Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bloom and Zoom

I rode in Elkhart's inaugural Habitat for Humanity Bloom and Zoom ride today. There were about 140 riders for their first ever ride. That's a pretty good first time turnout. It was a nice ride and the weather cooperated for 94 of the 105 miles I rode. Then it started raining which actually felt good. The ride took us past many of the "Garden Quilt" flower gardens in that area and along the St. Joe river. It was hard to maintain a good pace because there was a lot of neighborhood riding and even about 3 miles of unpaved bike path (compliments of the Pumpkinvine bike path in Goshen). Nonetheless, it was a great ride and I rode the 105 miles in exactly 7 hours total elapsed time. My actual time on the bike was 6:21:36 and my average was 16.5. I'll take that!

Next up is the Blueberry Bicycle Cruise in Plymouth on Sept. 3. Nan and I will ride part of it on the tandem and then I will tack on more miles on my bike and try to get another century in. I just passed the 5000 mile mark for the year with the Bloom and Zoom and have 6000 as a goal for 2011. I think I can reasonably get that before year end.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Amish Land and Lakes Ride

Was over at the old Howe Military Academy for an organized bike ride today called the Amish Land and Lakes Ride. Took both the tandem and my bike where Nan and I rode the 50 mile loop, then I switched bikes and rode the 62 mile loop. It was a nice day, although quite humid all day with a little more wind, sun and heat showing up in the afternoon. We were able to dodge rain most of the day but did get damp a couple times. It actually felt good at the point of the ride where I was.

Highlights of the ride: 1. Nan doing very well at the longest distance she's ridden since the mid-eighties, 2. A lot of Amish kids out providing their own SAG support. I used it once on the 62 miler because the regular SAG stop had already closed. 3. There was a nice little climb on the 62 miler with a big steep downhill for Indiana. I hit 41.25 mph on the way down. 4. I rode strong considering we spent two weeks on an Alaskan cruise just over a week ago where I didn't get my usual miles on a bike in and ate way too much food. 5. When the ride was finished we were treated to a huge bowl of homemade raspberry ice cream. There are not many better ways to end a long ride than that!

The next ride is the Bloom and Zoom in Elkhart August 20th  to help benefit the Elkhart chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Total riding miles so far for 2011 stand at 4745, easily the most since I started logging miles in 2000.

Friday, August 5, 2011


 I told you I would keep in touch via blog while we were enjoying an Alaskan cruise. My intentions were sincere, the cost of internet connection on the ship was not! I was also disappointed with the connectivity even on land in Alaska which for the most part was non-existent. So, even though I was disappointed with the technology, that was the only thing that I was disappointed with while being dazzled by Holland America and the unsurpassed beauty of Alaska. Rather than bore you with words I will try to capture some of the highlights with pictures.

Following is a random sampling of our Alaska trip. Even though there are quite a few pictures here, they are about 1/20th of what we took. Hope this helps you visualize a little bit of the wonderful experience we had while in this amazingly beautiful 50th state of the union.

Humpback whales

The Ptarmagin: The Alaska state bird
Dall mountain sheep
Wild moose

Red fox
The Hoary Marmot

A grizzly from a safe distance

Future Iditarod sled dogs
To many current Iditarod winners

To Salem, retired 4 time Iditarod lead dog
We visited... 

Vancouver, B.C.



and Anchorage and Fairbanks.