Tag Archives: Palmetto Peloton Project

If you enjoy LowCadence.com, join my fight

NOTE: This is an archived article from September, 2009. I appreciate all that gave to this endeavor, but realize that the links, etc. are out of date.

There are less than thirty days before the Palmetto Peloton Project Challenge to Conquer Cancer ride leaves from Greenvile, SC to Austin, TX.  I agreed to go on the ride soon after finishing last year’s first ever attempt for the project.  It was a wonderful experience, but I have to admit that my focus has been on other things.

Well, I’m having to do some thinking about it now!  Last year I was pretty nervous about participating because I didn’t know what to expect.  Most likely, I was over prepared.

This year, I know what to expect, and I’m starting to get nervous again!  I don’t believe I have prepared nearly enough.  Now, that doesn’t mean I think I can’t make it.  What it does mean is that I realize that it could be pretty painful.

Check out the website for my ride – RideForMike.com.  You can also learn more about the P3C3 organized ride at P3Ride.org.  The Palmetto Peloton Project has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight cancer.  I’m glad to be a part of it.

I do need your help.  I have set October 1st as the deadline for raising the funds necessary to meet the required fund raising goal.  Please, consider giving to this worthy project.

Join the Fight!

Join the Fight!

You can also give directly through the P3C3 donation page.  Any other means of donation would also be appreciated.  Just contact me at jonathan@pait.org.

Join me at the Wall of Love

With the Assault on Mount Mitchell over, I can turn my attention to my next big endurance challenge.  Only this time the challenge tests more than just my physical endurance.  It will also test my faith in seeing something monumental accomplished.

If you are a regular reader of LowCadence.com, I ask you to please take a moment and consider this post.  What I am going to ask of you is a tangible way to give me some encouragement while at the same time accomplishing two other more important things – 1) show your respect for a friend or relative fighting cancer, and 2) join their fight by donating toward causes that seek a cure and offer support.

Once again I will be taking part in the Challenge to Conquer Cancer Ride in memory of my friend Michael McCaskill who passed away in 2007.  The headquarters for my participation in the ride is the site RideForMike.com.  My hope is that 500 other people will join me in adding names to the Wall of Love.

I am asking you to join me be giving at least $10 to the cause.  For each $10 you give, you can place the name of an individual you wish to honor or memorialize on the wall.  Every name that appears on the Wall of Love will also go with us on our 1400 mile trip from Greenville, SC to Austin, TX.  Each image you see on this digital wall represents a car magnet that will be placed on our support vehicles.

Join the Fight!

Join the Fight!

500 of those will turn a minivan yellow!  Just click on the image above or go to RideForMike.com.  You can also follow the instructions below.

  1. Go to the P3Ride.org donation page and designate your support to rider Jonathan Pait
  2. Contact me at jpait@me.com with the amount you designated and the name(s) you wish to appear on the wall
  3. Check back to the Wall of Love after 24 hours and see your names listed

Right now we are at $250.  Only $4750 to go!  I’ll need your help to make it happen.  Join me at the Wall of Love today.

My Ride for Mike – the 2007 P3 ride

The bed felt great last night, but the sleep was fitful. Laying there the stiffness in my shoulders and back were noticeable. Finally the ibuprofen kicked in and sleep came. 5:15 came all the earlier.

Happily, I woke up with less stiffness. A quick shower and I was off to McDonald’s to get my favorite morning pre-ride meal: a steak, egg and cheese bagel along with some black coffee. After getting back home and putting my stuff together, I was out the door to make it do the starting line for the Palmetto Peloton Project by 6:30.

The sky was overcast and the air was cool. If it didn’t rain, this was going to be a perfect day! You might think you want sunshine, but I’ll take a cool overcast day.

After some announcements, we rode off in the brightening morning shortly after 7:00. I started off near the front – maybe 30 or so riders ahead. We were going at what I figured was a good pace, but I wasn’t sure. I had forgotten my computer! I would be riding this one blind.

By the time I reached the overpass of Poinsett Highway, I was sitting in third. I eased off though as we neared the base of Paris Mountain. I said to myself, “Ride you own ride, don’t get caught up with the pace of those around you.” So, I put it in the granny gear and just took my time on the climb. Yep, I got passed several times, but I kept my cadence. I didn’t have my computer, but I had done this enough to know how my pace feels.

I passed a couple of the people back before reaching the KOM. Then we head down the other side. I connected with a guy in a Clemson kit and I came off of Paris with what I figured to be 10 or so riders in front of me. At that point I connected with two other riders and we stayed together back to the start-finish line.

As we passed beneath the sign, I asked the guy beside me, “What was our time?” He replied, “1:09.” My plan was working! Now, if I could just do that again, I’d be in business. It seemed possible because we had a group of about five riders and if we formed a pace line, maybe we could make it easy on all of us.

About that time, the rider who had given me the time had a flat. His friend eased off and we were down to three. Then by the time we reached Pete Hollis, the other two riders dropped back. Now it was just me. Of course, going alone on this route was nothing new for me. So, I just dug in and went on alone.

Turning off of Pete Hollis onto Old Buncombe, I could see the other five riders up ahead. I tried to take my time to bridge the gap, but I did want to catch them. Two lights later I caught them and something about me catching them made them decide to turn up the wick. I felt like saying, “Hey, I just worked to catch you guys! Give me a chance to catch my breath!”

We continued our pace line over Poinsett. It was fun. However, I started figuring my place in the group and realized that I was getting set up to pull the group up that last part of Buncombe before Paris! I tried not to think they were doing it on purpose 🙂

I did as much as I could, but just about at that point my body started tiring. Just past Choice Hills Baptist Church I pulled over and said, “Sorry guys, that’s it for me.” Off they went leaving me in the dust. I arrived at the base of Paris for my second climb alone.

Oh boy, I had set in my mind to try three laps. The way I was feeling at this point, I was thinking I would be glad to just get two! The ride was uneventful, though I ended up getting passed by I think three people before the KOM. Once we got there, I noticed they had stopped by the side of the road and I just kept going.

At the Big Lots parking lot I stopped to get some fluids. They were very kind, but I could tell they were wondering why I was in such a hurry. “I’m trying to make it by 9:30. What time is it?” “It’s 9:13,” came the reply. Ooooo, that was going to be tough. Still, the banana and Powerade gave me a kick and I felt pretty good.

The hills on Main gave me a test and I figured at that point I wasn’t going to make it. Still, I kept at it all alone. As I came into Cleveland Park I was overtaken by a rider I remembered from earlier in the ride. I hung with him for a bit, he left me, and then I caught up with him just as we crossed the finish line.

I had no idea what the time was, but as we rode by ride coordinator he said to us, “If you’re going to go for three – now is the time to go.” I actually thought about it. By the time I neared the traffic light I decided against it. It was enough for me to know that I had given enough in those first two laps to make the third possible. Once I stopped, I figured I had come in at around 9:34.

44 miles in just around two hours and thirty minutes. I have to be pretty happy about it.
I can remember several times when the going got rough thinking, “Mike didn’t quit.” I kept thinking of him and pushing on. Thanks to all of you who donated to my Ride For Mike. I’ll be doing another ride in his memory next year – but I’m not sure it will be the Palmetto Peloton Project.

My Ride for Mike

Hey, would you join me on my Ride for Mike? No, you don’t have to get on a bike and pedal, but you can go with me in spirit. It’s for a good cause and a great guy!

Mike is a friend that I met while working at BJU. He’s a young guy – about 15 years my junior – but has a great sense of humor and is a big NASCAR fan. He is a youth pastor in North Carolina. He’s married and has a beautiful little girl.

Oh, he also has a brain tumor.

To make a long story short, while Mike and I worked together, he would have frequent headaches. It never seemed to dampen his spirits, but you could tell something was bothering him. After leaving to go to his position as a youth pastor, things got worse and he went to the doctor.

That is when the discovered the tumor and attacked it aggressively. After surgery (that lead to some major complications) and chemo treatment, it really was a miracle that Mike was recovering. We were SO excited! However, just a few weeks ago, we learned the tumor had returned to about the same size as before.

Mike is a fighter. He will continue to battle this. It is just so helpless to not be able to do anything to change his circumstance. I just have the need to do something!

That is where the Ride for Mike 2007 comes in.

I rode in the Palmetto Peloton Project last year. At the time I was participating just because it was my first opportunity at a metric century. I wasn’t thinking about the cause that the ride supported.

This year is different. I want to raise as much money as I can to go to the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. In the process I want it to represent Mike. In my dreams, I would raise the most money for the project and it would stand along with my ride as a tribute a great guy who I miss.

Will you consider helping me? You can go to the Ride for Mike 2007 Web site or go directly to the Palmetto Peloton Project site. Click on the donate option and be sure to designate me, Jonathan Pait, as the rider to which you are contributing.

Thank you very much!

This one is for Mike

Today I registered to ride in the Palmetto Peloton Project. Last year was my first ride. It was my first metric century.

This year the ride takes on new meaning. My friend, Mike McCaskill, has been battling cancer since that time. Now I have a greater reason to help raise some funds for cancer research.

Dear Cyclist,

Thank you for accepting the challenge to be a part of the 2007 Palmetto Peloton Project! This year’s event is themed the Stars and Stripes Challenge. We challenge you to be courageous, be bold and be strong! Conquer the route of the US Pro Cycling Championship while helping to support cancer advocacy and research initiatives.

Over the last two years, with the help of cyclists like you, the Palmetto Peloton Project has raised over $100,000 for cancer research and advocacy efforts. We are grateful for your efforts to solicit contributions for this meaningful cause. With your help, the Palmetto Peloton Project can reach the 2007 fundraising goal of $165,000. Proceeds will support the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Oncology Research Institute of the Greenville Hospital System. The Lance Armstrong Foundation is committed to providing tools and resources that people living with cancer need to LIVESTRONG. The Oncology Research Institute is embarking on cutting edge cancer research. With your help, we will support these organizations in their continued efforts to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

The battle against cancer is significant and grows everyday. This year, more than 1.3 million Americans will be diagnosed with the disease. One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. We are passionate about our efforts to support cancer advocacy, education and research. Our cause is important and we believe that we can make a difference in the lives of those battling cancer today and the lives of those who are diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. The Palmetto Peloton Project is a 501 (3)(c) organization.

Please visit the P3 website at www.P3ride.org for resources and tools to help you raise funds for your challenge. This year we have added on line donation options for your sponsors and hope to keep you informed up to the minute on your fundraising efforts!

Thank you again for supporting the Palmetto Peloton Project!

Very Sincerely,

Palmetto Peloton Project

My first official metric century

I got up this morning, ate my oatmeal and cinnamon roll, and then headed over to downtown Greenville for the metric century ride I have been training for. I didn’t know what to expect. Two questions were on my mind: 1) how would I do riding in a large group, and 2) how would I do climbing Paris Mountain after riding for 50 miles?

When I got there I ran into two guys I knew, Miles and Matthew. One is a senior in college and the other is in his first year of law school. So, they were about 15 years younger than I am. Both are pretty good cyclist. The only thing in my favor is that Matthew had been in Mexico much of the summer and hadn’t riden in awhile.

We rolled off. Everything was nice and easy and a little frustrating since we had all the stop lights. However, once we got on Old Buncombe Rd. we started getting in a rythmn. I could tell then that things were going to be good. Normally, I start stiffening up about the time we reach Altamont road. However, today my muscles felt good at the start.

My first question was answered in a positive way. Riding in the group really helped to take some of the load off. Drafting was a big help. Also, Miles and Matthew really challenged me and where I would normally slow because I wasn’t feeling like I would like, I kept going so I could hang with them. The only negative about the group aspect came shortly after we passed our second SAG.

We were in a group of about 15 riders. I was probably 11th back right behind Miles. Matthew was behind me. Up ahead I heard the sickening sound of metal on metal and a groan. I looked up and saw bicycles piling on top of each other and people falling to the pavement. The rider just in front of Miles went down hard and Miles had to ride up and over her rear tire. I had to swerve around both her bike and her as she rolled away from it. She stayed down as well as another rider. Someone called for help and Miles, Matthew and I set off again. That was close! I rode on the adrenelin from that near miss for several miles.

The next eventful thing brings us to question two. Paris Mountain. I turned left onto Altamont Rd. with Miles and Matthew. We were the only three in this group. Miles pretty much off and left us. He actually seemed to have fun climbing that hill. Matthew and I put it as small rings and “walked” it up. However, we made it! We even passed a couple of riders on the way.

We made it, but on the way down the other side, I was toast. I couldn’t get my legs to do anything. I wanted to get in the upper ring so I could fly! But I couldn’t even pedalling downhill was a chore. So, I just coasted as much as I could until I got to the bottom.

Once there, I stopped and answered some questions for a guy who was from out of town. As I pulled away from him, I came to a stop sign and had to stop. I didn’t get my shoe out of the pedal fast enough and down I went! I didn’t even get a scrape, but I did bend my front brake lever a little. Nothing big. The good news is that I got another adrenelin rush at that point and the problems I had with my legs went away. The three of us took it on in from there without further incident.

We crossed the finish line three abreast. I felt pretty good hanging with those young wipper snappers, though I think they could have done better had I not been there. We finished the ride in about 3:39. I had thought it would take me about four hours, so I was happy with that.

Now, I think I’ll take a break from those kind of rides for awhile!

Time trials and I’m in my office

The chimes in the steeple of the church across the street started ringing and I looked at the clock: 10 o’clock. The Time Trials for the USACycling Professional Championship are under way. I’d love to be out there watching them roll off, but I have too much to do here.

As I am working, I’m drinking lots of water. My plan is to get 128 ounces down by the end of the day. I want to make sure I’m plenty hydrated before riding tomorrow morning. The only problem is that it makes me have to keep running to the restroom! Well, I guess it will help clean out my system!

Though I won’t get to see the Time Trials, I do plan to catch some of the race on Sunday. I’ll probably take my bike and ride up to Paris Mountain. I’ll be sure to take my camera as well and try to get some good shots.

Cycling mania is hitting Greenville. At least you get that impression from the press. I hope it isn’t just manufactured hype. I think being a key city on the East Coast for cycling would be a very good niche for us. It would be great to see lots of people out in support.

Speaking of lots of people. The Palmetto Peloton Ride folks say they have over 400 people signed up! I think that is for all events and not just the metric century. Still, the idea that there are lots of people participating is comforting. Surely I am in better shape than at least one of them!

Lunch time ride

Saturday is coming soon! I am excited but a little scared too. I know I can so 62 miles because I did 72 last weekend. However, it was really hard! Of course, some of that could have to do with the fact that I had only eaten two pop tarts before that ride. I’ve learned a lot more about how to prepare my body and maintain my body during the ride… though there are still some unknowns — primarily Paris Mountain. What shape will I be in when I reach the base of the climb?

I am drinking plenty of water these days before the ride and I plan to eat a big pasta dinner Friday night. Saturday morning I’ll have some oatmeal and a banana. During the ride I plan to take a banana and some energy bars. I’ll be taking advantage of the stops for more fluids as I go along. My goal is not to be the last person in from the Paris Mountain route!

Training has eased a little here toward the end. Part of that is because I don’t have as much time, the weather has not been good, and I want to have fresh legs when the time comes. However, I didn’t want to go a week without riding. So, today I went out during my lunch break and knocked off 11 miles. No heart monitor. I just went out for the joy of riding. Didn’t look at the computer. In the end, I averaged 16.2 mph for 40 minutes. My max speed was 36 mph.

Also, during the ride I went over 600 miles on my Allez — and since I started riding on August 2.

I’m sitting in my office right now and I feel great. That is one major benefit of staying on the saddle. Bring on the metric century!

The route is out

I had been waiting patiently for the route information for the Palmetto Peloton Project Metric Century. The que sheet just came out a day or so ago. While it is helpful, it is hard to visualize the ride by looking at the “turn left here” and “turn right there” directions.

So, I went over to my trusty Wayfaring site and created a map of the ride. Now, I had to go out and do some exploring as well because you can’t always trust these online map services. This is pretty close though. Maybe I’ll put up some pictures of the route a little later.

The blue line shows the route for the Palmetto Peloton Project Metric Century ride. Click here to expand the map. Once you have expanded the map, click on it to be able to view more detail.

If you’re planning to make the ride, I hope this little map will be a help to you! Now, go hit the road.