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, April 5, 2008

Week 9 - April 5th, 2008 - Distance 59.02 miles

Midweek Training: On Sunday I rode to Big Sky Park to meet up with my wife and daughter. The intention was to teach her how to ride without training wheels (stabilizers). Unfortunately her bike had a flat front tire. So we played on the swings instead. When I got home, after the 14 miles round trip, I had some practice patching her inner tube! Thursday was the only other day I was able to ride this week, and then it was only the ride home from work for a 12 mile ride.

Group Ride: Today's ride (Saturday) was 59 miles with 3 significant hills. Up first was La Tuna Canyon, the same hill we visited on Week 4. This time it felt a little easier, but it was still a long climb. Our first SAG stop was at the top. My peanut butter and banana sandwich tasted great. We were just shy of 20 miles at this point and still had well over 30 to go. The next hill was Chevy Chase Dr. We climbed this hill on Week 3 but this time continued up Linda Vista Dr. Linda Vista was brutal, lots of twists and turns and it just kept on going. I was glad when we got to the top and our second SAG stop. I filled up my water bottle again and munched on a Powerbar. We now had 34 miles behind us and knew there was one more hill to come. Off we set for our next downhill section for a fast descent into Pasadena. After completing a loop we came to our third hill, Lida. We started the climb, but I was in dire need of a toilet break. It seemed like every bump or rut in the road was going to cause my bladder to explode. Jose and I saw a porta-john (porta-loo) in the front yard of a house that was being renovated. Jose, Tim, and I swung round and made use of this convenient find. Ah, sweet relief! Much better! We continued the climb up to the third SAG stop of the day. More water, and snacks. Then it was off for our last 10 miles; a twisty downhill section, and an easy ride back to Griffith Park. We got back exhausted but happy that we had completed our most gruelling Team ride to date. I skipped eating a post ride lunch with the team since it was late and headed to the workshop to upgrade my bike. More details about that later. I have also ridden just over 500 miles since begining training On Feb 9th! My legs feel so sore tonight, I can really feel those hills.

Fund-raising: I am within spitting distance of $5,000. I want to continue to raise money for such a worthy cause and don't want anyone to hold off on contributing because I have reached $5,000, so I am thinking of increasing my goal. I was thinking of shooting for $7,500. What do you guys think? Let me know. I have enabled comments on the blog entries now, so use it to tell me what you think or give me some encouragement for the next hill!

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

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