See How Easily You Can Ride A Century!!!
Mar 30, 2012 by Jim Lane
"If you don't see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner." — Zig Ziglar
We did it! With the help of our fantastic coaches and mentors, our Team rode 100 miles through the countryside around Solvang and Santa Barbara County. ALL our Team members finished and no one crashed. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up to the Friday before the big event.
With a 2:00 meet time scheduled for us in Lompoc, we had to leave the house early to make our drive down. Luckily, the weather held up and the drive was uneventful as we headed down Highway 101. After a couple coffee and refueling stops, we hit Lompoc right after 2:00 and just in time to unload our bikes and take a trip around the parking lot to make sure everything was working and ready for Saturday.
After checking our bikes and checking in with our coaches, we were free to unload our gear and arrange everything for the next day. We had just enough time to shower and get ready for our Inspiration Dinner in Buellton at the Marriott.
Of the many benefits we received from our TNT experience, meeting new friends was probably the best. (Our team's honoree, Ken Miller and his wife Julie, above).
As hungry as we were, we still had to take part in a Team In Training tradition. When the dining room was ready, the teams from San Francisco, L.A. and North Texas walked downstairs through a cheering, clapping, cowbell-ringing hoard of crazy coaches and mentors! Go Team!!!
The Inspiration Dinner lived up to its name, as we heard several stories about blood cancer survivors, including a young boy diagnosed shortly after his birth. This brave young man had to undergo 3 years of intensive treatments to defeat his cancer. If I remember correctly, he's around 10 or 11 now and recently ran his first 5K road race!
After dinner, we returned to our hotel for a last team brief on the next day's ride. Everyone was reminded to have their gear laid out, their food and water prepped, and our team symbols! For our team, we attached a little yellow Porsche to our helmets. Again, in honor of Ken Miller (Who drives a red Porsche! Apparently they could only find yellow ones!) who would be riding a half-century the next day.
We also received a gift from our coach (new bike socks!). With a final "Go Team!" for the night, we retired to our rooms with the hope that we could get some sleep before 4:00 came.
After attaching our race numbers to our shirts and bikes and our Porsches to our helmets, we fell into bed and crossed our fingers that the alarm would wake us on time.
Unfortunately sleep didn't come easily and the alarm was twice as loud as it needed to be, especially that early, but we rolled out of bed and into the shower to wake up. Once dressed, we double-checked our gear and headed out to our bus for the ride into Solvang. This was an experience in itself, as our school busses were not designed for transporting riders and their bikes. Take a look:
The darkness slowly yielded to a cold, foggy morning when our driver deposited us in downtown Solvang at about 6:00. We fell out of the bus, climbed onto our bikes and set off in search of...a bathroom. Yes, the first priority was an essential one when you're setting off to ride 100 miles. Luckily Solvang has several amazingly clean public restrooms in the downtown area and we were able to take care of our first order of business. Once done, we were underway. Actually we didn't really know we were underway until we'd ridden about a 1/4 mile and realized that there would be no formal starting line. All we had to do was follow the orange arrows!!!
We rode through Solvang, Buellton, and out into the chilly countryside, the morning quiet broken only by the occasional rush of 15-20 riders riding past us at double our speed. We continued to motor on at our usual pace and soon had 20 miles under our belts as we rolled into our first SAG stop of the day in Lompoc.
Our coaches had warned us about the chaos of SAG stops at large events like this one, but the description really didn't do it justice. Ideally, you spend no more than five minutes in a SAG stop, hit the bathroom, get some water, grab a bite and head back out on the road. Realistically, with 4,400 riders participating in a staggered hour-and-a-half start, time, just getting in and out of the SAG in 10-15 minutes was a miracle. However the porta-potties were clean, the water and snacks were plentiful, and we were in front of the majority of the riders so our stop went pretty smoothly for the first time.
We got back into our ride group and rode out the back streets of Lompoc out to Hwy 1 towards Vandenberg Air Force Base.
We had some nice descents where we hit 30 mph and some steady climbs on our way out HWY 1 towards Orcutt and Santa Maria.
SAG #2 was even more hectic than the first SAG, as there were large lines at the bathrooms and the food and water tables. Many of the riders were removing layers as the temperature began to climb into the 60s.
We'd completed 44 miles in a bit over 4 hours. Our next stop would be at the Radisson hotel in Santa Maria at mile 56. We fought the wind for a while as we pedaled the Northern part of our Century route, passing by the yummy aroma of chicken being bar-b-qued on a grill outside a restaurant and the rank aroma of a landfill that bumped the speed of our little group up a few notches.
Santa Maria brought us to our lunch SAG, which was a bit less hectic than the first two. By then, the temperature was in the low to mid 70s. We ate, drank, stripped off leg and arm warmers, jackets and skull caps and got on the road again.
With more than half of our miles done, we got back out onto our route and back into the beautiful Santa Barbara County countryside.
Once more, it was striking how much more enjoyable the scenery was from the saddle of a bike. The metal and glass of a car shields you from so much that it's hard to appreciate the natural beauty of the areas we were traveling through. On the bike you can smell, feel, and see so much more. While I can understand some riders wanting to complete their rides with a fast time, it seems to me like you miss so much more the faster you go.
Eh, maybe it's just me.
As we rode into our fourth SAG at mile 69.9, many of us were wondering about the climbs ahead of us. All had heard the rumors or studied the ride maps that showed the hardest climbs were towards the end of the route, and here we were, almost 2/3s of the way towards 100 miles and feeling the long day in the saddle. Everyone made sure to eat and drink enough before we headed back out.
We didn't have to wait long either, however all that concern turned out to be unnecessary as that climb and several thereafter proved to be no harder than any we'd ascended in our training leading up to the Century. Our coaches promised we'd be prepared and we were!
We took a moment to celebrate the day by gathering for a Team photo.
Our next SAG was at the Fess Parker Winery and was our final SAG before our last 12 miles. By now, the crowds had thinned out so our stop time improved dramatically.
After leaving our last stop, we were into a climb almost immediately, but again, it proved no match for our Team, and once we reached the top we paused to admire the view and of course, take a picture!
From here, we had about 10 more miles to Solvang and a bit of a headwind to buck as we made our way back. We were all ready for the ride to be done but there was no thought of quitting either.
At mile 98 we regrouped for a final time and then rode the last two miles into Solvang. Once we entered the town, we were greeted by people sitting on their lawns and porches applauding the returning riders. Soon we were back on Alisal Road and passing under the red Finish Line arch. We were done!
After a cold beer and a stroll around the exposition area, we found a bus and stuffed our bikes and tired bodies onto it for the ride back to Lompoc for a shower and a change of clothes.
Then it was back to Buellton for our Victory Dinner and an adult beverage or two.
We spent the next morning strolling around Solvang and planning for our next TNT ride.
Thank you to all our friends and family who supported us in our training and with donations to LLS. We made our goals with your help and encouragement! Thanks to our coaches and mentors as well. They truly made this ride an enjoyable one. For those of you on the fence about participating with Team In Training...get off the fence. Join us!
Tour de Two Bridges
Mar 07, 2012 by Jim Lane
"You might well remember that nothing can bring you success but yourself."
— Napoleon Hill
Our last training ride before the big event had us heading back to Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek with a 7:30 roll time for our 50-mile ride. Unfortunately we got out of the house a bit late and arrived with our team waiting for us and then leaving while we did our best to catch up.
Of course, we didn't get far when Val told me I forgot my saddlebag (it's a clip-on). So we wheeled around and shot back to the park, pulled off a glove, dug out the car key, found the bag and clipped it onto my saddle, locked the car, put the glove back on rode back out. Phew!!!
Now however, we were on our own without the benefit of our coach and mentors who knew the route and a 5-10 minute deficit to make up. Add to that the fact that I was having a hard time seeing the directions without the benefit of my readers! If you want a challenge, try reading small print while riding a bicycle and dodging cars and pedestrians...
We managed to work our way through the multiple street switches on our route and finally settled into a steady rhythm once we hit Pleasant Hill Road. We were keeping up a pretty quick pace, one that felt faster than our usual rides and I fully expected to see our group as we crested each new roller we came upon.
Yet, we didn't.
So I started to worry that we were lost and continually double- and triple-checked our progress on our route as we rode. It wasn't until we started turning through the streets of Martinez that we caught up with Coach Susie Bump's group at about mile 11, just before the Benicia Bridge. Once we found out that our group was "way ahead of us," we rode on ahead as they stayed on the East side of the bridge, fixing a flat (number two for them, both within about 25 feet.)
For those not aware of this neat fact, there's a pedestrian walkway on the south side of the Eastbound span of the Benicia Bridge. And that's exactly where we found ourselves as we rode alongside the traffic headed the other way on 680. Once we reached mid-span on the bridge, we stopped for a photo-op, a snack and a quick stretch.
We rode down the other side and back out onto surface streets, riding by new car storage lots, refineries and warehouses. Everything but our team! Coach K. Sue's team passed us and we returned the favor when they paused for break. We left the industrial Easy Bay and made our way into the countryside of Southern Solano County and finally caught up with our friends at mile 20, our first SAG stop of the day.
After a few more rollers and some busy traffic, we headed into Vallejo and through some sketchy neighborhoods before passing the California Maritime Academy and onto the Carquinez Bridge.
Once again, I had no idea pedestrians and cyclists were able to cross the span but apparently so! On the North side, just before heading onto the bridge, there's a look-out point and, you guessed it, photo time!
Once we crossed the bridge, we headed back towards our starting point in Walnut Creek. One loooong 2.5 mile climb and then a welcome loooong descent down to our second SAG stop at mile 40.
After grabbing some water and a brownie, we retraced our route back to Walnut Creek and Heather Farms. For the first time this season we were the first team back! By then it was almost noon and about 70 degrees outside. (Great weather for riding!)
After stowing our gear and welcoming back the rest of the teams, we headed over to Sports Basement for Hi-Tech Burritos and Pizza and our packets for Solvang. Team and honoree awards were followed by more pictures, hugs and plans to meet in Solvang on Friday. Here we go!!!
Plucking The Pigeon
Feb 29, 2012 by Jim Lane
There's a word used by cyclists to describe a ride so intense, so amazing, so difficult and so satisfying once it's over; Epic.
For our team of (mostly) newbie cyclists, we achieved "Epic" last weekend and looked good doing it.
We went into our weekend with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. This was going to be our longest ride of our training season and our big prelude for the Solvang Century, our ultimate goal.
We only knew that we were facing an 80-mile route, the terrain details were left out to ensure everyone's attendance. ;-)
Our team was scheduled to leave at 7:45 from San Ramon. After arriving at the Bollinger Canyon park-n-ride, we made a quick pitstop at the nearby Chevron before unpacking our gear.
We hit our first snag when one of our bike tires flatted just as soon as I pulled it out of the car. After changing the tube and dressing out, we jumped on the bikes and headed out through suburban San Ramon, working our way East to Livermore.
The housing tracts soon gave way to horse ranches and open fields as we cruised along with very little early morning traffic.
Apparently it's the time of the year for cows to give birth as many fields had new calves trotting behind their mothers or sleeping close by.
As we skirted the edges of Dublin and headed into Livermore, the wind turbines of Altamont got closer and closer until we were headed up the grade along Altamont Pass Road.
Once we crossed under the 580, we continued up Flynn Road North and past more turbines until it was time for a welcome downward rush.
We worked our way south and west until we were able to stop for our lunch SAG at Sycamore Grove Park in Pleasanton. One of the finest SAGs again, with Starbucks Via coffees. Just the right kick of energy to get you going again!
We headed West again into Pleasanton's Downtown and out to Happy Valley Road which lived up to its name with a downward slope for it's entire length.
Then it was Southward onto Pleasanton Sunol Road, paralleling the 680 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to Sunol, where we paused to use the green box before heading down 84 to our meeting with a pigeon.
Here's where your Spanish lesson begins. Palomares means pigeon in Spanish. Maybe this area was filled with pigeons once. Maybe the shape of the hill with the five miles of climbing reminded someone of a pigeon's wing or head or beak or something. But up we went. A gain of 1144 feet with a 4% grade.
Here's the thing though, those numbers are really meaningless until you're actually grinding your way up what seems like a never-ending grade. And yes, there are those cyclists who can fly up a little hill like this and make it look easy. But for those of us riding only once or twice a week, who have only a few months training under our belts, hitting the top is truly a milestone to be savored. Once the team gathered at the top, we took a few moments to catch our breath and check out the scenery.
Luckily for us, our 5-mile climb was followed by a 5-mile descent and another SAG stop for a quick snack and to refill our water bottles before we headed off on our last ten miles. We found our way to 580 and rode parallel to it again before we took a left on San Ramon Road and dodged traffic until we got back to our park-n-ride starting point at about 4:30.
80 miles. All day on a tiny bike saddle. There were a lot of weary but happy cyclists in the lot that day. Unfortunately, we were missing one, Darci, who crashed earlier in the day and had to be taken to a hospital for observation after she left the roadway. We hope you're feeling better Darci!
We've got 10 days 'til Solvang and one more (shorter) training ride. I know I'll never look at pigeons the same, though.
Saturday's Sojourn: Stinson Beach Seventy
Feb 20, 2012 by Jim Lane
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other”
~ Walter Elliot
We began our ride in San Rafael's McInnis Park, heading west out Lucas Valley Road and quickly into a climb up to Big Rock. After catching our breath, we headed down the hill and into Nicasio, where the sun began to peek out.
We continued out to Nicasio Resevoir, where we paused to talk about proper pace line gearing.
After getting back on the road, we rode past Graffiti Bridge and soon stopped for our first SAG at Platform Bridge, where we had a treat of rice balls made with scrambled eggs and bacon. Yum!
After leaving our SAG, we turned right onto Sir Francis Drake and headed up the hill and down the other side into Olema, where we had to stop for a mechanical issue.
Unfortunately, we couldn't fix it and Sheryl had to call for a ride while we continued South on Hwy 1.
Those of you who've traveled this section of road before know it's full of rollers - lots of up and down riding. We paused in Five Brooks to regroup and take advantage of the scenery for a photo op.
With 70 miles to ride, we can't stop for long and we continued through Dogtown and down through 13 Turns before reaching Bolinas where we stopped to let the rest of the group catch up after one of our riders took a spill. While we waited, we took some more pictures and had a quick snack.
After our ride group caught up, we rode a tail-wind into Bolinas, averaging about 18 mph. For our group, that was cruising! We had a quick personal break at the beach before heading back out to a half-way SAG stop.
Of course our fun with the tail-wind headed in turned into not so much fun riding against the wind on our way out. "Luckily" we got a respite from the wind when we headed up the hill outside Bolinas and back into 13 Turns.
There was no more threat of rain as we headed back into Olema and back up the hill towards Platform Bridge and our final SAG of the day. Our group was riding well and staying together as we cruised by Nicasio Resevoir and back into Nicasio, before turning onto Lucas Valley and making our way through the Redwoods lining the road back to Big Rock.
Our sunny stop at Big Rock provided a nice contrast to the morning's dreary pause. We were all excited for the last few easy miles back to McInnis Park and the accomplishment of riding more than 70 miles. For many of us, the most we've ever ridden!
We're in the last few days of our formal fundraising deadline on February 23rd. To help us out, our local Red Boy Pizza Restaurant has generously agreed to donate 15% of their proceeds form all dine-in and take-out orders from Monday February 20th until Wednesday February 22nd. If you're nearby in Marin, stop by for some excellent pizza or Italian fare and help a great cause!
Feb 16, 2012 by Jim Lane
"Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever." ~ Lance Armstrong
Our last ride began at the Dublin BART Station on a chilly and damp Saturday morning. We started out en masse, but soon broke into our normal riding groups as we rode back towards Castro Valley on the frontage road next to 580.
Soon we headed back North on Redwood Road, passing through Chabot Regional Park, adjacent to the Upper San Leandro Resevoir. We had a long 2.5 mile climb until we crested the top and headed down into Moraga and Orinda. Then winding our way through Layfayette, Alamo, Danville and San Ramon, before having to stop on the outskirts of Dublin to fix a flat and then back to the BART Station for a total of 60 miles.
We wrapped up our ride with a visit to In-N-Out Burger (Yum!) before heading home.
We're now 8 days away from our fundraising deadline of February 23rd and still have $1270 to go to meet our $5000 goal.
To help us out, our friends Marcelo and Gina Betti, owners of the Red Boy Pizza restaurant on Entrada Drive in Novato, have agreed to host a fundraising event for us at their restaurant from Monday February 20th through Wednesday February 23rd. They will be donating 15% of the proceeds from dine-in and take-out orders.
If you're in or near Novato on those days, stop by the Red Boy and enjoy their famous sourdough crust pizza or one of their other delicious menu items. And support Team In Training as well!
Conquering the Infamous "Marshall Wall"
Feb 08, 2012 by Jim Lane
“Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit”
This last ride was a test of mental fortitude for us as we climbed one of the most challenging roads in the Bay Area -- The "Marshall Wall" in beautiful West Marin.
We met at Stafford Lake in Novato and struck out Westward down Novato Boulevard to Petaluma/Point Reyes Road, out Hicks Valley Road to Wilson Hill Road for our first climb of the morning.
After heading down the hill we soon hit our first SAG stop at mile 20. Here we had the nirvana of SAG, hot lentil soup! Our SAG chefs had set up a small camp stove in the back of their pick-up and were happily cooking soup or hot chocolate. Gentlemen, thank you!
On that chilly morning, that soup was a treat and we pulled back onto the road with smiles on our faces.We then worked our way over to Two Rock out to Tomales for a quick break, then down Highway 1 to Marshall and a quick left onto Marshall/Petaluma Road and the start of the climb up "The Wall." We went from 78' elevation to 674' over approximately 3 miles with several "false summits". A false summit is an area of the climb that looks like the top until you crest it and realize there's still more to go. It can be very demoralizing, especially when your legs are on fire and you don't feel like you have the energy to continue. Your mind yells at you to stop and rest and when you're alone, it's difficult not to listen to the voice. There's no quitting though. It's either cross the mountain there or somewhere else, so onward you go and eventually you reach the summit with an amazing view of Tomales Bay.
Both men in those pictures are blood cancer survivors and both are still fighting. They don't have the luxury of quitting or even stopping. David B. on the right, has completed 16 marathons since he beat his cancer to a standstill two years ago. He's training for his first Century ride with us and will be running in the New York Marathon as one of the few qualifying TNT members to do so. More on David B. later. He's an incredible athlete.
Ken M. on the left, is one of my ride buddies and is still battling his cancer as well. Some days he's stronger than others and others he needs help here and there. But he always shows up and always has a smile, just like David. They're both grateful to be alive and riding!
After grabbing a snack at the crest we made a fast descent down the east side of "The Wall" and headed back in to Stafford Lake. While we were cruising in our paceline, I happened to glance down to my right ans saw what was probably the biggest hawk I've ever seen not two feet away from the edge of the road, looking right back at us as we cruised by.
After meeting back up with Petaluma/Point Reyes Road, we were quickly back on Novato Boulevard and minutes away from our potluck at Stafford. Several of us opted to ride the 10 extra "bonus" miles to up our final ride mileage to 64.
During our potluck, David spoke to us about how he was diagnosed and treated for his cancer. He let us all know that without Team in Training, he would not be alive today. When you see the slogan "Helping to save lives," it's true. The money raised by Team in Training went to fund research grants which eventually developed the drug Rituxan. This drug, David said, saved his life. When David was told by his Doctors that Team in Training funded the research for Rituxan, he decided to devote himself to joining Team in Training and helping to raise funds for further research.
When people ask David how he's doing, he'll say he's doing great. But he's actually not telling the truth. He still has considerable pain he has to deal with in his legs and feet. Whenever we see David though, he has a huge smile on his face because he's happy to be alive.
We had five other honorees there, three of whom are riding in Solvang with us in March. All will tell you how important the money raised by TNT for cancer research was in their fight against blood cancer.
We're nearing the finish line. Our fundraising deadline is only 16 days away. We're now 70% there, but like a false summit, there's still a ways to go. Go Team!!!
In Memory Of Gregory Lelek
Jan 28, 2012 by Jim Lane
Each day is a gift.
The more we ride, the more we find folks affected by Leukemia and Lymphoma. Honestly, take a look at our Team's banner below. These are the names of friends and family who are have fought, are fighting or lost their battle with blood cancers. It's pretty striking to see all the names written here and it seems more are added each time we ride. There's still a lot of work to be done in finding a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma and we need your help to do it!
We were rained out last weekend but came back this week to beautiful weather in Vacaville for our ride.
We left Pena Adobe Park and headed North and then East for a short climb where we were treated to a view of Sacramento (a little ways off in the distance).
We then headed into the valley before angling back towards Winters (neat town!) where we paused to refuel before heading South and back to Vacaville. As luck would have it, it was the 27th annual Road Bike Giveaway Day in Winters. Free bikes for all just scattered around the park like Easter Eggs! Just find your size and go!
Alright, maybe I'm pulling your leg just a bit. After getting back on our bikes, it was mostly downhill until Vacaville (probably never see a ride end that easily again). We finished with 58 miles of riding through the beautiful Northern California countryside. I'm sure we'll be back to climbing next week.
B.I.G THANK YOUS to those of you who donated recently. We're getting closer to our goal but still have a ways to go. There's no quitting!!!! GO TEAM!!!
Continuing The Journey, One Ride At A Time
Jan 14, 2012 by Jim Lane
Our teammates went big today with a ride up Mount Diablo's south side. We had a 2,000 foot gain from our starting point at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. Our climbs went from a 3.9% grade to a 5.3% grade. Our steepest yet! For those who made the climb, we were rewarded with amazing scenery and a great sense of accomplishment.
On our ride up Mount Diablo, it seemed like we were greeted with more and more expansive and amazing views. At one point, we looked across a valley and saw a small plane flying at our level!
We continued to climb hoping to be rewarded with a spectacular vista. When we got to the Ranger Station however, our views were partially blocked by trees!
Val later said it reminded her of that old saying about life being about the journey and not the destination. Sometimes we're so intent on the destination, we fail to appreciate the surroundings on our way there.
Our TNT journey has been amazing so far. We've met many new friends, explored new places and pushed our limits of what we thought was possible (or impossible!) before. Yet it's still doesn't compare what leukemia and lymphoma patients go through during their treatments. Their journeys are hard and long and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society needs your help to find a cure for these cancers. Our fundraising deadline is getting closer (February 23rd). Please help us in our journey to find a cure.
Half Moon Bay Half Century
Jan 10, 2012 by Jim Lane
We started our ride in balmy 60 degree weather at Francis State Beach and rode south on Hwy 1 along the ocean. We had some fun descents, but of course, those are usually followed by a climb, and we had six big ones! You can check out the map for the ride by clicking on this link: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/63310296
After getting a quick snack at about mile 20, we turned inland and headed back through the hilly farmland, rolling up and down the hills as we fought the wind back towards our beach starting point.
Believe it or not, we rode over these hills...
Once we got back on Hwy 1, we had a straight shot back to Francis Beach and time to give our sore legs a rest. 52.8 miles! Half way to our Century goal and with the climbs we had this last Saturday, we really felt like we went half way to the moon and back!
We're also approaching our February 23rd fundraising deadline. A little over a month to go and we need your help! Please, your donation will help in many ways.
Because of the continued support of you and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's partners and sponsors, in fiscal year 2010 they were able to:
- Invest $72 million, which includes funding for 103 new grants to researchers in academic institutions and $8 million in contracts through the LLS Therapy Acceleration Program.
- Support 347 research projects in the United States, Canada and 9 other countries.
- Provide financial assistance to patients.
- Sponsor scientific conferences around the country.
- Produce educational materials and videos.
- Run dozens of Family Support Groups nationwide.
Over 78% of your donation goes to patients and patient services!
Help us find a cure for blood cancers by donating today. Go Team!
New Year's Eve Ride - Go Team!
Feb 03, 2012 by Jim Lane
Happy New Year's Eve Teammates and LLS supporters! Thanks to all of you who donated, we've now raised over $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!
Today we rode in our backyard again, but this time in North Marin.
We started our ride at McInnis Park in San Rafael, working our way up the bike path next to Hwy 101, before working our way through Novato and out to Stafford Lake. After a quick pit stop we continued west on Novato Boulevard until we reached the Petaluma Point Reyes Road and the Cheese Factory for our sag stop.
After eating a few roasted red potatoes, and refilling our water bottles, we rocketed down the hill towards the Nicasio Resevoir before continuing on to Nicasio --
then up Lucas Valley Road to Big Rock for a short break to enjoy the view of the Big Rock -- nice, isn't it?
Then a quick shot down the hill and back to McInnis Park.
This has been a year of new experiences and our time with our teammates riding around the Bay Area has been one the best so far. We're approaching our deadline for fund raising (February 23rd), with our ride in Solvang just around the corner (March 10!).
We rode almost 40 miles today, a 10 mile jump from last week and we'll be ramping up the mileage pretty quickly over the next few weeks to get ready to ride 104!
Thank you again for all your support! Go Team!
Merry Christmas - Go Team!
Dec 26, 2011 by Jim Lane
Merry Christmas to TNTers and supporters as well! Thanks to all who have donated so far and to those still on the fence, don't forget that you've only got a few days left until the tax year is over!
This weekend, the ride was split into two groups to make it easier on those with family/holiday obligations. One group rode in Walnut Creek while the other rode in Marin.
For those in Marin, a cold, 32 degree morning greeted us in Mill Valley where we met for a gorgeous 31-mile ride through Sausalito to Fort Baker, back to Mill Valley and up Camino Alto, down the hill to Larkspur and Corte Madera and around the Paradise Loop before returning to Mill Valley.
Next week, Lucas Valley and a New Year. Go Team!
Calaveras Cold Snap
Dec 21, 2011 by Jim Lane
“Faith without works is as dead as a doornail.” - Millard Fuller
Training is not what one would normally classify as work. Yet I would still classify it as "work" if done for a purpose beyond oneself.
Ask anyone training on our team if they think they're working when they ride and they'll most likely say "no." But in fact, by helping to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the resulting benefit to our friends and family suffering from blood cancers can be classified as the "work" that makes the faith possible.
You see, one can have faith that someone will be able to beat the odds and survive, but without the money that flows to grants and research to cure blood cancers, that faith may not be enough.
So we ride, or run or train for a triathlon or any of the other endurance sports TNT is involved with in order to help raise that money for that all improtant research and patient care. And we also have faith that maybe the next dollar raised will fund that project or study that will result in a new drug or possibly even a cure.
Our fundraising deadline is February 23rd. As you can see to the right, we've got quite a ways to go.
One of our team honorees, Dave Gent, wrote the following:
We are coming to an important part of our year -- recommitment for the Spring '12 TNT Cycle Team...well, and the holidays too. At this time of the year when we often are thinking of gift giving and holiday cheer, of renewal and starting the New Year, making a commitment to the Team might be as great a gift and as amazing an accomplishment as you might give and make.
You've heard our Honored Team Members' stories of hope and success in fighting blood cancers; we celebrate all of that, especially during the holidays. However, there is much still to be done. The fact is, I am not cured of my lymphoma; a year from now, I may be back in treatment, hoping that recent discoveries and new trials will once again stem my cancer.
That I and our other honored teammates have hope is due to all the efforts of people like you who have participated and raised funds with TNT. TNT and LLS is making a difference in so many lives like mine. As my doctor -- the world expert on my form of cancer -- from Stanford shared with Wendy and me during an appointment, TNT & LLS is the most effective cancer organization in the US.
Our ride this last Saturday started out in Sunol and was cold and damp. We climbed South out of Sunol along Calaveras Road past the resevoir and along the switchbacks until we reached the summit. The sun had come out by then and we enjoyed a bite to eat before descending back down the grade to Sunol for a total distance of 29 miles.
Please take a moment and help the LLS by making a donation today. Thank you.
The 3 Bears - It'sNot A Fairy Tale!
Dec 12, 2011 by Jim Lane
Three Polar Bears. 37 degrees. The 3 Bears. Oh, and Goldilocks. First off, Winter is here. Cold is a relative thing until you're riding downhill at 25 miles an hour and you can't feel your fingers.
We hadn't heard of the 3 Bears before. If you haven't heard of the 3 Bears loop, here it is: "The 3-Bears loop = 25 miles with 1,800 feet climbing." That might not mean a whole lot if you haven't ridden a bike over 25 miles before, but when you're grinding up a steep grade with no end in sight, you start to wonder why you're doing this.
But here's the thing, we have a choice about whether we're going to ride up that grade. When we're riding in 37-degree cold with numb fingers and toes or riding up a steep grade with our legs on fire, we had a choice before we started hurting. Those afflicted with blood cancers don't. They don't have a choice about whether or not they're going to get their treatment. If they elect to make that choice it's a stark one. Life or death.
We also have a choice to help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We're training to ride 104 miles and trying to raise funds to help with that mission. We're getting closer and closer to February when we need to reach our fundraising goal. Won't you please make a choice to support those with blood cancers with your generous donation?
28 Miles Closer To Our Goal!
Dec 03, 2011 by Jim Lane
Today was our third group ride and for us it was a special one as it took place here in Marin County. We rode 28 miles through Mill Valley Sausalito, Larkspur, Ross, Corte Madera, Tiburon and Belvedere. Most of our ride was on what the locals call the "Paradise Loop" and the beautiful weather added to our enjoyment of this classic ride.
Our biggest challenge on this ride was probably Camino Alto as the hill just seemed to keep going up and up...
At about the 15-mile mark, we had a SAG stop complete with snacks, fruit and water. And brownies (a cyclist's secret fuel)!
After completing our ride we enjoyed our first team potluck and heard from several of our honorees. All were grateful for the money raised by TNT which helped pay for research into new drugs used to cure blood cancers.
Won't you please help us to fund research into new cures by making a contribution to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?
Much To Be Thankful For
Nov 27, 2011 by Jim Lane
Every Saturday we join our teammates for a group ride to prepare for the Solvang Century in March. We gather together to learn details about our ride for the day and to remember friends and family who are fighting or have fought against blood cancers.
The banner above has the names of those friends and family members. Unfortunately, Teams all across the country have to keep making banners and adding names. That's why we're all raising money to find a cure for Leukemia & Lymphoma!
Twenty more miles today riding in and around Danville under beautiful sunny skies. Thanks to everyone for your support!