Saturday, February 26, 2011


It looks like I will end the month of February with about 257 miles for a total of 525 miles since January 1st. My goal is to have between 700-750 miles ridden by the trip. One thing I have noticed is how one-dimensional my training is - it's all been mostly riding. I bought a book about a month back that is beginning to change my training strategy. It's written by Mark Lauren and called "You Are Your Own Gym". It is predicated upon the conviction that your body is all you need to get all the physical conditioning you need - no gyms, weights, exercise machines, etc. There are over 125 exercises you can do on your own that exercises every muscle in the body. I am very gently getting started with this, being careful not to overdo it and risk starting the trip with unwanted strains, pulls or even something more serious. What little I have done so far has been very noticeable and I can see this having great benefit in the short and long term.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Busy Weekend

I returned yesterday from a busy 3 day, 3 concert, 550 mile tour through central Michigan as a member of the Bethel College jazz ensemble. For those of you who don't know, I am a life long trombone player and a huge fan of jazz. So when Bethel was having trouble finding enough trombone players, I got the call and have been thoroughly enjoying reliving some of my college days vicariously. The kids were great and very talented and seemed to put up with me just fine, even though I'm easily old enough to be dad to them.

I took my new Cannondale back to the Spin Zone last Thursday afternoon for my free adjustment and to make sure it was road worthy for the trip. They surprised me by taking the bike immediately to start working on it. I had it back an hour later ready to go.  It's ready for the trip, even though my rear derailleur had been slightly bent for some reason and made shifting more of an adventure than it needed to be; probably due to having to put it in the back of my sedan over the last two months to find dry, snow-less roads to ride on, since our housing division was always a mess. 

After getting an early morning inside ride on Friday (before leaving on concert tour), I went to log my miles on my computer (something I have been doing for the last 12 years and almost 26,000 miles. This time, however, when I opened the spreadsheet, everything but 24 days of riding for the last 12 years was gone!! This was not a good feeling considering I had to leave in one-half hour. Fortunately,  I was able to find a back up copy of the spreadsheet and rebuild what was missing. Unfortunately, this is about the third or fourth time this happened and I still don't know what it causing the problem. Maybe it's because I am using Open Office instead of MS Excel. Gee, I hope not. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've been reading a fascinating reference work written by the late Dr. Louis Goldberg called God, Torah, Messiah. Dr. Goldberg was long time Professor of Theology and Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute. This book looks at the essential doctrines of the Christian faith as seen through the eyes of a Messianic Jew. It is rich in Hebrew context and provides a much needed perspective for our Western mindset, especially when studying the Old Testament (or Old Covenant according to Goldberg).  For instance, the Hebrew word aman is one of the words used to describe God's faithfulness in the OT. Its transliterated English equivalent is our familiar word "amen". Goldberg says, "When we say amen, we are affirming that God is the "Amen" God, the God who is faithful and the One in whom we have the utmost trust" p.260. So guess what? Every time we end our prayers with "Amen", we declare God's faithfulness! So, the next time you pray, end your prayer this way: In Jesus' name we pray, FAITHFUL.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Winter ride

I went outdoors on a 23 mile ride today. Temperature was 34 and wind chill 25. The accompanying picture shows the amazing contrast with riding and the amount of snow still on the ground. To ride, I have to stick the bike in the car and leave my subdivision before so I can find dry, bare pavement. Then I'm on my way! So far, I have ridden almost 100 miles outside this winter. The picture on this post shows my typical winter riding gear. I can ride very comfortably with this gear down to 30 degrees. On colder days I add a fleece hood, shoe covers and very warm leather mittens. I really look forward to the day when I can again go out on a ride with just a jersey and shorts on.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Treadmill Test

I saw my cardiologist today for a stress echo treadmill test, just to make sure that there isn't anything going on that would get in the way of a successful 2600 mile bike trip. Fortunately, I passed with flying colors. That is very reassuring for a guy that's been dealing with heart disease for the last 15 years. It was my early inheritance from my dad's side of the family. That's part of the reason why this trip is so special to me; that heart disease does not necessarily restrict us from a physically active, adventurous life when you get the right amount of exercise, watch what you eat and take advantage of some amazing preventive meds. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 4, 2011


One of the things we were encouraged to bring along on our coast to coast trip was reading material. That is a good idea. I figure we should have plenty of down time to read on the trip. The downside, however, is carrying the reading material since we are limited to one 15" x 30" duffel bag into which everything goes for the entire 6 weeks. So, I found a solution that should work. I bought a Kindle ebook reader!  It is the same size as a moderately small paperback book, but it can hold up to 3500 books and a battery charge lasts almost a month! There are well over 600,000 books in digital format to choose from on and thousands of them are free, especially if you are a lover of the classics (I'm still working on that). Even for the books that are not free, they are usually anywhere from 10-90% cheaper than their hardbound sibling. Its amazing screen allows you to read it in broad daylight without glare and the font size is changeable to suit your eyesight. So far I am very impressed even though I will not be using it extensively until I leave for the ride ( I am still plowing through several books of the hard-copy variety until then). I recommend the Kindle for yourself or as a nifty gift for the avid reader in your circle of friends. You can buy it at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


From time to time I'll post videos that were sent to me that I think you'll enjoy. They may or may not have anything to do with biking, spirituality, etc. They are just fun. Like this one:

"Rockwell International decided to get into the heavy duty automatic transmission business. They were getting ready to tape their first introductory video. As a warm up, the stage crew began what has become a legend within the training industry. Now remember and keep in mind, this is strictly off the cuff; everything is extemporaneous, nothing is written down. Nothing he says is true. He had NO script! It's all total meaningless drivel made up as he goes along." See what you think.