Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Filtering by Category: SU2C

Crunch time

It's a little alarming how fast this is here.  I leave about 4am next Saturday, headed to the end town of Davenport.  A week from right now I will be getting off a bus somewhere in the start town of Onawa. 

I can only hope I'm not greeted with this, like on my initial RAGBRAI:



I think I can safely say I am ready for this challenge, or as ready as I'll ever be.  The RAGBRAI training coach recommends that you have 1000 miles for the year when you arrive in Iowa...


I think I'm good on that front :).  I also think that I set my mileage goal for 2018 a bit too low, as I will pass it near the end of RAGBRAI.    

My only concerns about the week are my lack of hill training and the weather.  The weather is completely out of my control - I just hope it's not too rainy or windy, and 7 straight days of heat indexes in the triple-digits.  I will likely not have more than a few minutes in air conditioning from the time I get off the bus until the time I get back in my car a week later.  

The hills?  Well, I know for a fact I am in way better shape physically than I was the first two times (especially heartrate-wise), and in over 900 combined miles those first two times, I walked up one hill. 

This will be a busy week - I'll be getting everything packed - the checklist of things to bring is extensive, and I'm sure there will be things I am forgetting - I just hope it isn't anything major, like my bike. 

In the most important part of this update, I want to again thank everyone who has donated to Stand Up to Cancer.  As of right now, $1,350 has been donated this year (that's over $3 a mile!), bringing Team Pedal Another Mile's grand total since I started in 2010 to $17,312.  If you haven't yet donated, please know that 100% of your donation goes to cancer research - not a penny of it goes to overhead, advertising, or salaries.  Those are paid by corporate sponsors.  The minimum to donate is $5 and I'd really appreciate it!  The fundraising page will be open the entire time I'm on the ride, and will remain open afterwards.




First Things First

I’ll fill you in on what’s been going on in my life in future posts.  This post will focus on something much more important.  I’ll go into detail, but let’s get it out there right away:

I’m going to ride my bicycle across Iowa again this July.  Yes, I’m going to do RAGBRAI for a third time, and the first time in five years.  And as with the other two times, the reason I am going to do it is to raise money for Stand Up to Cancer.  

After 2011 I said I’d never do it again (or at least not for 10 years), and then did it in 2013, at which point I said I'd never do it again, ever... 

I feel that it is time to do it again.   There are so many people in my life and in the lives of those around me that are in a battle for their lives because of this horrible disease, and I feel that this has become “my way” to try and help raise money for a great organization that really is helping fight this horrible disease. 

I donate to SU2C, and rather than just ask people to to do the same, I challenge myself to get across an entire state under my own power in seven days, and ask that people donate a penny, a nickel, a dime, whatever, per mile (of which there is 428 of them in RAGBRAI 2018) to my fundraising page at Stand Up to Cancer.

Stand Up to Cancer is a unique charity in that the corporate sponsors pay for the administration, advertising, and overhead costs, while all donations from the public go directly to research.   You can rest assured that your donation is used towards finding a cure, and not a TV commercial or a CEO's salary.

From the day in 2011 when I came up with the idea of riding RAGBRAI to raise money for SU2C to the day I dipped my front tire in the Mississippi River for a second time after finishing in 2013, your generosity equaled almost $16,000 raised for Stand Up to Cancer.  I'd love to be able to raise the equivalent of $10 for each mile I ride in 2018 RAGBRAI.  That would equal $4,280 and get Team Pedal Another Mile over $20,000!! 

I'll post more details later, and I will continue to clean up (dust off) this website, but I wanted to share this news as soon as I registered for the ride.

I Stand For...

I had an idea riding during one of the final days of RAGBRAI to go a little farther than just putting the names you provided me on my bicycle. I am peeling those labels off and if they stick I will put them all on a piece of paper and keep them with the other memorabilia from the week.  

I wore my Stand Up to Cancer biking clothes for the last day. The back of the jersey says "I Stand For" and there's a blank white box. Once I finished, I asked Dan to take a picture of my back as I lifted my bicycle on the shore of the Mississippi River.  

I then opened Photoshop and entered every name that was on my bicycle into that blank white box. and saved it as it's own file. This was a bigger and more time-consuming project than I thought it would be, but it's all done, and two weeks after the ride isn't *too* bad :)

Every file in this directory is lastname_firstname. Click the name, and then when the picture comes up, click the three dots in the lower right corner and select download. The resolution is high enough for printing photos if you like, as well.

Thanks again to Dan for being my photographer the whole week!!

Stickers are stuck

The names are on the bike. It took about two hours.

Black are deceased, red are in the fight, white are cured or in remission.

The whole mission of Stand Up to Cancer is to turn those reds into whites. 


Surprisingly, I am 95% packed and ready to go, over 36 hours prior to departure. I should check for a fever, because I'm obviously not feeling well. ;)

Last Call for Labels

Camera Roll-228

Okay, every name put into the form has been printed on a label as of today. If you still want to have someone's name on my bike for the ride across Iowa, there's still time. Not much, though. I have to give back the label maker soon. Don't wait any longer!

Also, thanks to all of you who donated, my hope to have $15,000 total raised for SU2C by the time the ride was over was realized a week before it started. I am so grateful for your generosity. There are many places and causes to donate your hard-earned dollars, and the fact that you chose Stand Up to Cancer makes me very happy. Words cannot describe it further. Simply - Thank You. For those of you who still want to - by all means please do so!!


In actual RAGBRAI news, I have slowly begun packing, I have most of my electronics sorted out (I'm so geeky I sometimes can't stand myself), and I'm determining what the best way to update will be. Two years ago there was no chance of me having a data connection for most of the trip. Between being on Verizon now instead of AT&T, Google having wi-fi in some towns, and staying in hotels every night, this shouldn't be as big of an issue as 2011. I'll likely post a recap of each day, but I may do smaller updates through the PAM Facebook page. If you are on Facebook and haven't 'liked' it yet, here's the link. Again, who the hell knows what internet access will be like.


One last thing for tonight... I found out today that Knoxville, Wednesday's overnight town, will have a 200' long 20' wide slip n slide.  "Hold my beer and watch this!"


Crunch Time!!

Oh my. Just nine days from now I will be whisked away to the western side of Iowa by Dan, Tanya, and CJ. Ten days from now I'll be headed back east across the hills of Iowa on my bicycle.  Wow is this year really flying by! Here's the route I will be taking:

I wanted to get more miles in, but a crazy (and believe it or not, stressful - zen hasn't been my co-worker lately) three months at work plus finicky weather didn't help me do so. Still, I've got over 1,200 miles in so far this year, and only the 2nd day is going to be mileage-heavy. It's 83 miles with an option for an extra 24.4. Whether or not I will do that extra part is still up in the air. The weather will have a big say in it. I also don't like that it's on day two and I also don't like that I have 14 miles to decide if I'm doing the extra or not. In 2011 I had at least 50 miles to make up my mind. Day two also has the most hills of any day that week. But hey, if you do it you get a fancy patch! This is a huge deal! So huge that I will have to try and remember where my patch from 2011 is ;) .Here's a pic of it. Please contain your excitement :)


I woke up the morning of July 4th, checked my phone for the weather, saw it was going to be awesome, and within 15 minutes I was on my way to ride the Joliet Bicycle Club's Fourth of July Metric Century (100km- 62.1 miles)). I rode to the start from home, so it was actually 66 and change for me. It was the fastest average I have ever had in my life. In fact, my average was 20.1 through 100km - it was only the last few miles where I was completely exhausted and finished at 19.8. Much of the ride I spent with three people I had just met. Turns out they will be doing RAGBRAI as well. I'll look for them, but with 10,000 other people it's not going to be easy! Here's the ride info for July 4th:


The labels were shipped to me yesterday. I'll have to check for duplicates, and I have seen some on there, but there are 150 entries. Wow! I'll be getting those all printed up and put on my bike next week after work.

I am proud to report that we are only about $250 from my goal of $15,000 total raised by Team Pedal Another Mile. That's $15,000 in less than three years and #18 in terms of amount raised!  Thanks go out to all of you who have donated in the past. I really really appreciate your generosity.

As some of you know, I run an app while riding called Charity Miles. They donate ten cents for every mile I ride. I usually pick SU2C. July 4th I selected Wounded Warrior Project.  For this RAGBRAI ride, I am going to be doing SU2C on Days 1, 2, and 7. Day 3 is for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Days 4, 5, and 6 I will leave up to you. The top three is who I ride for those days. Vote here: