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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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How To Ride To A 100...!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've been SO enjoying a book I got a few weeks ago:

Bike For Life: How To Ride To A 100 (meaning How to Bike a 100 miles when you're 100 years old!)

It's filled with some AMAZING stories and best of all filled with the sheer & unmitigated JOY of biking! The two galoots who wrote it clearly are into biking as a life experience. Not so much for the SPEED but for the feeling of freedom and excitement that goes with being out on the open road!

Their companion website has a photo gallery of their travels which is just FILLED with LIFE and SMILES, check out the slideshow from 1979 to the present:


There are many interviews with big names in the cycling sport and industry. I found it so fascinating that Johnny G, the originator of Spinning, who approaches Spinning with an almost mystical, spiritual DJ routine as the Spinning Coach, sharing that after a number of years he discovered that he stuggles with BiPolar Manic disorder...no WONDER he could push himself to a state of deliuium...!

One of the authors shared a harrowing story of a continuous biking expedition through the mountains of 24+ hours nonstop biking in which they're hurtling down the mountainside and the one discovers that the other is dozing off while on his cycle and screaming at him so that he stays awake: "Wake up! Wake up or you're gonna DIE!"

Crazy antics that while fascinating to read, have absolutely NO appeal to me...! :-)

So I've found my new WAY long term goal:

To Bike 100 miles when I'm 100 years old!

Woo hoo! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHYNIC 4/8/2011 5:01PM

    Hehe - I don't think I can take on that goal. I don't expect I will live that long. But if I do live that long I just might go watch you complete your goal. What date do I pencil you in? Hehe

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_VALEO_ 9/23/2010 4:08AM

    Thanks for sharing the slideshow, I love it!

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MSAGER2 9/22/2010 4:17PM

    Go You. So far this week I have biked 30 miles on the exercise bike at the gym.

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SIRIRADHA 9/22/2010 10:10AM

    I really am going to have to look for that book! I don't think I'll ever be one of those long-distance riders, but I am so impressed with people who keep on keeping on as they age.

I'm about to write a small blog about my new biking buddy. It sort of fits with that idea.

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CARRIE1948 9/22/2010 6:43AM

    Great goal

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ZELLAZM 9/22/2010 5:59AM

    Crazy but in a good way - love the long, long term goal idea. You've got me thinking now...

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L*I*T*A* 9/21/2010 11:30PM

    awesome progress!!!
way to go.........
blessings and hugs...........lita

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DARK_CINDERELLA 9/21/2010 10:36PM

    Every time I read your blogs, I am always reminded of a friend of mine up in Newark Valley....... Anyways, I am so encouraged and inspired by your progress! Keep it up!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Not much time for blogging these days, as have been preoccupied and focused on preparations for my first century+ bike ride this upcoming weekend.

I hope to complete the City to Shore Ride for Multiple Sclerosis and with my Team Captain we're planning to ride 100 miles on Sat. from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ and another 75 miles on Sun. returning to Cherry Hill.

We had our crash course in changing flat tires yesterday...courtesy of a wonderful fellow from our local bike club. He patiently provided guidance as we'd deflate, disassemble, reassemble, re-inflate bike tires over & over again. Feeling like I can handle that if it comes up...might fumble a bit, but I think I'd get the job done! Bringing my bike into the shop for a good look-over, tune-up on Weds.

These are total miles I have yet to see myself accomplish within such a time frame. While I *think* I can do this and I'm setting out to give it my best shot, I'm very nervous, anxious, excited over balancing "giving it my best" yet not overstepping my capabilities or beating myself up if I fall short of doing the WHOLE thing.

Going to do my best to keep my bike legs under me throughout the week by riding to work and other places every day if I can.

I got a carrier for the back rack on my bike and plan to take a camera along for pics.

Leaving Friday to settle in for the EARLY start on Sat. morning. Departure is at 6 a.m. We'll have 10 hours to complete the 100 miles. It all sounds "do-able" but I can be all-too-good in worrying and driving myself crazy...lol!

Once I hit the road I think my bike will be my best medicine!

Stay tuned!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 9/23/2010 4:11AM

    It sounds crazy, but how exciting!

I'm sure you can do it... and after this crash course, you're all set! :)

Good luck, and enjoy your ride!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/21/2010 9:31PM

    Wow. 175 miles in 2 days. My legs hurt just thinking about it...

(Yes, they have their own little brains and they think. They TALK, too, when I'm using them too much. On the AIDS ride they were yelling at me so loudly near the end I wished I had earplugs. LOL)

Go, Don!

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SONGBUDDHA 9/21/2010 8:29PM

    To quote Yoda, "there is no try".
To quote me, "have fun!"

it is an amazing challenge to yourself. way to go!


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DLPHNLVR97 9/21/2010 7:59PM

    Good luck Don!

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ZELLAZM 9/21/2010 3:40PM

    I for one have no doubt that you can do the full 100 in 10 hours! Rock it!

Michelle...who is just thinking about/amazed at how far you've come in the past three years!

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LADYGWEN25 9/21/2010 9:05AM

    Hope you have a great time! the ride is an impressive one. Looking forward to the pics you'll have.

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FERRETLOVER1 9/21/2010 7:16AM

    Have a great time - you will do great!!!!!!!

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FRECKS96 9/21/2010 6:24AM

    Good Luck Don!!! I'll be thinking about you this weekend. You'll have a blast!

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CARRIE1948 9/21/2010 6:01AM

    Best of luck. You'll be exhausted and exhilarated when you finish.

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GRACEFULIFE 9/21/2010 1:13AM

    That'll be a great weekend, and if you are getting your bike emergency skills down that's excellent. Go knock the miles down!

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XENA1956 9/20/2010 11:23PM

    I know UR going to do a fantastic job. Can't wait to see some pictures of the adventure. You R emoticon. Peace and safe trip.

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SUZIAND 9/20/2010 11:15PM

    Oh man....Don...of COURSE you can do it!!! You are one of the most determined, strongest people I know!!!

175 miles aint got nothing on you!!!

Best of luck!!

Suz : )

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L*I*T*A* 9/20/2010 11:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 9/20/2010 11:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
SO EXCITING! With you in spirit, Don! May the Force be with you!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Slipping Off the Interstate Into Quieter Times Gone By...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Many people live nearby a road such as the one I cycled today...Route 7 used to be a major highway between Binghamton and Albany. However years ago Interstate 88 was put in to be a speedier major spoke for our travel through the Northeast.

Today I had the pleasure of traveling up Route 7 from Binghamton to Oneonta and discovered that:

---I had the road almost ALL to myself! Everyone was traveling the Interstate! Woo Hoo!

---Route 7 was somtimes like a parallel universe, traveling back into time where diners are the rule and fast food is the exception. I discovered the little burg of Unadilla has a live, functioning drive-in theater! A place where Nooks were what lovers found in each other and Kindled flames of romance, rather than to get lost in a myriad of yet more gadgets. Produce stands filled with fresh fruits and veggies grown in back yards with a trusting coffee can for customers to drop their payment. Backyard barbeques wafted out to the road for me to enjoy the aroma of family gatherings...

---There were pleasant surprises such as innovative manufacturers of solar powered equipment and biomass pellets for pellet stoves.

---The towns that used to have a bar or tavern every other block have replaced them with Ice Cream Shops...ugh! Trading one vice for another...lol! and can someone explain why was it during our travels down in the HOT SOUTH of this country other than the occasional DQ, there were next to NO ice cream shops...? Is this a northern phenomenon...?

Although a little cloudy at times and a cool high-60's, it was SUCH a pleasant day for a 56 mile road trip on my bike!

The weather taking such a turn during Labor Day weekend really makes it feel like summer is all but over...which I plan to fight tooth and nail...! Some Labor Days feel like just a teensy speed bump to a summer which still has a lot of life left...sadly this year it just doesn't have that feeling. I hope I'm SO WRONG! :-)

So hey, if you live nearby a road like Route 7 and haven't traveled it in a while take a break and walk, jog, bike or even a ride in your car and surprise yourself with a little time travel down the memory lane in YOUR neighborhood!

Have a super Labor Day weekend everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 9/23/2010 4:20AM

    Oh, it is funny that you mention Route 7. Seems like every country has its "Route 7."

We have our "Nationale 7," --not so many take it anymore because we now have a highway to go the south of France. Nationale 7 is as you describe your Route 7: "a parallel universe, traveling back into time." There is even an old song about this road.

Glad you enjoyed it! Now I want to take our Nationale 7, and head for the South!

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WXNESS 9/13/2010 11:21PM

    Ooo I'll have to check that out. I'm not up for that long of a ride yet, but maybe someday in the car. As for the ice cream shops...I've wondered the same thing. My doctor said that ice cream tends to be the number one comfort food, and people tend to go for it when they're depressed...and the winter tends to make people depressed. Who knows if that is right but its a thought.

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JCORYCMA 9/8/2010 11:09PM

    Great blog, Don! Im off tomorrow and think I'll go exploring!!

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VALERIEMAHA 9/8/2010 10:26PM

    That sounds absolutely heavenly. Did you do it alone? I love the "blue highways" for biking or road-tripping!

Thanks for the fabulous descriptions!

Blessed be!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/7/2010 3:20PM

    I had a good weekend too...

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 9/6/2010 11:15PM

    That sounds like such an appealing and interesting ride! I share your concerns about summer from the other side of the country... soggy and gray here! I'm having summer withdrawals!

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L*I*T*A* 9/6/2010 3:09PM

    back at you with your wishes..........
great to hear about your bike trips...
blessings and hugs............lita

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ZELLAZM 9/6/2010 1:53PM

    Same to you, Don! and a good new week to follow!

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MPONTERIO 9/6/2010 12:58PM

    I have traveled that route by car many times...it is a beautiful trip. Glad you enjoyed the splendor!

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DARK_CINDERELLA 9/6/2010 10:00AM

    Sounds wonderful, Don! So nice to see the trip through your eyes. Thanks for the reminder of simpler days gone by.

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ZESTYLADY 9/6/2010 8:20AM

    I love to hear of your trips. They remind me that there can be another world off the hamster wheel.

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CARRIE1948 9/6/2010 7:35AM

    Sounds like you're really enjoying your bike this year

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FERRETLOVER1 9/6/2010 7:14AM

    It sounds to me like you time-traveled back to when life was so much simpler. I miss those days!

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