Thursday, April 22, 2010
One of my best friends, Paul Coughlin, travels around the country educating elementary to high school students about Bullying. He has developed a curriculum that educates kids about the power they have as a bystander. They alone, or preferably united with others, can say, "No...stop that...that's wrong!" and put the brakes on a bullies behavior.
The stories Paul shares are heartbreaking and they don't have to happen. By now, you have heard about teens committing suicide because they are mercilessly bullied, assaulted, demeaned and taunted...and grade school students bullied sexually. These poor kids are afraid to go to school to face another day, so much so that they feel living is not worth it. With cell phones, texting and Facebook or other social media, the harassment is 24/7. FBI statistics show 85% of school shooters were bullied. The problem is worse than you think.
I wanted this ride to be about more than achieving a personal goal. In a small way, we can bring awareness to this serious problem kids face. Please consider sponsoring one of us or contribute directly to: http://theprotectors.org/
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
You're onboard for a Saturday morning club ride. It's April and 40 degrees, so you dress for the weather and get going. This ride started with 11 riders and ended with 5; the tempo was medium fast for 65 miles @ an average speed of 19.5 mph. There were a few steady climbs, but nothing too hard and a ripping descent that turned into a race, more or less.
This is why I love cycling...look at the terrain over my shoulder. In Southern Oregon, it doesn't take long to be on a country road and most cars give you a wide berth. I like seeing snow-capped mountains and hearing the Rogue River from Lost Creek to Shady Cove. I like riding with fast guys who work hard and are willing to help each other. I like the smell of pine trees and the freedom the sport brings.
As of this post, THE RIDE is 3 weeks away. I sense the anticipation building from the other riders and myself for our journey. We're looking forward to riding new roads, accomplishing a huge goal, seeing sunsets, cementing stronger friendships and just disappearing for awhile. Sounds great to me!
Monday, April 5, 2010
When training for an event like this, sometimes you just have to go when a window of opportunity presents itself. Such was the case last night when it finally stopped raining and the radar showed a gap in the precip before sunset. I called Ron (watch for an intro in two weeks) to see if he could join me for 30 fast miles and within 20 minutes we connected about 5 miles from our homes to ride to Gold Hill and back. The problem was it was 45 degrees and 6:15 when I left the house, 6:30 when we met and it started getting dark at our turn around point, approximately 7:15. Ron was the strongman, so I just sucked his wheel most of the way back and we ascended Old Stage Rd. faster than I believe I ever have. By 7:40 Ron put on his neon yellow jacket, turned on a taillight and we separated to head home. I had no lights, a non-reflective jacket, black tights, the temperature was 38 and when I arrived home @ 8:05, I knew I used poor judgement. When I see other cyclists riding in the dark with no lights, I call 'em an idiot. I won't make that same mistake again.
In preparation for a 1500 mile ride, I've been pedaling 50-75 miles on Saturday's at a 18-21 mph pace and logging around 150 miles per week. I feel good, but not great. Part of the training for this is mental too and I must admit, I'm not sure if I can really do this. THE RIDE itself will demand 100 miles a day, for two and a half weeks...there's no way I can train close to that.
At least I am trying, because with the kind of weather we have had here lately, it would be easy to skip a ride in the cold rain and go to a coffee shop instead.