The Reason I am Doing It.

It was my brother's idea at first, he told me he had looked into doing a sponsored bike ride in England. The idea was to raise money for leukemia research because our mother had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2005. Since I enjoy cycling, raising money for leukemia research while bike riding sounded perfect. An evening of "Googling" later, I had found Team In Training, a group that fund-raise with endurance sports for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I initially registered for the 2007 Lake Tahoe event, but had to drop out when it became aparent that Mum was losing her battle with leukemia. This year I am back and intent on raising $5000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event I am training for is a 100-mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe on June 1st 2008. Because of the altitude (6,225ft.) and the distance, training is important. So, every Saturday for 5 months I will be getting up at 6:00 a.m. to join my team for training rides. There will be a lot of hills to climb!

So when the training gets tough, I look down at the top tube of my bike where I carry 2 names that inspire me to push on. The names are, my Mum – Ruth Davies, and my Aunt Meg, both of whom lost their lives to blood diseases. My Mum, as many of you already know, passed away last year from Leukemia (AML). I thank God for the 14 months of remission she had and the last vacation we spent together in February 2006. At the end of 2006, the leukemia returned and this time there was no stopping it. After wasting away, my mother died in April of 2007. Similarly, my Aunt Meg passed away in February of 1993 after an 11-year battle against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. What these two women endured is infinitely more than any discomfort I feel during my training.

To make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, go to: TNT Donate

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Week 7 - March 22, 2008 - Distance 45.16 miles

Midweek training: On Sunday I rode 15 miles in a loop around Simi, taking in the hills up by the Lost Canyons golf course. I managed, after work on Tuesday, to do a quick 6.5 mile ride, getting in a couple of good short hills. It was a hard ride to do because all I could think of was the food waiting at home for me when I returned. Rode to work and back again on Thursday. The ride home was 5 minutes faster, but I am not sure whether the caffeine and calories from my mid-afternoon Starbucks helped, or maybe it was the dash home to use the bathroom!

Group Ride: For today's ride we were back in Pasadena, the city of a thousand traffic lights and stops signs (tongue firmly in cheek). I think we stopped at most of them! Apart from the constant stopping and the traffic, the Southern California perfect weather made the ride wonderful. My riding today just hit a groove, there were only a few hills and I was able to keep up a really good pace. Maybe this training thing is paying off!

Our ride group had a couple of mishaps along the route, we had 2 chains come off, and one rider had debris lodged in the brake pad. After the stop to fix the brake pad, I clipped in early to get going, tried to balance while waiting to roll out, and promptly fell over with the bike when I was unable to clip out. No damage done, no blood, just a bruised ego (it's so embarrassing falling with 7 riders standing watching)! Even with the mishaps, we covered 45 miles in less than 3 hours 40 minutes (an average speed of over 12 miles per hour). If you extrapolate that out to a 100-mile ride then you could expect 100 miles to take nearly 8.5 hours. That's a long time on such a narrow seat.

Fund-raising: Many of you have asked when the ride will take place. It will be on June 1st. Also, donations can be made up to 2 weeks after the event. However, since the format is donation driven, as opposed to per-mile sponsorship, it is better to get as much of the fund-raising done as possible early on in the season. Then as the length of time in the saddle increases, we have less time to spend fund-raising. Also, if your company gift matches, the extra time is needed for processing the paperwork. So donate now, if you are able. Also, thank you for the encouragement you have given.

To make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or to learn more go to TNT Donate

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