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Mule report (Tahoe ride report)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Friday morning, 7am we took off from Cleveland to Minneapolis - and on to Sacramento - and loaded the bus to go to Tahoe ... it was not the prettiest weather. Lots of low clouds, sprinkles (and I had heard the s word in the forecast) - We got out bikes - and Friday night one of the mules (Mark) invited us over to the house he has rented (he is here with his family and a few friends). Grillin' and chillin - it was great.

Saturday morning: It is grey outside. Temp 39. The national weather service says 'Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph. ' hmmm. sunny remains to be seen. I had a great 8+ hrs sleep last night - don't remember when that last happened.

The shakedown ride was relatively uneventful - we rode about 8 miles, and some issues with derailleurs were identified. We found out how cold it is going to be tomorrow and some of us went to get some apparel we should have thought of when we packed. Fortunately we can get it in skiing stores where they are having good sales. - I met with three of my friends from 'cyclists combating cancer' and we spent a good hour together. Two mules (John and Scott joined us).

In the interim we got our race package - and (mule) Mark is riding with # 6 tomorrow (at this event the top 10 fundraisers for LLS will ride with 1-10). He has raised a little more then $23k.

The big new of the pasta party - this event raised more than$6.8M and the 26 members of the Northern Ohio team raised $171.000. (Just received the number).

4am came early. The sky was grey, but no rain :-) so we were hopeful. We assembled in hotel lobby and rode over to the start line. At 6:20 the first northern Ohio team rolled out. It was cool, but pleasant. Before we rolled out mule scott reminded me that I had just blown out of the gate last year, and it was not a good idea ... well he should practice what he preach - because who blew out of the gate at 20mph. That was kind of our average until the switch backs of emerald bay. We climbed Emerald bay - could have been prettier - but it was deliberate pedaling. The stage for the rest of the ride is set and we cruised.

At this point I should probably say - mule John did not ride with us. He was not feeling well, so he rode with a Philly team mate. Our team (pace line or 'train') was mule Scott and Mule Mark - with us we had two Yak's Rachel and Laura who was an incredible asset, and then at times we were joined by other team mates from Northern Ohio, but they had a hard time keeping up with us. A couple of times the 'train' dropped off a rider, but we I was one of them.

We did have a small mishap - on a bike trail someone not from our team - stopped abruptly - and there was a pile up of four cyclists - BUT no scratches.

We met at Spooner and rode in together - content ... headed over to the finish line where the pizza and beer waited, and cheering the rest of our team, who both for medical reasons did the perimeter of Tahoe (72 miles). When John came in - I met him as he made the last turn - and I ran next to him for the past 200 yards.

The ride of 2009 is now completed - once again cyclists showed we don't brake for cancer! There is one person whom I have decided to give something special to this year. Just before we left - I learned through a friend that a young and well respected police officer had lost his battle to leukemia. Police officers are special people and although his name is not on the jersey - this years jersey will go to either his department or his family (their choice).

As for 2010.... a couple of things are being considered. No decisions are made - the mules have started talking about some way of doing Seattle to Portland through a different chapter so we can raise money - or perhaps I will do a half iron man ... stay tuned for a decision later this year. (A half ironman is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run).

If you want to see the elevation map for Tahoe ...

To my honoree's - thanks for the inspiration to continue to do this
To my donors thank you for allowing me to do this one more year
To Mules - John, Mark, and Scott - plus Yaks Laura and Rachel - you guys ROCK.
To everyone else - thank you for all your support and encouragement in email, website postings etc

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLKITTIES 6/11/2009 9:05AM

  Thanks so much for the update. I'm sorry I missed it -- look forward to riding it agin next year with TNT.

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MUSCLEMOM_2 6/10/2009 8:52AM

    Sounds like wonderful news all he way around. Thanks again for all you do for "the fight". We WILL find a cure!

Becky emoticon

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BUCKETTE 6/10/2009 6:00AM

    Such inspiration and such devotion to raising money to fight cancer.
Glad to have you back home !

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BILLALEX70 6/10/2009 5:01AM

    Glad to have you back with us in one piece. Sounds like the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

It appears that the only way we can stop Cancer is to keep on fundraising with the hopes that one day a researcher will have that "A-Ha" moment.

Until then we'll keep doing what we're doing.

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JOPAPGH 6/9/2009 11:12PM

    Great report. Appreciate all you and the other riders do to fight the good fight.

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TTLEELEE 6/9/2009 10:19PM

    emoticon Welcome Home. Glad it turned out so well!

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GRACE612 6/9/2009 9:31PM

    Great job on the ride and the fund raising!!!

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IRISHLASS117 6/9/2009 9:30PM

    The Warrior returns! So glad to have you back.

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MAGELLAN1 6/9/2009 9:24PM

    great job! your team is a seems to be a cycling and money raising machine! i left the area (from Reno) sunday morning. i was wondering if the weather held up for you riders. It was iffy all week. congratulations on a fine job. well done.


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    Glad it was such a good experience!

Have you seen this?:
>looks entirely too much fun! (and a LOT of hard work!!)

Glad to have you back! We'll have to have a SparkCleveland biking get together! :)

Have a great week,


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Good morning from Lake Tahoe

Saturday, June 06, 2009

My dear friends - it is the first morning in Lake Tahoe - 39 degrees, grey sky, and wet streets.

The trip out here was uneventful, but long. Yesterday - the mules hung out - and Mark who is here with his family cooked and we had a blast. It was great to catch up.

The agenda today
Breakfast - shakedown ride - meet with friends from Cyclists combating cancer pasta party and early to bed.

Oh, did I tell you - as of yesterday morning the northern ohio team has raised $173.000 in our fight against blood cancers. Cancer you better get it soon - because you WILL lose.

Now make it a great day ... from your 'mule reporter ' in Tahoe.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISHLASS117 6/7/2009 8:10PM

    Can't wait for the Mule Report Jan.


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JNEUBS 6/6/2009 7:28PM

    Awesome job raising that money! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Watch out cancer we're on to you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

All the best!

ChiTown Jeff emoticon emoticon

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BILLALEX70 6/6/2009 5:13PM

    Jan you're a very special person and I look forward to the day we can meet and ride. I would be running for my room in that type of weather. It was a beautiful day in Ohio for riding. Upper 70's and I logged 62-miles this morning.

Sending good vibes and better weather your way.

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MUSCLEMOM_2 6/6/2009 3:47PM

    The weather sounds blah but the news on the cancer fundraising front has to brighten your day and spirits! emoticon emoticon for all of your efforts!

Wanted to wish you luck tomorrow in your ride. Be safe!


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GRACE612 6/6/2009 1:15PM

    Wow, great effort on the money raising side!! Sorry the weather is chilly and grey though. Have a great time!

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JOPAPGH 6/6/2009 11:26AM

    Win one for Cleveland!

Have a great ride.


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LINDAJ111 6/6/2009 10:08AM

    Have a wonderful day !
Congrats on the wonderful job you and your fellow cyclists are doing for such a great cause. Its people like you that make this world a better place!
Take care and enjoy Lake Tahoe, no matter what the weather sounds like the sunshine will come from your friends and the cause you are working towards!!


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Miles with meaning - last training ride before Tahoe

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Well it is a gorgeous day in this area, so why not go for a bike ride with some of my team members I am heading to Tahoe with. 69 miles - hilly miles I may add. It was a ride which started at the LLS chapter office, and heading east ... south and then west. If you think NE Ohio is not hilly - I have news for you. There were lots of hills, and they came at you fast and furious. Three of us decided to ride together and did a rotating group, so we were changing who was up front about every mile.

It was great - and at the end of the ride - we turned the bikes in to be kept in storage until they are picked up and leaving for Tahoe. We will be reunited with out bikes on Friday 6.5.09 for the 6.7.09 ride.

I have had something to eat - and as I was going through my mail an acquaintance send a mail to a list serv I subscribe to .. on e of his friends was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It seem to be a never ending story.... but you know cancer - you have picked a fight with the wrong team. (modified from Lance Armstrong).

My friend John recently wrote to me 'I was thinking about this. Ever notice when a person beats cancer, they do it fair and square with everything they have, strength grit and hope all rolled into one. But when cancer tries to win, it cheats. It attacks when you least expect it with no warning and it doesn't care who it attacks. It is the lowest form of something because its willing to pick on a child, even babies. Its gutless and I think its afraid of a fair fight. Let's keep fighting back. Cancer doesn't stand a chance against this team!!!!'

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 5/24/2009 9:00AM


Sounds like you are ready for a great trip. I lost my grandmother to stomach cancer and my wife is a cancer survivor. If there is a way I can contribute to charities associated with your Tahoe ride, let me know via PM.

All the best in Tahoe,


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HEALTHYCHIC 5/24/2009 8:02AM

    I really appreciate and enjoy your posts! Great ride, and i love that quote. So true.

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BILLALEX70 5/23/2009 11:01PM

    Way to go on the ride today Jan.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you during your trip out to Tahoe. If enough of us keep going after cancer hopefully we can send it running.


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DDOORN 5/23/2009 7:27PM

    Wonderful to hear of your rides, Jan...I'm sure you're going to WOW them in Tahoe!

On June 19th and 20th our local SparkTeam is joining the Relay For Life to help the American Cancer Society raise donations.

We'll beat the big C yet! :-)


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Miles with meaning - Cleveland marathon

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So, what did you do today? I ran a marathon - yup - 26.2 miles. This was my 4th marathon - 3 of which has been with Team in Training - raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

As you know from my previous posts I am involved with the leukemia and lymphoma society, and today it just got a little more difficult for cancer, and a little less difficult for patients with blood cancer, because $190.000 was raised for this event.

I am not the fastest one in the pack, and I have no intentions of becoming, nor do I have any aspirations of qualifying or running boston. I am really an ordinary guy.

The pasta party last night was nice. The speaker was a friend of mine, and a team in training cycling coach. He did a wonderful job. This morning the team met at 5:45am. Got ready, and at 7am it was off to the race. The sun was shining - low fifties and windy. I stayed with the 4:30 group that was where I felt most comfortable, and it was a great run, met a lot of people, and finished in 4:25 - about 15 min faster than my PB.

I feel a little stiff but great - and a little cold because of the winds from Lake Erie.

I want to tell all my SP friends thank you from the bottom of my head. Your SP mail, your postings with well wishes means a lot to me, and is much appreciated.

What is next - well in 3 weeks I will be riding my bike around lake tahoe - cancer is not going to stand a chance.

Livestorng - Jan
- will run for a cure-

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AGGIE_BELLE92 5/21/2009 5:39PM

    Congratulations! My team for the MS150 has very close ties to several folks who suffer with MS, and in fact, several were given an opportunity to ride in tandem for segments of the route with our team members this year. It really makes us realize our abilities are a blessing and makes the money raised more valuable.

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MARYRAM 5/20/2009 3:19PM

    Great marathon! congrats and kudos for your being one of the people who really do something to help others!

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MUSCLEMOM_2 5/18/2009 8:49AM

    I was thinking about you all day yesterday hoping and praying things were going well for you. I couldn't wait to get online today and see how you did....OUR WARRIOR NURSE SETTING A NEW RECORD....WOOHOOO!

You really are a very inspirational person to us all. Thanks for making a difference in MY life and in the lives of those who are suffering with cancer. TRAIN ON FRIEND!


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ACTIVE_AT_60 5/18/2009 7:22AM

    You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the comments. I very much appreciate them.

As for motivational speeches. If you participate in an event for Team in Training (fundraising involved as well) - you will get a motivational speaker the night before - it is someone who has been affected by the cause we have raised money for.

Whether it is for cancer or health
three disciplines, one mission, one goal.

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BFITNHAPPY 5/18/2009 7:15AM

    Congratulations on your PR, a great race and being part of a great group that is battling cancer. I love the "so, what did you do today?" line. 4:25 is a great did awesome! I have never gone to a pre-race dinner but you are making me want to go to one for some extra inspiration...

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SHORTHAIRDAVE 5/18/2009 12:52AM

  You're a good motivation for me - thanks for reaching out. Congrats on the personal best.

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_MAOMAO_ 5/18/2009 12:12AM

  emoticon Jan! Raising $$$ for a great cause & beating your PB, to boot. That is so cool!
emoticon emoticon

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BILLALEX70 5/17/2009 8:08PM


Beating your PB must feel awesome. I agree that we, healthy people, must do anything we can to raise money or awareness.

You train hard and it clearly shows. I agree about not having to be one of the pace-setters; just doing it is enough for me.

Best wishes in Tahoe; no luck is needed.

emoticon emoticon

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JOPAPGH 5/17/2009 7:12PM

    Happy to hear about your Personal Best and the great cause. Enjoy Tahoe.

Go Pens,


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L*I*T*A* 5/17/2009 6:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAINOF4 5/17/2009 4:53PM

    emoticon You beat your PB! That's just awesome! I'm very proud to know you even if it's from a distance.

Congrats on your outstanding performance & raising money for a REALLY good cause. Take good care of yourself today - maybe a long, soak in a hot tub w/some Epsom salts. LOL!


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IRISHLASS117 5/17/2009 4:38PM

    The Warrior strikes a blow! Bravo Jan.


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HEALTHYCHIC 5/17/2009 4:15PM

    What a great time! Congratulations on another marathon..and for a great cause too. Makes running even more special (as if running itself isn't gratifying enough). I'm just coming back from another foot injury. I had tears in my eyes running my whopping 2 miles because i haven't been able to run in so long and was so thankful that it's healing.

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SHADOW38 5/17/2009 3:42PM

    Way to go Jan! Congratulations on smashing your PR!!

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DDOORN 5/17/2009 3:31PM

    Way to SPARK Jan!!

What an inspiration you are to us ALL!

Keep up the super SPARKING and my we all be doing OUR SPARK with such enthusiasm!


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