Archive for December 2013

Goodbye 2013 and Hello to 2014 !!

As this is the last weekend of 2013 prior to the start of the 2014 I thought it would be a good time to once again review some idea as to where we are going (hopefully) and where we’ve been.

Traditionally this time of year everyone gets into swing of establishing their own New Year’s resolutions and what changes (if any) they hope to make in the coming year. I happen to 100 % agree with that philosophy however I am the first one to admit that most of my New Year’s resolutions are centered around two things (1) My professional role and (2) Cycling and likely not in that order !! Unfortunately however I have not yet found a way to combine both roles, although I am still working on that. My goal for my professional role remains as it always has been and that is to continue to improve my Teams relevance and continue to provide outstanding support to America’s warfighters.

Regarding my cycling goals and resolutions I am still working on those, but my main goal is to enter 2014 with a frame of mind of injury prevention. Each year I am sidelined for a period of time due to injury. While I am entering 2014 already with an injury, I remain hopeful that my current physical therapy and conditioning program will help me to continue to improve. While I have been biking 3 or 4 times per week I actually find myself feeling better the days that I bike vs. the days that I don’t and I am hoping this will continue. While I am remain cautiously optimistic, I will also remain aware of when my body starts telling me to stop or slow down. I would love to set my mileage goal as I traditionally do each year but this year I am going to adjust from one month to another, however if pushed to make a goal I am hoping to reach last year’s goal of at least 4,000 miles, (See, I can’t NOT make a goal !!).

Regarding Cyclists4ACause, we continue to pick up potential new members and we will have to wait and see if more become involved. As I meet more and more cyclists and I have the opportunity to explain who we are and what we hope to accomplish, many seem to question the idea initially as this is an entirely new philosophy in organization and group think. The most common question I get is “how much to join” and my response is “nothing, zero,” and when they ask “why not?” I normally respond “Why should you pay an organization an entrance fee when you are trying to either raise funds or a charity that YOU choose to train for and represent and believe in”. While we may not have the highly decorated and sought after red, white or purple cycling Jerseys (we are still working on our own) we believe that the organization or specific cause that you wish to represent and train hard to bring awareness to as well as fundraise for doesn’t require a personal commitment from you other than your desire to make a difference and bring awareness to the Cancer fight. Cyclists4ACause will continue to help raise funds and awareness for charities and nonprofits in the fight against cancer without the need of a “buy in”.

Finally we want to wish everyone a Happy and prosperous and safe New Year!

Thanks for Checking in !!!

Top 25 & Some Cycling News

Now that we have established through a series of blogs who Cyclists4ACause are (we are more than 1) and what we hope to accomplish in 2014, I guess it’s time to actually execute the plan. After an extensive introspective and some conversations with fellow riders the plan for 2014 is to RIDE ! In reality it really is that simple. In addition I have determined to support 3 charities in 2014 along with helping others to reach their individual goals in both fundraising and their personal riding goals. The 3 charities are (1) Ulman Cancer Fund (2) Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, (FARF) and (3) LiveStrong. I think these three organizations are doing great work in their respective fight and each have a link to something I am passionate about helping. I am excited about the opportunity to help and hopefully bring awareness to each of their causes in 2014. Stay tuned for further updates and how you can help in future fund raising and awareness goals.
Onto the rest of the blog post that has more to do with the actual act of riding. Now that the winter cycling season is well underway and the bitter cold is upon us it’s time to place the bike on the trainer and get some miles in. Many of my cycling friends find training on the indoor trainer extremely boring and not challenging. I on the other hand enjoy the indoor trainer as it allows me to (1) concentrate on my cadence, speed or nothing at all and (2) listen to my music that I otherwise would not be able to do safely if I was riding on the streets. I thought it might be fun to post my “best of” cycling music list that gets me through those hours on the bike while going nowhere. Plus it will allow me to hopefully meet my minimum 500 word blog requirement.

So here are my top 25 cycling and motivational songs of all time, at least in my opinion…

#1 The Only Way I know (Jason Aldean)

#2 Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
#3 Ride Like the Wind (Christopher Cross)
#4 Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions)
#5 1994 (Jason Aldean)
#6 Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi)
#7 Runnin Down a Dream (Tom Petty)
#8 The Final Countdown (Europe)
#9 Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rock)
#10 Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins)
#11 Thunderstruck (AC/DC)
#12 Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N’ Roses)
#13 Take a Little Ride (Jason Aldean)
#14 Mother (Danzig)
#15 Next Go Around (Nickleback)
#16 Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
#17 Rock and Roll (Led Zepplin)
#18 Paradise City ( Guns N’ Roses)
#19 Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey)
#20 Heat of the Moment (Asia)
#21 How you Remind Me (Nickelback)
#22 Jump (Van Halen)
#23 Holding Out for a Hero (Bonnie Tyler)
#24 Back in Black (AC/DC)
#25 Take a Little Ride (Jason Aldean)
Honrable Mention:  Bicycle Race (Queen)

Not sure what this says about my music taste but the songs listed about have helped me get through many hours on the trainer and indoor bike. Well it looks like I made the 500 minimum blog requirement.

Thanks for Checking in….

Cyclists4ACause 2013 In Review

I guess it would be only appropriate to give a short review of 2013 season before we dive into 2014. While I stated in an earlier blog that 2013 wasn’t the year I had hoped for it certainly wasn’t a complete bust either.
The 2013 season started off in early January riding with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team in Training (TNT). While I always try to keep my riding year round as best I can, the fact that we started off riding in early January in the bitter cold added a new dimension to my training regimen. Despite the cold we were able to get in a few rides that helped prepare for the remaining season in good form. The training for the LLS TNT was all in preparation for the Tour De Chocolate later in the year.

By the time May rolled around we were all ready to take on the hills of Hershey and everyone completed their 100 mile ride and we actually had some fun along the way. As I stated before, I get enjoyment from watching riders accomplish their goals no matter what their goals may be. The only bad thing about the Tour De Chocolate was the fact that this was the 1st indication I had that something that wasn’t right in my lower back. Little did I know at the time that the little twinge I was feeling in my lower back would turn out to be a thorn in my side for much of the remaining 2013 season.
On July 4th we had our inaugural ride of the Cyclists4ACause group. This ride turned into a ride through the low lands of the Virginia Coastline and much of the ride was in nearly ½ foot of water runoff from the week prior rain storms.

In August, I participated in the 2013 24hrs Of Booty. Once again this ride is a pure joy to participate in and to have my wife and my Mom along cheering me on every loop made the event even more enjoyable. Even though I have been riding most of my life I always seem to find ways to screw up the day of the ride and 24hrs of Booty was no different. Despite knowing better, I erred in my preparation for the ride and as a result never really got into the ride either mentally or physically. Despite that fact the ride provided some fond memories and we definitely will be looking at participating once again in possibly even two of the Booty rides that are held each year.

Later in August I was able to complete the yearly 100 Miles of Nowhere Fat Cyclist challenge once again helping to bring awareness to the Cancer fight. The 100 Miles of Nowhere (100MON) is an event designed to test you both physically and mentally. This year I participated by doing 400+ loops around my office building. I still plan to participate in the 2014 100MON challenge but I think I am going to try and find a bit longer loops than the <1/4 mile loop I did in 2013.

 
Following the 2013 100 MON I took some time off the bike to let my body heal only to realize that the soreness in my back and the numbness in my feet weren’t getting any better with off time. It took a few months to get the correct diagnosis but once it was identified we started the necessary treatment and physical therapy that hopefully will allow me to ride even better in 2014. Just recently I was able to get on the bike and ride for a good hour with minimum discomfort and more importantly the day following I was able to walk with no more than just a bit of discomfort. I consider this a good measure on how well the treatments are working. Hopefully I will be able to continue this measurement as necessary to ensure that come 2014 I’ll be able to meet all the goals I have established.
Well that seems be the highpoints of the 2013 season.

Thanks for Checking in…

Status of Cyclists4ACause

Has it already been another week? It’s amazing how time flies when you are having so much fun.

I’m not sure I am going to make the minimum 500 word weekly word count requirement this week but maybe if I type really really slow maybe I can do it.  I’ve made some minor updates to the Cyclists4ACause site to start including events that Cyclists4ACause will have representatives participating in in 2014. While I am not worrying about the format right now as for some reason I allowed by graphics designer to take some well-deserved vacation, but when he returns I hope to make some improvements to the site. I always believed it was better to get the information out there then get caught up in the design “churn”.

In addition I have added a Fundraising page that will be used to post links to any fundraising website that you have set up to support your cause. So in theory, you will be able to offer your donors just one more reference to help locate and raise funds to help in the cause of your choosing.

I am extremely happy to report that one of our biggest supporters and a great sounding board behind the concept of Cyclists4ACause and local fellow bike rider was selected to ride in an awesome ride next year. I have watched her complete her very first century ride last year in the Tour De Chocolate in Hershey PA. I am hopeful that she will allow us to tell her story in the future so please stay tuned for further updates as she prepares and starts training to participate in what can only best be described as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Hopefully we will be able to provide some fundraising assistance necessary for her to once again Take the Fight TO Cancer.

We also picked up some new supporters to Cyclists4ACause. Currently we have representatives from Virginia, California, Florida, Connecticut, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. If I missed anyone please let me know ! We hope to have more and more states represented in the near future and as the 2014 riding season / sports season gets closer.

Training for me is currently taking a slow course, but I remain optimistic that through Physical Therapy and some well-designed and more important well timed executed strengthening program, I can be back on the bike before the end of the year consistently. Right now I am happy if I can get in at least 1 or 2 rides per week obviously weather permitting. It is hard to believe today it was 77degrees and they were calling for possible snow showers within 48hrs. If that is indeed the case I might just have to break out the Mountain bike. The good thing about this down time is it provides the opportunity to catch up on my reading and develop even a better training plan that 2013. 

Again, I thank everyone for their comments and suggestions both positive and negative regarding what we are attempting to accomplish here.

Thanks for checking in…

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