Monday, June 30, 2014

My brother, the trend setter

      Remember, I told you way back when we started thinking about this crazy business of riding in the bike to the bay and My Brother said he would wear my pink shirt but he had to cut the sleeves and collar off and have a green mohawk... Well you had to know he was serious!!

     Well, not only did he make good on his word but he started corrupting some of the other team members. It wasn't long before he was using his pocket knife to cut off the sleeves of Maryann and Meagan mahaffey's shirts.  Ironically, Maryann's helmet matched Doug's mohawk so they looked like total bobsie twins.

     You can see above where meagan had altered the leapfrog shirt, and maryann was in the pack ahead of me so she probably figured she could lose the pink shirt and I would never be the wiser.  But that camera busted her:) 

     I laugh about the altering of the team shirts and the shirts that eventually made their way into a heap by the side of the road, but at the end of the day I'm just thrilled that all of my friends rode for me and I really didn't care What they wore!!

have a great day!!



Friday, June 27, 2014

A team photo with 44 riders seems simple right?!?!

     With having 44 riders you had to know there was no way we would all get together for a group picture because we were starting at different times and places, then we were also ending at different times and places.

     This is a picture of a few of us who managed to congregate before some of the early riders took off. as you can see Pat and Elaine Sheehan were all set to go on their tandem bike and on the far left was the last straggler rider, Steve Rafac, who signed up just hours before the ride, and I was in total shock to see him wear my pink leapfrog shirt for his 75 mile ride.

     I really didn't think I was going to catch any of the early riders before they took off because I was at the mercy of my brother, brother-in-law and nephew who were picking me up along with my bike and I was now on their watch.

     If I was driving myself I would be 20 minutes early and I tend to get antsy when I think I'm going to be late, because I would much rather explain why I'm early then explain why I'm late.

     When they pulled up I was relieved to see we had exactly enough time to be punctual.  Panic set in when I got into the back seat and I looked over and there was my nephew on the far left and in between us was this little 5 pound  puffy black dog.

     I know they have never rode in the bike to the bay before but surely they knew dogs weren't allowed.  I asked my brother-in -law what's up with the pup... he said "he's going with us"  I asked again with an irritated laugh "why do we have a dog with us??"  Thinking he was funny, he said "you mentioned possibly needing to be pulled in at the end, well see the big yellow rope... she's going to be your dog sled".  It's funny how timing is everything when it comes to jokes. 

    When I finally got the truth out of him I realized that we were dropping her off with some relatives a couple miles away from where the ride started.  Knowing the true story didn't get us there any faster and when we did get there we weren't the only ones who were late.  We can only try so hard but if we seriously thought we were going to get a team picture with 44 people we were surely dreaming.

   Here are a few more; you can tape them together if you want,lol.

     Watch for more team photos to follow.

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Team CSX saves the day!

     You would think that with having a whole year to plan for this ride it would go off as smooth as silk, but as we were getting close to the day of the ride we soon discovered that the best laid plans don't always work out.

     From the very start Team Leapfrog wanted to cross the finish line in Port Clinton , so we had to somehow find a way to make it to the halfway point so we could ride thirty five miles in.

     We were on top of it and we soon had a truck to transport our bikes and a bus to transport us as well.

     Two days before the ride we discovered the truck was double booked and now we had no way of getting our bikes to our starting point.

     However, Rob Burkett from Team CSX saved the day when he very generously offered us the use of the CSX truck. 

 and then to add to his generosity, one of our riders had a broken axle on his bike and was offered the use of Rob's personal bike (seen here).  Twice in one day, before the ride even started we saw the kindness of another team.

     When we got to "our" starting point and got off the bus we were all going in different directions trying to prepare for take off.  All of a sudden two police officers started walking towards me and asked me to come with them.  At first it seemed a little odd; I knew I wasn't speeding, I rode the bus, and I knew I wasn't parked illegally because again my car wasn't there... I looked down at my nerve zapper on my leg and said "oh... is it because I'm on house arrest?"  They looked at the contraption on my leg and laughed and said that was it!  Then they said "we want to get a picture of your team in front of the CSX truck". Now it all made sense, because I clearly wasn't due back until Monday:)

     Look for more about our ride and pictures in the posts to follow:)

Have a great day!!



Monday, June 23, 2014

See, I told you I was a girl on a mission:)

     Way back when, I told you I was gonna do this ride and I seriously had no idea how, but I just knew it would all work out.

     Well, I survived and I'm here to talk about it!  I have many pictures and stories and I'll be sure to share them with you, but first things first.  Last Friday Fred Lefevbre had Reeves and me on his show one last time before the ride and Fred was very impressed at our progress.  44 riders and almost 13 thousand dollars with still months to go to turn in donations, all with the help of a team that didn't exist last year, was something I could have never imagined.

     The picture up top was the look of a girl who was timidly hoping to make this ride, and the picture below is one of a confident girl who believes she can do it, and she did!

Rob Burket, Team CSX

Stay tuned for more about my ride and photos soon, but for now just know that I DID IT!! :) Thirty Eight miles to be exact.  Next year I'm doing fifty!!:)

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Tomorrow's the day! How exciting!!

     It's hard to believe Tomorrow is the day we've all been working up to!  The Bike To The Bay is finally here.  I can remember a year ago saying I'm going to try to ride in the bike to the bay and if I make it...  Well I don't say "if" I make it anymore because I won't allow "can't" into my vocabulary.

     How can I possibly think this ride isn't possible when a team of 43 optimistic riders believe we "can" do this.  Sure there have been a few snags in the system with registration and donations, transportation etc... but in the end I know we're all in this for the reason behind our team name "Team Leapfrog".  It's that leap of faith that made our team so strong.  

     We may not have all of the contacts built up like the other huge teams have, but for this being the first year and to do what we've done I know it's faith that got us here.

     Next year, when we all know what we're doing and we get even more people involved I know there will be no stopping us, and one day we'll be saying "remember when we used to ride to raise money for that disease...oh yea, MS:)".

     I'm so fortunate to know such a great group of people and here's to making it over that finish line!!  

Have a great Bike To The Bay!!



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The last Bob Evans fund raiser before the ride is here

     Today is the last fundraiser at Bob Evans before the ride on Saturday so be sure to help Team Leap frog and Team Sitting Bull out by dining there today and take in the flyer or mention our teams and they will donate 15% to us.

     This is my buddy Matt the GM of the Central Avenue Bob Evans who is also on team Leapfrog.  Matt has sold many Team leapfrog shirts to help raise money for MS.  I am so honored to have such great people on my team.

     With only days until the ride I'm proud to say we just recently got our 43rd rider on a team that was non existent just one year ago.  It just goes to show you that you can never lose faith that things will work out and your friends are always there for you if you just ask.

     Please remember I still have more cute Leapfrog shirts for 20.00 to raise money for our team and you can still join my team this Friday at Perrysburg high school.  If you have some time on your hands Saturday and you want to help me out please join my team.  After all, we have through September to raise money.

Hope to see you at the Bay, and please come to Bob's today:)

Have a great day!!


Monday, June 16, 2014

More words of wisdom with Fred, Joe Sweeney and I.

           This week Fred not only interviewed me about my progress in training and fundraising but he also had a long time rider of 24 years, Joe Sweeney on his show.  

     Joe's story was typical of most long time riders, he had a relative with MS and heard about the ride and a million years later he continues to carry out this mission for the good of all those afflicted with this horrible disease.  He was one of 5 people to be riding in all 25 years of the Bike To The Bay.  He is a remarkable man!

      After 5 weeks of Fred following my progress you would think Fred has nothing left to ask me and my story would be covered, but somehow he still wants me back.

     I really think he has me there for two reasons: one, as he said he's training vicariously through me, which is a whole lot easier than getting on the bike himself, lol, and two: he needs material for his show And I appear to be a good target.

     I know it's all in fun and anything for the entertainment of others, I say.  After I was finished giving him my weekly update I made sure to remind the riders that they needed to pick up their riding packets that day.  How was I supposed to know Fred had already made that point three times earlier in the show??  It's not like I have nothing better to do than listen to him ramble on,lol.  When I essentially let him know this he jokingly said there are many farm fields on the ride and he would have to go whipping by me to make sure I go landing in one.

     Now the joke's on him because he has spent so much time riding vicariously through me that I'm pretty sure  I won't have to worry about him passing by me on the ride:)  I may eat my words but If I do end up in a corn field I can be grateful for one thing, and that is the old saying "knee high by the forth of July" and this is only June; at least I won't be lost forever!!

     Seriously though, Fred has a good heart and this is a man who genuinely cares, so I'll take anything he dishes out!

   Listen to our interview:)

* Don't forget to go to Bob Evans this Wednesday and mention Team leapfrog or Team sitting Bull and 15% will go to our teams!! 

Have a great day!!


Friday, June 13, 2014

The Queen Of Improvision

     Over the years I've learned that sometimes vanity has to take a back seat if you want to survive.  I've been told I don't always do things conventionally and I agree, I'm not exactly the picture of a professional biker; the word "crazy" may have even been thrown out there a few times; I mean, look at the goofy shorts:)

     I really don't mind being called crazy or unconventional and I do what ever it takes to make my life "happen".

     A "professional biker" would have those fancy, curvy handle bars that make them more arrow dynamic.  I have up right handlebars so my arms don't go completely numb, but hey it worked for Dorothy...and Toto too!

     Most "bikers" travel light so they can get to the finish line fast.  I have to have a saddlebag with My "nerve zapper" (my turbo leg!) for my toe, so when I get off my bike I don't trip, and a battery in case it goes dead and a cover for it in case it rains... I could go on and on...

     Then a real "biker" would have those cool shoes that clip into the pedals so they can become one with the bike.  I, however, need my strong leg free so I can put it down in a second's notice when I'm forced to stop.  Then of course I need the funky "practical  shoes".

     But if I don't look goofy enough I have one more improvise that makes my life easier...

     My strong leg has always done most of the work on a bike ride and my shin has to take up the slack by balancing on my pedal at a stop,  so it's in perfect position for take off,  therefore, smooth pedals are a must if I don't want mutilation of my leg.  But my poor weak leg, as much as it wants to be helpful, is constantly slipping off the smooth pedal.

      I really wished I could have spikes on my pedals so my right leg felt secure, but it wasn't possible.  Being the queen of improvision I came up with a solution not many "cool riders" would stoop to.  I simply have two different pedals; one smooth for my poor calve on my strong leg, and spikes for my week leg to hold on to.  I may be crazy, but I'm smarter than the average bear;)

Just so you don't start making some calls to have me committed I had to show you what they look like and you'll see they don't make me look like a "total" freakazoid, and even if they did, I guess I'll except my new title, because it isn't easy being "The Queen Of Improvision":)

smooth pedal

spiked pedal

Right?!? :)

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Training wheels, training or trains

     With all of my training for the Bike To The Bay over the past year I've over come many obstacles and made many interesting discoveries.

     One year ago I was very proud of myself when I made it 8 miles on my bike, and now if I don't go at  least 15 miles it isn't really a "bike ride" at all.  And I thought those "training wheels" would never come off.

     I've gone from huffing and puffing at 8 -10 miles an hour to averaging about 13 miles an hour;  All this with only one "good leg".  It's amazing what you can accomplish if you just have faith.

     The many bike trails I've discovered around the city have opened up a whole new world for me, and It's a freedom I never knew existed.

     One of my favorite bike trails is the University Parks Trail.  After riding it many times I learned a bit about the origin of this fine trail.  To my understanding this trail was built along the route of an old rail road, which you can see as you travel the path, though never a glimpse of a train in sight.

     Yesterday, however, I made another discovery and that is that this railroad is only "old" in the sense of the word, but by no means retired.

     I always pick up this trail by way of Wildwood park and for the first time I was actually stopped in my tracks (no pun intended) by a passing train.  I had to take a picture because it was so unbelievable.

     Then I had to have a kind stranger and fellow biker snap a picture of the expression on my face which meant  "WTF" (When's this finished??... come on, what were you thinking?!?!).

     So now I guess I have to rename this the University Parks Trail/railroad, and not only do I have to watch out for crossing animals, but possibly a random train or two.

Have a great day!!


Monday, June 9, 2014

The countdown continues... day five with Fred LeFevbre

     The Bike To The Bay seemed so far away when I started training last summer, and now we're talking less than two weeks.  I'm going to take every opportunity to get people on board to help me on my mission to Make the 25th year huge.  Fred has been keeping me on track for the past month  and Knowing he'll ask me every Friday on his radio show gives me the incentive to get out and ride when I could really think of a million excuses why not.

     Though I have a million excuses in my head why not to  ride, I have simply one reason to ride, and that is to wipe out MS; I don't think I need another one.

     This week he also had a rider, Dr. Tom Cable on the show,  who is riding in his 25th Bike To The Bay.  It was quite impressive to say the least, and what started out as a ride for his enjoyment turned into one of passion for the cause.

     Seeing his drive gives me even more incentive to jump on board and help make it monumental.  Without people like Tom, I probably wouldn't have the ability to ride today because when he first started 25 years ago there was little hope for anything but rapid decline.  Today we have eleven treatments to slow down progression and Today I can Ride!

Have a great day!!



Friday, June 6, 2014

It's a small world after all

     Way back, almost a year ago, when I got this crazy notion to ride, my dream was to build a team a mile long.  At that time, in my mind 25 was huge, and if you laid them down head to toe maybe they would add up to a mile!! I wasn't sure it was possible to find that many riders but I would surely try my hardest.

   I've long since passed that number and I've learned there are a lot more people that care about this cause than I gave credit.


     When I first started recruiting, my friends Kelly and Jim, from an MS meeting that we go to monthly, were among a couple of the first to join my team.

     As I started asking more people, I knew it wasn't going to be hard to see my team grow.  I was pleasantly surprised when my friends Bill and Lori said they would ride.  In fact Lori said her boss, the owner of Mike's Southwest Grill would probably sponsor our team shirts because he has a daughter with MS who is also riding.  I said "Hey, maybe she'll join our team!!" 

     When I saw Lori again I asked her if she had approached her bosses daughter; Lori told me his daughter was already riding on a team, but her boss still wanted to sponsor our team shirts.

     I was bound and determined to get her on my team, but every time I asked Lori she said his daughter wasn't changing because she was committed to the other team, and I could respect that because I would hope my friends were that committed to me:)

     A few months later when the shirts came in I took a couple in to my MS meeting to give to my team mates, Kelly and Jim.  Kelly's mom happened to come along with Kelly that day.  Her mom told me that she wanted to buy a shirt, which we happened to be selling to raise more money for our team.  I was thrilled that she wanted to purchase one and gave her the shirt. 

     A few minutes later she approached me and asked how I got a particular logo on the back of my shirt.  I told her they were my sponsors.  She said she knew her husband was sponsoring a team but had no idea it was this one. 

     So as it turns out, I was spending all of this time trying to recruit someone from another team and it was my team she was committed to all along.  

     This may not be Disney World, but it sure is a small world after all:)

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014



     I did it!!! Who would have thought when I started this blog last fall that I would hit 10,000 page views!!  And I'm actually over that mile marker now.  So I either have quite a few people who believe in me or one person who is totally obsessed... either way, thank you for following and encouraging me through this journey; you are awesome. 

     When I first decided to ride (or was pushed into riding) in this year's "Bike To The Bay", I have to admit I was very scared by the thought of riding my bike 35 miles, but I knew if I didn't at least try I couldn't send the message that I desperately wanted to send, and that was that sometimes we need to step out side of our comfort zone and take that leap of faith.

     Well by now I've conquered almost every obstacle imaginable, from riding with the wrong tires and in the wrong gear, and eventually realizing gloves helped keep my hands from going numb (somewhat).  Then there was  the riding in extreme humidity or in tsunami like winds, going through downtown Toledo while dodging rocks, glass, traffic and those crazy geese in international park, next there was  the challenge of riding on impossibly hilly roads (all while in the highest gear possible,oops!)... oh yea... and wearing a goofy "so called" bike outfit and being subject to total ridicule.  

But I made it and I really believe I'm gonna cross that finish line in one piece!

     Now that I have total confidence in the ride it's self, I need desperately to work on my main goal, and that is to raise as much money for MS as we possibly can, and I haven't given up on the 50 riders yet; I'm in the forties now! With all of the people who have been there for me, whether it's in body or spirit, I truly believe that we will make a difference. 

      Looking back, I am so glad I was pushed into doing a ride that I thought wasn't possible.  I guess some times we all have to take that leap of faith.

(BTW... we have  about a million Leapfrog shirts for sale! give or take; talk about a leap of faith!)

Have a great day!!



Monday, June 2, 2014

The fourth time on Fred's talk show and he hasn't kicked me off yet!

     With the bike to the bay gaining on us I really need to do everything to raise money, and for the last four weeks  one way to raise awareness is to join Fred LeFevbre on his talk show.

     This week he also had a fellow BTTB rider, Eric Duling who has ridden all 24 years and this will be his 25th.

     I'll tell you one thing; I'm really learning a lot in this whole process, one being that according to Eric I've been riding in the worst gear possible all this time.  I just figured 21, which was the highest gear would make it so I had to pedal less, which seemed like a no brainer.  Who wouldn't want less work.

     What Eric explained was, yes, you pedal less but the high gear makes it extremely hard, which is why I was struggling so much to make it up steep hills; who knew?!

     Before the interview, at 6:00 in the morning, I had taken a ride on my bike and then I ended at the studio. Of course Fred had to accuse me of looking more like someone from a European circus than a "biker".  I don't know what he was talking about: This is what I was wearing and I have to admit, I don't think a circus clown would be caught dead in this "Mary Poppins" get up:)

     I didn't know this was a fashion show, but if that's the case, then maybe we need to rename it "project runway to the bay":)  Just a thought...

Listen to our interview :)

Have a great day!!