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Nature

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Since paying such close attention to my inner nature and taking so much better care of myself I find myself SO much more readily entranced by OUTER nature!

In the middle of a busy day, walking across a parking lot I'll stop to admire a battalion of geese beating their wings making their way through the skies with occasional honking sounds.

Finishing my 'millwork and ST tonight I'm struck by the clarity of the night time skies and stars, finding the Big Dipper sitting on top of our neighboring hill.

While biking I'll smile at a woodchuck streaking across the lawn so it can retreat to its hiding spot near a driveway drainpipe.

Simple sights that bring such joy into my day-to-day life!

How wonderful it is to be so healthy and alive to value and appreciate the world around me!

Hoping this finds you able to delight in such seemingly *ordinary* daily treasures!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OUTDOORGIRL70 10/17/2010 11:02PM

    Thanks again

God Bless
Ida

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BARBARA_BOO 10/10/2010 3:45PM

    I'm quickly learning to never miss one of your blogs. Fabulous!

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DAYHIKER 10/8/2010 4:39PM

    Definitely! That's why I'm a hiker! Spring especially comes early to those who are out in the woods and observant to see the first tentative blooms pushing up on the south hills defying the cold! I whine a lot about not being able to safely walk or bike on our narrow, hilly, winding roads but I love living in the country! We have such a rich variety of birds and beneficial insects and butterflies on our little homestead.

I surely do hope you will be able to get out on a long ride this weekend. It's gorgeous here!

Happy Trails!! emoticon
Cindy in Indiana

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DLPHNLVR97 10/8/2010 3:54PM

    That's why I have a farm and live in the country! I was remarking today to a colleague how lucky my kids are to have grown up in a place where they can run in the grass, look at the stars, and chase fireflies in the summer. They don't realize how lucky they are. It especially sunk in when I was leaving BHS today after conferences and saw kids playing on the sidewalk and riding shopping carts down the middle of the sidewalk!

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FRECKS96 10/8/2010 3:51PM

    Yay! I love these reminders to admire the little things in life.

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VICKI-N-FLA 10/8/2010 10:18AM

    I'm working on it. Glad you're at "that" place in your own life. emoticon

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CARRIE1948 10/8/2010 6:57AM

    Hope to get where you are

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COLOURFULME 10/8/2010 1:35AM

    Yes I agree, that's why everybody is always so surprised about the pictures I take during walks. Oh did we pass that, really did we see that, OMG I must pay more attention, thank you for your picutres....are just a few of the responses I get from my fellow walkers. So even healthy, or at least none overweight, people don't see it but my message is......super you enjoy it and keep on doing it. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 10/8/2010 12:21AM

    great reminder to indulge ourselves in every day things around us.......
thanks for sharing..........
blessings and hugs...........lita

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VALERIEMAHA 10/7/2010 11:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Mary Oliver's gift in observing nature:

GOLDENROD

On roadsides,
in fall fields,
in rumpy bunches,
saffron and orange and pale gold,

in little towers,
soft as mash,
sneeze-bringers and seed-bearers,
full of bees sand yellow beads and perfect flowerlets

and orange butterflies.
I don't suppose
much notice comes of it, except for honey,
and how it heartens the heart with its

blank blaze.
I don't suppose anything loves it, except, perhaps,
the rocky voids
filled by its dumb dazzle.

For myself,
I was just passing by, when the wind flared
and the blossoms rustled,
and the glittering pandemonium

leaned on me.
I was just minding my own business
when I found myself on their straw hillsides,
citron and butter-colored,

and was happy, and why not?
Are not the difficult labors of our lives
full of dark hours?
And what has consciousness come to anyway, so far,

that is better than these light-filled bodies?
All day
on their airy backbones
they toss in the wind,
they bend as though it was natural and godly to bend,
they rise in a stiff sweetness,
in the pure peace of giving
one's gold away.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


Just in case -- http://www.ontariowildflower.com/go
ldenrods.htm#slender%20goldenrod

Comment edited on: 10/8/2010 12:19:08 AM

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People for Bikes!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I just received a head's up on People for Bikes from fellow member Jan Frandsen and it is a GREAT IDEA to join their efforts so I thought I'd pass it along with another great article on biking:

I just learned about a great new website to support pro-bike policies and spread the joy of bikes! Check out peopleforbikes.org! They're collecting one million names in support of a better world for biking -- one that's safer, more convenient, and more appealing for everyone.

Every day, millions of Americans like us ride for their health, for the environment, for their communities, and for the pure joy of bicycling. But until now, only a tiny fraction of riders have stood up to help improve bicycling in America.

Peopleforbikes.org is going to change all that. They're building a national movement with the clout and influence to get things done. That means promoting bike-riding on an individual level, but also sending a unified message to our elected leaders, the media, and the public that bicycling should have their full support.

Check out their great new website to take a pledge for biking and learn how you can help:
www.peopleforbikes.org

After signing up they ask if you want to share your story...so why not? Here's what I shared:

"I love EVERYTHING about biking! I love the sense of freedom and adventure hitting the open road and knowing that I've got the personal power to go wherever I want to go!

I love the THRILL and playfulness of whooshing down a hill and even the VICTORY of having climbed a hill!

I love exploring new sights, new roads, feeling like Lewis & Clark heading out on my own personal expeditions!

I love joining with my bike club members and sharing our mutual joy of biking!

I love being out in nature and noticing things I've never seen before because I've always been obliviously zooming by in my car!

I love discovering that I have the personal power to travel as far as 100 miles in a day!

I love saving money on gas and sparing the environment the burning of even more fossil fuel. If my bike had room for a bumper sticker I would have one that reads: My bike gets better mileage than your Prius! :-)

My goal is to be able to complete a multi-day tour across hundreds and hundreds of miles throughout America!"

How to Make Biking Mainstream: Lessons from the Dutch (how about that, honoring my Dutch ancestry!)

www.yesmagazine.org/planet/how-to-ma
ke-biking-mainstream-lessons-from-the-
dutch


"What will it take to transform biking from a recreational pastime to an integral part of our transportation system? "

America could learn a GREAT DEAL from the Dutch! "A commitment to biking is not uniquely imprinted in the Dutch DNA. It is the result of a conscious push to promote biking." "Physical separation from motorized traffic on busy streets is the single most effective policy for getting more people to bike."

Check it out!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBCCA 10/5/2010 3:00PM

    I love bicycling and thank you for this informative post, and the resources. Thanks Maha for passing this link to me! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 10/5/2010 11:37AM

    Hello! Super-sweet VALERIEMAHA sent me to this blog after we'd been discussing the sad, sad demise last week of my beloved Giant at the hands of some horrible man driving a 4x4. I immediately signed the pledge and joined the People for Bikes mailing list. Thank you so much for sharing this! I am really excited to get involved.


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CARRIE1948 10/4/2010 10:42AM

    Will check it out

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SIRIRADHA 10/4/2010 9:48AM

    I'll visit the site this morning! We need more bike advocacy in the U.S. Gosh, I'd love to have more separation of bikes and automobiles. In our "bike-friendly" town, I frequently have to choose whether I'd rather be sideswiped by a truck or have a parked car's door flung open in front of me in the bike lane.

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L*I*T*A* 10/4/2010 1:08AM

    awesome suggestion...........
thanks for sharing..........
blessings and hugs............lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JIBBIE49 10/3/2010 9:51PM

    Good for those who bike, but still only five percent of Americans even exercise on a daily basis. emoticon My brother lives in a small town in Illinois and was saying that his 10 yos probably didn't ride his bike 10 miles during the summer, as ALL the kids are inside playing video games. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 10/3/2010 8:58PM

    Inspiring words, Don, and GREAT information! I'm definitely going to be sharing it with biking friends on and off of SPeople!
emoticon
Maha

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OUTDOORGIRL70 10/3/2010 8:52PM

    Don... Thanks for passing this on.

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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!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4FIT 10/4/2010 11:34AM

    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing.
PJ

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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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OUTDOORGIRL70 10/3/2010 8:57PM

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

Thanks for the great pictures also.

Ida

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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 “Best Cycling Getaway in NJ,” 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. "

bikepae.nationalmssociety.org/site/P
ageServer?pagename=BIKE_PAE_Register


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

Don

  
  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:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7-e6Yhu5SU

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:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdpPPlmJY50
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKEYF1mHU3U

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!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1D3a5eDJIs

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!



Don

  
  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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SLAYINGDRAGONS 9/23/2011 8:02AM

    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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LIVINGONMYTERMS 11/29/2010 3:25PM

    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!

Suz

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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....
emoticon

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ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 9/29/2010 4:41PM

    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

    DON!

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.

Congratulations!

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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
Me

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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

BLESSED BE!
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mAHA

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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!
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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.

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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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