Monday, September 19, 2011

Waves to Wine 2011

The ride is over, and it was It was a beautiful weekend. The eleven members of Mike's Bikes team did the ride. Then ten of us who started on Saturday completed the 100 mile course on Saturday on a day where the temperature barely reached 80 and the 75 on Sunday when it was a bit warmer but still great biking weather. There was of course some drama as the bottom bracket on Kyle's bike broke at the top of Marshall Hill, and my new video camera with the handlebar mount broke down a steep and bumpy descent on Sunday. But Kyle was riding a loaner bike courtesy of Mike's on Sunday and I recovered the camera: there will be videos in the near future.

We're all a bit tired and sore, but I felt better doing this ride than I have in any of the preceding three years; I am back in shape and it is great. As I have told people around me, my waist size is down (I now have belts that are too large) as is my weight. Of course, I still have more to go.

Thank you all for contributions you made. My total for fundraising was $6,760 on the morning of the ride; The Mike's Bikes team raised $17,520 and the MS chapter believes that they are have raised about $1.75M towards their goal of $2M. I know that there are still some matching funds waiting, as well as people who have not donated yet. If you have not, you can still go to the MS website to contribute.

The ride logs for the two days of the ride, courtesy of Strava, follow. Pictures will be coming in the near as we gather media from all the various cameras.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Jill's Ride for Hope 2011

A friend from work told me about a charity ride called Jill's Ride for Hope in Los Gatos last weekend. This was a real treat for me, as I always end up travelling somewhere for a sponsored ride. In this case, I just had to ride my bike the 1.2 miles to the high school and ride from there.

There are two sides of the ride. The first was the ride itself. I did the 100K route, which went up over the Santa Cruz mountains, along the ridge, down to Boulder Creek and back. It was a wonderful ride, and just what I had planned on doing to train for Waves to Wine. The picture at the top of the post is from along ridge, looking down at the Santa Cruz bay. The city of Santa Cruz was shrouded in fog in the foreground, and Monterey lay shrouded in the background. And the mountains of the Ventana Wilderness and Big Sur show behind that. I just love the view. And I rode this better than I have in years: I am almost properly trained for the MS ride.

As I described in an earlier post, I received a Garmin bike computer from my wife and a HD bike/helment camera from my children for my birthday. Below is an example of what the summary of a bike ride looks like on Strava.

The second was the event and the cause. As you can see from the event website, this was a very inclusive event. Activities end from a 5K walk to the 100K ride. It was staffed well by high school students, the local Lions, and community members; there was great food and a raffle at the end, presided over by the SJ Sharks mascot, Sharkie. He was so exhausted that he took advantage of the free massage services after the raffle. And the cause was worthwhile: supporting mental health issues in high schools to help stem the tide of teen suicide. Nobody wants to talk about these issues much, so I credit Polly and Jim Nabor for opening up to the community to help others.

Michigan in July

People are always surprised when Ann or I say that we're going to Michigan for our vacation. The prevalent image that comes to mind is urban Detroit and decay. But Michigan is a very large state and much of it is beautiful. Here are just a few pictures from our trip in July.

The first, at the top, is the beach at the end of Mission Peninsula.

The second was shot on a dune near Charlevoix. The dunes were covered in flowers, and the birch trees in the background made this a perfect Michigan scene. And, while this is a bit of natural beauty, there were also the man-made beauties of the mushroom houses just 1/2 mile away. I suggest that you look at all of the pictures of these houses built from local stone a century ago. A few thumbnails from the above site are copied below.

The bottom line is that we had a great time in our three weeks there. So, as asummer draws to a close, enjoy the sights our our summer vacation.

St. Andrews School creates cranes for Japan

I found more pictures on my camera during the cleanup. These are from mid-April, about a month after the earthquake and ensuing disasters in Japan. Our church has a school attached to it for K-8, and the children partcipated in an activity of making cranes of prayer for Japan. If you read the associated article, you can find out more details, especially Oshkosh's Cranes for Kids initiative.

While the origami cranes are beautiful en masse, I also took a few closeup pictures of some of the more beautiful ones and the messages that some of the children wrote.

Cleaning out the pictures from the phone - January 2011 in snowy Rochester, NY

It's the weekend and time for some systems maintenance. And one bit of this was cleaning out and filing pictures from my Android phone. I found them enjoyable at the time and figured that others may as well.

The first goes back to the end of January when I visited my mother in Rochester, NY. They'd received a ton of snow, so a person on Highland avenue built a few snow monsters; a train was in development on the left.

As we go through the warm days of summer, its difficult to remember that we were once blanketed in frozen water. Enjoy.