Category Archives: Events

March Motivation

It isn’t that a cyclist in the Upstate of South Carolina needs much extra motivation to get on the bicycle in the month of March. The time change comes early in the month and the extended forecast always brings a smile to your face as you see the temperatures trend up to very pleasant. However, a friend of mine game me a little extra motivation to get on the bike.

He approached me at church one Sunday morning and asked if I would be willing to ride in a fund raising ride for a Christian camp located on the banks of a lake in North Carolina. Initially, I had a lump come up in my throat. I’m involved in enough fund raising and the last thing I wanted to do was ask people to give to something else!

The Anchorage Christian Camp, Lake Waccamaw, North CarolinaOn the other hand, The Anchorage Christian Camp is only less than an hour from where I grew up. I figured it would be neat to do the ride and then spend some time with my parents. In past summers I had ridden my bicycle from their house to the camp.

So, I said to him that if he would do the fund raising, I would ride the bike. It was just a matter of finding out the date so I could make sure I was free to do the ride. He agreed to do the soliciting and said he would get back to me with the details.

The details turned out to be a bit different that I anticipated. Rather than this being a ride at the location, the “event” lasts the entire month of March. It involves both runners and cyclists. What you do to raise the money is to get people to sponsor you for each mile you run or ride in the month of March.

What could I lose? So, I signed up. Now I have a goal to get in as many miles as I can this month. I’ve gotten off to a slow start, but once the time changes things will pick up. Plus, I hear a college friend of mine is planning to ride his bike from Cheraw, SC to the camp on Lake Waccamaw, NC the final weekend of March. Folks, that would be a full century and I just might join him.

Now I have a daily motivation and a target to go along with it. Not so sure those Power Interval workouts are going to serve me very well on a century ride, but I’ve done it before. I’m starting to think that March could be a fun month!

Greenville Spring Training Series

Whoa, it is that time already?

Okay, I admit it. This one caught me by surprise. It isn’t that I didn’t know it was coming. It just seemed to pop up on me a couple weeks early. It is kind of like jumping into an ice-cold pool first thing in the morning.

Greenville Spring Training SeriesI’ve known that the Hincapie Sportswear Spring Training Series was coming. I’ve seen the online ads on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve heard people talking about it. I even knew that it was going to be four weeks this year and that it would be starting earlier. I just never took the time to look at the dates.

I assumed it would be mid-February. I operated on that assumption. So, this is no lie, when I showed up last night at the sponsor appreciation event for the Trappe Door Cycling Team, I was surprised when I heard people asking, “Are you racing this weekend?”

Yes folks, the Spring Training Series is tomorrow. It is hard to believe. It seems like I just dusted off my bicycle from my long winter’s nap.

I guess I’ll load up the bicycle and head out for my exercise in futility at 11 AM tomorrow. The course will be Donaldson Center — of the SCTAC as people are trying to call it now days. I like the route, but the road surface seems to degrade more and more every year. Guess I should get ready for a bone-rattling ride.

Sure, it is called a Spring “Training” Series. However, it is one of the larger multi-day series in the area. While it may happen early in the season, it doesn’t mean people aren’t planning for it and training for it. Seems the “Training” portion is just an excuse to use afterward when you don’t do as well as you would have liked.

Yeah, it’s a training series for sure!

Keep your eye on the site

Just finished watching junior racer Logan Owen place 4th in the World Cyclocross Championships. It was good to see an American mixing it up with the Belgians, but none of them had anything for the Norwegians! Best of all, it was great to see an event of this caliber (the pros will follow later today) here on American soil (or mud and snow as the case may be).

Learn more about our "funathlon" at IDoItFor.org.

Learn more about our “funathlon” at IDoItFor.org.

I’m back at the computer today working on various web projects. I’m happy to announce that the place marker for the I Do It For Foundation Run. Bike. Fun. event is live. I’ve taken to calling the event a “funathlon”. I’m looking forward to sharing more information about the event as we are able to release. You can follow along at IDoItFor.org.

It will be several months before we have the final I Do It For Foundation web site completed. We are currently in a “discovery” stage with Worthwhile.com. The team there will help us get a better understanding of how our market wants and needs to interact with us. They will then wed that with our mission and help us lay out the tools necessary to best accomplish it.

Until then, we are having to make due with my amateur attempts to keep everyone up-to-speed and interacting with the Foundation. When I consider where we have come with what we have, I’m very excited about where we can go with proper support. So, stay tuned, the best is yet to come!

What is in a name?

My body got a break yesterday after the PowerIntervals of Tuesday night. However, I’m back on the trainer this evening to do another set of them. That isn’t to say that the time off the bike has been relaxing. My body might not have been busy, but my brain sure was!

I Do It For Foundation

You can be an important part of the I Do It For Foundation.

I’m excited to announce that we will be holding our first-ever I Do It For Foundation “active festival.” We don’t have ALL the details nailed down, but we have a definite date and a just-sign-the-agreement option for the location. I want to share this information with you now because that is just the way we do things. This is as much your event as it is the foundations. I want you to know what’s up and to share feedback. You can help it be better.

When: October 12, 2013
Where: Agricenter, Memphis, TN
What: This will be what we call an “active festival.” The idea is to come to a location during a day and have multiple active sport events taking place. At the same time there will be activities to help keep small (and tall) family members occupied while loved ones are participating in the events.
Why: These events have a two-fold purpose. 1) to help grow awareness of the I Do It For Foundation and its mission, 2) to raise funds to help carry out the I Do It For Foundation mission. In conjunction with both of these, we will be choosing a person or family with need to receive a portion of the funds. You could say I Do It For is Doing It For ___.

So, what will this look like? Here are the initial dreams… we’ll see where it goes when reality hits!

Participants will arrive in the morning with their families at the Agricenter. They will find food vendors, activity zones and information booths. This is the hub of the activities for the day.

From this area we will stage a family run and more competitive chip-timed runs of various distances. These runs will include both road and trail. This will be followed by a family bicycle ride and other longer Fondo style chip-timed rides out in the Memphis area and back again. We don’t plan to leave out the time trial specialist either… our plan is to request a closure of Walnut Grove Road to hold a time trial. If we are able, we may even include a very late season criterium that would use the road as the course.

Once all the “serious” events are done, we hope to have a “fun” event that will in someway incorporate a nearby corn maze. Maybe it will be a chip-timed race through the maze with zombies and the like lurking in the “walls” to jump out to give you a fright. We have not nailed down this idea, but we do hope to make it unique to this event.

What can you do? Be sure to get this date in your calendar. If you can’t make it to the event, help get the word out to friends and family within driving distance of Memphis. Support the I Do It For Foundation as we continue to get this project off the ground. I’ll be sharing more in another blog post of what we are doing now behind the scenes for the foundation. However, I hope this event shows our commitment to growing it and making it a reality.

As always, your feedback is welcome and I would love to have lots of input through this simple form below. Right now I REALLY need a name for the event. I’d love for a Low Cadence reader to come up with it!

I have been fondoed

One of the reasons I wasn’t excited about doing the Gran Fondo Hincapie was I dreaded getting up early and going out in the cold. Well, I still had to get up early, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the morning temperature was great. Maybe this ride might actually turn out okay.

The Beautiful Redhead drove me to the location off of Old Highway 25. I dropped off my bag and made my way to the start line. Along the way, it was good to run into some folks I normally see a cycling events.

George Hincapie and the other VIP riders were called up to the front. George welcomed the crowd and we got ever nearer to the start. I was actually starting to look forward to it. If I could just survive until Skyuka, then the crowd would begin to thin and we could get down to business.

Here we go! The announcement to start was sounded and.. and.. as is always in these types of events with hundreds of riders, you have to wait for your time to come. We moved closer and closer and then I was able to comfortably guide my bike.

Immediately we were strung out. Because of the winding roads it was hard to judge where the lead group might be. I only knew that I was hundreds of riders behind it. Finally, a Veloshine rider came around me and I hoped on his wheel. He basically pulled me up toward groups ahead of us and then through them.

About 18 miles in we caught up to the lead group. Then things got hairy. There was a constant yo-yo effect going on. We entered more and more curves. The leaves on the surface added an element of danger.

I tried to be very careful and not brake abruptly. This put me in the ditch one time. Going into a left turn, the group compressed and the riders in front of me began to bounce off one another. Then a rider went down directly in front of me. I attempted to slow as gradually as possible and moved to the edge of the road. Then to avoid the rider who slid into my path, I had to get unclipped and ease into the grass.

That little adrenaline rush over, I started off back to catch the lead group. Occasionally I looked down and saw 350 to 420 watts popping up on my Garmin. I knew this was going to hurt me later. However, I didn’t want to start climbing Skyuka with a huge crowd in front of me.

Soon, I was back in a group. I eased up to save something for the climb. It was in this stretch, Cadel Evans passed me. Then I saw Tejay van Garderen on the side of the road waiting for someone. That was the only time I saw any pros on the ride.

Finally, we reached our first rest area and I loaded up on some food. This stop opened up the road a bit as we moved toward Skyuka. Having never ridden the climb, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Even the approach to the climb was unknown to me.

I knew we reached it when when I saw the “KOM starts here” sign. Because I didn’t know what to expect and because I had worked a little hard in the beginning, I decided to be conservative in my pace. The thought of going for the KOM was insane, so why kill myself?

It was what I expected. A long slog. How do I describe it? All I could do was put the gearing in the 39-28 and spin.

Because I was holding a steady pace I had a number of riders come around me. There is always a temptation to jump on a wheel. I resisted the urge and it paid back later as I returned the favor for most of them by passing them back before the top.

I went past the rest stop after the climb. I regretted that later. However, I had Howard Gap on my mind.

All the miles between Skyuka and Howard Gap are a blur. This ride was moving from one painful climb to another. Everything in between was just filler.

There was a good amount of descending. I wanted to be careful with all the leaves swirling around, but there were some people simply flying by me! Again, I was fine to let them go.

Then I reached Howard Gap. Before I ever started up the climb, I knew I was in trouble. My legs were not recovered from the Skyuka climb. Either that, or all the descending had cooled my legs down and they were stiff.

Whatever the case, I started the climb with the same conservative focus. However, it hurt more and more as I moved up the climb. I looked ahead of me and saw numerous riders zig zagging their ways toward the top.

I just tried to keep my legs turning in circles and riding straight ahead. Unfortunately, my pace got slower and slower. “Don’t get off. Don’t get off.” I kept telling myself. I can’t remember a time when doing a ride like this that I have gotten off the bike. Not even my two Assaults on Mount Mitchell.

However, with 1 kilometer to go, I came to a halt. I had to dismount or fall over. I began to walk pushing my bike up the climb. And let me tell you, it wasn’t much easier! One rider after another passed me. I was embarrassed to look at them.

Finally, I felt that my legs might be able to handle getting back on the bicycle. I mounted up again, but things didn’t feel much better. The difference was that the grade was less steep. I was able to move the bicycle forward and finally completed the climb.

As I made my way toward the next climb on Green River Cove Road, all the fire was gone from the ride. I knew I was not the rider of two years ago. However, rather than getting down on myself, I started looking around me. Wow, it was beautiful!

I saw riders going past me with their heads down churning away. I let them go. I rode easily along enjoying the view. The only bad thing is that my water bottles were bone dry and I was in need of hydration.

Thankfully, I soon reached the rest stop at the church at Green River Cove. I was glad! I needed fluids to keep from cramping.

I continued my Saturday spin along the Green River. I forgot all about time. I just enjoyed the views surrounding me. At the same time, in the back of my mind I dreaded the climb ahead.

Once again, a number of riders passed me and I let them go. However, I could still see them as we would hit a straight section of the road. Then we reached the start of the climb.

Green River Cove Road is one I am familiar with. That knowledge was helpful. I knew it wasn’t overly long. I also knew that if you take the turns on the switchbacks on the outside (avoiding the steep grades in the inside of the turn) you can avoid a lot of work.

Starting this climb, I had no ambitions. I just hoped I wouldn’t have a repeat of Howard Gap. All there was to do was start climbing.

Then something good happened. It was as though my legs had gotten strong. It wasn’t that I was flying up the climb, but I was able to get in a rhythm and keep moving. I passed one then another of the riders ahead of me. By the time we reached the end, I had passed all the riders who had gone around me since the rest stop except two.

Hey, maybe I could pick it up here! Nope. It didn’t work. Climbing was working, but as soon as I got out on flatter tarmac I could not pick up the power. Once again many of the riders I had passed on the climb came around me once again. It was frustrating, but I just had to keep going… the good news is that the third major climb was done!

I started counting down the miles at that point. We went into the town of Saluda and then started toward the Watershed. There was a bit more climbing at this point and once again I passed the same riders until we crested the final bump and I big-ringed it down the Saluda Grade.

My computer ticked past 77 miles and I knew I had to be getting close. I also knew that I had one last climb to go to the finish. Sure, it wasn’t that big of a climb on a normal day, but this could be painful.

Yep, as I got within 1K of the finish my legs started to cramp something furious! As each leg stretched and compressed, cramps were hitting my calves, hamstrings and my right hip. I could even see the turn to the finish, but I wondered if I would end up falling off the bike in pain!

Cramps can be as much mental as physical. I knew if I could just calm myself and concentrate on relaxing the offending muscles that I could spin my way clear. The more tense you get about cramps, the worse they get.

By the time I reached the final stretch I was sore but not seizing up. Seeing the finish made it all melt away. I crossed the line with my computer showing 5 hours and 8 minutes in the saddle. My ride time was 5 hours and 26 minutes. The clock above the finish line showed 5:30+. That gives you an idea how long it took for us to get going.

Well, this blog post has gotten way too long! Maybe that is just my way of making you suffer as much reading this as I did riding. I have been asked, “Well, are you glad you did it?” I’ll be honest, there were times on the ride where I just thought I was stupid. However, looking back, I am glad I did.

Well, I am doing it

A couple of days ago, I asked for you all to help me decide whether or not to do the Hincapie Gran Fondo. Well, in a couple of hours I’ll roll off on the 77 mile/10,000 feet climbing ride. This will be partly because most of you told me to.

First, why I am not riding. I am not riding because I am star struck. It isn’t the fact that there will be a number of pros there. My world doesn’t revolve around the professional cycling world. That simply isn’t the big draw. Besides, chances are I’ll only glimpse them. That is what I do on TV. At the same time, I’m not letting the fact that the pros are there keep me away from an event.

Second, it is not primarily to see George into retirement. This is partly the case. George Hincapie is a part of our Greenville community. While I am disappointed with some of the choices he made in the past, I still recognize that he is one of us. I won’t go into it again because I already wrote a blog post about it.

11-28

I'm all geared up to ride the climbs

So, why am I doing this. Yes, partly because the majority of you said I should. However, it was not a huge majority.

The main reason I am doing it is because I know if I don’t I’ll wonder what the ride would have been like. Not just the ride on the road, but the entire experience of the Fondo. This is more than a ride, it is an event.

I’m riding it because I want to see how the event is run. From the information I have received, I believe it is going to be a class event. I’m interested to see if it lives up to that perception. There is a lot I can learn as I move forward with the I Do It For Foundation.

There is another reason I’m riding. It is the people I meet along the way who read this blog. I met a number of them on my way to the packet pickup and afterward. They asked what I had decided to do. I’m looking forward to riding with them.

What is going to happen? I don’t know. I’m going to go and give it my best shot and see what happens. My guess is I’ll start off in the crowd, work my way toward the front in the beginning and then get dropped on the first climb. I’ll then hang with various groups until I slog up the second and third climb. I’m guessing I’ll come soft-pedaling across the finish as a survivor.

That is okay. As I’ve mentioned many times before… at least it will give me something to write about!

To ride or not to ride? That is the question.

This week is doing me in. After finishing the century on Saturday, I thought I would recover a few days and then be ready to get back at it. Unfortunately, this week has not gone the way I expected.

I hit the ground running at work this week. It is been one of those weeks where the days end and you wonder where it went! To compound things, I was out on Tuesday with some sort of reverse fever business. My temperature was under 97 and I just wanted to sleep.

Every evening has had some activity that has kept me off the bicycle. Needing to continue work on the foundation has kept me up later than usual. Tonight and tomorrow night don’t look to be changing that trend.

It really has me wondering if I should do the Hincapie Gran Fondo on Saturday. I haven’t ridden in a week. I’m not feeling that strong. I need a break. On the other hand, opportunities like this don’t come along every day. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

On the other hand, this was to be my “last ride” of the year. Once the fondo was in the bag, I planned to focus on off season cross training and maybe do a little more core work. Then there is that matter of having just acquired some knobby tires.

The ride is also a great opportunity to ride with some characters from the pro cycling world. Of course, the chances of me actually riding with them are pretty slim. Riding in a crowd of hundreds of other cyclists following along behind the pros isn’t really riding with them. Frankly, the thought of getting in that big crowd of riders just isn’t that appealing.

I truly am torn. I want to do the ride, but I just don’t know if I am able.

If I didn’t ride, then Thing Two and I could take out our mountain bikes for our first real ride together. That would be great, but I do realize that there will be many opportunities to do that in the future. Riding in George’s “retirement party” ride is a once in a lifetime deal.

So, I’m asking you. What should I do?

Of course, I’ll let you know what I decide.

2012 Ride for Mike: by the numbers

I finally got around to uploading my data from the ride. That means that the ride is recorded on Strava.com and TrainingPeaks.com. Strava is more for fun and TP is a long running record of my riding and training. However, the data will never tell the story of the day that will stand out for me.

We left at 8:05 and spent just over 9 hours on the bicycle. We pedaled for about 7 of those. That is a statistic that always surprises me. I always think we stopped for less time than the clock tells me. However, it makes sense that if we stopped for a break about every 20 miles we could very quickly use up an hour. We also had to stop for a longer period when I lost Mike.

Jonathan Pait and Mike McCaskill

Jonathan Pait and Mike McCaskill after riding for Michael T.

According to my computer, we averaged around 14 mph. I had hoped for 15, but looking back there really was no reason to go any faster. There is that point where you have to balance setting a sustainable pace and spending too much time in the saddle. An easy pace for a long time can end up being as difficult as a faster pace over a shorter period.

The 2012 Ride for Mike didn’t earn an “Epic” Strava Suffer Score like my 2011 Ride for Mike. Still, we earned an “Extreme” score of 155. What that means I’m not exactly sure, but it sounds impressive!

I tried to find the flattest possible route for this ride and that is a hard feat! We covered 100 miles and accumulated over 3800 feet of climbing. Knowing that you can do that pretty easily in a 30 mile ride around Greenville, I felt pretty good with that.

I averaged 109 watts for the ride with a max output of 1065. That upper number came about 55 miles into the ride when David McQuaid and I were playing around as though we were sprinting against each other. It actually felt pretty good to open my legs up a little at that point.

The morning started out feeling about 39 degrees on the bicycle. By the afternoon that had reached 88 degrees while stopped in a parking lot. However, on the bicycle it was a very pleasant 77 degrees. We really could not have asked for a better day!

However, the key number from the 2012 Ride for Mike was the $30,000 raised for the I Do It For Foundation. So many more people had a role in helping us reach that mark. Thank you so much! You who gave really were riding along with us.

Now we turn our attention fully to setting up the foundation. I’ll be keeping you up to date with our progress through the this blog. One of the first steps will be for us to move IDoItFor.org to its own server. Be looking for some changes to the site soon. Of course, it will be more informational at first as we start planning to build the online tools necessary to make the foundation a success.

2012 Ride for Mike a success

I can’t wait for the time to come when I can just show up for a ride. Saturday morning was not one of those days. After getting in bed later Friday evening, I was up again by 5:30 AM to start getting ready for the Ride for Mike.

I kept remembering one thing and then another that I needed to get done. It wouldn’t have been so bad had I not had such a busy Friday. However, this is what was and I finally decided to load up and then adjust as we went.

It is different when you are in charge — or I should say responsible for — a ride. You aren’t just thinking about what is. You are thinking about what you might be missing and what might happen. It is more of a mental issue than anything else.

2012 Ride for Mike

The 2012 Ride for Mike crew

It didn’t take long for all that to change. When I arrived I saw that most of the riders were there and getting prepared to roll out. The other riders arrived soon after I did. We were ready to roll by 8 AM. Though I hoped to be rolling by that time, I was happy that when the group started down the road it was only 5 minutes after 8.

The "Pinkies"

The "Pinkies" are ready to roll!

There were riders from multiple levels of abilities. We were prepared for that as we had various distances laid out. Here you see Beth, Mike’s daughter, and her friends, Alexandra and Brigitta. We called them the “Pinkies.” I never learned if this was intentional because of Breast Cancer Awareness month of if they just like pink. The finished their ride with us at the end of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville.

Mike and Pepper

Mike with his friend Pepper

There were only four of us planning to do the entire 100 miles. Here you see Mike and his friend Pepper from Memphis. Of course, Mike was the key person in this ride. We were all here to help him get his first century ride. However, this would also be Pepper’s first century.

Scott and Mike

Scott joined Mike for his first 100

The third member of our 100 miler club was Scott. He was riding his first 100 miles after only being on the bicycle for 3 months! Of course, he is a runner and that helps, but I was really impressed with how he finished as strong as he did.

I was the fourth of the team that would start out from Travelers Rest and ride out to Woodruff and back to Tim Ketler’s house. Tim also joined us along with my Greenville friends, David McQuaid and Brent Honshell. Tim’s daughter rode along with the Pinkies.

We rode out along Roe Ford Road to the base of Paris Mountain and then on to TR and the start of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. We were riding along in 48 degree weather, but the day promised to be beautiful. I could handle a bit of cold knowing that the sun would soon bring those temperatures into the low 70’s.

Things went smoothly until we arrived in Cleveland Park. Annette met us with the car at A Children’s Garden. I mentioned to Mike that I was going to stop at the restroom along the River Walk. As I talked with Annette about our next plan, Mike and Pepper went ahead to stop before we arrived at the restroom.

When we got there, Mike and Pepper were nowhere to be seen. We waited for a bit and then I figured they must have gone on without us. Mike had mentioned that he was wanting to get to our first official start and change into some cooler gear. We started out to find him.

In Cleveland Park we came upon a charity walk. It was hard for me not to be frustrated. Not knowing where Mike was (we could not raise him on the phone) and then hitting this delay was concerning me. I then was struck with the realization that THIS was exactly the reason why we were starting the I Do It For Foundation… to help groups like this. It changed my perspective.

When we got to the first stop. Mike and Pepper were not there. My big fear was realized. I had already failed at my main job. I had lost Mike!

Not knowing what else to do and unable to get Mike on the phone, I started out backtracking to find them. I prayed that I could come upon them soon. Thankfully, before I even reached the main park, I came upon the two riders. They had stopped at a different restroom than the one I intended. They then were not sure where to go once they got in the park. Thankfully, someone gave them directions.

Now we could get back on track after this short delay. From that point forward we had no other trouble with the route. Even the delay was a blessing because when we reached the Millenium office park, we arrived just as the road was opening after being closed by a second charity walk.

Soon we were on our way and after only one more stop at the intersection at Five Forks, we were on our way to Woodruff. The day was beautiful and I had to remind some of the riders (including Mike) not to go too hard. They might be feeling good at this point, but they would need that energy for the way back!

Shannon and Lisa

Two more Memphis ladies, Shannon and Lisa

In Woodruff, Brent’s wife came to pick him up. However, we also picked up two more riders as Lisa, Mike’s coach, and her friend, Shannon joined us. They would ride back with us. Both of them did splendidly. It was obvious it wasn’t their first rodeo.

We had only one issue at this point. I had hoped that with additional miles getting from Tim’s house to the trail, we would be at 50 miles in Woodruff. However, in the middle of the ride, I adjusted some turns to make the ride a little safer. This put us in Woodruff with only 45 miles.

We could wonder around the streets of Woodruff or we could start back on 101 and then pass 146 and continue along 101 for five miles. We could then turn around and return to 146. That would put us back on track for 100 miles once we returned to Travelers Rest. We decided on that option and it worked great.

As I expected, the next 50 and especially the final 20 miles were tough. Within 15 miles we had two riders fall over in different situations. Muscles were weak upsetting balance and minds were tired and unable to respond quickly enough. My little band of riders was learning the truth of the final 10 miles of a century ride!

We reached the end of the trail and then headed back along the streets of Travelers Rest to Tim’s house. We just kept talking about how much we were looking forward to the spread that Tim was preparing for us. We just kept pedaling along knowing that each turn of the pedal would bring us closer to the finish.

Mike passes 100 miles!

Mike reaches his goal! 100 miles.

It was pretty emotional when Mike made one loop around the neighborhood to get the Garmin to tick over to three digits. I felt a little bit like a mother hen with her brood. I had led them safely home. I’ve done dozens of century rides in my day. Still, it is always exciting to see someone cross that barrier.

This one was especially sweet. It was better than any bicycle accomplishment to have Mike grab me in a bear hug and weep on my shoulder. I knew part of it was due to the fatigue of the ride, but I knew it was a lot more than that… this was for Michael T. and it was also a physical transformation for Mike. Knowing I had a small part in those emotions was the greatest gift Mike could give me.

Mike, Grace and Jonathan

Mike and Jonathan stand with Michael T.'s daughter, Grace "Curly Girl" McCaskill

Before we separated, we spoke of our plans for next year. The 2013 Ride for Mike will be in Memphis, Tennessee and will include a 2013 Run for Mike. Perhaps we will also have a “pre-ride” here in Greenville. Right now, I’m turning my attention to the objective of this year’s ride — the I Do It For Foundation.

Thank you all for your support. We have raised $30,000 to use toward the creation of the foundation. We’ll start the ball rolling this week. Monday, we will begin working to launch the initial IDoItFor.org website and sending in the papers for incorporation. We are also making our plans to start Team Low Cadence.

For now, I think I am just going to eat.

Taking a break after the ride.

Taking a break after the ride

The 2012 Ride for Mike is now!

Today is the Day

$30,000

Pledge to the 2012 Ride for Mike

Today is the 2012 Ride for Mike. What an incredible last several weeks! The support has been wonderful and now we have nothing left to do but mount up and ride.

You can still give to help kick start the I Do It For Foundation. We’ll be checking our email when we come to rest points. It is always a great encouragement to see the messages come in. To donate, just click on the Pledge button above and follow the instructions.

If you want to follow along with use, you can do so on Twitter at the @lowcadence account. I’ll be using Siri to send a few tweets along the way. So, if something is spelled wrong or a funny word makes it in the tweet… You can blame it on Apple!

I wish I could spend more time expressing how I am feeling right now. Unfortunately, I am typing this the night before the ride and I it is starting to get late. I’m already tired. I need the rest. I’ll be sure to give a full report in a Sunday afternoon blog post.