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The Missing Link...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Today's ride had to be a bit shorter than usual so I put my thinking cap on to come up with a short (24 mile) ride that would take me down some new roads and uncover some new sights.

A cyclepathic noodling thought of mine has been kicking around for a while related to Route 7, which I blogged about a while back.

Route 7 will take one from the Binghamton area pretty much up to Albany. On the southern end it runs to the NY / PA border.

However: there is a mysterious stretch northwest out of Binghamton where Route 7 seems to drop off the map. After messing around with Google maps I discover that it doesn't really disappear, however they merge it with Interstate 88 for a stretch around Hillcrest through Port Crane where it pops up again as its own road. This is fine for vehicles with motors...but what about us cyclists who aren't allowed on the interstate...?

My challenge today? Find the *missing link* which enables cyclists to ride out of Binghamton and pick up Route 7 to take up the northwest corridor of upstate New York!

Nowland Road would do the trick! So I routed a big loop which would take me down a stretch of Nowland Road and scope out how passable it was for cycling.

As I start out I cross the formerly drought-stricken, pebbly-dry Tioughnioga now filled to overflowing with one rain-soaked day:

View from the Route 79 bridge:

Our fall colors have already begun to fade with help from the rain bringing down the leaves. But our hills are still looking great on such a brisk 60 degree, sunny day!

Another view of the river from the side of 369 heading toward Port Crane:

Once in Port Crane I took Depot Hill Road up to Nowlan Road. Ya know...I shoulda known better than to think that Depot HILL Road would just be a little ol' hill...! OMG how that one went ON & ON at such an uphill pitch! I was mentally getting ready to throw in the towel and walk it on up, but somehow something clicked and I just kept grinding away at the pedals making my way to the very TOP! Woo Hoo! Boy do I ever know I'm back in upstate New York again! :-)

Nowland Road was my payoff...! Mostly flying downhill! Feeling just like a kid who's gone out to PLAY! Woo WEE WHOOSH! :-)

A few views of the wide open spaces way up there before I rode down:

So having found the missing link, I'm ready, at some unknown point in the future, to set sail toward Albany. I've gone as far as Oneonta...but now? I have more confidence in my capabilities on the road and I truly believe in my abiility to travel much greater distances. Albany would be 132 miles, around 12 hours of cycling. Nope probably not possible in a day, but then who knows...?

Wrapped up my cycling and went out picking apples at our local orchard. Nothing like a crisp, fresh, juicy Cortland just picked from the tree. 69 cents a pound for a few minutes of yummy joy! You can't beat it! Here's the view from our local orchard:

Looking forward to getting out with my son tomorrow before he heads back home after his whirlwind weekend visit home!

Hope everyone is having some special fun and good times with your loved ones this weekend!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4FIT 10/4/2010 11:34AM

    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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DAYHIKER 10/3/2010 9:46PM

    A great blog and beautiful pictures! One of these days you're going to bike right by Judy (JLITT62) on one of her runs!!!! emoticon

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OUTDOORGIRL69 10/3/2010 8:57PM

    Great Blog as always. If anyone could find the route you could.

Thanks for the great pictures also.


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CARRIE1948 10/3/2010 1:40PM

    Great snaps! Are you making these journeys on your own?

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FERRETLOVER1 10/3/2010 7:25AM

    Boy, Don, you are sure one heck of a great writer and picture taker. You made me feel like I was on the bike ride with you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 10/3/2010 5:02AM

    Hey, I live right near Route 7 just north of Albany! Had no idea it went pretty much all the way to Binghamton (where my nephew goes to school). I've only lived here 1 1/2 yrs (tho I grew up in Poughkeepsie -- lived other places for a long, long time).

That's some ride!

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_VALEO_ 10/3/2010 2:56AM

    Glad you found the "missing link." Beautiful scenery, it's worth the ride... and the reward an apple from the tree, what else can we ask?

Have a great Sunday!

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ACIMPEGGY 10/2/2010 10:56PM

    Wonderful blog, Don. Fantastic photos, too. I especially liked the view of the river from the side of 369. You could sell your photos!

You're making me want to get a bike that goes instead of the elliptical stationary bike in my basement...wonder if my knees could still do it.

Thanks you so much for sharing our joy. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 10/2/2010 10:43PM

    what wonderful pictures .................
almost put us right there with you........
blessings and hugs............lita

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FRECKS96 10/2/2010 10:22PM

    Beautiful! What a lovely day for a ride (or a run!) Glad you enjoyed it. We're planning on apple picking soon too.

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JENNKHEALTH 10/2/2010 10:18PM

    What a gorgeous day! Thank you for sharing your ride with all of us.

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MORGANLAFEE 10/2/2010 10:10PM

    Gorgeous pictures.

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Care To Join The Fun in 011...?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hey folks...! If any of you are envious and would like to join in the fun for NEXT YEAR'S MS CitytoShore Ride, they are already taking early registration at a discount. This is SUCH a wonderful ride and wouldn't it be SO COOL to have a large SparkPeople contingent...?!?! :-)

More info:

"Bike to create a world free of MS on Sept. 24 & 25
Named by Bicycling Magazine as the ďBest Cycling Getaway in NJ,Ē the 32nd Bike MS: City to Shore Ride promises to be the best cycling experience on the east coast. Register now!

Cyclist celebrating at City to Shore finish lineRide with over 7,000 cyclists of all ages and cycling abilities for the challenge of your choice with several route options. Enjoy flat terrain as you travel through the blueberry fields of Hammonton, the South New Jersey pine barrens and into the sweet smells of salt water taffy and ocean air in historic Ocean City.

This ride is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike support, and SAG transportation. In addition, invite your family and friends to cheer as you cross the finish line and enjoy a wonderful evening stroll on the boardwalk. Cyclists must collect a minimum of $300 in donations and complete a Bike MS waiver/safety pledge to participate. "


I've got my registration already locked in! Woo hoo! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBBYD31 9/30/2010 1:19PM

    if i get a new bike in the spring then i think this would be cool

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CARRIE1948 9/30/2010 6:02AM

    Let's see what happens with my back

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SUZIAND 9/30/2010 12:32AM

    That sounds awesome, Don! I might have to look into that!!!

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ERIECANALGAL 9/30/2010 12:22AM

    Worthwhile cause!

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CLSSWAN 9/29/2010 11:21PM

    Good luck and happy riding!

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Certifiable CyclePath! (Notes on my First Century+)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I had such a WONDERFUL time on my first Century Ride this past Saturday as part of the Multiple Sclerosis CitytoShore Fund-raiser. My Team Captain and I cycled from Cherry Hill to Ocean City, NJ which included an extra 25 mile loop so that we could rack up 100 miles on Sat. followed by another 75 miles on our Sunday return trip to Cherry Hill.

Here's the tune running through my mind as I was gearing up for this event:


Our early departure Sat. @ 6:30 a.m.:

How many cyclists were there for the event...? Over SEVEN THOUSAND cyclists of ALL stripes! I loved the name of one group: CyclePaths...and am happily snatching that title for myself! :

My worries about zigging where I should zag and inadvertently colliding with others, despite the numbers of cyclists, were groundless...everything went SO SMOOTHLY!

The weather was PHENOMENAL...85 & sunny on Sat., 75 & partly sunny on Sun.

There is something so vibrant and soul-shaking about witnessing such vistas out on the open road moving miles and miles on the power of one's own legs, sailing right by gas stations, untethered by the pumps...a sense of freedom, power and belief in oneself coupled with the sun, wind, aromas of the open land and good will of the cyclists and the community which welcomed us with open arms...just had me filled to bursting, goosebumps rippling through my body. This must be the cyclist's equivalent to the "runner's high!" What a heady mix!

While approaching the two bridges to Ocean City I resolved to try something I've been envious of ever since seeing another cyclist doing this earlier this year: whipping out my camera and snapping shots while riding my bike. I didn't think I'd be coordinated enough but thought, "what the heck? at worst I'll just have some bum shots to delete!" Turns out I got a few nice ones of the land and water sprawling out around the bridges, plus I did something else I hadn't done before: Took a shot of myself while riding on that gloriously sunshiney hot day:

The organization of the ride was excellent as well with many volunteers helping to direct traffic so that riders would safely navigate intersections. The community was so supportive as well, with folks out on their lawns applauding and cheering us along, encouraging us to be sure to come back again next year. There was nary a single unpleasant encounter with a vehicle, no honks or hoots of harassment.

One fellow had his house all done up in Halloween Horror style and dressed in goulish mad slasher cowl, hood and mask thrashing his long gray plastic knife at us as we rode by.

There was a beautiful 85-year-old Japanese woman on the ride with her single-speed bike. I asked if I could take her picture and she agreed. I told her she was my HERO! I want to be like HER when I'm that age!

We later discovered that she was a MASSAGE THERAPIST! She had inquired of a fellow why he rode a recumbent bicycle, thinking that he was crippled or deformed in some way. He explained his history of back trouble which wouldn't allow him to ride a regular bicycle.

She instructed him to sit down and proceeded to work her magic on him:

I don't think he's ever felt so fine!

My riding partner had been having trouble with some back pain between her shoulders and this lady was all too happy to cooperate! What a tiny powerhouse she was! Worked all those kinks right out! She shared how she has limited her practice to working in a hospital only with cancer patients. Such a kind, caring soul!

Here's a few more pics to give you an idea how many cyclists were EVERYWHERE...these are from the various rest stops:

A little line-dancin' fun to the pumped up music courtesy of the DJ's at each rest stop:

The support for riders was excellent as well. My riding partner had a flat during our return trip on Sunday and although we were FULLY PREPARED to deal with it (thanks to our crash course on changing flats from a fellow bike club member!) there was a support van immediately present, hopped out, changed the flat, no charge, no muss, no fuss and we were on our way! I can't recommend this ride highly enough to anyone / everyone! We're hoping to do it again next year and would love more company!

I've posted a couple videos from the bridge outside Ocean City. One as we entered on Saturday afternoon and the other as we departed early Sunday morning:


I have to confess that right up until I hit the 80 mile mark on Saturday I've had this niggling, nasty little voice of doubt eating away at me: "are you REALLY up for this? do you REALLY think you can nail a HUNDRED miles? you probably won't even be able to WALK after doing THIS to yourself!"

But at the 80 mile mark it dawned on me: I was feeling pretty fine! Not only was I going to do all 100 miles, but I would do them and feel GREAT!

Those final 20 miles on Saturday were some of the sweetest I'd ever had on my bike! I just squashed that nasty little voice FLAT! As we approached Ocean City I could begin to detect the scent of salt water in the breeze. Soon we began to see marinas and little harbors and inlets. Anticipation was busting out all over! Along with that earlier song thrumming through my brain and making me bounce along at times on my seat, a couple others revved my engine and powered up my legs and arms:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo2Aypi0R2c I was BURNIN' for that CENTURY!

There were signs along the way with quotes from some rock / pop songs which were intended to rev us up. AC/DC...? nah... Ozzie? no thanks, but hey, THIS one will bring me right on home!


I saw a number of cyclists shaking their hands at times during the ride, trying to deal with numbness. I remembered: oh, yeah *I* used to have that problem! No more! Also: don't know whether to chalk it up to the different seat I swapped mine out for or the greater care I've been taking to ride lightly, standing often, but: no troubles down there! No numbness! Sit bones a tad tender but nothing I can't deal with! Been stretch, stretch STRETCHING those muscles to avoid any significant soreness and must say I'm feeling pretty darned GREAT!

Here we are Sunday morning on our departure from Ocean City:

Breaking through to my century was such a LIBERATING, EMPOWERING feeling! I feel like, okay, let's hop on my bike, spin the wheel and go wherever I want to go! The SKY'S the LIMIT!

So my hat's off to EVERYONE in my SparkFamily for all your support, pats-on-the-back, caring kicks-in-the-pants and for being there through thick & thin! This just wouldn't have been possible without you!

Somehow I have a strong intuition that TRAINOF4 may have had a hand in this past weekend as well and thank her for being there too!

With our certificates of completion (yeah, me, with the upside-down certificate...lol!):

Keep Runnin' Down YOUR Dreams People! It's such a SWEET, SWEET Deal!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGA_MILES 9/25/2011 10:12AM

    Congrats Don. That's quite an accomplishment. How did you conquer the problem with hand numbing?

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    emoticonYOU are amazing! I LOVE THAT song! Thx for sharing your experience - spark us on and more!

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RHYNIC 4/7/2011 8:15AM

    Wow. I want to do that some day. You could sell that race to anyone. Great blog. Thanks.

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REYVE01 3/22/2011 1:18PM

    That was a great blog.... it looks like a lot of fun. emoticon

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    That was one of the best blogs I have read in a while! Sounds like you had an emoticon ride! Are you guys in a heat wave there? 85 degrees? Kudo's to that 85 year old woman-she is awesome and very inspiring as well! Your my hero second to Lance Armstrong emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/29/2010 3:34:09 PM

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LMB-ESQ 11/29/2010 2:54PM

    Wow... incredible.... I want to do one! I have to find a local bike club to do it with... Argh! I need more time! It'll happen... one of these days.

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BARBARA_BOO 10/10/2010 6:50PM

    This one says it all.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DENISEZAKIYA 9/30/2010 11:39PM

    This is so incredibly inspiring!!! Are you going to do an Iron Man?

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SUZIAND 9/30/2010 10:22AM

    WOw....probably the best, most inspiring blog I've ever read, Don!

You truly are one of my heros....you know that...right??

Thank you so much for sharing!


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JCORYCMA 9/29/2010 10:30PM

    Great blog about a GREAT ride! You are so inspiring! I'm just catching up with your balance board - lol! But a bike is in my future....

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    That is awesome. Way to go. I am glad you had such a great ride.

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_VALEO_ 9/29/2010 4:35PM

    What a memorable ride and adventure, Don!

YOU DID IT! emoticon

Thank you for sharing those moments (I love the videos and I could almost smell the Ocean; this Japanese lady is just incredible.)

My hat's off to YOU!

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JESPAH 9/29/2010 12:25PM


You are quite the amazing fella.

Bottle this feeling and keep it, if/when there are dark places. Hold it in your heart, forever.

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LADYGWEN25 9/29/2010 9:10AM

    WOW DOn.. that is SO AMAZING! what an accomplishment.. you continue to inspire me. :)

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ETTEZEUS 9/29/2010 12:13AM

    Congrats! What an accomplishment!
Great blog and loved that 85 yo Japanese woman!~ She's awesome too!

Hope you enjoy many more great rides!

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L*I*T*A* 9/29/2010 12:11AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOEGIRL 9/28/2010 11:58PM

    Fabulous blog! I loved all the photos - and that 85 year old massage therapist - wow! Congratulations on the great accomplishment!!!

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CASSIOEPIA 9/28/2010 9:57PM

    Loved it Don! My cousin just completed a seven day Cops for Cancer bike tour, nearly 800 km (500 miles). I followed her blog every night, and it sounded like she had a blast. What a great achievement you have done, especially the part about blowing past the mental barriers we set on ourselves.


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BOTZZZ 9/28/2010 9:53PM

    Don, this is nothing short of amazing! I am happy for you and am glad that you had such a good time while on your ride, here's to many more miles ahead of you!

As Ever

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FRECKS96 9/28/2010 9:26PM

    Woo Hoo!!!!! That is so amazing Don!!! Congrats on your awesome accomplishment!

You are truly an inspiration to so many people and I can't wait to see what you do next!

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CARRIE1948 9/28/2010 9:34AM

    Way to go!

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LOGHOUSE 9/28/2010 9:32AM

    Hi Don;
As a vetran of 15 MS150's, your blog brought back many great memories for me. And your description of hitting the 80 mile mark on your first century and thinking "gee, I still feel pretty good!" (to parahrase) is exactly how I felt and what I thought years ago when I did my first 100 miler. I can totally relate to your entire blog. Nice job, and HIGH FIVE ON THE CENTURY and a GREAT WEEKEND !!!

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VALERIEMAHA 9/28/2010 9:05AM

    Not only did I have a smile on my face even before opening the blog, which never left, but I'm also crying in joy (I'm a certifiable Pisces wuss). Your BLISS and SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT is palpable and off the charts wonderful Don.

You started this journey about 2.5 years ago with 120 pounds to shed and the myriad voices inside you to deal with...and LOOK AT YOU NOW!

You are such a SparkAmbassador, spreading good will, generosity, and compassion in your path. You are the PRIME DIRECTIVE of SparkPeople, besides being a certifiable cyclepath (took me a minute to "get" it)!!!

Your are TRULY living out your "mantra" --

Alive In The World
by Jackson Browne

I want to live in the world,
not inside my head
I want to live in the world,
I want to stand and be counted
With the hopeful and the willing
With the open and the strong
With the voices in the darkness
Fashioning daylight out of song
And the millions of lovers
Alive in the world

I want to live in the world,
not behind some wall
I want to live in the world,
where I will hear if another voice should call
To the prisoner inside me
To the captive of my doubt
Who among his fantasies harbors
the dream of breaking out
And taking his chances
Alive in the world

To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and fully arrive in the world

With its beauty and its cruelty
With its heartbreak and its joy
With it constantly giving birth to life
and to forces that destroy
And the infinite power of change
Alive in the world

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SASSYCHRIS1952 9/28/2010 6:18AM

    I enjoyed this blog! What an accomplishment! And great pictures! A few weeks ago, I was in Atlantic City, then visited my sister who lives in West Berlin NJ which is about 10 miles south of Cherry Hill. Small world huh! emoticon

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ZELLAZM 9/28/2010 5:31AM

    Woohooo! You did it and did it well! Thanks for the great report and all the photos and tunes - makes us feel we really were along with you, Don!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZZSB 9/28/2010 3:51AM

    Don you look really great!! And you look so happy!!!

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 9/28/2010 1:43AM

    Right from the first moment of reading this, I had a smile on my face, since I'd seen your update earlier and was just waiting to read about your grand adventure. I loved all the details of the day, and I'm so glad it was such a wonderful experience for you. I truly congratulate you on all your accomplished, physically and mentally.

emoticon emoticon

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 9/27/2010 11:39PM

    Woohoo! I love this blog! AND the pictures!! Way to go - you are amazing!

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BOBBYD31 9/27/2010 11:29PM

    Don, Awesome Buddy, totally Awesome! that was a great blog and would love to know how far the little old lady made it, that is fantastic! i fi get a new bike that is something i would like to do also. hope to meet you in pittsburgh in march for the race, right now we have 45 team members and 25-30 confirmed attending. hope we get over 50 runners and walkers...

again congratulation on a fantastic feat, truly amazing!

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Taking OFF! :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just a last note before I scoot out the door to let EVERYONE know how appreciative I am for ALL your BOUNDLESS support and energy! I will take you ALL with me and hear your cheers and rooting as I make my way on my journey!

Here is a link to the route I'll be taking on Saturday. Sunday's route will likely be the same, minus the 25 mile loop:


I'll be keeping all my supportive family, friends, SparkFamily and Cherie in my motivational tank and give this my very best effort!

Camera's packed, stay tuned, catch up when the dust settles on Sunday / Monday!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRIE1948 9/25/2010 8:27AM


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MUSIC66 9/25/2010 12:19AM

    good luck.

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 9/24/2010 5:56PM

    Woohoo, Don! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it on Monday.

You are emoticon!!

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KMATIS 9/24/2010 12:02PM

    That's an amazing number of miles--best of luck to you! emoticon

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ZELLAZM 9/24/2010 11:29AM

    Glad to be a member of Team Don! Go, go, go!

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VALERIEMAHA 9/24/2010 11:29AM

    YAY for my SpecialSparkFriend and HERO!!!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 9/24/2010 11:21AM

    good luck.........
blessings and hugs............lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 9/24/2010 10:37AM

    Enjoy!! I can't wait to hear about it.

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CHRIS3215 9/24/2010 10:30AM

    Have a Great ride Don, I KNOW you can do it!! emoticon

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DMGABBETT 9/24/2010 10:25AM

    I hope you enjoy your ride, Don!

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Honoring A Lost Member...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I wanted to take a moment to let our SparkFamily know that we have lost a member this past week. Cherie struggled with many medical problems over the past several months. Although she maintained a remarkably resilient spirit, her body just couldn't bear up under the problems which continually besieged her.


I thought I would share a note I received from her mother:

"Iím so glad you wrote. Cherie passed away last Mon. She had multiple organ failure. She was cremated. I hope this isnít too big a shock to you. We knew she had many email friends but had no way of contacting them. If you want to share this with SparkPeople please donít hesitate. We are of course devastated to have lost her but were not sorry that at last her suffering is over. She had become very sick toward the end. Thanks for your email. Gail"

Loss of such a special person as Cherie reminds me to stop, take a deep breath and savor all the more the life I'm living and appreciate even MORE the efforts I've made to recover and celebrate my health.

I know I will keep her in my mind as I make my way on my special ride this weekend!

Fight for and celebrate your health everyone!

One of my favorite pieces by a very unique band, Oregon, is The Silence of a Candle. Very introspective, meditative...lends itself to pondering life, in all its travails and challenges:


Oregon always put their heart & soul into their live performances:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CCKELLY3 9/29/2010 2:14AM

    I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, and our fellow sparker.

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IRISHLASS117 9/27/2010 6:44AM

    Thanks for sharing. I don't know either of you but let's make positive things happen out of this loss.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 9/27/2010 6:10AM

    This is indeed sad. I have never met Cherie, but I can tell you from spark mail and email that she was one hell of a person. Her spirits were incredible, despite her medical issues, all the way to the very end. - I never met her, although we tried to get together when I was closer (but not close enough) to where she lives.

She is missed and will continue to be.

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NIKANN7493 9/24/2010 1:32PM

    Thank you for sharing Don. I will be praying for the family during this difficult time.

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KMATIS 9/24/2010 11:51AM

    Thank you for sharing this information with us. Hopefully her dedication to our program will help others succeed.

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LADYGWEN25 9/24/2010 11:46AM

    thanks for letting everyone know Don.. I didn't know her... But a loss of any life is a tragedy.

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IAM_HIS2 9/24/2010 8:35AM

    Thank you Cherie for blessing so many people with your loving, strong spirit. We know you are now at peace and in the presence of God. You will be missed but always remembered with love.

Don, a very special thank you for letting us know.

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VICTORY-LEE 9/24/2010 8:07AM

    Please accept my sincerest condolences. My she rest in peace.


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BKWERM 9/24/2010 7:47AM

    Hi Don.

Thanks for letting me know. Any chance you have her parents' address so that I could send flowers and a card? Or, is there a charity that I could donate to in her memory? Maybe, an animal shelter near her home because I know she loved animals.

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JOHNTJ1 9/24/2010 7:31AM

    I have always said we are in this together, whether we know each other very well or not at all. When we lose someone that is part of the Spark family it is a loss for us all.

I am running in my first 5K tomorrow morning and I will hold her in my heart and in my thoughts as I run

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DOLLBABE56 9/24/2010 7:20AM

    I didn't know her, but this is so sad.

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FERRETLOVER1 9/24/2010 6:59AM

    I didn't know Cherie, but I will keep her & her family in my thoughts.

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_MAOMAO_ 9/24/2010 2:03AM

  Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful bright woman, Don. I'll think of Cherie when I'm feeling like it's not worth it to focus so much on being as healthy as I can be. My prayers are with her family and all the friends who've lost her.

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MUSIC66 9/23/2010 10:43PM

    i will prayer for her family she was a great spark friend.

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L*I*T*A* 9/23/2010 10:20PM

    this is so so shocking!!!
thanks so much for posting this.........
such a nice note from her mother.....
my thoughts and prayers go out to the family.........
blessings and hugs...............lita

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RENA1965 9/23/2010 9:53PM

    Sorry to hear another good person has fallen.... Yeah DDoon it makes us stop and appreciate what we have and work a little harder... emoticon

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ACTIVE_AT_60 9/23/2010 9:31PM

    I looked at the email I have received from her over the last three months as her health declined. Here are the words which characterize her in my mind resilient, positive, upbeat, survivor who despite her medical challenges kept defining livestrong.

Cherie - I have never met you - other than through sparkmail and email - you will be missed. However, I know you will spark forever from a place with no pain, suffering, or disease - looking down on us making all of us reach our goals.

May you rest in peace.

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