The month of July was glorious thanks to Lance returning to the Tour de France and the exceptional coverage provided by Versus TV. Their Race Tracker was spot on for giving me everything I could want out of the race. Awesome, awesome, awesome. One of the interesting dramas that played out both on the road […]
Category / bicycling
Mike Rohde turned me onto Martin Dugard last year when he was blogging for the Tour de France. It was one of the highlights of following “Le Tour” tour and lucky for me, Dugard found the blogging experience a positive one and decided to continue blogging on his own once the tour was complete. So for the past year or so, I’ve greatly enjoyed his blog at http://www.martindugard.com/
Luckily, I’m not doing this alone. I am on a team called “KC Cruisers” and we’re riding for Kathleen Cullen, a friend who works for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, who was diagnosed with MS about 13 years ago. She’s unable to ride, so we’re riding on her behalf and I need your help.
Obviously the purpose of the ride is to raise money, so I’m asking everyone who reads my blog to make a small donation. Believe it or not, even a small $5 donation is a big help and is greatly appreciated. The only catch, is that it has to be done this week. All you have to do is go to this link and select the “Sponsor Me” image on the right side of the page. From there you can make your pledge online without having to create an account or do anything fancy. What’s nice, is that you can also post a message that will appear on my sponsorship site.
Tomorrow, Holly and I are going to ride our bikes in the 11th Annual Jack Daniel’s “Bike to Jack & Back”. It’s a 150 mile bike ride to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. I am on a team called “Katie’s Cruisers” and we’re riding for Kathleen Cullen, a friend who works for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, who was diagnosed with MS about 12 years ago. She’s unable to ride, so we’re riding on her behalf and I need your help.
Obviously the purpose of the ride is to raise money, so I’m asking everyone who reads my blog to make a small donation. Believe it or not, even a small $5 donation is a big help and is greatly appreciated. The only catch, is that it has to be done today. All you have to do is go to this link (https://www.nationalmssociety.org/TNS/personal/default.asp?pa=52746479&pd=TNS0EMS120051001JAC) and select the “Sponsor Me” image on the right side of the page. From there you can make your pledge online without having to create an account or do anything fancy. What’s nice, is that you can also post a message that will appear on my sponsorship site.
I know that with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, there’s a been a great deal of charity fund-raising that has probably left most of us feeling tapped out. I know that I feel that way personally, but I would encourage you, if at all possible to many and donation that you feel you can afford. $5 really can make a difference and every little bit helps. Thank you.
I know that I haven’t written in awhile, but September has been a VERY busy month. In addition to work and new projects, I’ve been preparing for the Jack Daniels’ MS 150 “Jack & Back” and in a few minutes, I’ll be heading out for the 2006 Bicycle Ride Around Tennessee (BRAT).
With Spring in full bloom here in Nashville, my passion for cycling can finally flourish. After doing a mini-tune up and finding all my gear, it was time to fine tune my body and knock off some of the cobwebs after a winter of being sedentary. So for my first few rides, I’ve turned to my default route – the 10-mile loop. With the past few routes that I’ve posted, such as the Duck River Rendezvous, I thought it might be fun to document some of everyday rides. The 10-Mile loop is a ride a discovered after moving into our home a few years ago. I was looking for a loop that could give me a decent mileage and also provide a little challenge along the way. After riding and driving around one week, I stumbled upon this route and it’s been my go to route ever since. Being just at 10 miles, it’s easy to accomplish in an hour, but you’ll definitely get a workout along the way. There are several steep hills along the route which offer a challenge for those looking for hills. The first climb is a fairly small, low grade that’s a little deceptive. It starts just after the school and continues around the corner of Blue Hole onto Pettus. It’s not a hard hill per se, but when your legs haven’t had a chance to warm up, it can be a bit of a bear. There’s also a couple of friendly dogs that sometimes give chase to help crank up your adrenaline at this point too. Once you turn left onto Old Hickory, there’s a nice downhill to provide a pay off for your climb, but once at the bottom, there’s a slight grade all the way to a nice “pop” of a hill after the turn onto Clubertson. You definitely come out of the saddle for this small climb, but once on top, you’re greeted with a nice twisty descent that snakes down to Mill Creek. This is one of the best parts of the route. The road hugs Mill Creek and in the mornings it’s not uncommon to find ducks and other small birds welcoming the morning with a brisk bath. There’s only one small “pop” of a hill on this road, so it makes for a nice leisurely ride all the way till you get to Nolensville road. Continue Reading
Yesterday was the “Duck River Rendezvous” 50-mile bicycle ride at Henry Horton State Park, which is about 30-miles south of Nashville. Unfortunately, I had to host a Nashville Palm Users Group meeting, so I was unable to participate in the ride. That didn’t stop Holly and my Mother though from deciding to try the ride. They’ve never taken part in a coordinated bicycle ride and both had never ridden more than 20 miles at a stretch, so both ladies were definitely exploring a bit of the unknown.
Normally I would put a link to a web site describing the ride, but unfortunately the only mention of the “Duck River Rendezvous” is in a year event calendar for the entire Tennessee park system for the 2005 year. You can find it at this link, but to save you the trouble, here’s what the entry said:
Henry Horton | April 9 | Duck River Rendezvous
A 50-mile bicycle ride that travels through Marshall and Bedford counties will begin and end at Henry Horton State Park. Pre-registration required.
Contact: Randy Whitworth, Randy.Whitworth@state.tn.us or (931) 364-7724.
Not much to go on, but given that the event was free certainly nothing to complain about. My Mom works for State Parks and e-mailed Randy who explained that there would be full SAG vehicle support (No one knows what “SAG” really means or where it came from; in this respect it’s kind of like “Ham”. According to one definition, it is an abbreviation for “Support And Gear.” SAG Vehicle drivers pick up broken down bikes and tired riders.) So it sounded like a great ride and I was really sorry that I wasn’t able to participate. Holly and Mom both registered and I helped them get their bikes ready for the event. I tried to get them to train some for it, but with only a week, there wasn’t a lot of time. Mom got in two 10-mile rides and Holly only had 1 10-mile ride. Even with very little mileage under their belts, both ladies were ready to go at 6:00am yesterday as I loaded them up. I learned later that they were a little nervous about the ride since I wasn’t able to go, but they showed no signs of it as they were leaving.
As I was lamenting on how long it’s been since I updated my weblog, a thought occurred to me to go check and see if there were any updates on the 2005 schedule for the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee (BRAT). I rode a portion of the course last year and my plan is to ride the entire course this year, so I’m trying to plan ahead well in advance. Looking over the site, it appears that they’ve made a lot of updates. Although everything is in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, they’ve posted the Release Form, the Daily Rider Registration, Route Description, details on the Accommodations, Food, and even a mini FAQ. The one item missing from the details is a decent map. Wanting to get some idea of the general route, I decided to make my own. Continue Reading
Much to my surprise, I received a response from my letter to Mr. Schoen regarding his article “Cycling is just not a big deal” yesterday. I certain was not expecting one given the fact that we all live in a busy society and e-mail has become less useful than it used to be. Yet, Mr. Schoen took the time to respond in detail and I post his comments for your perusal:
Mr. Ashby –
Thanks for reading and I appreciate the letter.
Please excuse me if I’m a little short in my response as I’ve been doing corresponding with writers for the last couple of weeks about this subject.
First, you raise several valid points, although I did make a concerted effort to watch the Tour on OLN and read several articles before my own “bottom of the barrel” commentary.
While winning the Tour de France requires incredible mental and physical stamina, which I respect immensly, it doesn’t change my opinion on the sport itself. Maybe by not caring for cycling you (and many others) perceive that as a slight toward Lance Armstrong.
Lance Armstrong has done more than anybody, including Greg LeMond, to raise awareness of cycling in the U.S., you are correct. Yet, it’s still a sport that many Americans only pay token attention to, and it’s 3 weeks out of the year.
If you believe that football is nothing more than “just a bunch of grown men playing grabass,” that golf is “nothing more than over-privileged men hitting a silly ball with a stick” and hockey is “really nothing more than a bunch of ballerinas on ice skates pushing each other around” that is every sports fan’s right, just as it’s mine to see cycling as nothing more than “riding a bike.”
Is winning six Tour de Frances an incredible feat? Absolutely. Physically, it’s much tougher than winning the Masters or even Wimbledon. However, I happen to believe that while it is certainly newsworthy, cycling is a fringe sport in this country and to call it the greatest athletic accomplishment in sports, as many have, is hyperbole.
Again, I appreciate the comments and I hope you will write again in the future.
“Eat your cereal with a fork and do your homework in the dark.”
I normally don’t write letters to the editor. I guess it’s because I don’t see the point. I think that the author, or editor will never read it, or even if they do it won’t change anything. Besides everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it’s one that I don’t agree with. However, I came across an article written by David Schoen entitled “Cycling is just not a big deal” and I just couldn’t sit idly by. I felt I had to voice a complaint. Schoen goes to great lengths to tear not only Lance Armstrong, but the entire sport of cycling.
Just in case ANG Newspapers takes Schoen’s article off of their web site, here it is in it’s entirety: