Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Filtering by Category: SU2C

Reaching out to SU2C

So I had an idea today. I think I mentioned before that I won't be alone on RAGBRAI this year. Not only will I be riding a day or two with a few of Billy Jo's Iowa cousins, I have my own weeklong personal SAG (support and gear) team in Dan, Tanya, and CJ :) 

Anyway, a thought came to me this afternoon as I was in the garage doing routine cleaning/maintenance to my bicycle... if my team is going to be driving from town to town, and more importantly, into the heart of the activity in each of these towns, why not see if I can get Stand Up to Cancer to send me some stuff to help them out?  

I sent them an email asking if they have any interest in sending me magnetic signs for the truck as well as any brochures or other freebies to hand out. After all, there are thousands and thousands of people riding RAGBRAI, and many more that will be taking part in overnight town activities. Perfect (and free!) advertising for them.  We'll see what they say... like I said, it was just an idea I had.

As of today, it's less than $900 to reach my $15,000 goal. Thanks to those who have donated - I appreciate it very much!!

Four weeks to go!

Well, four weeks from today is the first riding day of RAGBRAI. It's a bit surprising how quickly it's coming. I've been so busy at work that time is flying by at a seemingly faster pace.

I've had a few longer rides lately, and I'm at 1100 for the year so far.  I'll be ready.

As I stated before, I'd like to have the total raised for SU2C by team Pedal Another Mile to be $15,000 by the time I finish RAGBRAI on July 27th. We've been a little over $2,000 under that for a while. That changed last night. My friend Don gave me a check yesterday for a donation in the memories of his late wife Laura who passed away in 2011 of breast cancer, and of Billy Jo. Thanks to Don's generosity, we are now just over $1,000 shy of the goal.

If you can spare any cash to help, even $5, I'd really appreciate it!! You can donate by clicking here.

In other news, this week I'm ordering the labels to begin printing the names of the people riding with me. There's over 100 names already. If you haven't yet done so, the form is here.

Panic, Running, and yet another reality check.

So it's been a while since I posted. Again, I'm not abandoning the blog, just would rather have quality over quantity :). Warning: I have been typing this over several sessions and now over a week plus of time. Lots of Dave pottymouth follows, at least in act one :)

Here's what's been going on since the last post:

The day after my last post I let Wrigley out at 4:45 like usual and began to get ready for work. At 5:10 or so I went out to get her (remember- I have had to drag her back in now... she knows in the morning I am leaving and refuses to listen). Well, there was no sign of her. I looked in the few hiding spots...nothing. Then I saw a giant hole under the fence and knew she was out. Zen Dave left the building. What the fuck was I going to do?!?!? I immediately got in the car, put out a desperate facebook post, and started driving around. A few friends drove over and started canvassing the neighborhood. My neighbor started posting pics to the lost dogs sites on facebook. At 6am. I am so thankful for the help I got that morning.

Anyway, after two hours of driving, walking, calling the PD non-emergency number, and posting full info to Lost Dogs Illinois, I began to shift to "fuck. she's gone and driving around ain't gonna find her and I need to start making posters and the animal control offices open at 10 and I have two counties to call and OH WHAT THE FUCK AM I GONNA DO WITHOUT HER?!?!?" mode. On the outside I think I appeared much better than I was on the inside. This fucking dog has gotten me through so many tough times, and thoughts began to creep into my mind... "how good you have been doing is REALLY going to be tested" ... "Is this the trigger that fucks me up?" I was not in a good place those few hours.

Just as I was going to call in the troops to thank them and to stop driving around aimlessly, my neighbor across the street backed out of his garage on his way to work. I haven't seen him in months. Certainly not since I left for Florida. He asked how I was doing and I told him that until that morning I was doing really good, and told him that Wrigley got out. He said he was going out the south exit of the subdivision and would keep an eye out. I thanked him but didn't hold out hope - I mean I walked miles, I drove miles, I had friends driving sign of her. So I decided to stop looking and start printing posters. Before I even had a chance to go inside, my neighbor was back, asking me if she was short, black, and with a white underbelly. I said yes. He said "get in. She's right down the block."

He drove me quite literally half a block and said she was walking down the sidewalk. There was no sign of her so I told him I'd get out and walk into people's yards. First yard I walked into, I saw her about 40 feet away. I called her, she looked at me, and ran right towards me. She was soaked and muddy but otherwise just fine.

Holy shit was that something I never want to experience again. I'm taking steps to make it much harder for her to dig her way out, and I decided to pay for peace of mind. Yes, Wrigley is sporting a GPS tracker on her collar now. Crisis averted. I am so thankful to my neighbors and friends who helped me at 6am on a Thursday, as well as everyone on Facebook sharing her pic.

Saturday May 4th was the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition's annual walk (now with a a 5k run!) If you recall, I hate running but said I'd do it in an attempt to raise $250 for the NOCC. Well, I raised $255 (big thanks to everyone who donated!!!) so run I did.

I didn't pass out, I didn't puke, and I actually didn't do too bad time-wise. 27:37, and that included two pretty long stretches of walking as I tried to figure out why the oxygen I was inhaling wasn't doing anything ;). Anyway, I finished 72nd overall and 7th in the male 40-49 age group. Not too bad for someone who despises running :)

The event was a very good one. The weather, which wasn't looking too good early, really turned out well. It was great to spend the morning with family and friends. I look forward to next year's event. Not the run, which I am going to do again (but this time with ZERO training), but the overall day :)

Now, for another shitty reality check. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that while he was out of town his wife passed away in her sleep at the age of 43. There was no warning this was going to happen - she had a complete physical in January and nothing was out of the ordinary. He is understandably devastated. I reached out to him and told him while I don't know what it's like to lose a spouse suddenly, I am here for him to help him any way I can. I know the importance of having someone who can relate to you in times like this. I believe that "my someone" is one of the top three reasons I am doing so well. I want to pay forward whatever I can. Brad - I am here for you whenever you need me. Sara - may you rest in peace... the one time we met was just an awesome evening and one I am glad happened. 

Everyone reading this... hug those you love. Don't let petty bullshit matter. Do not put off things you want to do or experience because you'll "get around to it." We have no guarantees in life or how long ours will be. Buddha gets credited with this quote all the time but apparently it is from author Jack Kornfield. It doesn't matter who said it, it's true:

Lastly, my birthday was a few days ago. I am 42 now! I had a great day complete with awesome weather and a Blackhawks playoff win over the Red Wings.

Overall, I really feel great. I am happy, I am sleeping well, I rarely watch TV anymore (unless it's playoff hockey), I'm actually getting really good at cooking, I am maintaining my weight (something not easy for me to do - I usually either constantly lose or constantly gain). I may be 42 but I feel mid-20s, physically and mentally. Sure, I sometimes forget what I ate for dinner the night before but hey what can I do about that, right?

My bike riding is still going well, and I am over 900 miles for 2013. RAGBRAI is in 64 days. I'll be ready. That reminds me - I have to order a shitton of labels soon and get to work on printing them up for my bike. Please fill out the form if you want a friend or family member to ride with me.

So that's it for now. Next post will be, well... whenever :) Expect the RAGBRAI stuff to ramp up pretty soon. I will also soon be annoying and ask that you donate to SU2C. Even $5. All of the donations from the public go directly to research. My team has raised $12,902 since I started it 2 1/2 years ago. I'd like to hit $15,000 by the end of RAGBRAI on July 27th. Thanks to all who have made donations already - I never dreamed it would get to an amount this high. Team Pedal Another Mile is at #20 on the top fundraising teams for SU2C - that's quite an honor.

Okay, until next time - go live your life!!

Another fuckit list weekend and a RAGBRAI update

So Brian and I left his house at 7:30 Saturday morning for Nashville. I dropped him back off before 3:00 Sunday afternoon. In between was 1,000 miles of driving, nasty storms, dinner, a kickass concert, Waffle House, Brian having a nasty migraine Sunday morning, and me getting a speeding ticket 10 miles from dropping Brian off.

That's the cliff notes version. In short, take away Brian's migraine and I wouldn't change a thing. Not even the speeding ticket. I was due anyway - it's been over 15 years :)

I contacted Slightly Stoopid's management company Friday morning to see if cameras were allowed because the venue website didn't specify. I have been in contact with him before over the past year - my friend Dan originally reached out to them to see if they could do anything to cheer us up last fall. After all, Kyle (one of the two lead guys of Stoopid) held up a line for 5-10 minutes talking to Billy Jo at their August 2012 concert, just weeks before she ended up in the hospital.

Anyway, I figured the easiest way to find out was to ask him about the camera policy. He said to be safe he was going to give me a photo pass. A photo pass gave me access between the barrier and the stage, where you always see security standing. It was the closest I have ever been at a concert. At one point, due to the shape of the stage, I was even behind Kyle. Brian was front row too, so all was good.

I took about 650 pics. Most sucked. I don't know what I'm doing and I didn't have a pro camera. But some did come out fairly well. Here they are. If the slideshow doesn't load the direct link is here.

Here's a video I took of a few encore songs. Sound cuts in and out because I was WAY too close to the speaker stacks :)

It was an experience I am sure to remember a long time. Another successful fuckit list item! Big thanks to Chris at their management company for the hookup!

Now onto the RAGBRAI update. They did the wristband lottery draw this morning. Every year there are more people wanting to participate in the week-long ride than there are spots available, so they hold a lottery. Not being picked doesn't mean you cannot secure one, but you have to buy it on the secondary market. Well, I got an email with my wristband number, so I am in. No stressing about getting one later :)

This is a good time to remind you that I will be covering my bike in names for the RAGBRAI ride, like I did last time. If you know someone who is fighting, in remission or cured, or who passed away from cancer and you would like to let me know their name, I will print it on a label, stick it on my bike, and they will ride with me across Iowa in July. Just fill out this short form. There are over 100 names already.

Donations to Stand Up to Cancer are greatly appreciated but not required. I am trying to reach $15,000 by the end of the ride on July 27th. $2,100 to go :) Team Pedal Another Mile is #20 on their team list in terms of amount raised. Thanks to everyone who has donated - it means so much to me :) 

World Cancer Day

Today, February 4th, is world cancer day.

I took a bike ride for Charity Miles this afternoon after finishing my work. I didn't feel like driving to the ocean so it was my first Palm Bay ride. Wasn't too suicidal, and ended up being 27 miles. Wind picked up and switched directions on the way back, right into my face, but that's ok.

Stand Up to Cancer had placards you could print and post pics to their face book wall. You could also post pics to Instagram and tag them. So I printed it up one.

As for the one where I stand up for anyone, I ride for them too. We're nearing 100 entries for labels for my bike during my RAGBRAI ride. If you haven't done so, you have plenty of time. The form is here.

As for how I've been... well, I am getting a bit antsy to get home. I need to start real life. I just wish the weather was better. I am ready to face whatever lies ahead. I'm just anxious to start it and hope I do as well as I have been down here.

I love it here and would love to stay, but it doesn't make sense financially for me to move down here at this time. I have a good job with great benefits... finding a job at all is hard down here. I have friends and family back home. I hate Illinois, I hate the politics, I hate the weather much of the time, I hate the traffic. But for now, it is home. And home I must go back to. The trek back begins early next Wednesday morning.

Other than that I've been pretty relaxed lately. Many "final things" I have had to take care of are done. That alone removes some stress. I've even taken a few naps the past couple of days. I can't tell if they are just "to take them" or if I'm just worn out from running around.

That's going to be one of those things I am going to need to adjust to. I know I cannot be a recluse once I am home, but I also know I was a "homebody" much of the time. I know friends assure me they are going to keep me busy, and I appreciate it, I just need to make sure I can handle the change in lifestyle. I'll have to ease into it.

That's it for now. Look for several posts this coming weekend, as the reef weekend is upon us. I'm no longer concerned that I am going to lose my shit during it - as a matter of fact I will be surprised if I do. This is a time to celebrate. If I could hold it through 95% of the wake, I can handle this.

Stand Up to Cancer Update

I've been keeping the USPS afloat by paying $15.25 per week to have all my mail held until Wednesday, shoved into a Priority Mail envelope, and sent down here.

A few weeks ago, I received seven acknowledgement letters from Stand Up to Cancer. I do not know the amounts that were donated by these people, but I do know that they were not applied to the Pedal Another MIle team. It really shouldn't matter if it was applied to the team or not, but dammit, Billy Jo and I started this team together and it means a lot to me that the amount we have raised thanks to all of you is properly recorded.

Well, they still haven't told me who donated what, but they did tell me that the total of those seven donations was over $2,300. I was absolutely blown away when I learned of this. I am speechless, and so grateful. They have also applied that amount to the team, putting the total raised since we started it at $11,361.40.

I had hoped to get past $10,000 by the time RAGBRAI starts in late July. Now I'm hoping to get to $13,000. As it stands right now, there's only 22 teams in front of us in terms of dollars raised. $13,000 would crack the top 20. I know getting number one is not possible...I wasn't a contestant on Survivor :). But top 20 all time would be pretty friggin' cool.

I cannot thank every single one of you who have donated to SU2C enough. I am so humbled and thankful.

Also, tomorrow is World Cancer Day. After I finish my work tomorrow I'm going to crank out 25 miles or so and make sure that Charity Miles app is running for SU2C. At 10 cents a mile, I've already raised $60 since I got down here for them, just by riding my bike. Pretty cool.