Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's time to ride in 2009!

Well it’s cold and snowed the last couple of days, but Spring is here and it’s time to plan some rides. Team Velodox will not be officially participating in RAGBRAI this year. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get together for some great rides.

Bruce and I have already been out on some mountain bike rides at Rum Village. For those of us that don’t ride through the winter, many have begun to ride to work already. And we have some great riding events on the horizon. I thought I’d post some of the things that have been talk about and try to generate some “buzz.” I’m sure more rides will come up, as they do please post them. Hopefully we will get the chance to enjoy some fun group rides again this year.

Many of us are also planning some Sub-24-Overnight rides (S24O). These are short overnight camping trips on bikes. We'll load up and ride 30-60 miles and camp somewhere. Pack up all our stuff and ride home the next day. It's a way to use all of our fun gear without devoting multiple days to a bike tour. I'll try to keep you posted on those too.

May 1-3 Northern Indiana Fat & Skinny Tire Fest (click here for all the info)

This is a great weekend of cycling in Winona IN. On Saturday, May 2, there is a nice tour. The Kosiusko County Tour has rides of 21, 42, and 68 miles.

Also on May 2, is the first DINO mountain bike race of the season in Winona. This is a great mountain bike area and the race has been great to watch. Velodox team member Mark Malaby has been the points leader in the DINO series the last few years. New this year is the rumor that Matt Mooney may even race. That is still up in the air, but has not been ruled out at this point.
There is a bike expo, a road race, BMX demos, among other things. It’s worth the trip if you have time.

May 9 Kalhaven Trail Blazer (click here for all the info)

It's also Charmelle’s 40th!!!!!!!!!!!

This is another great benefit ride that supports the Kalhaven trail. You can basically go any distance you want from 1 mile to nearly 80 miles. There are nice SAG stops along the way, plenty of food and it’s a nice flat ride to start the season.

May 16 Tour de Max (click here for all the info)

Culver IN will be hosting the Tour de Max. Some of us have already planned to participate in this tour. There are 3 different lengths. There is a 10, 30, and 63 mile ride. You’ll get to ride around Lake Maxinkuckee (Indiana’s second largest inland lake) and enjoy a nice day of cycling.

June 19-20 Le Tour de Shore (click here for all the info)

This is a charity ride for Maywood Fine Arts in Chicago. We will start from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago and travel 64 miles (with SAG stops) to Indiana Dunes State Park, where we will camp for the night. Then we will travel 32 miles to Warren Dunes State Park in MI, where the tour will end. Those of us in South Bend have already begun planning to camp at Warren Dunes and ride the approximately 35 miles to South Bend. Thus, some of use will need to be self-supported and carry our gear. The tour does provide baggage transportation and you can purchase a ride back to Chicago (including your bike).

August 23 Tour de La Porte (click here for all the info)

Last year brought many of us together for a great ride benefitting the La Porte Hospital Foundation. Many of us have already added it to our calendars for 2009. All the details haven’t been released, but there have traditionally been a nice variety of tour distances, and it’s been a great time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tour de LaPorte

Today, some of Team Velodox took part in the Tour de La Porte "Going the Distance for Cancer Care." Some of us rode 25 miles, others rode 40. It was a beautiful day and a nice ride. We enjoyed some nice scenery, saw some deer, and enjoyed a ride with friends (old and new). We were all given a "Team Pat" shirt and wore them proudly for the ride in support of Pat Wellenski, a.k.a. Steve's mom. Hopefully, we helped raise a bunch of money for the cancer center. Here's a group shot from the end.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bruce and Henry - The Century

On Saturday, August 9, Henry Scott and I rode 108 miles. It was my first century; Henry's 10th or 11th . . .

Our ride didn't start with a century in mind; rather, the plan was to ride to Warren Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan, spend a couple of hours, then ride home. 70 miles; no sweat.

We arrived at WDSP after battling some fun head winds. Our ride took us on our usual route out of South Bend: northward on Niles, Angela, and the Riverside Trail. Then Darden to Lilac to Bertrand Road to Mayflower. Then Chamberlin to Bakertown Road to Madrone Lake Road to Warren Woods. Then Warren Woods to Gardner to Browntown Road. That takes us to the Red Arrow Highway and about 100 yards from the entrance to WDSP. If you check a map, any of those roads headed west equaled headwinds.

After a good rest at WDSP (and a total of 36.5 miles) we both felt pretty good. Henry suggested a century and I quickly laughed . . . but the more I thought about it, if we just turned around and did the same route home, our total would be 73 miles, only 27 short of a 100. We needed only to ride out of WDSP about 14 miles (sounds pretty easy) and then turn around.

I was in.

We headed back along Browntown to Hills, then Hills into Baroda, MI. In Baroda, we hit some light rain (those who've ridden with me know rain is the one thing I really hate to encounter on a bike). I'm thinking, "what the h . . . am I doing," but we pedaled on. Less than 10 minutes later, we were out of the rain.

Out of Baroda on Lemon Creek Road west, south on Holden, west on Shawnee into Bridgeman, MI. As we headed south on California out of Bridgeman, more rain, but it, too, didn't last long.

California Road south took us to New Troy, MI. Then east on Glendora Road to S. Log Cabin, east on Kaiser, south on Cleveland, west on Warren Woods, south on Avery (this section is hard-packed dirt; pretty funky riding), west on West Elm Valley, south on Three Oaks Road into Three Oaks, MI.

(Remember, each of those "west on" routes meant headwinds!)

By now, we're at 74 miles, and Henry is sure we cannot get back to South Bend in less than 25 miles. So, unless we/he/I bonk . . . our century is pretty much guaranteed.

In Three Oaks, we stopped at Froelich's bakery to "fuel up" on sandwiches and awesome baked goods. We took a bit of a stroll and it was "biker on!"

The route to South Bend from Three Oaks was, thankfully (and blissfully), due east. With a tail wind, riding was much easier. We back-tracked north just a bit out of Three Oaks to Kruger. East on Kruger, north on Pardee, east on Elm Valley. (Note, Elm Valley at this point is single lane, really rough asphalt . . . bone-jarring rough asphalt!) South on Cleveland, east on Galien Buchanan Road. This eventually brought us back to Bakertown Road where we turned south to Chamberlin. At this point, we back-tracked our exact route as before returning us to Henry's place.

In all, 108 miles; 7 hours, 45 minutes on bike; and an average speed of just at 14 miles per hour (13.93 to be exact).

We celebrated with a pitcher of beer and a large Barnaby's pizza. A fitting end to a momentous day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Remembering Dave at the Farm

(posted by Tascha on behalf of Linda and Larry)

We are thinking about Dave and how fortunate we are to have had the opportunity to know him. It was our privilege to know him only two years. He made RAGBRAI such a fun experience. He was never at a loss for words yet could be very serious when the situation called for it. Larry enjoyed the many conversations around the evening camps. Dave's jokes and stories kept everyone laughing. Such a competitor and always at the head of the pack.

Linda remembers when everyone arrived at the farm on Friday afternoon. Dave and Tascha compared who had the lightest bike. Of course it was Dave. Dave gave Linda lots of advice on many subjects. Will she use it? We looked forward to the send off dinners and sharing of great conversation.

Future RAGBRAI Velodox team rides will not be the same without Dave. We miss him already!

Our sympathy to Nancy and his family.
Larry & Linda Yoder

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Message on the RAGBRAI Message Board

This evening, I posted a message to the RAGBRAI message boards about Dave. You can read my message and others' postings here:

RAGBRAI has lost a friend


I, too, have similar memories of Dave. Regardless of what obstacle was in front of Dave, he attacked it with a smile. His laugh echoing down the halls of Greenlawn Hall will be missed. I've included 3 of my favorite pictures of Dave from RAGBRAI 07. The first of Dave's "camera" he brought for the trip. On the way to the start of the the ride, we stopped and he bought a nice little digital camera and took a ton of great pictures. The second is Dave at his best. after a hard ride, enjoying a frosty beverage. Of course this was home-made root beer, but he talked about how good it was for the rest of the ride. The final picture is of Dave as he pulled to the finish of RAGBRAI 07.

I felt a loss by not riding in RAGBRAI 08, and now that sense of loss is much deeper. A dear friend is gone and I have lost my chance to ride with him. I cherish the memories of those rides, with him and each of you.

Remembering Dave

It is hard to believe that Dave is gone. I feel very blessed to have been able to spend a week with him on RAGBRAI eating his dust. "fittest old fart you'll ever meet" I believe was how Bruce described Dave. It was very inspiring to see Dave fly by people half his age on his bike as if they were standing still. To hear of his untimely death was a complete shock.

Please join me in posting a few of your favorite memories of Dave on our blog. His pile of raisins every morning at Mama's for breakfast, his encouragement to continue riding when I was tired and his beautiful smile and zest for life. An inspiration to us all.

To Dave's family, you have my deepest sympathy.

Keep on pedaling Dave.....