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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jim Malone's attempt at a Century at JDRF Nashville 1 Nov 2014

The event was a smashing success even though I did not achieve my personal goal of a Century (more on that tale later). We had over 250 riders from 32 states and Canada. Collectively we raised over $850,000 for diabetes research, searching for a cure of type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to all of my supporters who enabled me to raise 110% of my personal goal of $3,000. I could not have done it without my 60 supporters (family, friends and colleagues).

I have only a minor disappointment of not reaching my riding goal of 100 miles. I gave it my best effort but came up 5 miles short of the Finish Line (actually 97 miles on the Garmin - see my miserable stats at First, the weather was brutal, 38-48F, with gusty swirling winds of 20-30 mph. The morning was cloudy and cold. Finally in the early afternoon the sun came out intermittently that helped our psyches somewhat. I was happy to make the 50 mile mark (see photo on the link below), thinking that the way back would have less hills and less wind (wrong on both accounts). I knew I was in trouble when I left the port-o-potty with my riding shorts around my ankles (the brain is first to go). Later I encountered some rough pavement and ended riding down an embankment into someone's driveway (coordination is next to go). Finally with 5 miles to go I encountered yet another hill (where did that one come from?) and decided to take an unscheduled break. Laying down on the grass to catch my breath a SAG truck came along sure that I had passed out. He didn't take no for an answer and whisked me to the Finish Line. It's a good thing he did because there were several more hills that would have killed me. I was completely out of gas. I sheepishly rode to the Finish Line from the parking lot. 

Oh well there's always next year!

Jim at Start Line

Jim at Finish Line

Visit my personal JDRF web link at

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Death Valley Summary

Dear family and friends – all those who have supported me in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes this year and in the past:

It’s hard to believe that another Death Valley ride has come and gone.  Twelve of us from central Indiana ventured west for an awesome weekend in the desert, riding our bikes to raise money for a great cause — to find a cure for diabetes and turn Type 1 into Type None.

Leaving Indy in the early morning hours of last Thursday, we were fortunate to get an early and direct flight to Vegas which put us into Death Valley at about noon.

With most of the day to ourselves, a small group of us decided find our bikes and attempt a 25 mile, 5500+ foot climb to the grandest vista in Death Valley — Dante’s View. 

We felt pretty strong at the start…

The climb was steady and gradual for the first 20 miles and then got very steep, with the toughest section in the last 1/4 mile. We rented a van in Vegas and two of our team drove it as our SAG vehicle (Support and Gear) — carrying water, gatorade and various spare parts — for the ride to the summit.

I needed all the support I could get — it was the hardest climb I’ve ever done...

At the top, looking a little more tired than at the start after 3 - 4 hours of climbing, we were able to enjoy one of the best views in Death Valley

The ride down was an awesome 25 miles of bliss, coasting very fast nearly all the way back to the start.

Friday started with an early breakfast and then the usual safety talks.  The park has a new permitting process and we were the first group to have an event under the new rules.  While hydration was still important, with temps “only” in the 80s and 90s, the focus of the talk was on riding single file, staying out of the way of the other park guests, and making sure we were off the road at the rest stops.

After the safety talk, we donned our riding gear and headed out for a short tune-up ride.  This was the first chance for the team to ride together…

 ...and we even spotted Santa on his bike!

After the ride, we grabbed some lunch and then spent the rest of the day driving the 100-mile course we would ride on Saturday.  It also gave us a chance to enjoy the scenery and wildlife in the park…

These two were several miles apart, so the roadrunner lived to see another day.

The official ride on Saturday was awesome as always… and though the road seemed to stretch on forever, I managed to make the seven-mile climb, turnaround at the summit, and complete the full 100 miles.

Thank you for sharing in my ride again this year; I truly appreciate your generous support of JDRF.  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!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Death Valley Bound!

The Cure Chaser team is leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning for our 2014 Death Valley Odyssey.

Doesn't seem like it's been 2 years but with the government shutdown last year it has been 2 years since the Cure Chasers traveled to Death Valley to ride in support of JDRF.

We have the lucky 13 going this year and it is a sold out show since January (If you want to do this epic ride with us in 2015 better start making your plans now so that you can be ready for sign up in January!)

We are leaving at 7 am tomorrow morning and will be in Las Vegas at 8:05 am their time with a direct flight on SouthWest Airlines - BAGS FLY FREE!

I don't know that I believe this but says that themperatures at Furnace Creek are supposed to be in the low 90s,,, seems like they say that every year and they end up well into the 100s, guess we will just have to see when we get there.

This years crew includes returning DV veterans Coach Sam Scahill, Kevin Garner, Gary Martindale, Joel Russell, Ryan Noel, Rick Davis and of course myself!
In addition we have the following brave first timers joining us for 2014 Tom Berlier, Julie Davis, Amy Vandewielle, Laura Villanyl and Brian Wulff. (Plus our team photographer for this is event will be Nancy Wulff)

If you have a chance to reach out to these brave souls on Facebook with words of encouragement, I am sure that they would appreciate your support!

Some of us are planning a little trip on Thursday to the top of Dante's View (but I will tell you all about that when we get back - should be an epic side story!) We are all very excited!

Friday we will do our official ride tune up ride, likely to Golden Canyon. Then have a day filled with meetings about what to expect on the ride, riding with Type 1 diabetes and other interesting Death Valley Ride related subjects!

Friday JDRF will put on a great spread with accolades going out to the top fund raisers and limited mayhem in preparation for the early start on Saturday.  Our Cure Chaser team will meet for our traditional why we ride reflection pre ride meeting!  These are always great sessions!

Saturday morning before daylight, we will all gather at the start finish line at the Furnace Creek ranch and get ready for a long hot day in the saddle. The course is 103 miles to the top of Jubilee pass (a Category 2 seven mile long ascent) and back.

So tomorrow begins our 2014 adventure, be sure to check back and see all the exciting details and pictures!  I am sure that we will all have stories to tell on Monday!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Blue Tuesday!

Lining up for another Great Blue Tuesday Hill Ride

 What does Blue Tuesday mean for the Cure Chaser Cycling team?

Why it's a chance to put on our costumes and sport our blueness in support of efforts to find a cure for Diabetes. This idea of Blue Tuesday as a show of support is a culmination of a number of separate efforts aimed at the Diabetic community.

First The Big Blue Test.  This effort started in 2009 as a creative way to encourage people with diabetes to stay active. It has grown into a global campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of exercise for people with diabetes and supports diabetes charities in the process. To learn more about the Big Blue Test, watch the video on this page
Cherise Shockley Founder of DSMA
Mike Hoskins - The Diabetic's Corner Booth
Second I met Cherise Shockley at an adult diabetic meetup that Michael Hoskins (Diabetic's Corner Booth Blogger and all around great D peep) put together. Cherise founded the Blue Fridays Initiative in November 2010 to spread the word about World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month.  You wear blue all day to represent. Find out more and how you can get in on the conversation with DSMA by clicking here!
Third the JDRF ride team had adopted blue as the color for their jersey in 2010, so Blue Tuesday gave us just one more reason to wear the team colors.

Blue Tuesday had actually started in the 2009 season, we just didn't call it that, but a number of people from our team started getting together and riding essentially this same ride every week out of SouthWestWay park to prepare for the challenges that we knew we would face at virtually any JDRF destination ride, but most important the Cat 2 climb to Jubilee Pass in Death Valley.  The first year it was usually a small group, in fact I can remember a number of evenings when it was just Gary Martindale and myself.  Our Coach at the time Alex Hoogestraat was sick a lot and having a hard time making rides, turns out she was pregnant and that sickness turned out to be Henry Hoogestraat!

Another happy group at the top of
Observatory Hill
We had been doing this a few weeks and I remember 1 day Gary asking, "Do you want to go all the way to the top of Observatory?"
My reply was, "What's Observatory?  You mean there are more hills our this way?" Up to this point we had been riding straight out Mann Rd, climbed a few small hills with the big one being Centenary, rode to the library in Brooklyn and headed back to SWW Park. a little over 22 miles round trip with just over 1000' of climbing.  So that Day changed things, I said, "Let's do it!" and we were off.
We added about 3 miles and a couple of hundred feet of climbing to the ride and Tuesdays became even more challenging!
Gary and I continued this challenging ride and invited other members of our team. Soon we had Tony Gabriel and Sam Scahill with us on a regular basis along with others on the  newly formed Indiana Cure Chaser team riding in support of JDRF.
Cure Chaser Tony Gabriel
Leads the Climb up Cat 5 Climb
In 2010 this ride began to grow in popularity and we Started Calling it "Blue Tuesday" wearing our now Blue JDRF jerseys and inviting other riders to join  us and sport their blue!  I believe that by the end of 2011 we were hosting 10 -12 riders on a regular basis with our big ride maxing out at 17!

So for the next year we changed the route a bit to get off of Mann rd at Ralston (our first opportunity after SWW Park to go right and leave the main road)

Today we are running in the area of 30 riders every week and growing. This year we formed the Cure Chaser ride team officially becoming a registered USA Cycling team and expanding our vision of what the team is about. (more on that later)

The Ride is now supported by up to 3 USA Cycling Certified Coaches every week with more to come in 2015.  We represent for diabetics everywhere by wearing the blue every single Tuesday.  People who ride this ride are encouraged to wear their blue and be a part of our effort every single Tuesday, whether that Blue is a Cure Chasers Jersey, JDRF or just whatever blue they already own!

Cure Chaser Coach Sam Scahill
and; the team at the Top on Blue Tuesday
The ride itself is for people who want to improve their fitness, health, well being and/or hill climbing ability and is geared to accommodate various levels of riders to achieve all of this. (Road Bikes strongly recommended)   We also build in a lot of camaraderie and support for people just starting out or accomplished riders who choose to join us for this great weekly ride. 

This may be the only weekly repeating ride in the country that has a regular SAG with The Brooklyn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) providing ice cold water, food and restroom facilities at the middle of the ride.  Thanks you guys!  We love you and you rock!

Cure Chaser Team at Mount Mitchell
Starting line (Spartanburg, SC)

We now use this ride as an opportunity to do 4 things
  1. First and foremost, help people to improve their fitness and overall health through cycling. We split into groups after we get on the road with an assigned leader in every group to help keep things organized and to assist with flat tires, mechanicals, encouragement and coach technique when desired. The back group (newbies to hill climbing) is often given a time limit so the distance is really time based and this allows us to finish at near the same time, keep the ride difficulty with in reach for most people plus build a sense of accomplishment and confidence in new riders.
  2. Second is almost as important as these 2 things work hand in hand.  We work to build a sense of Team.  When people feel like they are a part of something and we demonstrate that we truly care about them, they are much more likely to stick with it.  It is amazing to me how many people we have had at this ride this year. If everyone came on the same Tuesday at this time we would likely be pushing 80 riders at once. (everyone can not make it every week due to work and family commitments, but we have about 80 riders that are steady attendees)
  3. This next aspect is part of how we intend to change the world,,,, at least as far as cycling on the road goes.  We teach and demonstrate proper group riding etiquette, Traffic/Road Safety, Traffic Law and Ambassador ship to the community.  We feel that by using peer example, we can inspire social justification for changing the way that cyclists and motorists interact in a positive way using the existing infrastructure simply with education and leading by example.
  4. Use this ride as a platform for entry into our Cure Chaser team environment, recruitment for the greater/higher cost destination ride teams by providing a low/no cost entry point and then providing a support network to help riders reach their goals, whether that is climb all this hills on Blue Tuesday without walking or doing a 105 mile destination ride in Death Valley, CA by supporting them in all aspects of their goal from training to fund raising.
If you have a desire to do this ride but feel like you need a less demanding entry point we offer a couple of those as well. (Share these with your friends if you know someone who could benefit from better health and just needs some support to make it happen.

We have a meetup group that currently has over 700 members and offers riders of all levels opportunity to participate and become proficient at cycling whether their objective is to be able to ride 15 miles, learn to ride in a group or do an epic 100 mile ride.  It's free thanks to Performance Bicycle of Greenwood Blue Tuesday will move indoors for the winter in November and we will be doing 3 rides per week at this great bike shop!

You can join our meetup group at Indianapolis-Beginner-Cycling-Meetup-Group/ it's free!

We will soon be doing pre-registration for the 2015 ride season for the Cure Chaser team, if you are interested in learning more complete the form at this link and we will be happy to contact you.
(besides great coaching, camaraderie and ride opportunities, Cure Chasers get some other great benefits) Click here to join and learn more!
 That's it for today, stay tuned for some more great ride reports!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Great Day for a sweet little Metric Century!

A smooth Sea never made a skillfull Mariner
 Cure Chasers overcome adversity and have a great time,,, all the time!

Getting ready to leave my house at 5:45am this morning for our 60 mile training ride set to start in Carmel on the Monon Trail, at Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream this morning, things were looking great!  The weather was perfect, overcast, not to hot, I was ready ahead of time due to last nights preparations, out the door ahead of schedule with Starbucks on my agenda on the way to my ride!

Then I turned the key on my Ford Cure Chaser dedicated SAG vehicle and things started to go downhill.

Nothing!!  No interior lights, no ding, ding, ding warning me that I have my key in the ignition, all dressed up in my Cure Chaser costume and no way to go!

Fortunately the lovely Melissa had got up at the same time so she volunteered to help me jump my truck, which I tried to start by letting it roll down the drive and dumping the clutch, still no go.

Victim of Borrow and Switch
The next thing I found out was that someone from Melissa's work had swindled her out of a practically new pair of jumper cables.  She had been kind enough to lend her jumpers to a massage therapist who returned a jacked up broken and corroded pair instead,,, no good dead goes unpunished.

No problem, it only cost me a few minutes figuring this out, so I got my better pair of cables and eventually due to not being able to get a good jump off of her car, had to decide to switch vehicles and take the swaggin wagon instead (my Dodge Stealth Conversion van).  This involved waking my sister up to move her car.  Pushing and Parking the Ford Pickup in the street in front of my house and transferring the contents of my pickup to the swaggin wagon.

Finally at 10 minutes before 7, I'm on the road.  No coffee, late and just doing what I can.  I had stayed in touch with the crew to let them know that I was in a spot of bother, but that I would be there as soon as I could.

7:30 am unloaded, saddled up and we are on the way,,, The team was very gracious not to give me to hard of a time and we rolled.

Morning nutrition
 7:35 am realized that I forgot both of my fully loaded water bottles at the Van, but not to worry, Jimmy Shugars  had a children's size Camel Back that he was happy to loan out so that they didn't have to wait any longer on me.

The weather was perfect, just a few sprinkles, nice temp and great company!  We got to do a little cyclocross on the Monon, gravel, sand, deep gravel, loose gravel, washed out ruts and finally grass, before we ended up on the MS route (MS for Michael Schwab - someone was kind enough to put my initials on this route, so that we had clear direction)

We made it to Cicero in great time, Edson Ortega had never been there before and commented what a nice little town it was.  I have to say that I agree!  We stopped for coffee and to get the water situation under control, as I had been rationing until we could get my supply up to snuff. (stuffed a bunch of NestlĂ©'s water in my Jersey pockets put my quad espresso Americano in my 2nd water bottle holder and we headed north to Arcadia! 

Kevin Garner USA Cycling Level 3  Coach
We had not gone far before I realized that they had not put the small Americano in my Medium Cup but had filled it all the way to the top (just trying to be kind to me I am sure) but the net result was that I got hot coffee all over me.  I'll have to say that certainly does wake one up :)

We really were still making great time, the SAG stop had been relatively short and we didn't realize it but the wind had been at our back all day, so we were sailing!  Then the pavement disappeared.  We talked it over  and decided to forge ahead on the planned route.  I have to say that we did a lot of gravel riding today on our road bikes and everyone on the team handled it like pros!

Finally we reached our northern most point and turned to head back to Bub's.

We hadn't gone 2 miles back south when Kevin Garner and I noticed that we had lost Edson and Matt Weaver. We stopped to wait while Jimmy Shugars, Gary Martindale and Tony Gabriel rode on.  We figured it wouldn't take long and that we would work together to get back in the group.

But we soon realized that Matt and Edson were not coming and started riding back on the route the way we had just come.

It wasn't long until we found them!  Matt had broken a spoke, that put his wheel way out of true so it was seriously rubbing on his brake and almost to his frame.  After some quick mechanic work that involved the use of a knife to surgically remove a sensor that was no hitting a spoke and totally releasing the rear brake, we were on our way again.
The lost squad gave me a call looking for us but we did not figure out until much later that they had gone off route and were waiting on us at a location that was not on the way back to Cicero.
So we made arrangements to meet back at the coffee shop and subway strip mall in Cicero arrived and waited for about 5 minutes before the lost boys showed up.
This was when things got exciting,,, I'm not sure what Jimmy Shugars did in that Subway, but he was in a real hurry to get in, took a long time to come out and said he was pretty sure that we were banned as a team from ever going in there again.
The Lost Boys
In our haste to get out of there with this news, Gary crashed his ride in the parking lot, in an unfortunate declipping accident,,, ,on the take off?  He lacked the common decency to stay on the ground long enough for me to get a picture and document the incident, but the good news is that his bike was unharmed in the fall... oh yeah and Gary was unharmed as well aside from some serious bruising to his pride.
Finally we are on the last leg of our trip.  About 5 miles out Gary realizes that his bike may have been unharmed in the meeting with the pavement, but one of his cycle computers was now permanently off network and likely still lying in the parking lot in Cicreo.
No ride would be complete if someone didn't have a flat and Kevin came through just before we got off the graveled part of the Monon.
He had driven to Cincinnati the day before to pick up a brand new Trek Madone road bike. (BTW it looks like a sweet ride) But now he has to take it back because he apparently pinch flatted and we had the icing on the cake for our ride.
Kevin Garner fixes flat tire 

His new bike has an interesting idiosyncrasy with the rear brake mounted on the bottom of the frame instead of just under the seat. This IMHO makes it a lot simpler to change that tire as you can turn the bike upside down and the brake is right there to release, so you don't have to forget about that step or putting it back when you put the wheel back on. (we never figured out how to release it, so we are hoping it still works,,,, maybe it self adjusts. this needs more research)
With all the adventures of the day, we arrived back at the starting point shortly after noon and no one had time left in their time bank for the day, so we all headed home instead of to Blu Moon for coffee and brunch, with the promise from most of our riders to meet again for Blue Tuesday!
In order of contribution
Late for Ride - Michael Schwab
Most forgotten gear - Michael Schwab
Broken Spoke Award - Matt Weaver
Lost Boys - Tony Gabriel, Jimmy Shugars, Gary Martindale
Parking lot Crash - Gary Martindale
Flat tire Award - Kevin Garner
Best/Only new Rider - Edson Ortega ( this was a long ride for Edson, he has also come a long way since I first met him - great job Edson)
Great job to the whole team for working together, taking care of each other and being great guys to ride with!
See you on Blue Tuesday at SWW!

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.