Thirteen years and counting.....join us as we share our journey toward a cure for type 1 diabetes!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Congratulations Bob & Brian and some other random updates

I haven't posted anything for a while, so thought I'd update you all on what has been going on.

Congratulations to Bob Karnak for being selected the 2009 JDRF Ride Volunteer of the Year. Bob raised $14,000 for JDRF and participated in the Death Valley ride. Bob is also an active member of the Ride Committee and organized the team's 1st annual CIBA ride. Well done Bob!

Congratulations to Brian Grantz from South Bend who completed his first Ride to Cure in Tucson, Arizona. I heard great things about the ride from Brian and I'm looking forward to hearing more.

The Ride Committee has been busy with two key activities.
  1. organizing fund raising events in cooperation with Conseco Fieldhouse
  2. organizing events for early 2010 to kick start the ride season and help recruit riders.

We are also always open to ideas so if you have any send myself or Stacey and email, we would love to hear from you.

As you may have heard, Team Indiana is targetting the Death Valley ride in 2010 (celebrating 10 years of Indiana participation in the Ride to Cure). That ride will be Oct. 14-17th. We will let you know when registration is open. There will be 4 other rides in 2010. Information is not fully confirmed, but here is what I know.

  • Vermont (location TBD) - July
  • LaCrose, WI - August
  • Lake Tahoe - Sept. 10-13th (part of a bigger ride on Sunday)
  • Death Valley, CA - Oct. 14-17th
  • Tucson, AZ - Nov. 18-21st
One final note - if you enjoyed the ride in 2009 then please consider coming back in 2010 for a ride and also consider bringing a friend.

Happy Holidays!


PS - my knee surgery went well and I am now back on the stationary bike

Monday, December 7, 2009


Volunteer Rider of the Year is a pretty big honor. Thanks to all who made it happen. I really appreciate the recognition. Looking forward to next year's ride in Death Valley with a large Team Indiana. Bob

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ride Photos

Just posted links to photos from the Killington, Whitefish & Death Valley rides. On the left side of the blogs find the section that says Links. Click on the one that says Team Indiana Photos.

If anyone else has photos, send them my way.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Ride

Nice ride with Mr. Karnak from my house downtown and back, he sang Primrose Lane for me. We rode with marathon runners for a bit then cut over to Mass Ave for some coffee and apple fritters. Looked for Mike Scwhab in the marathon, once again those familiar words ring out, where's Mike? We looked for Berger too, musta just missed him,we did however see a new cafe on 54th called Mammas Morning Cafe, it looks kinda interesting.

I might be convinced to do some cooler weather rides, nothing below zero and no, rain, snow or slush please.

Pedal on.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's gonna be a nice weekend, time enough to ride, clean gutters and rake leaves.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Great Year!

I echo Dan's comments about an enjoyable lunch and glad to know we have already got at least one new riders for next year. It has been a great year and we aren't quite done, Brian will be riding in Arizona a few weeks from now - GOOD LUCK!

Plans are already underway for next year, including a new name (you'll be hearing more about that shortly) and a lot of activities starting in January, so stay tuned. Even though the riding is almost done, the Ride Committee is still working (Thanks Dan, Bob, Kate, Amy, Susan & Stacey).

Tomorrow I have my knee surgery so I'll be up and running at full speed early next year.

Next October I'll be in Death Valley - I hope you will all join me.

Coach Alex

PS - send me links to any photos, I'll be getting them onto the blog in a few days.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lunch and new rider for next year

I enjoyed lunch with some of this years riders and a new rider for next year's trip to Death Valley. Having some new blood in the group is refreshing and has me convinced to train harder for next year, one of us may need help getting up Jubilee Pass and I don't want it to be me.
Hope to see you all sooner than later.

P.S. Do we have a name yet?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Final JDRF Ride of the Season...

As I mentioned in last week's message, our final organized ride of the season will be this Saturday, October 31st.

Due to the weather we won't be having a ride today at Southwestway Park and the Neboridge rides have finished for the season.

Our ride on Saturday will begin at 10am from the parking lot of the Moondog Tavern (4825 E. 96th St., just past Gray Road). We will ride north from there and do a casual 25 miles, returning to the Moondog in time for lunch and an opportunity to hear all about the JDRF trips for this year. I look forward to seeing everyone. If for some reason you can't ride, but want to join us around noon for lunch, that will be fine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

OMG, That Was Awesome!

On the weekend of October 17, 2009, six riders from Indiana joined about 160 other riders from around the world to complete in the 100-mile JDRF ride to cure diabetes in Death Valley, California. The trip started with a 4AM alarm on Thursday to be up for a 6:45 flight to Denver. Kevin and his wife Janette picked me up at 4:45 for the drive to the airport. Janette is a saint for coming out in the cold rain at that time of day to take us to the airport. Bob, Danny, Kevin, Rick and I grouped together to get on the flight to Denver. Where’s Michael? Different flight, different airline. We’ll see him in Vegas.

We got to Denver on schedule and had some time to kill, so we carbo loaded at McDonald’s while we waited for our flight. The plane left Denver and arrived in Vegas on time. We made our way to ground transportation and the baggage carousel to be met by the first of many awesome JDRF volunteers. They got us to the bus and handed us a box lunch for the ride to Death Valley. We boarded the bus and found Michael waiting there.

We made a quick stop at a hotel to pick up the luggage and bike boxes of two riders who arrived early and were riding from Vegas to Death Valley on their bikes. I guess 100 miles on Saturday wasn’t enough for them… yikes!

We then stopped at Wal*Mart in Pahrump (as in Pahrump pa pum pum) for some essentials given that supplies are limited in Death Valley. Essentials for Kevin and me consisted of Double-Stuf Golden Oreos, trail mix, and a twelve of Samuel Adams Oktoberfest. We also split a six-pack of Gatorade G2 with Wade, a rider from Seattle. Wade will show up again later.

We drank a couple of beers on the road to the ranch, talked about expensive bikes and parts and told tall tales with those sitting around us. We lost cell service about an hour from Death Valley. It didn’t come back til we hit the same spot on the way home.

It takes more than two hours to get from Las Vegas to Furnace Creek Ranch, located in the valley at 190 feet below sea level. We got off the bus, grabbed our stuff and registered at ride check-in. We got our room key and soon learned that we were in building 900, which was recently refurbished. It had new paint and carpet, granite countertops and new tile in the bathroom and new furniture and fixtures. Nice. The question of the day soon became: “are you in the 900 building?” So we, of course, started making up stories about extra sitting rooms, bathroom attendants and masseuses in our “900” rooms. The most puzzling “extra” was Danny’s claim of a chocolate on his pillow in the morning. In the morning? Danny must know of a chocolate fairy the rest of us hadn’t heard of…

After quickly settling in our rooms, we went out and claimed our bikes and picked up a case of bottled water. Since it was still early, we decided a short, shake-down ride would be in order. We rode to the Borax Works a mile or so down the road and chatted with an interesting local fellow who filled us in on the story of the Amargosa Opera House. While this looked more like a roadside motel to most of us, it actually housed a performance group, lead by a prima-ballerina (now in her 80s) who was once featured in National Geographic. Amazing what you can learn by asking a local a simple question.

We rode a couple miles before turning around. As we were making our way back to the ranch, we came upon a rider walking his bike along the road. Walking. In the desert. In bicycle shoes with cleats. It was Gatorade Wade and it seems he had a flat a little earlier. He had changed the tube and inflated it with CO2, but it wasn’t holding. “Bad gas” Danny soberly diagnosed. Bob carries a pump so we got Wade’s tire inflated and on his way down the road, now pedaling in his cleats. We all felt much better about his chances of getting back to the ranch safely.

We noticed on the ride back that the water in our insulated bottles was getting hot from the heat reflected up from the blacktop. This was after only six miles. My bike thermometer read 99. Saturday’s high was forecast to be 104. 100 miles on Saturday seemed concerning at this point.

We made our way back to the ranch. A few of the guys went for a swim in the very warm, hot-spring fed pool. I wandered the grounds a bit and took some photos of the desert during sunset. Once the sun went down, it cooled off quickly.

We had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner with the riders, crew and volunteers. We had lots of laughs with the team and then headed to bed pretty early given the early start to the day and time change.

Friday started before dawn with a breakfast buffet in the ranch restaurant. Full of food and back in the room (and yes, Double Stuf Golden Oreos make a fine breakfast dessert, thank you), we donned our bike kits, slathered on loads of sunscreen, filled our bottles and got ready for the mandatory safety briefing. We sat in the blazing sun while Tim, Brock and others filled us in on the dangers of the desert and the extreme conditions we were preparing to ride in. I think they were trying to scare us. It worked.

Following the safety briefing, we found our bikes and headed out for a short tune-up ride. The scheduled ride was a two-mile run up to Golden Canyon and back. We decided to be a bit more ambitious and headed to Zabriskie point, about 5 miles up the road, with Bob and me considering riding on to Dante’s view, 25 miles ahead and a 5400 ft. climb up. Zabriskie provided an awesome view of the barren desert in the morning light, but was a bit of a hellish climb to get to. Michael was having bad stomach cramps and the group was feeling a bit hot and tired after the short ride, so most headed back to the ranch. Bob and I rode on, aiming for the turn-off for Dante’s view. We rode about 10 miles up (yes, still gently climbing) before turning back, never reaching Dante’s side road. The 10 mile coast back down the hill was wonderful.

My bike was having some trouble shifting onto the big ring during the tune-up ride, so I visited the mechanics on-site for the ride. What we thought would be a quick fix turned into an hour-long adjustment session with three of us riding my bike trying to get it to shift. We finally got it adjusted to the point that it would shift and by this time the guys had sent out a search party for me. I changed quickly and joined them for a diner lunch in the Forty-Niner.

We went back to the room and rested a while and then went to a talk on how to get the most out of the ride. We returned to the room, aired up our bike tires, got our riding kits ready and then to dinner. Dinner the night before the big ride consisted mainly of pasta and other complex carbs. After dinner, the organizers recognized new and returning riders and some riders were given awards for fund-raising and recruiting. Our friend Bob Karnack got a podium finish for raising more than $14,000… way to go Bob!

Then we were off to bed early again, with the alarm set for 4:30 so we could get to the breakfast buffet by 5 and be ready to start the ride at 6:45.

The morning started clear and pleasant with temps in the low 70s. After lining up for a photo, hearing the national anthem and getting ourselves sorted into groupings by speed, we set off. Michael started in the fastest group at the front. The rest of the team started in the second group and stayed together for the first-mile climb to the turn-off for Badwater. After the turn, the road starts to slope down, at which point I separated from the group and found my comfortable pace. I joined up with a group of riders from Arizona and Wisconsin and rode with them until the first stop at Badwater – 282 feet below sea level. 18 miles done.

After a quick “de-“hydration, bottle refill and snack, I saw Kevin ride in. I held his bike while he took a break and then we set off together. No sign of Danny, Bob or Rick behind or Michael ahead. After a couple of miles, my comfortable pace was a bit quicker than Kevin’s and we slowly separated. From that point on, I would ride by myself.

At the start of the ride, the mountains to the east shadowed the roadway and most of the mountains to the west. As we rode, the shadow ominously crept down the mountain and across the valley. At about an hour and a half into the ride, the east mountain ran out and I was in full sun… and would be for the rest of the ride.

I rode a brief time with Joe from Colorado. He said he lived at about 5000 feet, and climbed a lot during his training. He’s hoping being below sea level will be an advantage. I carried on to the next stop at Mormon point for a quick visit to the porta-potty, a water and Gatorade refill and head out just as Kevin is pulling in. 16 more miles done.

The next stop at Ashford Mill is 11 miles away and is at the base of the big, 7-mile climb to the mid-point of the ride. 11 miles should be just over half-an-hour, I think. About this time my left foot and leg begin to ache, a pain that will be with me for the rest of the ride. The coaches warned us that the climb started after Mormon point, so now I’m going up hill. They didn’t warn us of the wind, though. Now I’m by myself, slogging uphill with pain and against a decent head-wind. Ugh. This might be a long day.

Riding alone has its advantages and disadvantages. On the up side, you can ride at your own pace and cadence without worrying about what other riders around you are doing. The downside is there is no one there to give you encouragement while chasing your back wheel or giving you a break from the wind while they pull you down the road. At this point, I was wishing for some other riders.

I make Ashford Mill in about 45 minutes and take a quick break for some peanut butter sandwiches, a water refill and a cold towel around my neck. As I arrive, the first rider to come down the hill stops at the rest area. He hurriedly grabs food and asks for his water bottles out of a cooler. No sense carrying that extra weight to the top, he’ll tell me later. 11 more miles done.

I leave the rest area and start the climb to the top of Jubilee Pass, 7 miles and 1200 feet above me. I pass one rider who says he hates to climb and then settle into a steady pace at about 7 mph with tired and sore legs from the wind, climb and previous 44 miles. About half-way up I try to shift into a lower gear on my rear cassette only to realize there are no more lower gears. So I shift onto my small ring, something I have rarely done on a climb in Indiana. I continue to climb, watching riders in the opposite lane speed by on the downhill. Some yell encouragement, others glide by nearly silently. I finally see the sign indicating the rest stop is one mile ahead. This will be the longest mile of the ride. After pedaling for nearly an hour up the hill, I now see the top of the rest area tent. As I draw nearer to the tent, with the volunteers cheering loudly, I realize it is on the other side of the road. This suggests to me that the stop is on the way back down and I need to climb past it. Huh? I ride over to it where several riders (including Michael who I see for the first time since the start) and volunteers tell me the top is a little farther up and I need to ride on to make the top and complete the climb. Huh? A volunteer throws an iced towel around my neck and I make the summit. A sign marks the top and I see over the other side, where a cop car is parked to warn on-coming traffic of the cyclists ahead. I turn around and head into the rest area for real this time. 7 long, long miles done.

After the ride, I learn of some amazing demonstrations of “heart” on this hill. One woman climbs the entire 7 miles three times in honor of those with diabetes for whom she is riding. Wow. As coach Tim would say, “that’s stout.” Another is of a woman who is being coached up after 5 miles of climbing. She says the pedals just won’t turn. The coach encourages her that she has only two more miles to go. She says she can’t, the pedals just won’t make the bike go. The coach suggests she take a break and he’ll have a look at the bike. She sits by the roadside while he has a look… to find a flat tire! She’s been climbing for 5 miles on a flat. They fix the tire and she completed the climb… and the ultimately the entire ride.

After a short rest, some food and cold water, I refill my empty bottles (remember the lead rider thought his bottles were useless weight, I drank mine during the hour it took to climb) and start the ride down. While exhilarating after the climb and recognizing that I am now counting down the miles, the road is pretty rough and disconcerting at high speed. My hands start to ache while being shaken by the road surface. I try all three hand positions over and over again, trying to find a comfortable spot, but there isn’t one. I yell encouragement to the riders climbing up. I see Bob and Kevin and Rick and Dan on their way up. I reach the bottom and mostly coast back into the Ashford Mill stop. I didn’t drink on the way down but get some ice in my water bottle from one of the volunteers. I comment that the wind is still from the south. The volunteer says it has been calming down and this is usually the time it switches direction and comes from the north. I ask what time that usually happens? Around noon he says. It’s 11:15. I don’t want to face a head wind back in, so another rider and I start on the ride back. 7 more miles down. Only 45 to go.

Again my pace is slightly faster than my fellow rider and we separate. Death Valley is incredibly serene, still and quiet. Riding alone, the only sounds you hear are the air going by, your own breathing, the drive train on the bike, and the melting tar that seals the cracks in the road popping as your tires pass over it. In some places the tar is liquid in the heat of the day.

The 11 miles out seemed unusually long due to the climb and the wind. Should be faster going back I think. I look for the 1-mile marker for what seems like forever. No sign. No sign. Finally, after what seems like ages I see the sign and the rest stop. I take a brief respite in what had to be the hottest spot in the valley… the porta-potty at Mormon Point. With it sitting unprotected under the unrelenting sun, the temp was extreme inside. No dallying there. I grab a sandwich and water and eat a Clif Bar while talking with the volunteers about the riders who didn’t make it to this stop in time to make the summit and had to be turned back. They headed back cheerfully considering the heat. Can’t blame them. I also refill the Gatorade for the fourth time. Now it has 4 or 5 combined flavors of powdered Gatorade in it. Hot Gatorade is really bad when it’s one flavor. When 4 are mixed and it’s hot, it is truly awful. Yuck. 34 miles to go.

The next section is relatively flat, with long curved sections of road that snake around the rubble that has been shed by the mountains. As I ride alone with very few cars on the road, I realize that there is absolutely no shelter in Death Valley. No trees. No over- or underpasses. No rocky outcrops. Nothing. If you get stranded, you are completely exposed until you can get in a vehicle or under a portable shelter. Not a place to be unprepared.

I pass a slower rider and soon Badwater comes into view. I coast in and find Michael again, just finishing his break there. My water bottle is completely dry so I refill. I dump what remains of the awful Gatorade “suicide” and refill it, half with a fresh Gatorade bottle from a cooler, half with cold water. Maybe it will stay cool long enough to still taste good. 18 miles to go.

Unlike the previous 16 miles, the last 18 miles go over the mountain effluent rather than around it. This means 18 miles of repeated climbs and down hills. Each downhill is a much-needed relief, each uphill reawakens the pain in my foot and leg. At 10 miles out there is a tent with cold water. I need a refill and stop just long enough to get more cold water. More ups and downs. I can see the ranch. More ups and downs. The thermometer on my bike reads 104. One more mile to go to the turnoff toward the ranch and it is uphill. This is the second longest mile on the ride. The road climbs gently until the last few yards and then rises steeply to meet route 190 where we turn toward the ranch. I reach the stop and make the left for the final mile down the hill to the ranch. Wow!

I made it! I cross the finish line at just over 7 ½ hours with 102 miles showing on my computer. Someone hands me a medal and puts another cold towel around my neck. I start to take my bike to the mechanics for shipping home and am told to visit the medical room, a required stop for all riders at the finish. I step inside to find Michael being tended to. Seems he arrived about 10 minutes before I did and is having his blood sugar and vitals checked (you can read more about his ride below or on his blog here). I wait for another rider to be checked and then sit on the bed for a quick once over. The EMT takes my pulse and blood pressure and asks how far I went and how long I’d been done. She seems impressed that everyone rode 100+ miles in the heat of the desert.

Declared fit, I step back out and get my bike, which has been sitting in the sun. The thermometer now reads 118 in the direct sun. I’m handed an ice cream bar, which I eat while chatting with some of the volunteers. I take my bike to the truck and check it in for the trip home. It has served me well once again.

I go into the room, call home to report my finish, and take a quick shower. I grab a beer and head back out to the finish to celebrate the other riders as they come in. Rick’s bike is by the door, so I know he made it back. I learn later that he called it at about 65 miles. I chat with the other riders as we wait for the rest of team Indiana to come in. Danny arrives first, then Kevin. I learn that Danny called it at 85 miles but Kevin rode the distance. And then a while later, Bob rolls across the finish. I learn that he helped several riders summit, by climbing part way up the big hill multiple times before finishing the ride. Again, “that’s stout.”

We have dinner and the awards and special jerseys are given. We learn that this ride, thanks to your support, raised more than $700,000 and the total from the ride program is more than $4 million.

We crash early, again with the alarm set for 4:30 to get breakfast before boarding the bus back to Vegas at 6 AM. The 2+ hour bus ride is a bit more somber on the way back, with dozing riders and e-mail checking on phones. We make a few jokes as we get to airport and get checked in. Rick asks for the last time, “where’s Michael?” Different flight, different airline. We won’t see him again this trip. The flights to Denver and Indy are smooth and on-time. My wife Sandy meets Kevin and me at the door out of ground transportation. We head for home and begin telling our stories. Later that night the tears will flow as I tell Sandy about the inspirational people I met and the amazing things I saw. This was a trip and century ride I will never forget.

Thank you for sharing in my ride this year, I truly appreciate your support. I may have been the one pedaling over the miles, but I carried your thoughts, prayers and support with me on each mile, and I would not have made it without you. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Death Valley 2009

Bob, Gary and Kevin looking for Borax

Danny at the pre ride meeting

Gary gives and autograph
Ya Ta!! Jubilee!!
I got an email today forwarded with Danny's intial impressions so here is my report! :)

My Dad always told me, "Keep your expectations low and you will never be disappointed."
I have modified that to, "Keep your goals high and your expectations reasonable." It just works for me.

When I met Gary earlier this year, he asked me what time I was shooting for on the DV ride. I told him 5 hours. He kind of stopped for a minute and then said, "That’s a 20 mph average."(With the look that said I must not be playing with a full deck – grin)

Well over the summer we rode with the Nebo Ridge crew on 30 mile rides, sometimes in sweltering heat and I think the best I did on that ride was just over a 21 mph average (& I know you believe me when I say the Nebo Ridge ride is no Death Valley) and most of the time, I was in the 19 mph range after getting dropped. So I adjusted my goal back a bit to 5 ½ hours with full expectation of doing it in 6 with the reality being 7 hrs 34 minutes As I did not factor in 6 stops that averaged 10 min each or leg cramps.

I know that these rides are not a race, but as many of you know… probably always feels like a race when riding with me (grin) Just the way I roll wid it. Having time goals keeps me motivated on a lot of levels.

All that said, achieving goals are really byproducts of enjoying the process. I’m not talking about the pain and suffering involved in completing a DV ride (although I do enjoy that in some twisted way)

The most enjoyable part is working with a great group of people, raising money for a great cause. Some high points of the camaraderie that stick in my mind are

Gary and Kevin acting like there was some diabolical competition between me and Gary.
They are poisoning my food and I’m messing with Gary’s bike, like we were really doing that…….. Or were we?

Bob’s corny jokes, “3 mean walk into a bar and 1 ducks.” Classic then his singing, “Lord it’s hard to be humble” awesum!

Danny blowing his drink out his nose when for some reason I remarked , “I pee through my skin.”

But the one that had me in tears was when we were at dinner and Rick kind of snapped his head to attention and said,” Look at all that liquor over there.” And literally ran from our table. I was laughing so hard I cried. Especially when he came back with carrot cake and no liquor ;)

I am really looking forward to doing this again in 2010 and hopefully we can take a lot more peeps with us this time!!

Death Valley Update

As usual, Death Valley was a treat. The number of riders was noticeably smaller than in the past. I heard the total was around 180. There were many veterans but a large contingent of first-time, Death Valley riders.

When we arrived on Thursday, the temperature was near 100, but we managed a short ride before "cooling-off" in the pool.

Friday's official tune-up ride went to Golden Canyon, but many riders went to Zabriskie Point as well. After pictures at Zabriskie, Gary and I headed up towards Dante's View but turned around after an additional 5 miles of climbing past Zabriskie. The climbing, the heat and the anticipation of Saturday's ride helped us decide not to go the full 25 miles, all up-hill, to Dante's View.

Team Indiana was in the second wave to start Saturday's Ride to Cure Diabetes. Gary, Michael and Kevin were off quickly with Bob, Danny, and Rick riding a little slower. I never saw Gary, Michael, or Kevin again until I was going up Jubilee and they were coming down. I saw them again at the finish. They were showered and enjoying a brew when I finished.

I rode most of the way back and finished with John and Pablo from the Western Michigan Team. Death Valley was not windy as it has often been in the past, but the heat was a real challenge. Ice-cold towels at the rest stops were shocking at first but soon felt terrific.

I'm looking forward to another great ride in Death Valley in 2010.

Coach's Weekly Update October 20th

This past weekend we completed the next to last JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley. Indiana had 6 riders and from what I hear from them it was very warm (over 100), but not too windy (I guess you can't have your cobbler, and eat it too). Everyone finished and sounds like fun was had by all, which is no surprise. The final ride of the season will be in Tuscon in November and we have one Indiana rider (Brian Grantz) participating.

This weekend is the Hilly Hundred in Bloomington, for more info check out the website: I won't be participating, but I know some riders on this list will be, so I'll let you email back & forth or post something on the blog if you want to meet up. Consider wearing your JDRF jersey for advertising. Because of the Hilly we will NOT have an organized ride this weekend.

The weekly Neboridge rides are still going on, but the start time has shifted to 5:30pm.

Next week we MAY have a ride at Southwestway Park, got to check on a few things, I'll send out a message Monday about that or else check the blog.

Next Saturday, October 31st will be our final organized training ride. I haven't got the details worked out, but it will probably be relatively short (20-30 miles) and will end somewhere where we can grab some drinks & food to celebrate the season and contemplate next year. All riders are invited, not just those who rode this year. I'll send out more details early next week.

Speaking of next year... 2010 will be the TENTH year that the Indiana Chapter has participated in the Ride to Cure Diabetes. We would really like to make this our best year ever, so we are starting early. Current plans are to target the Death Valley ride, since that was our the original ride. We would love to get all past riders back to participate. Stay tuned for more details.

Coach's Weekly Update - October 15th

Dear Team,
I'm back from my European vacation, but still recovering from jetlag and a cold I picked up in Munich. As I'm sure you are all aware, our final JDRF ride is the weekend in Death Valley. Dan, Bob, Kevin G., Gary, Michael & Rick are on their way out to California, last update I got they were in Denver, probably enjoying a beer in the desert by now - Good Luck Guys!

For those who are still in town check out for some fun rides this weekend. Due to my illness I probably won't be riding this weekend, but I encourage you to communicate with each other about participating in some of these rides. Coach

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good Luck Death Valley Riders!

Good Luck to Gary, Kevin G., Bob, Dan, Michael & Rick. We will be thinking of you on Saturday as we enjoy our forecasted flurries and hope that you guys are staying cool.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our bikes are on their way to Death Valley!

I miss mine already! *sniff*

We fly out Thursday and will be riding a week from today. Looking forward to a great time with Bob, Dan, Kevin, Michael and Rick.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

With a little help from my friends...

On Tuesday night, Kevin G., Ted, Tony and I met at Southwestway Park for our usual hilly ride. We headed out at our normal time under threatening skies, hoping to get in 25+ miles and avoid rain. The ride started out pretty normal and we stopped for a breather at the S.R. 144 crossing. While there, we chatted about Tony's new tires and our experiences with flat tires, tire wear and our choices for tire size and brand. I commented that my tires had more than 3000 miles on them and my friends suggested that was probably about all the life I could expect... little did I know how close to the end they were...

We carried on to the big climb without issue, and as I went up the hill, I noticed an odd noise coming from the back of my bike. I got to the top, started down and saw that my rear tire was going flat. Hmmm... jinxed from the conversation I thought... now I have to change a tube! I rode on a bit further until I found a spot where I could do a quick fix and replace the tube. Not so! My rear tire had worn through and had a nice slit and bulge... now what?

We tried to patch the tire with a patch kit that Ted had from the Death Valley ride three years ago, but found that the patch was devoid of any stickiness and the supplied tube of rubber cement was, in fact, supplied empty. We all agreed that the best patch in this situation would be dollar bill... unfortunately, we all left our wallets in our cars fearing rain, and so no dollars were to be found. So we improvised a patch using the instructions from Tony's CO2 cartridge and a band-aid from Ted's first aid kit. We put in a new tube and inflated it... it held! We decided to turn back, with the thought that the tire may not hold and someone would need to ride in for a car and come back for me. We took it easy, and thankfully the patch held all the way back to the car. I think Ted summed it up best... "boy, are you lucky!"

So, yes, I was lucky to have you guys along... thanks Ted, Kevin and Tony for your help and support on the ride. I am very happy you guys were there... I'm not sure what I would have done if I had been by myself. I am also happy to report that I installed two new tires tonight, so I should be good for a couple of thousand miles... but I won't let them go as long as the last ones!

Be safe and share the road!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - Sept. 22nd

This will be my last weekly update for a few weeks since I’m heading to Europe on vacation. Below I’ve provided a schedule of rides for the time I’m gone, in the post right before this one and on the Upcoming rides section. I’m sure you will be able to coordinate amongst yourselves. By the time I return it will be time to send off the Death Valley riders - how time flies.

To the Whitefish riders we are still anxious to hear about how things went. Don’t worry about posting to the blog, just reply all to the email and let us know about the ride. Also, send any photos or links to photos and I’ll add those to the photo gallery. Same goes for the Vermont riders.

Stacey would like to have a ride presence at the walk, so give that some consideration and contact her about participating.

We had great representation this past Saturday at the HOPE ride. There were 11 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Indiana members there, and a few from the Cinci chapter.

Upcoming Rides

Upcoming Rides (remember consult
Tuesday, Sept. 22nd – Southwestway Park at 6pm
Thursday, Sept. 24th – Neboridge CIBA ride at 6pm
Saturday, Sept. 26th – CIBA ride (Old School House Tour 9am)
Directions: I-69 North to Exit 10, turn right onto SR238, then left (South) on Olio Rd. Start location is on your left (East). Three story building.
Description: 14, 34, and 48 miles - Flat, fresh pavement mostly, some mild elevation changes. Long goes through Strawtown.
Sunday, Sept. 27th – CIBA ride (Team Neboridge Ride 9am)
Directions/Description: Our event features ride lengths of approximately 17, 34, 50, and 65 miles, the three longer rides will be sagged. All rides proceed north from Carmel/Zionsville with mostly flat riding; the XL route features some hills for those prepping for the Hilly Hundred. Our start location is at the east (back) entrance of Nebo Ridge Bicycle Shop, located at 4335 West 106th Street, Suite 900, West Carmel, IN 46032.
Thursday, Oct. 1st – Monthly assault on Neboridge ride at 6pm (wear JDRF jersey)
Saturday, Oct. 3rd – CIBA ride (Fortville & Beyond 10am - Lilly cycling club)
Directions: Take I-465 to Pendleton Pike exit on the east side of Indianapolis. Go northeast to Oaklandon Rd. Turn right onto Oaklandon Rd which becomes 62nd St/600N. Turn left into Veterans Memorial Park. Turn right at the "T" to the parking lot.
Description: 20 and 45 miles - Mostly flat route going from Oaklandon to Falls Park in Pendleton.
Sunday, Oct. 4th – CIBA ride (Tour of Three Counties 10am)
Directions: Take I-465 to the northwest side of Indianapolis. Exit onto 86th St. and go west to Lafayette Rd. The school is on the southeast corner of 86th St. and Lafayette Rd. Please use the school’s front parking lot.
Description: 21, 35, 51 and 61 miles - Visit lovely northwest Marion County, northeast Hendricks County, and the heart of scenic Boone County. A few hills around Fishback Creek, then gently rolling through Hendricks and Boone Counties.
Tuesday, Oct. 6th – Southwestway Park at 6pm (Kevin Garner will lead)
Thursday, Oct. 8th – Neboridge CIBA ride at 6pm
Saturday, Oct. 10th – CIBA ride (Southeast side ride 9am)
Directions: From I-465 east, take Exit 47 to US-52 east. Go .5 miles to Franklin Rd and turn right (south). Follow Franklin Rd approximately 6 miles to the church. The church is on the right (west) side.
Description: 10, 24, 30 and 50 miles - A fairly flat tour through the southeast side of Indianapolis. The long route will pass through Boggstown. A nice, scenic ride through the countryside. Get your last long miles in before the Hilly Hundred.
Sunday, Oct. 11th – CIBA ride (Fall Foliage Festival 50 10am)
Directions: Take Hwy. 37 south to Martinsville; at the second light (Hwy. 252) turn right onto Hospital Drive. At lights, turn left onto Morgan St. At first stop light, turn right onto Home Ave. Go 3 blocks to Jimmy Nash City Park.
Description: 15, 31 and 50 miles - The Morgan County Fall Foliage Festival is celebrating 50 years! What better reason for a 50-mile bicycle ride. The ride heads to the hills along the north side of the beautiful White River Valley. The 15-mile ride is flat. The 30-mile and the 50-mile will have challenging hills. There will be a police escort at the start. After the ride, head downtown for festival food and fun, or enjoy the longest small-town parade in Indiana. Parade starts at 1:30. You can watch it from the ride leaders’ front yard on the parade route. Address is 759 E. Washington Street. Take Home Avenue south to Washington Street, then west four blocks. Ride your bike to our house because the streets will be closed off to cars. We’ll leave chairs on the back patio in case we are not back from the ride.
Thursday, Oct. 15th – Neboridge CIBA ride at 6pm

Monday, September 14, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - Sept. 14th

Greetings riders,
We have now completed 3 of the 5 Ride to Cure Diabetes. I'm looking forward to hearing from the Whitefish riders about how their event was. We now get to focus on prepping the Death Valley riders (Bob, Dan, Kevin G, Gary, Michael & Rick).

We have a Wednesday ride at 79th & Oaklandon starting at 6pm. Please let me know if you will be there so I can plan accordingly.

This weekend's ride will be the HOPE ride ( I've never done the ride before, but it comes highly recommended from Bob Karnak. In addition, we have provided JDRF ride information to the organizers as a form of advertising, so we would like as many JDRF jerseys out there as possible. You can ride 13 to 100 miles. I'm planning to ride around about 60 miles. Let me know if you are planning to do this ride and we can work out a meeting time.

For Sunday there is a CIBA ride from Southwestway Park starting at 9am:
Directions: Take I-465 on the south side of Indianapolis to SR 37 south, then follow SR 37 south to Southport Rd. Turn right on Southport Rd. to Mann Rd., then left on Mann Rd. to the park entrance on the right.
Description: 18, 26, 35, 47 and 55 miles - A somewhat hilly ride south into Morgan County. The medium route takes Mann Rd. south with a few side trips before coming to the SAG at the Brooklyn Kids' Park. The shorter routes have rolling hills while the 47 and 55 miles routes add a very scenic loop to Martinsville with a monster climb up Maple Turn and Lincoln Hill Roads. A good opportunity to get your legs ready for the Hilly Hundred.

JDRF Walk:
Help us Promote the JDRF Ride to Cure Program to other JDRF supporters. Join me at the 2009 Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, October 10th from 8:30 to 11:00 at Military Park . We will chat with people about the ride and start the walk off in style. If you are interested in representing the ride program please contact Stacey Holdaway directly.

Pedal on!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Help promote the ride...

Help us promote the JDRF Ride to Cure Program to other JDRF supporters. Join me at the 2009 Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, October 10th from 8:30 to 11:00 at Military Park . We will chat with people about the ride and start the walk off in style. If you are interested in representing the ride program please contact Stacey Holdaway directly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good Labor Day Ride

On Monday, Kevin G., Michael, Lisa and I did the Tour de Loops CIBA ride in Brownsburg. We did the north loop twice (though the first time around, I missed a turn and got us a bit off course, shaving a few miles in the process), and the west and south loops once. The routes were very good, well marked and lightly traveled (except for that "quiet" road on the north loop, right Michael?) and we managed to get between 80 and 90 miles. Despite a forecast for rain, we had great cool weather, with just a little wind and a little sun.

Congrats to Lisa who achieved a new personal mileage best... great job Lisa!

Hopefully the Whitefish riders had a good experience! I'm looking forward to hearing about their ride!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Killington Recap

Sorry I couldn't post more during the weekend - just couldn't make the technology work.

Dear Team Indiana or Hoosier Daddies or Bending for a Cure (as you can tell we are in need of a catchy name, Team Indiana just doesn't quite do it, so give that some thought on your next long ride),

We had a great trip to Killington, Vermont, despite the wet weather (more about that later). I wanted to thank the Indiana riders for being great fun and making it yet another memorable adventure. I want to give a special thanks to Dawn for coming out with us to keep us entertained and to cheer us on; was great to see your smiling face at the Warren rest stop and to hear the cow bell and I know Mark appreciated the dry clothes, even if you couldn't help given your one arm situation. Thanks to our elf, Joel, for his enthusiasm, starting on Thursday at the Indianapolis airport going all the way through Saturday's celebration - always glad to meet a fellow Journey fan, although could have done without the lemon drop. To Mark & Chad, it was great to finally meet you, definitely true Team Indiana members and thanks for dragging Joel along on the ride. Kevin, so glad you decided to join the ride and I'm glad to hear you will be back - I told you we should have stayed out longer on the rained out training ride, we needed the practice. It was also great to see Ted S's smiling face more than once, in fact I believe I have a photo of him and didn't even realize I had taken it.

As far as the actual ride, well I'm sure that you will hear plenty of stories once we get our bikes back and can ride with you, but here is a recap. It started raining at 10pm on Friday night as we went to bed. It was raining at 5am when we got up. At 6am they postponed the start from 7am to 8am and guess what, it was raining at 8am, but "the heavy stuff wouldn't come done for a few hours." The temperature was 55 at the start. Everyone had every bit of cold weather gear they could scrap together, I for one had 5 layers on. The first 12 miles was basically downhill which was a bit scary in the rain. They sent us off in 3 groups with coaches controlling the pace. I was asked to head down in the middle of pack 2. One lady riding with me said this was the most she had ever used her brakes. There were no incidences on the hill despite the fact that the rain continued. From the 1st rest stop at 12 miles we had rolling hills, plenty of green moutains, oh yeah and rain. The traffic wasn't bad, but there were some very rude drivers along with some very nice ones. We had a small section of gravel to cross (you guys will need to stop harrassing me about the training rides that involve gravel - I'm just trying to prepare you) and then more rolling hills to the second and then third stop which was at about 30 miles. From there we had an uphill climb that was about 2 miles long, abit like the hill in Death Valley, although slightly different scenery. Then there was some more downhill and then a slight uphill to Warren where we found Dawn. At this point the course did a 20 mile loop that I didn't take, I'll let the guys tell you about that, but my understanding is that there were some real hills in that section. Then it was back the way we came, which meant some uphill before we got to the downhill and did I mention the rain kept stopping and starting. The rest stops were quiet as I came through with those who were cutting it short having already turned around and those who had done the loop still a bit behind me, although slowly catching me one by one. The rain seemed to clear between the 2nd & 1st rest stop, but the temperature didn't get above 60 and I never saw the sun or my JDRF jersey for that matter. Then it was time for the 12 mile climb. I did the first part with Chad, Mark & Joel who had caught up with me and then a part with Julie from Minneapolis who was trying to do a metric century on her very heavy hybrid bike. The uphill was relentless and about 5 miles out she had to stop and climb in the SAG vehicle. Good timing on her part because just after that the hills got steeper and I can only describe them as brutal. I saw on the road going up one of the final hills writing that said VT IS NOT FLAT - don't need to tell me. The finish line was a relatively quiet because no one wanted to stand around in the rain and it was a mile from the resort where we were staying, but there were some great volunteers cheering you in and taking your bike. Check out my photos:

Despite the rain, it was a beautiful and challenging ride and the spirit of the ride was the same as every other Ride to Cure, infectious and encouraging and full of life. Once again, I am grateful to have been able to participate and to do so with some incredible people - Dawn, Kevin, Chad, Mark, Joel & Ted, you are my heros.

Coach Alex

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Good Luck Vermont Riders!

Have fun and ride well! We'll be thinking of you!

I look forward to hearing your stories of the first JDRF ride in Vermont!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - August 24, 2009

On Thursday, Chad, Mark, Kevin S, Joel, Dawn & I will be heading to Vermont for our Ride to Cure Diabetes. We will send a full report next week and if I can work it out we may post some things while we are away.

We will have our normal Tuesday ride at Southwestway Park starting at 6pm. The park is off Mann Road (park on the westside of the road). This is a 25 mile hilly route.

On Thursday I encourage you all to attend the Neboridge CIBA ride at 6pm. There are 4 different groups, so you should be able to find a pace that suits you. The route is flat and the groups go anywhere from 17-30 miles. Neboridge Bike Shop is located in the southeast corner of 106th & Michigan Rd. Wear your JDRF jersey if you have one.

There will be no ride organized by me this weekend, since I'll be in Vermont, but here are some CIBA rides ( that I would encourage you to take advantage of:

Saturday, August 29th 9am - 18, 32 and 62 miles - A little further south starting point is rewarded by light traffic, beautiful country and some HILLS!!
DIRECTIONS TO START: From I-465 on the south side of Indy, take SR-37 south to Martinsville. Turn left on Mahalasville Rd. (Ohio St) Road turns to the left. Go 1/2 mile to South Elementary School on the left.

Sunday, August 30th 8am - appx 20, 40 and 60 miles - Ride starts in Fishers and travels to Lapel then thru Pendleton and Fortville.
DIRECTIONS TO START: I-69 North to Exit 10, turn right onto SR238, then left (South) on Olio Rd. Start location is on your left (East). Three story building.

Sunday, August 30th 4pm - dinner ride, 25-30 miles - Start from Northwestway Park and ride to the restaurant. This is a social GT style ride at 14 MPH.
DIRECTIONS TO START: Exit I465 at W 71st St. Go east to Zionsville Rd. Turn south on Zionsville Rd to West 62nd St. Turn (left) east on W 62nd St to the park entrance on the right.
Next week is our monthly assault on the Neboridge ride so I encourage everyone to try and make it.

Down the road!
Coach Alex

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's all about performance!

You have to check out this video, it is very funny.

100 miles Ride - August 15th

I'm a bit slow in getting to this post, but needed to download the photos. This one is of Bob & Dan at the start of our ride - I'm grateful those two showed up to join me, would have been lonely doing it by myself. The rest of the photos can be found at (start on #33) or click on the Team Indiana links on the lefthand side of the blog and select 2009 training rides.

It was a warm day, but manageable and good training for Death Valley (too bad I'm going to Vermont). We headed west up to the outskirts of Zionsville and enjoyed apple fritters at Starbucks, then we joined part of the CIBA route from last week and made our way up to Lebanon where we enjoyed a stop at the BP (next year we will go a mile further and stop at Casey's). Then we headed north, taking a tour of the junior high parking lot and then making our way to Strawtown road. Unfortunately our next turn would have been onto a gravel road (what is it with the people between Lebanon & Frankfort and their gravel roads) so we re-routed to SR 39 earlier than planned and made our way up to Frankfort and our second BP, except this one was closed so we headed back to the one we had passed 1/2 mile before that had the laundry mat. It was also across the road from a hospital - not sure if that was good news or not. The little girls in the store were intrigued by our biking shoes and we were intrigued by the tattooed lady that came into the store. A slight breeze had started from the southeast, too bad that was exactly where we were headed. We managed a pace line for a good 15 miles, but then it became too hard to concentrate. We were happy to arrive in Sheridan for a stop at the Speedway (next time Bob we will stop at the DairyQueen). From there we headed south through Lamong, Eagletown and then back onto Springmill for the final 7 miles. I was right at 100 miles when I got off my bike at Holliday Park - very happy to see Stacey, Liz & Dawn.
We enjoyed a wonderful picnic with the Youth Ambassadors and I for one am ready to hit the hills of Vermont.

Thanks again to Bob & Dan for joining me on this adventure.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rides for This Week

We have had a slight change in the schedule since I sent out the message last week.

We will have our weekday training ride on TUESDAY instead of Wednesday. We will still meet at 6pm at 79th (Fox Rd) and Oaklandon.

On Wednesday we will be having our month Ride Committee meeting at 6pm at the JDRF office.

On Thursday is the usual Neboridge CIBA ride starting at 6pm. This ride leaves from behind the Neboridge bike shop (southeast corner of 106th & Michigan).

This weekend there will be no organized rides, but as usual there are some CIBA rides that I would encourage you to take advantage of (
Saturday 8/22 - 40 mile breakfast ride on southside 8am start
Saturday 8/22 - 15, 41 0r 68 mile ride on westside 8am start
Sunday 8/23 - 18, 30, 48 mile ride on northside 8am start

Those of you going to Whitefish, this is your last opportunity for a long ride, so take advantage.

Coach Alex

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CIBA ride photos

I finally uploaded the CIBA ride photos. Check out those and other photos from this year at the Indiana Photos Link on the lefthand side of the blog.

Great Ride Lads!!

Ted, Tony, Gary and I rode out to Observatory Hill last night and I just want to say that a great time was had by all :) At least speaking for myself

I missed Kevin being there to encourage me to stop my belly aching over aches and pains.

Ted, Tony and Gary were probably thinking that they wished I could suffer more silently (grin) but we were able to dodge the rain drops and have a very productive hill ride.

I won't be riding with you guys again until next week, since after my ride tonight, I am going to try to get as recovered as I can for my Olympic Triathlon on Sunday morning.

Peace, love and happy pedaling

CU Saturday at Holiday Park for the send off party!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Training for Death Valley

Death Valley riders,
Since our Vermont & Montana rides are fast approaching I have been thinking about what happens after that and rest assured, I will not desert you. I have put together a Death Valley training schedule (go to the 3rd tab); you can also get to this document by clicking the Training Schedule link on the left hand side of the blog. Most of you are well ahead of where you need to be, so I'm not concerned, but you will need to keep up with the riding. Since I won't have my bike from Aug. 20th to about Sept. 10th I've listed CIBA rides that might be of interest. I will plan to organize our regular weekday rides, although may need some help from a few of you. I will plan to organize a 90 mile ride on Sept. 12th and the HOPE ride is Sept. 19th and I know a number of you will plan to do that ride. After that I'm out of the country, but I can always provide you with some routes.
Pedal on!
Coach Alex

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stung by Killer Bees -- redux

See Michael's post from July 24 about his killer B experience... that was me last Thursday, watching the group pull away. Nothing like humbly getting dropped to keep things in perspective. Hoping to stay with the group longer this week...

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the south side on Tuesday. Observatory Hill anyone?

Coach's Weekly Update - August 10, 2009

Wow! Welcome to Indiana summer, not sure where it has been all year, but it has surely showed up now. This means everyone needs to be very conscious about how much water they are drinking during the rides - 2 water bottles is a must.

Tuesday, August 11th we will do our Southwestway Park ride. We will leave at 6pm, meet in the parking lot on the west side of Mann road.

Thursday, August 13th there will be the usual CIBA ride at Neboridge.

Saturday is the big day. We will be doing a 100 mile ride leaving from Holliday Park (6363 Springmill Rd) at 7am - yes I know it is early. If you want to do less that 100 miles that is possible, just call or email me and we will work it out. Following the ride is the Youth Ambassador picnic, all riders are invited.

Next Wednesday, August 19th we will do the ride from 79th (Fox Rd) & Oaklandon, leaving at 6pm for 20 miles.

After that I will be without my bike, but don't worry, I'll make sure you have plenty of ride opportunities, most likely utilizing the CIBA rides.

Vermont riders will be heading out on August 27th.

Stay cool and I'll see you all down the road.

Coach Alex

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lost in Translation

We had a nice turnout for the Neboridge ride on Thursday (Kevin S, Gary, Michael, Dan & I). Dan & I got dropped pretty early from the Honey Bees and then proceeded to take a wrong turn and ended up at US431 which we were pretty sure we weren't supposed to cross. We turned around and made our way back, ending up with about 15 miles, so not bad.

Today the same group, plus Kevin G, showed up for the CIBA ride and we figured out where we went wrong. The CIBA ride rode over part of the Neboridge route and used similar markings, plus a Z on its side looks like a N. Nice to know that we aren't completely clueless. We had a great ride, so challenging hills and as always some wind.

Nice job everyone!

Doesn't sound like too many folks are interested in riding Sunday afternoon and it is going to be HOT, HOT, HOT (that was exactly what the weather girl said). I'm heading out at 7am on Sunday morning from my house downtown, if you want to join me or meet up give me a call. Otherwise I'll see you on Tuesday at Southwestway Park and/or Saturday at Holliday Park.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update

Once again, great job on the CIBA ride, both the organizers and participants.

For everyone who has asked, Dawn is doing well. She goes back to the doctor in 2 weeks and at that point will know how the bones are healing and what the next steps are. For now she is resting at home, getting out once in a while for a bit of company.

For the Vermont & Montana folks we are closing in on the big ride, just a few more weeks for some serious riding, so keep it up.

Here is the scoop on up-coming rides:
Thursday, August 6th
We are planning our monthly assault on the Neboridge CIBA ride. This ride leaves at 6pm from behind the Neboridge Bike Shop (one of our partner ride shops) which is located in the southeast corner of 106th & Michigan. If you have a JDRF jersey be sure to wear it.

Saturday, August 8th
We are scheduled to do a 50 mile ride and will be taking advantage of another CIBA ride which leaves at 8am from Zionsville West Middle School (Take I-65 Northwest of Indianapolis to SR 334 – Zionsville Exit. Head East toward Zionsville on SR 334 approximately one mile to the second left at CR 700 East. Turn north onto CR 700 East for approximately ¾ of a mile. School will be on your right.) We will be doing the F & Z loops. Check out for more information.

After the ride, we will head to DC's Pub, 6537 SR 334 for some brunch.

Sunday, August 9th
If you are an early riser and want to get your riding over & done with, I would suggest the CIBA ride (directions: Take US 31 North to 161st Street, turn left (west) past Spring Mill Road, school will be on your left). Otherwise, we will be having an organized ride at 1pm starting from downtown (10th & Park, Church parking lot on the northside of street). Our most likely route is to head northeast up towards Giest, so those of you who live there might want to ride down to meet us or meet us halfway - let me know and we can coordinate.

Tuesday, August 11th
We will have 25 mile hill training ride leaving at 6pm from Southwestway Park (off Mann Rd, meet in the parking lot on the west side of the road).

Saturday, August 15th
We are doing a 100 mile ride, leaving at 7am from Holliday Park (6363 Springmill Rd). The ride will be similar to the 100 mile ride we did last year, except with no gravel road. We will head a little south, then west, then north, ultimately up to Frankfurt before heading back east to Sheridan and down Springmill. For those who don't want to do 100 miles I can customize a bit, as long as you tell me in advance and give me a feel for how long you want to ride. The rider/youth ambassador party will be following the ride at Holiday Park.

Don't forget about fundraising. If you sent out an email or letter a while ago, now is a good time for another message to keep everyone updated on your riding progress. Include everyone, even folks that have already donated because they will appreciate knowing that your are still pedaling.

That's all for now.


THANK YOU Bob & Dan!

A HUGE thank you to Bob Karnak for organizing the JDRF sponsored CIBA ride yesterday. Thanks also to Dan Baize for being the self-proclaimed gopher and helping Bob gather everything that was needed for the ride. We had great weather, a great route, great rest stops (with awesome volunteers) and a good turn out (over 40 riders). We will be doing this again, so stay tuned for details. If anyone who did attend has any feedback or would like to help out with the next one, please let me know. I have a few photos that I'll post later today.

Thanks again to Bob & Dan - Great Job!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

OMG Gary almost killed me

Last night Gary and I made our second joint assault on Observatory hill.

We had done it a couple of weeks ago, but I have to say that I felt a lot better that day :)

In fact Gary had asked me on the way out if I was sure that I wanted to do the hill this week and I told him, "Absolutely not, but I need to." (I am trying to become a stronger hill climber and.... loosing 15 pounds might be the real answer:))

Anyway we got to the bottom and started up. I felt like I was in trouble right away as I had to get out of the saddle before we even got to the bend.

I gasped out, "I don't think I can do this tonight." And Gary just about killed me with 4 little words. He said,"You can do it"

Then he stood up in the saddle and gave me"the look" and went on up the hill.

However, he was right, I did it. (notice the lack of an exclamation point)

Seriously thought, thanks Gary! I couldn't have done it without you!

Peace and CU at NEBO ridge on Thursday


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - July 28, 2009

A shout out to Dawn for a speedy recovery from her broken collar bone - we will miss you on our long rides.

A shout out to Joel for completing the Sonoma ride. He said it was challenging, but he finished and will be posting a summary & some photos shortly.

Killington & Whitefish riders, we are hitting the home stretch, it is important to continue with the long rides and get as much time in the saddle as possible in order to accomplish your goals for the ride, whatever they may be. Death Valley riders, if you haven't already you need to start ramping up over 50 miles and maybe turning the heat up at home since Indiana hasn't been able to produce very many warm days.

On Tuesday (today) we have our Southwestway Park ride, starting at 6pm. We will do about 25 miles, great hill workout!

On Thursday as usual is the Neboridge ride starting at 6pm. Next week will be our monthly effort to get as many JDRF riders as possible at that ride, so mark your calendar.

On Saturday there will be no organized ride, but I am going for attempt number 4 to get over 60 miles and will be doing 80-90 miles, let me know if you are interested in joining me and we can plan to meet up.

On Sunday is the CIBA ride that JDRF is organizing. PLEASE make every effort to attend and wear your JDRF jersey if you have one. It will start at 8am at Sunnyside Elementary School and there will be 25 & 50 mile routes. Feel free to invite friends, you do NOT need to be a CIBA member to ride. I want to thank Bob Karnak for all his efforts in organizing the route for our ride Sunday and Dan Baize for helping Bob & myself with various aspects of the ride.

Pedal on!


Friday, July 24, 2009

JDRF organized CIBA ride - August 2nd

Next Sunday, August 2nd, JDRF is organizing the CIBA ride. We hope this will help to increase awareness within the cycling community abou the Ride to Cure Diabetes. The ride will start at Sunnyside Elementary School on the northeast side at 8am. There will be 25 & 50 mile routes.

I hope to see all of you there and feel free to invite your friends. If you have a JDRF jersey be sure you wear it.

Coach Alex

Stung by Killer Bees

Just a note to let all of my fellow riders know that it was great to see you yesterday evening at NEBO Ridge (way to briefly)

I managed to hang on to the killer B group for a little over 15 miles last night before getting dropped..... maybe next time I'll hang on for all 30 miles. My average ended up being 19.1 in spite of doing most of the ride by my lonesum :)

Sorry I won't be seeing you guys again for the next 2 weekends, I am learning to swim this weekend and next weekend I am doing the Indiana Down Triathlon.

Hopefully we are doing the Southwestway Park ride on Tuesday??? I will be there regardless and plan to do the Observatory Hill turn arround again.

Peace, Love and Happiness


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coach's weekly update - July 22, 2009

As I'm writing this it is raining outside and I'm wondering whether we will be able to get in our Wednesday night ride, maybe not. Hopefully the weather will clear up for Saturday so we can participate in the Muncie Great Greenway Tour. This is a great ride that I would encourage you all to join. You can ride as much or as little as you want. I'm planning to ride 90 miles, but you can ride part of the way with us and then turn back. We will be leaving on the bikes at 7:30am. Check out the website for location and registration information:

Congratulations to Gary Martindale who completed the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN) this past Saturday (that's 160 miles in one day). Dawn & I were able to ride about 30 miles with Gary & Dennis as they past through the southside of Indy. It was perfect weather for a long ride like that, nicer than some of the years previous.

A note about next weekend - Sunday (August 2nd) we will be sponsoring/organizing the CIBA ride and so I'd like as many of the riders there as possible (to ride). Make sure you wear your JDRF jersey.
That's all for now - pedal on!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cardinal Greenway Century

All, I am registered to ride the Cardinal Greenway Century on Sat, 25 July 2009. I know that Coach Alex has a 90 miler scheduled and I don't want to discourage anyone from participating in a group ride but I've found the Greenway Century an ideal training tool. A supported century on the Greenway is the easiest century you will ever do.

Please let me know via email or phone if you are planning to go to Muncie for the ride on Sat.

For those participating in the group 90 mile ride, I hope that you have a great and safe ride.


Bob Karnak

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - July 16, 2009

I hope everyone is doing well and has been able to get out and enjoy the very nice riding weather we have been having - it was nice to see 80 degrees rather than 90 degrees. This weekend is supposed to be equally as nice.
We don't have a planned ride this weekend, but you should be aiming for about 80 miles. I know a few folks are heading up to Michigan for the Holland Hundred (with JDRF as major beneficiary) If you are interested in going let Dan Baize know.
For those of you who are in town and want to ride, Dawn, Kevin G & I are leaving from the Park Ave Church on 10th St. downtown at 8am. We are riding 80 miles, but you can turn back at any point to get the mileage you want. Just a warning, we will be riding on city streets for the most part and on US40.
Next weekend will be our 90 mile ride, most likely leaving from the Giest area at about 7:30am, so be prepared. We will also have a Wednesday night ride.

A brief note about fundraising... If you are going to Vermont or Montana you should be well on your way. If you are heading to Death Valley then it is probably time to get started. There are many different fund raising methods, the easiest and most effective as well as most popular is letter or email writing. When I started doing the JDRF rides 9 years ago I sent out letters with a self-addressed envelope because the donations were all done by check. When they started having on-line donations I switched to email and I have to say that there are folks that never donated before that do now because of the ease of just going to the link and clicking a few buttons. I do still send a few letters though to folks that I don't have email addresses for or who I know would prefer a letter. Here are a few other hints:
  • Think broadly about who to send letters or emails to. You will be surprised who will donate and who had a connection to diabetes. Your eye doctor, your college buddy, your work collegue, your neighbor, don't cross any off.
  • Make your letter personal, talk about your training and talk about your youth ambassador.
  • Send a follow up email thanking those who have donated and reminding those that haven't that they still can (I'm always surprised by the folks that think they have run out of time). Be sure to fill them in on your training (the commitment you are making).

If you are have any concerns about fundraising let Stacey know and she can put you in contact directly with some folks who have tried other fund raising ideas.

Good luck with fundraising and I'll see you out on the road!

Coach Alex

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Singing in the Rain

That's what we were doing on Saturday after the first 15 miles of our ride. We tried to be positive and believe that the rain would blow over and that took us down the road about 4 more miles, but it was not to be and so we turned back towards home, getting rained on even more and then sprayed on by the water on the road and then rained on some more. All in all not too bad, but disappointing that we couldn't ge the 75 miles in. Thanks to Bob, Dan, Dawn, Kevin S, Todd & Amy for showing up and being troopers in the rain.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - July 6, 2009

WOW! I can't believe it is already July. Less than 2 months until the Vermont ride and just over 2 months before Whitefish - you Death Valley riders have a bit more time. I hope folks were able to get out over the weekend and ride a bit, if so tell us about it by posting something on the blog.

Unfortunately I did not ride which will make this weekend's 75 mile ride that much more important. We will be leaving from downtown. The meeting place will be the parking lot of the Park Street Church which is on the north side of 10th St. between College Ave & East St./Central. We will be heading out at 8am, so please be there by 7:45am. Make sure you bring 2 full water bottles as well as snacks or money to buy snacks. This ride will take us about 5 - 6 hours. If anyone needs to do a shorter ride than that, let me know and I'll try to work something out. We will also have a training ride on Wednesday at 79th & Oaklandon road at 6pm.

You should have all received the Training Times from the National office, be sure to take a look at it, there is some good information about riding with a group. If you deleted your message you can find a copy at the Training Times link on the left side of our blog.

We are getting into the tough part of the training, where we will be doing some very long rides. These rides are very important if you want to complete the 100 miles (if your goal is less than 100 miles use the training mileage as a percent and take that percentage of your goal as the amount you should ride this weekend).

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Down the road!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - June 30, 2009

I had every intention of posting an official update last week, but time just got away from me. I have posted a few items about rides and I see a few others have done that as well, so that will keep you up to date.

You'll see a new photo on the front page from our June 20th ride. Other photos can be found at: (you can also get to this by going to the Team Indiana Photos link on the left-hand side of the blog and select Training Rides 2009; the June 20th photos start at #17.

There have been a few changes to the training schedule which you can find on the left-hand side at the link called Training Schedule (imagine that).

  1. We are going to make the first Thursday of each month an official training ride and try to have as many folks join us for the Neboridge ride. The first one of those is this Thursday, July 2nd.

  2. I've added the CIBA ride we are organizing on August 2nd. Please try your best to attend that ride.

  3. I'm working on a Death Valley schedule, for those who are doing that ride, although you are more than welcome to train with the Vermont/Montana group - the more the merrier.

As I mentioned in my message there are no JDRF organized rides this weekend, but I would encourage those of you who are in town to take advantage of the CIBA rides. You can do varied distances and see some new places.

Have a wonderful Independence Day!


Weekend Activities

We had no organized ride this weekend, but some of us did keep busy.
On Saturday, Michael, Dawn & I participated in the Morse Park Sprint Triathlon. Michael & I as individuals and Dawn with a team. The weather was great (low humidity) and so was the course - fun was had by all.
On Sunday, Kevin S, Dawn & I did the 51 mile CIBA ride. It was a good route, especially because it was going into the wind on the way out and with the wind coming back. Even with that, the wind was brutal, especially on the western most section where we were averaging 11mph (thanks Kevin for leading that section). Of course coming back into Whitestown we almost broke the 25mph speedlimit.
I hope the rest of you had a good weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Luck Joel!

The first JDRF Ride to Cure is taking place this weekend in Sonoma, California. We have one Indiana rider participating - Joel Russell. Joel is an experienced rider and multi year Ride to Cure rider, so I'm sure he will do great. Look forward to hearing all about the ride.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday Training Ride

We had a good, early morning (7:30 AM... yikes!) training ride on Saturday.

We started with Coach Alex and Dawn (who got up at 5:30 AM to ride 18 miles from downtown Indy to Geist) along with Kevin G., Kevin S., Dan, Tony and special guest Mark Lushell, who hadn't ridden since the August Whitefish ride last year. It was great to see Mark and have him join us for a ride again this year!

We rode as a group from 79th and Oaklandon to Pendleton, where Mark turned around to head back for 30 miles total. The remainder of us rode another 10 miles or so to the outskirts of Middleton, where Alex and Dawn split off to go canoeing in Daleville. I think I heard Dawn mumbling something about portages and 40th birthday parties... we'll need one of them to share the details of the remainder of their adventure...

Dan, Kevin x 2, Tony and I made our way back to our starting point for a total of 52 miles. This despite the fact that Dawn tried to get us lost by "generously" giving her map to Kevin G... We made it a whole 2 miles straight down the road to the Meijer gas station before consulting the map -- "hey, isn't this the map to Daleville?" Nevertheless, we made it in safely, including tackling Florida hill (down, then up... more map issues... don't ask). On the upside, Tony achieved a new personal mileage best. Nice job Tony!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Southwestway Park on Tuesday... should be a hot and toasty ride through the hills.

Keep your wheels on the road...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great ride

Good Nebo Ridge CIBA ride tonight. Did the 26 mile ride with the group that averages 18 mph. The group works on a rotating double pace line, which is really cool with 20 or so riders. Very hot a humid tonight, but no rain.

Looking forward to Saturday's ride with the group.

I love the wind...

Well, not really, but it is good practice.
Last night Dawn, Kevin & I rode 20 miles from the Oaklandon road parking lot. The ride out was great, doing 17 mph without even trying. Unfortunately, the wind was still there when we turned around, so we had 10 miles of tough riding, but it was a good workout and we can probably call it a 25 mile ride due to all the effort.

I hope the rest of you were able to get some rides in this week. See you on Saturday.
Coach Alex

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - June 17, 2009

This update will be short, I'm running out of time. Next week I will have another rider profile.

I do want to mention that one of our riders - Joel Russell will be participating in the 1st JDRF Ride to Cure for 2009 in Sonoma, California in a few weeks. We wish him good luck and look forward to hearing all about the ride.

As my email said, we have a ride today (Wednesday), leaving at 6pm from the parking lot at Oaklandon & 79th (Fox Rd). We will do about 20 miles. I'm hoping the rain will stay away.

On Thursday I encourage all of you to attend the Neboridge CIBA ride which leaves at 6pm from the back of the shop (106th & Michigan). You can do 26 or 17 miles. We are planning to participate as a group the first Thursday of each month (next one is July 2nd), but feel free to attend any other time - make sure to wear your JDRF jersey.

Our Saturday ride will leave at 7:30am fromt he Oaklandon & 79th parking lot. This ride will be about 57 miles. We will leave promptly at 7:30am. I will try to send out the route map on Friday in case anyone is late because I really will be leaving right at 7:30am for this ride.

For those intereted, on Sunday the CIBA ride is being organized by the Lilly Cycling Club, so I encourage you to attend. In addition, it will be good research for our upcoming CIBA ride on August 2nd. Check out the CIBA website (see links on the left hand side) for starting time & location.

Keep up with the posts about your rides (thanks Gary & Michael). Also feel free to share anything about your fundraising as well.

Thats all for now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Great morning for a ride!

Rode 30 miles this morning, mostly on the Monon. Cool temps with light wind and a bit overcast made it a great time for a ride. The Monon was a bit crowded in spots, but still a good ride.

Saw Danny walking (walking?!) on the Monon near Broad Ripple. To his credit he was wearing his 2008 JDRF Team Indiana t-shirt!

Rode the new section of the Monon north of 146th St. It doesn't go far (just north of 156th St.), but is nice, new, smooth pavement.

I won't be able to join the team ride on Wednesday but may do the CIBA ride from Nebo Ridge on Thursday, if the weather cooperates. The storms last Thursday spoiled the possibility of a ride for me... Note that Nebo Ridge now has a Twitter account (shown on their web site or you can follow them on Twitter) so you can track whether or not they plan to ride.

Pedal on!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tell us about your ride!

Let us know how your next ride goes. Where you went, what you saw, etc. Whether it is an official ride or not, we want to hear all about it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday training ride!

We had another great training ride yesterday. Temperature was 87, but didn't feel that hot and the rain held off once again. Gary, Michael & Tony took the early lead, with Kristin, Dawn & I trailing behind. Then Gary & Michael dropped Tony on the big climb and Kristin dropped Dawn & I. We did all gather at the Brooklyn library then headed back. A challenging ride, but great hill work. I encourage those of you who can make it down there to join us for the next ride on Tuesday, June 23rd (Dan, don't answer the phone after 4pm). Next training ride is Wednesday, June 17th on the northside (79th & Oaklandon). See you there.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coach's Weekly Update - June 8, 2009

Introducing Kevin Garner
Kevin (the one in the middle) is participating in his 3rd Ride to Cure Diabetes. He has done rides in Death Valley & Montana and is planning a return trip to Death Valley this year. Kevin has multiple reasons for participating in the ride: “I believe in the cause and need for helping people with Diabetes. I have a family member who has diabetes and working for a pharmaceutical company that focuses on diabetes has heightened the awareness of the need for $$ for diabetes research.” Kevin is married to Janette and they have 3 kids (Ryan – 18, Jessie – 17, Erin – 15). He has worked for Eli Lilly for 19 years and is currently a team leader in Information Technology. Kevin was born in Saginaw, Michigan and has an identical twin brother who is also in the Information Technology field. Kevin’s hope for the ride is to raise money for JDRF, ride with friends and get some exercise

For an update of the recent training rides see separate posts below. I'll try to post something about each ride, unless one of you beats me to it. Feel free to post about your other rides as well.
We have a ride this Tuesday at 6pm, leaving from Southwestway Park (Mann Rd - see bike routes link for a map to the start). This is great opportunity to get in some hill training. We do NOT have an organized training ride next weekend, despite what the schedule says. However, it is important that you try to get in 50 miles at some point during the weekend. Take advantage of some of the CIBA rides if you can. We will have a training ride on Wednesday, June 17th.
Don't forget your fundraising, especially the Vermont riders who should be at the $750 mark. If you are having trouble with this let me know and I can get you some help.
Pedal on!
Coach Alex

B&O Ride in Brownsburg

Dan, Dawn, Kevin S. & his wife Sara, joined me on Saturday for the B&O ride. The weather was perfect and we had a great 47 mile ride, with Sara achieving her personal best. The route was great, with yummy brownies at the rest stops, some rolling hills which are always good practice and the wind wasn't too bad. There was stretch of about 4 miles on an almost gravel road, character building is what Dan called it. Despite what Dan thinks I did not have any input into the route selection. I've uploaded some more photos and photos from a previous training ride onto my kodak gallery account, you can view them by clicking here:, the link can also be found in the Team Indiana Photos page (find this on the link section of the blog).
We will have training ride on Tuesday at Southwestway Park (ready to ride at 6pm).

Coach Alex

Friday, June 5, 2009

Great ride at Neboridge Bike Shop

Last night Kevin G., Gary & I were able to participate in the weekly CIBA ride organized by the Neboridge Bike Shop (one of our partner bike shops). Tim, the owner & organizer, even gave a call out to the JDRF group at the intro to the ride which was nice (free advertising). Gary rode in the 3rd group (26 miles, 20mph, paceline), I'll let him fill you in on how that went. Kevin & I rode in the 4th group (17 miles, varied pace). It was a great route, very little traffic, a few rolling hills, all around a great workout. Dan wasn't able to make it because of a family issue, but I'm sure he is planning to attend some other week and will be calling on all of you to join him. This is a free ride open to everyone, so if you live up that way or have another reason to be up that way, take advantage of it, they ride every Thursday at 6pm.

See everyone Saturday at the B&O ride.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tips for Safe Training and Riding

The article link below was provided by one of the JDRF coaches. It was written for a ride across Iowa (RAGBRAI), but it is all very appropriate for us. Take a look, even if you are an experienced rider.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Coach's Update - June 1, 2009

Wow! I can't believe it already June, that's less than a month before Sonoma and less than 3 months before Vermont. Time to make sure you are getting in the funds and the miles.

We had a great ride on Saturday with Kevin S., Gary, Dan & myself, along with past rider Kate and future riders Lisa & Tony. We got some practice riding in traffic, but all in all had a nice 40 mile ride and made it home in one piece.

I'm going to skip the profiles for this week, but they will be back next week - I promise. I have some important information about upcoming rides:
  • Thursday, June 4th 6pm - Neboridge Bike Shop (106th & Michigan); I previously said 116th, sorry about that. WEAR YOUR JDRF JERSEY. This is an organized ride they do every week. There are multiple groups to ride with, so everyone will find a spot. Neboridge is one of our partner bike shops, so please join us in showing them our support.
  • Saturday, June 6th 8:45am - B&O Trail Ride (Williams Park, Brownsburg); there are routes for 11, 24, 46 & 62 miles; I'll probably do 46 miles which is in line with our training schedule, the 62 mile route doesn't separate from 46 until the last rest stop so even those who are doing 62 miles can ride with the group most of the way. Ride starts at 8:50am, I'd like us to be all together & ready to ride by 8:45am (group photo)
  • If you can't join us Saturday, there is an organized ride in Shelbyville on Sunday - June Bug Jamboree
  • Tuesday, June 9th 6pm - Southwestway Park; we will ride 20-26 miles, great hill workout.
  • Saturday, June 13th we were scheduled to have a training ride, but I'm substituting this weekend's ride. I would recommend trying a CIBA ride ( or the Save the Noggin Ride (

One other note - keep August 2nd open, JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Team will be hosting the CIBA ride that day. Stay tuned for more information - we will be needing you all to ride and help out. This is a great opportunity to get some publicity for the group within the cycling community.

That's all for now! Keep pedaling for a cure!


Indiana Cure Chasers 2010

Indiana Cure Chasers 2010
Death Valley October 2010

For more information about JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes...

Contact the Indianapolis office at 317-469-9604

Go to Indiana Cure Chasers website OR JDRF website.