my photo with a few details on the various clothing and gear. Please feel free to kick me an email if you have any questions or to leave a comment if you have any thoughts. And just remember, cotton is the enemy.

Oh yeah, there's no requirement to have the colors of your kit so mismatched - I just happened to luck out on photo day.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

2008 Tahoe Cycling Team and Kickoff

We had a great kickoff this morning. I've been to at least four of these so far and this one was probably one of the best. I rolled in with Sophie at roughly 7:15 to help out with the setup and get stoked for the season.

Team had roughly 275 summer participants at the kick-off all committing to raising a combines $1,000,000. It was really exciting to see the participants connect with the honor teammates and really be able to connect the importance of the mission with the fun and challenge of the event.

I was really stoked about the turn-out for the cycling team. Its looking like the Tahoe cycling team is going to have somewhere in the are of 100 riders training for the ride. Everyone seems really enthusiastic about the ride and I am really looking forward to next week's kick off ride at Hains Point. The ride iwll of course be a bit monotonous, but the loop is a perfect opportunity to get to know folks and work out any kinks before we set out on the roads.

On a lighter note, the Team sold $2500 worth of raffle tickets this morning. As is tradition, Team sells the raffle tickets to participants to put half of the funds into two of their accounts. So two participants were getting $1250 credited to their fundraising account. Since Sophie came with me and had been wonderfully behaved all morning, the Team staff let her pick out the tickets. She picked two cyclists to get the funds. It was totally awesome! She's locked up two participants for the cycling team already!!

She was great this morning behaving splendidly throughout the 3 hour kickoff. She was rewarded with a trip to the National Geographic Explorer Hall to check out some cool frogs and then to Mickey D's for a Happy Meal lunch.

I'll have a fundraising appeal out soon and hopefully a ride report from tomorrow's pre Super Bowl Ride.