Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Livestrong Challenge 2009 Summary *The Directors Cut!

On the front of the map that showed the directions for the ride I was to take the next day read, "Are you ready for a Challenge?". One thing I did notice was the total climbing elevation moved from 1600 some odd feet to 1700 some odd feet. I had no clue what I was about to undertake in less than 24 hours.

I was so proud picking up my packet and they made me feel absolutely wonderful about the money I raised. Cowboy and Lorax went out to pick up the packet with us. They wore their "Team Mascot" and "Team Captain" T-shirts. It was a family event! :o)

#569 was going to be what I wore and we paused for photos. My LIVESTRONG Challenge T-shirt as well as everyone elses reads, "Game On Cancer", I think that is well put! We kept it low key the rest of the day, to recover from the long drive up in the sheets of pouring rain thanks to Bill the hurricaine. It was still kinda soggy when I picked up my packet, but the rain eased up through the day and dried the ground some.

We slept through Tammy's alarm, but woke up to mine. This started us off 15 minutes later than we had planned. I ate breakfast and we were off. I was worried I would be late and relieved to find that I had plenty of time. In fact I ended up standing and waiting with everyone else in the bike corral. As I put my tire on once we got there, I noticed my breakfast was still in my throat and that my nervous tummy had come back. Oy vey, it was about to be a long morning I was afraid.

Wheels on, I took a spin around the lot to make sure all the bike parts were working correctly and checked out the porta-potty situation. I hate those things, they are some sort of torture device. Spun back to Tammy to finish getting ready and stand in line of the porta potties, wishing I did not have to. Breakfast is still in my throat, it might have even moved up some.

So Tammy stood with me in the bike corral taking pictures. If you look at them, I look terrified in most of them. That would about sum it up. I was also wondering when my breakfast was going to move the rest of the way down. Everyone is milling around and talking, meeting up with friends, talking, and waiting. I did not have a thing to talk about, I was stuck in my head and wondering what I was about to encounter. Poor Tammy was standing there patiently. Then quietly a voice comes over the speakers, different from the guy talking and giving us start time updates. "Oh say does that star spandled..." and a hush goes across the parking lots.

Then we all cheered and sent off the 100 mile group. It contained a guy on a fixed gear to ride the whole 100 miles, more power to him, I enjoyed my granny gear. It also had a professional cyclist, Jason Powell who rides with Team Jelly Belly. I thought that was pretty cool, to take time off to help raise money and ride in an event to help fight cancer. 70 mile group rolled out next, I have no clue how some of the ones on the mountain bikes did in that group. It seemed to have less in that group than the 100 or the 45. Not sure why.

Then we were rolling out. It was slow going for the first 5 miles at least because we were all there on top of each other. You couldn't look around much, because everyone was weaving in and out and trying to get situated and find their friends. The first "power stop" came up around mile 10. I did not see Tammy, which was also the first cheer station location. So I kept going so that the crowd could thin out and the friends I had met were skipping this stop. Sadly they dropped me around mile 12, on a long two mile steady climb and a cross street that I had to wait for. The event is not a race so the course was not closed to cars, though there were wonderful police officers all along the course at streets intersections.

Jim and Karen were the first two people I rode with and started talking to. They were riding in honor of a friend who had an intestinal cancer that had spread throughout their body. Their friend had multiple surgeries and had many organs and parts of organs removed, along with chemotherapy. They said that they went into remission this summer and was riding the 20 mile ride. As I said shortly after the first "power stop", they dropped me, I wish I had not been dropped, becuase the next eight miles were tough.

When the terrain is tough, you feel really lonely. This was when the climbing started. The rains the previous two days put a lot of rocks, debris and silt in the road, making it hard to utilize the downhills. Not to mention the downhills were twisty and around corners. It made the uphills tough, becuase you had no momentum to help you up the hill. I passed a really bad accident and was afraid of what news was being relayed back to the people waiting. So on a really tough hill, I hopped off, switched my bottles around, cause one was empty and one cage is easier to get to. I told Tammy I was not at second power stop yet, but doing ok, toughest ride I had ever done.

As I rolled into "power stop 2", I had tears in my eyes. That was the toughest milage I had put on my bike and I was only at mile 21 and more climbing to go. Being grateful for our new riding crew, even told Tammy if we had not riden with them, I would have already been in a SAG van.

Tammy met me at that "power stop", I was ever so glad to see her, with a hug, a banana and peanut butter. The 100 and 70 mile groups did not leave much by the time I got there. I think the hug was the most valuable thing! :o) I had to make a minor bike repair so I was there for a few minutes longer than I had planned. Talked to an athletic trainer from the Philadelphia area that said she was glad we got the rain, cause it had been terribly hot until that day. I said, it has been really cool in Roanoke, VA, so this was hot. LOL! We're in the south.

I headed out on the second half of the ride. Little did I know that the next 3 miles was going to be an uphill climb, with a steep decent and more climbing. It was not an easy climb either and really started to see people hik-a-bike, especially the ones riding on a hybrid or moutain bike. And God bless the ones that did 45 miles on a hybrid or a mountain bike, because a road bike makes it 50% easier to ride. Trust me, it makes a difference.

It was amazing at the end of the 3 1/2 mile climb was a family out giving the riders water. I had just hiked-a-bike up that hill, cause well, my legs were burning after the first three mile climb, then a short descent and then another 1/2 mile up. I made it up most of that hill, but wanted to finish and did not know what was ahead and my thighs were on fire! This family was so sweet, their 7ish year old daugther looked like she was splashing herself with water and very proud to have carried a bag of ice all the way out to the road. It was a "surprise generous power stop" with ICE COLD WATER. They were very gernerous. They said this was their 3rd year doing it and had it down pretty good, the first year was a little rough going.

I climbed back on and met Lela from Fairfax, VA. We chatted for a few miles, trying to help each other out through the rest of it. She was in a breast cancer pink ribbon jersey and her bib said she was riding in honor of her Mama. As we talked I learned that she her Mother has been diagnosed four times with breast cancer and Lela has set out to start organizing a "Dog Walk" for breast cancer in Fairfax. Sadly, I lost her on a hill in a very hot section so I do not have any other details. Maybe I will be able to find out more for you in the future. I wish her and her mother well and sorry we were not able to finish together.

I could not believe it when I finally made it to the 3rd "power stop" that it was only 25 miles. OMG! That last few miles were tough! There was a tub of ice and part melted ice, that I wanted to sit in. It looked like it would feel really good!!! By now the sun was super hot, so I picked up bite of bagel, filled up my bottles and got a towel to help dry my face. Saddled up and headed out. At this time we started to see people pull off with really bad leg cramps, stomach cramps and heat fatigue.

Somewhere after the 3rd stop I ran into Rob and Jason with Team Fatty ( Fatty's wife Susan is fighting cancer. I found out while riding with Jason he had done an interview with Fatty at and possibly the only voice interview he has done. Jason was riding an Xtracycle. Good God knows how he made it through carrying all of that extra bike. Well I was carrying a lot of extra person, maybe it was the same. Though his bike even had nobby tires, which cuts down a lot on the drift factor. We chatted for a while and learned that we both have family dropping like flies from cancer. Though our odds are increasing in my family and so far everyone is holding their own. :o)

At the top of one hill that most people climbed there was a chap sitting on the guard rail. He was talking about how tough this route was this year. He said last years was tough, but this one is tougher. He said Lance Armstrong was at the 2008 Philly LIVESTRONG Challenge and said it was to easy. This guy had participated in all of the Philly Challenges so far and this was the toughest. I do not know if Lance really said all of that, but it had already been the toughest ride I had done. There were more hills to come. I had learned early on that LIVESTRONG Challenge is correctly named.

Then after another long one mile climb there was another family out there. It is amazing the generousity people have to use their money to buy cups and ice and sit out there in the heat to give us ice and water. They filled bottles with that priceless water solid!!!! I wanted to sit in their cooler, but did not think the hips would make it through the top, then it would have just been awkard. So I did not ask. I climbed back on the saddle and finished that hill. Very grateful for my icy cup of chilly goodness in my bottle!

Around 15 miles to the finish there was a family that set a gallon of water out and some cups. They sat on the porch cheering everyone on and telling us we were doing a good job. I did not stop there, I had a good momentum going up the hill and did not want to stop, but thought it was kind just the same.

Let me tell you about the people on the side of the roads. It was neat to experience people out cheering you on, that have no clue who you are, but they offered an amazing amount of encouragement. One woman stood out there with this huge triangle, it was bigger than her head and had to weigh a ton. She clanged around that triangle, as we rode by. Lots of cow bells too! Thank you to each of you!

Finally at the last "power stop", about 10 miles out. I was hot. Incredibly hot!!! I was so hot I think I had steam coming off as I drank water outta the cooler. A lot of people had started to leave in SAG vans after the 25 mile stop from exhaustion, overheated and injury. Some had popped tires or other bike issues.

There were two really bad accidents that required an ambulance. That was sobering. I was extra careful after the first one and extra-extra careful after the second, because it was in a steep descent.

At that last stop, Tammy said you're still standing, I'm seeing lots of people coming in, in a SAG van, you're doing great, keep going. I filled up my bottles and headed back out. Cheered Lela as she rolled in to the "power stop". I figured that at this point if the bike fell apart or something happened I could walk across the finish line but I was going to finish by golly. I got tears in my eyes, because it had been a tough ride and I knew more inclines were ahead, though not steep hills, but knew I was going to finish.

I did not get off the bike any more, except for a few stop lights. Had trouble getting on at one light, my back was tightening up and it spasmed as I climbed back on the saddle. That startled me, so I timed the next lights so I would not have to get off the bike. About three miles to the finish I talked to a couple of medics that rode the whole 45 miles with big hot back packs on. They were nice and kinda funny, I had been riding alone again since the last "power stop", so it was nice to talk to someone. Like I said, when you're hot and it is tough, it gets lonely.

We were all starting to get excited cause we were at the finish line. One gal said ok, my odometer says 45 miles, I'm stopping here, send the shuttle. One guy said here we go, we're in the home stretch. Then as a police car comes flying up the street behind us, I shouted back that he was going to fast and needed to slow down. We laughed. It was that kind of excited chatter you have when you have just done something you did not think you would make it through.

Then I saw the stop light at the Montgomery Community College sign. I got one huge lump in my throat along with a big goofy grin!!! I have to say the past 45 miles had been incredibly tough, I was surprised to have to walk up some of the hills (something I'll work on this next year) and I questioned if I was going to make it a couple of times. I was hot, my body was tired, I was hot, hungry and AMAZINGLY proud!!!

Riding down the shoot of yellow with balloons all lined with people cheering you as you finished. I saw Tammy and smiled really big, unable to hold back the lump at that point. Gliding across the finish line with a big grin on my face and a full cup pour out!!! I quickly found Tammy and gave her a big hug.

A very nice volunteer was there offering cold water. The volunteers were amazing and many volunteered many years. One gal giving us food had LIVESTRONG tatooed on her wrist when her Dad died of cancer. She hads volunteered every year. They all had smiles and were quick to help out. Thank you to each and everyone of you, without you, it could not have happened!!! Oh and I don't want to forget Dylan, at the Lance Armstrong Foundation Headquarters who answered a lot of endless questions and helped me with a lot of stuff in preparation.

If there was a hiccup, the participants did not experience it. It was the most rewarding and unforgettable experience I have ever had.

I also owe an amazing huge thank you to Tammy!!! Who without her, I would not have been able to go to Philly. She stood and waited a lot Sunday in the blazing sun, she took pictures and was patient as I nervously waited before the ride. She was there to help me get the bike put away and get into comfortable shoes, peal the gloves off and stand patiently by my side. She was even patient when I insisted that I had to go through the cool mist tent. Let me tell you, that the cool mist tent was amazing!!! I had never been so hot that I wanted to sit in a bath of ice. Yet she stood smiling and taking pictures. She is amazing and I look forward to riding with her in the 2010 LIVESTRONG Challenge.

Thank you to everyone that donated, I was able to raise $1,145! That is really good!! Just so you know, I did not make my goal and I plan to make that goal for the 2010 LIVESTRONG Challenge. That goal is $2500, so be ready!

I really cannot recommend enough that you try a LIVESTRONG Challenge. I have participated in many cancer fundraising events before. This is the first time that I have felt like my achievements have made a difference and that I actually acheived something and that they were appreciated. They really make you feel great about everything that you do. It is truely an unforgetable experience. Be sure to plan to participate next year,, I'll see you in Philly if you go there, because there are four cities to choose from and many different events, even a walk.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What next?

Ok. So I am still riding high on yesterday!!! WOW-WOW-WOW!!!! And ouch-ouch-ouch-ouch I'm still pretty sore.

So I finished the 45 mile Livestrong Challenge Ride and I bet you think I'm gonna stop. Well as the song goes, "ain't stop'n me now...." and well here is why.

In 2010, 10 million people will die of can EACH year. Not to mention that when I started this journey I was 246 pounds and my eating had fallen out of control and I had stopped excercising. Why? Because I was upset, someone I love was going to have to have to face life with cancer. Cancer can be unforgiving and there are a lot of inpredictable variables. Back to me, so I fugured I had to have a goal to get me going. It worked, though my weight is not a lot lower, my body has shrunk and I am doing some pretty great things.

In Dublin, Ireland right now the Lance Armstrong Foundation is hosting a global cancer summit. There Dr Wild stated that obesity, environment, STDs and tobacco atributed to 1/3 of all cancers. So I want to help you change those odds!

Friends Agaisnt Cancer Team - FACT!(more on this in the near future) We can be from anywhere, but plan to meet up and participate in a Livestrong Challenge annually. More on the team later, but I want you to know, the healthier your body the better your odds at making it through the cancer treatments. So this way, you are not alone even if virtually. You'll hear about my struggles through training later this week.

I will not toss The Lance Armstrong Foundation to the side, but I am going to continue to fight cancer, in as many ways possible. The next events that I am training for, to fight cancer are as follows.

March 27, 2010
Charleston, SC
The Cooper River Bridge Run
Yes folks I'm gonna be walking with a little running (more on that later), don't think I'm hanging up the bike.
There is an online registrations and here is the registration form:
I will be registering and selecting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. You'll be learning more about that in months to come. It is a great foundation.

Susan G Komen Race For The Cure
April 10, 2010
Learn more!

Philly 2010
I had planned to do 100 miles, but after yesterday I am reevaluating that. I ran into a guy at the top of a climb, cause we stopped to rest that explained the toughness. He had participated in every Philly Livestrong Challenge and this was the toughest. Why? Because Lance Armstrong was there last year (2008) and felt the course was not challenging enough, so they added more climbing. Trust me, Livestrong Challenge is the right name. Do not get me wrong thje volunteers are all wonderful and everyone makes you feel absolutely amazing through every step!!! My whole experience through the Livestrong Challenge is one of my proudest moments in my life!

If you so choose to hope with on with FACT, we can do different events, you can run or walk the 5K or bike 20, 45, 70 or 100. Registration is low and you only have to raise $250 and they give you a website to assist you.

So, yes "More Than a Ride" will continue onward, because we are against cancer.

Changing the world one revolution at a time!

2009 Philly Livestrong Challenge DAY!!!

I rode honoring my Dad, my uncle Jime (pronounced Hi-me) and Lorax our little baby girl who also rode to Philly with us.

Let me tell you something!!! This has been an amazing experience!!!

I am very proud of myself! The accomplishments of this Livestrong Challenge rank up there with some of the proudest things I have done in my life thus far.

Speaking of things so far in my life, this was also the toughest bike ride I have taken to date. I thought since I had done a 53 mile ride and a 60 mile ride and climbed up Mill Mountain almost once a week, I was going to be set. My nerves got up the night before when I noticed the elevation moved from 1600 odd feet of climbing to 1700 odd feet of climbing.

Well let me tell you something, well guess I've done that for the past few months. LOL! Titling these rides as a Livestrong Challenge is correct!!! I climbed a lot of hills and walked a few too, especially toward the end. It had gotten hot and by the end I had been in the saddle 4:48:12, the total milage was 46.3 miles.

I met a lot of great people all in the same fight. The fight to end cancer! Jim, Karen, Jason, Lila, and some encouraging riders along the way. We all cheered each other along. Expect their stories later.

Please pray for all the individuals that went down, two required an ambulance and were pretty bad looking. Slowed me down on the sharp corners or sharp descents. Sad that they got hurt during such an amazing ride.

I know you might be thinking; Why on Earth would you want to do this and planning on a repeat in 2010? Simply put, it is amazing to push yourself beyond what you thought ever possible. Tears were in my eyes as I crossed because of the amazing ride I had just taken and how I raised $1,145 to help end cancer. I am very proud of myself.


packet pick up

Picking up the packet today. I might wear my Tshirt for a week, just so I can tell everyone about this experience.
I didn't sleep weel, I am so excited about tomorrow, plus a vicious storm came through around mid-night. I tought a plane as landing on the building. Woke up at 5:20a.m. so excited I filled my bottles andhave them chilling in the fridge. All my gear is set out and ready to go.
There is a hurricaine that they are blaming the incredible amounts of rain on. Driving 10 hours to get her in the sheets of rain was not fun. We couldn't drive any faster and still be able to see and even had to pull off once.
Off to Montgomery Community College to pick up my packet. Saw everyone setting up for the ride this morning on the news.

Don't forget, I can still take donations on the website

Til tomorrow!

on the way

We are on our way to Philly. I could not have done it without you. Though I am still raising money on the website

Thank you to everyone who has helped along the way!!!

Here we go!

flat begging

Ok, so now, I am just begging you. Please donate! I really want to raise as much money as I can for The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) to help give as much money as possible to fight cancer. If you do not know much about LAF here are a few things.

Yes it was started by 7 time Tour de France winner and testicular cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. It helps to provide 24 hour support to people living with cancer. You can call anytime and they have someone there, a survivor to help with the terrifying questions you might have, because your fear is not always set to the 9-5 office hours. The have detailed information on the different treatment options, because there are often several options out there. If Lance Armstrong would have gone with the first treatment suggested to him, he would not have gone on to inspire many people with cancer or affected by cancer being in their life. His lungs would have been trashed by the treatment. LAF also helps to be an advocate to help you get a second or a third opinion and they also help when there is no more treatment options left. It is important to know smeone is there for you.

I believe in The Lance Armstrong Foundation and that is why I plan to participate in a Livestrong Challenge every year. They have gone global and working to end cancer on many fronts, not just in the U.S., but everywhere. Why? In 2010, cancer is to become the leading cause of death around the world. Cancer has no borders!


Thank you,

More Than A Ride

When I signed up for the 45 mile Livestrong Challenge, I started this blog. I was struggling with the name, truth be told I was struggling with a lot in those days, and Tammy gave me this name. I new when she said it, that the months ahead would be more than about the ride and they have been. It has been an amazing few months.

When yet another loved one was diagnosed with cancer, my world began to spin and nothing made sense. This time we were looking at my Dad's battle with cancer, I still remember his Dad's battle. Cancer is not one of those things you forget. It just eats away until your body has nothing left to give.

I remember a friend who was in her second bought with breast cancer. The first one took her breast, this time it had moved to her lungs and chest. She had a 6 year old she had to take care of and she was just beginning to get back on her feet. It seemed cruel, her daughter had no family to go to and Darlene had few people to turn to, because she had no close family. Cancer moved through her body, made her neck rigid and it took her mind by the end. I remember one of the last memories with her, she had been moved to a nursing facility by then. She looked up at me, all of a sudden crystal clear she said, "Today is our anniversary of when we started talking. Thank you for being my friend.", tears were on the edge of my eyes and a huge lump in my throat. While holding my hand, she picked up her head and then she said, "here they come, they have such a sweet sound and they make me feel better." and her head dropped and the next time I went to visit she was not clear again. I sat with her and got her a few things she asked for, though none of it made sense to me. I wondered later if the mind goes so the body doesn't feel the pain. She made the most loving decision of her life, before she went on to be an angel. She allowed a loving family to adopt her now 7 year old daughter, knowing she could not do it much longer. They had been caring for her over the past months and she new they would take care of her.

So is this "More Than A Ride"? You better believe it!!! It is about finding yourself and honoring your loved ones who have wn the battle and about honoring the memory of those watching over us. I had no clue how much I would change when I signed up for this ride and I for once was given something by cancer. Because cancer has taken a lot from me. I was given "More Than A Ride" and all that came with it. I cannot explain it, it just is and you have to experience it yourself.

Help find a cure! Help stop cancer! Help there to be options!

Changing the world one revolution at a time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

3 sleeps

In three sleeps we will be packing up and heading out for Philly! I did not think that we would ever get to this day, it seemed so far away, yet so close.

When I started out the most I had traveled on my mountain bike was 15 miles, 18 if I am lucky. Traveling 12 miles was a long ride. Now 12 miles is a keep my muscles warm ride. It is amazing how far I have come in such a short amount of time. One thing I do not feel that we have come far enough about is the fight against cancer.

1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime

I am sorry those are not good odds! I am about to ride 45 miles and plan to keep on riding, this has become my fight too, while so many people learn to live with a disease that knows no barriers. Cancer has taken many people I love and have put many people I love through a living hell. Many people you love may have the same battle and struggles. May you LIVESTRONG, through those days.

So we can find out ways to make these battles easier, find ways to cure and find ways to end the devastating diagnosis of "you've got cancer." and together we will. One thing I ask you to do is to make an appointment to get regular exams by your family physician, eat healthy foods, exercise and to donate today;

I'm not giving up! Are you?

Riding to a cure!

Friday, August 14, 2009

another way to get back at cancer

We have to fight cancer on all fronts. I picked The Lance Armstrong Foundation, but there are other ways to fight cancer.

Take yoga at Uttara Yoga Sudio
August 31 - September 4
Ride your bike and do yoga for $5 and the money will be donated to The American Cancer Society.
Class schedule:
This might be easier:
Noon - Power Yoga. Siobhan
6:30 pm - Yoga Basics. Karen (JUNE only- karma class, $5 drop-in donation)

5:30 pm - July 6 through August 10 only - Hot Yoga. Rita (*75 min. class, 6-week series 7/6 through 8/10). $12 drop in, $60 for six weeks, separate fee class, class pack cards not accepted

9:30 am - Hatha. Jill
5:30 pm* - Hatha Flow. Wendi (*75 min. class)

9:30 - Power Yoga. Siobhan
Noon - Power Yoga. Jill
5:30 pm - Hatha. Lisa
6:45 pm - Ashtanga. Arien (*75 min. class)

9:30 am - Hatha. Jill
12:15 pm* - Beginner’s Yoga. Lisa (*45 min. class - karma class, $5 drop-in donation)
5:30 pm* - Hatha Flow. Wendi (*75 min. class)
7:00 pm* - Power Yoga. Cathy (*75 min. class)

9:30 am* - Ashtanga. Arien (*75 min. class; no class 6/5 & 7/24)
11:00 am - Jivamukti Yoga. Mary (*75 min. class; no class in AUG)
5:30 pm - Beginner's Yoga. Lisa (4-week series, JUNE only)

9:45 am - Hatha. Jill (no class 7/18)
11:00 am - Children's Yoga (ages 4-8). Jill (only AUG 1, 8, 15)

8:30 am - Power Yoga. Shannon
10:00 am - Children's Yoga (ages 9-13). Jill (only JULY 28, AUG 2, 9)
5:00 pm - Less Stress Restorative Yoga. Jill (only JULY 12, 26, AUG 9, 23)


1 week!

We are a week away. I will be riding in my first Livestrong Challenge! If you cannot ride this year, let's ride next year together, the more we have against this disease that knows no limits the better our odds.

We are going to make a difference!

What would you say to cancer?

What would you say to cancer if you could?

I say, "NO MORE!".
Donate today and stop the cycle, 8 million people will die this year to cancer. Will we know any of those 8 million?

Changing the world one revolution at a time!

numb hands

Yikes! Saturday we went on a long ride, it was 60 miles, the longest Tammy and I have ever gone and it was not easy. There was at least 15 miles that was climbing, though it was not steep it was a tough climb or "slog" as we call it up the road. About 7 miles of it was a tar and gravel mixture, which made it tough to look around and tough to do anything other than look at the road and avoid pot holes and whatever else might cause injury.

My collar bone/shoulder was screaming in pain! I was hurting so bad I took Advil and I have not done that in two years. It hurt bad and a couple of other people we ride with regularly had some old aches to surface again. This ride seemed to bump a lot to the surface and look at some ergonomic changes.

One thing that did surface again was Tammy's hand going numb. It was a problem more on the mountain bikes and really had not been a problem on the road bikes. So we thought it was in the past, until Saturday when her last two fingers went almost completely numb. Eeek!

Here is what happened. There is a nerve, well there are many in your hand, but one nerve that runs between the two padded areas on your hand. This nerve is the nerve most commonly linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. There are a series of stretches and other things that you can do to help prevent this, find a good sports medicine person, Qigong instructor or physical therapist for these actions. Because the only other treatment is slicing that nerve and well, you really do not want nerves sliced through unless it is the last resort.

There are a few things that caused this and Saturdays tough ride probably aggravated the situation. Riding with a constant pressure on your hands can cause the nerve to be pressed so long that it stops sending signals to the fingers. Having gloves or handlebars with to much padding can cause this problem, oddly just as much as not having gloves and padding can cause the same problem. It is all about finding the balance that works best for you. It is that whole thing that what works for one person may not work for another person. So keep at it until you find what keeps you most comfortable on the saddle, even for the long and bumpy rides.

By the way! There are 600 spots left for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!!! and you have a little over one week to raise your minimum. I know you can do it!!! Come ride with me next week, the deadline to register is August 20th and the ride is the 23. If you cannot ride this year, then please donate, we're all fighting cancer

Come along and join the fun!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Livestrong Playlist 2

We are in the homestretch just before the 2009 Livestrong Challenge, so I thought it would be a good idea to update the inspirational iPod tunes. Some for creating speed when I'm in the gym, others are uplifting and a few other good ones to get us through. Though the song has crossed my mind, Bruce Springstein's "Streets of Philadelphia" will not make this playlist, mainly because I cannot listen to it without crying.
Hope you enjoy and please do not forget why there is this blog titled "More Than A ride". We're changing the world and ending cancer one revolution at a time!


Livestrong Playlist 2

Prayer for Peace - Star Children from the Earth Dance CD (it just feels good)
Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copeland if you've watched the Olympics you know why
Carmina Burana, O'Fortuna - Carl Orf, it builds you up
The Olympic Spirit - John Williams and the Boston Pops, again watch the Olympics
Rind of Fire - Johnny Cash, Yea it surprised me too, but those tires are a ring of fire!
La Copa de la Vida - Ricky Martin, it is a repeat, for obvious reasons. Gotta enjoy life while we have it!
The Freight Train - DJ Irene from Phonosynthesis - Listen you just hear a fast moving group of cyclist in it.
I like to move it - Will i am - it is fun and well you gotta move it move it!
Elevation - U2 from the Tomb Raider Soundtrack, it is fun and lifts you up.
Dive In The Pool(X-union remix) - Barry Harris Featuring Peppa Masha, Cause you get soaking wet out there on a bike. Yep it is a repeat, it's that good.
Speedball'n - Outkast - Gotta have some more speed in the selection
Spin spin Sugar - Sneaker Pimps - It has some speed too!
If Everyone Cared - Nickelback - Listen to it, it has soul.
Make it Go Away(radiation song) - Sheryl Crow - For Tammy, because when we had a breast cancer scare a year ago, it gave her some strength and well it's obvious if you listen.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

and miles to go...

It is amazing how fast, yet how slow August 23 has been in getting here. In two weeks from today I will have completed my first ever Livestrong Challenge ( and raised a respectable amount of money. I will have riden 45 miles through the streets of Philadelphia and will have proudly displayed the names of cancer survivors in my family; Dad, Jime' and Lorax. I don't have enough body realestate for everyone, though everyone is important.

I chose a Livestrong Challenge, because I believe in The Lance Armstrong Foundation and I believe in the need to end cancer. This is my first Livestrong Challenge, I plan on others and would like to see an end to the need for a Livestrong Challenge.

I believe far to many people have lost their lives to cancer, to many have lost their hair, to many have sat in fear, to many have cried and to many have been touched by cancer.

I have mentioned all the people in my life that have had cancer. I've shared some personal stories and some I will in the future. I am going to write a few of the names of people whom I have known during their cancer battle, listened to their story (cause sometimes it feels good to have someone to listen), sat with in their last days on earth (cause I know they are all angels now) or have known while in their battle. Feel free to post comments of people in your life or your own name.
Lorax, Dad, Jime', Nannie, PaPa, Mini, Thresa, Don, Tammy (not my partner), Pat, Pat (yes 2 different people), Anna, Darlene, Virginia, Ann, Margaret, Sandy 'Re, Richard, Nancy, Kenny, the tearful woman who worked in my building years a go with a pink ribbon breast cancer hat on who needed a hug, Eyde, Skylar, Peggy, Evelyn and sadly the list continues...

Please help to stop the vicious affects of cancer, donate to The Lance Armstrong Foundation!

I am not stopping until people stop hearing, "you've got cancer"!

You can change more than you think!

Friday, August 7, 2009

almost two weeks

We are just over two weeks away until the Philly Livestrong Challenge 2009!!! This has been an amazing past few months!!! I really cannot say it enough!!! Thank you to each of you for all that you have done!

A couple of things, this blog will continue after the 2009 ride, because the fight against cancer is not going to stop! Two I am contemplating organizing a Livestrong Challenge Team for next year. How about it, "Star City Cyclists"? Who is gonna join?

You know, I had a thought cross my mind today when an ambulance went screaming up the road. I pulled over to the side of the road, moving out of the way. I looked at the a lot of other cars, just sitting on the road and not moving to the right as we are instructed in drivers ed, although there was room to move. It made me think, that if their loved one was in that ambulance; would they not be frustrated that the cars were in the way, limited the speed at which they can get to the hospital? We often do not think of how our actions affect other people when we are in a hurry. It is interesting once the shoe is on the other foot how we look at things in a different light. Things are all relative, but one thing I have noticed that has proven consistant and that is cancer AFFECTS and EFFECTS EVERYONE!!!

So please, make a donation today! Any amount helps, it adds up and makes a difference.

Make a difference!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gear - pedals

So after a post last week I was asked; How can you pull your pedals without yur feet falling off? This prompted me to wonder how many understand the differences.

As a child the idea of attaching my foot to a pedal seemed like a crazy idea. What if I fell off? Though the thought was raised when we got our mountain bikes years ago, we never did follow through because we just were not comfortable enough yet.

So the first pedal type is the standard, put your foot on and go kind of pedals. These are the most common on entry level and department store bicycles. Not a thing wrong with these pedals, unless you are trying to improve effeciency. It is most important that you are on the bike.

There is a toe cage that kind of traps your toe onto the pedal. It is adjustable and affords you the ability to have some push and pull with your peddle strokes though not the same as the clipless pedal. One issue I had with this style was I was riding in sneakers with a tread and that made pulling out in a hurry a little difficult. Otherwise an affordable step to gaining more effeciency on the bike.

The clipless pedal comes in all sorts of styles. The tension that is applied to clipping in and out is adjustable, so the more comfortable you get the more tension you can apply. It is important to get use to clipping in and clipping out before going out on the road. It is easy to forget your foot is attached to the pedal. The you become face to face with the pavement. Trust me, I grabbed a lot of stop signs in the early days of the clipless pedal, even with practice.

The clipless pedal is helpful because you can push on the down and pull on the up. This way you are using your whole leg and not limiting yourself to the power of half your leg.

Happy peddling!