Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Day 216: And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Update: 208.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 10 lbs to 60 lb goal.

Well, actually a word TO my sponsors, and not for this site, but for my upcoming ride....much love, and many thanks.

I haven't made a huge campaign to get sponsors for my upcoming Livestrong Challenge ride, aside from an initial blog post, a few direct emails to some friends, and the link off to the right. But with about 25 days left, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who have offered to make a contribution. I'm not a full time Armstrong Foundation worker, nor do I do fundraising for organizations outside of the Middle School group at our church very often, so I hate asking for dough. Again, thanks to everyone who has chipped in and will chip IS for a great cause.

Yesterday I started actually having some second thoughts about the ride. For lots of different reasons I've not had as many training days as I'd like. By now I was hoping to have some 50 mile rides under my belt, but that hasn't happened. I was also hoping to be riding at least every other day, but that hasn't been possible either, and I didn't get a chance to take advantage of the holiday weekend to log some big miles. But as the day was ending I received a notice that one contributer made a four figure donation to the cause in my name, and I realized I couldn't really NOT do it at this point.

I set a goal of $2500 in fundraising for the LAF, with a minimum of $250 needed to be able to ride. I didn't really think I'd hit the $2500 mark, but now I'm over halfway there, and think I just might have a shot. The team I'm a part of historically has one of the largest fundraising efforts for the Portland ride, and I'm happy to be helping the cause. I won't mention the name of the person, but if you hop over to my page (since it IS a public page) you can figure it out. A very generous gesture from some really good friends of ours.....who would have thought all those years ago when I was a punk high school student....well, I won't go on and on.

Anyway, I'm going to keep trying to squeeze in rides where I can, and get as prepped as I can. I may have to find a garage sale and get one of those old lady beige colored Sears indoor bike machines so I can ride after everyone's gone to sleep, but one way or another I'm going to ride those 70 miles at the end of the month!

Again, BIG THANK YOU to all the sponsors! I appreciate it!


Monday, September 3, 2007

Day 214: What a Hagg!

Update: 208.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 10 lbs to 60 lb goal.

I'm posting a night blog, which I never do. Tomorrow (today for some of you) is the first day of school for our oldest -- first full year of high school for us.

Last week we drove up to Henry Hagg Lake, the place of the most elevation gain in our 70 mile Livestrong Challenge ride. I'd been nervous because I'd been getting mixed information depending on where I turned to find out what exactly we were in for. Some reports said 3000 feet of elevation gain in about a 20 mile span, and others were between 1000-2000. Turns out that the 100 mile route has all the elevation gain, with the hardest part being the Bald Peak climb, which is in fact supposed to be one of the toughest climbs in Oregon. Fortunately for us, the 70 mile route skips all the Bald Peak fun.

Anyway, I still wanted to see for myself what we would be in for, so we hopped in the gas guzzling SUV and made a day of it. Along the way we stopped in Newberg for some breakfast, and to my surprise there are not really any quaint little cafe's in the Foxy City, aside from a couple of coffee shops. We were hoping for some great dive diners, or some little country good eats kind of place, but sadly we ate at Shari' yeah, nothing really to speak of there. After breakfast we hit one of the local feed stores to find some boots for the Missus, but they didn't have anything that struck her fancy, so we got back on the highway and headed off to Hagg.

Hagg Lake is apparently a man-made lake, officially in Forest Grove, and you need a day pass if you're going to stop. They didn't charge us to just drive around, so I was thankful for that. Total distance around the lake is about 13.5 miles, and according to The Edge, there's just under 1000 feet of climbing. Now, the crazy thing is, you have to take off from one place, and come back to that place again, as it is indeed a loop around the lake, really felt like all I was doing was going up, up, and more up. I told myself that I must be letting my imagination run away, and that 1000 feet in 13 miles wouldn't be a breeze, but would totally be doable.

On the way back home we stopped in Gaston -- not to be confused with Gaston of Beauty and The Beast fame, of course. There was some sort of City Wide BBQ Fest going on, and we pulled over to get some drinks and snacks. Right on the main street were a gaggle of sweet older ladies pimping their baked goods, so we bought a plate of cookies from them to eat on the drive home. While the rest of the fam was in buying their snackins, I chatted it up with three cyclists who pulled in after us. I asked if they had just ridden down from the lake, and they said no, but in fact had been riding over Bald Peak...go figure. But one of them had ridden Hagg Lake in last years Livestrong and he said 'oh man, that's a pretty tough ride.' When I asked him why he said that, especially since it was less of a climb than the BP trip they had just done he said it basically feels like you're going uphill all the way around the lake! That's what I thought!

I'm still fairly confident I'll be able to make it, it just may be uncomfortable along the way. As of now I've still only done 30 miles at a time for my longest rides, and have been pulling 25 miles as my go to ride the past couple weeks. With just 27 days till the ride, I'm not sure if I'll have any days to do a real ride...maybe one weekend, but we'll see how it goes. Until then I think the max I may get is 25 miles at a shot, but at least I won't have to tackle 3000 miles of elevation come September 30!

Ok, that's it for's after midnight now and we gotta get up before 6 for school...yeehaw!