Saturday, October 21, 2017


Things things don't always happen when we think they should. Sometimes they happen in their own time. Sometimes they seem impossible.

My youngest child turned 10 just the other day and she had not yet learned how to ride a bike.  Which is kind of odd because she basically grew up on the back of a bike; riding in bike seats, riding on trailer bikes, riding in bike trailers. But when it came to pedaling under our own power, the fear of falling seem to overwhelm the experience of learning to ride.

Over last few weekends, we've been going out to give it another go. Taking it one step at a time. Coasting,  coaching, and encouraging without pushing.  Short sessions. Just  enough to make a little progress and then call it a day.

Today, a warm fall day with just about perfect weather, we went back to the synagogue parking lot with the gentle incline that ends in a grassy field where she can coast without going too fast but go fast enough to have enough momentum for her bike to do its magic.

Today she lifted her feet and did the little dance of balance in her hips to keep the wheels rolling forward and coast down the gentle incline and into the grassy field. When I asked her what was different, she said she didn't think about falling.

On the next go-around, she put her feet on the pedals and turn them once, then twice and rolled down the gentle incline it into the grassy field further than she'd ever gone before.  When she turn to walk back to me her face held a tight secret smile while her eyes gleamed with the accomplishment.

On the next go, she was pedaling,  slightly wobbly but in control, riding on her own and her smile alone made the wait worthwhile. And just like that, when she didn't think about falling, the impossible became possible.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Million Meters of Milk - 1000 Kilometers in Wisconsin

"While the world spins underfoot, we start another day with wild hearts and fierce desire"*

Michele, the Great Lake Randonneurs' Regional Brevet Administrator, described the Million Meters of Milk as a 1000k where all riders would receive the same experience whether they were first finisher or lantern rouge.

Monday, June 12, 2017

New Holland 200K

It was a hot afternoon. Even now, sitting in the house as the last light of the June sunset languidly eases into the horizon, my body radiates heat. It's as if the afternoon sun soaked deep into my flesh the way summer heat soaks into asphalt and concrete and then lingers before it finally releases into cooler evening air.

The morning started off cooler. We met just before dawn. The New Holland 200K is the last 200K of the Pennsylvania 600K that started the day before. Some of the 600K riders who arrived in the night would start at 5:00 am with those of us just riding the 200K.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Rides of March bike challenge 2017

The month long March riding challenge is back and starts March 1, 2017. Let's get ready to PEDAL!!! 


  • "A" TEAM = 60 minutes a day  for 30 days
  • "B" TEAM = 30 minutes a day for 30 days
  • 24 HOUR TIME TRIAL=  60 minutes a day for 24 days
  • 12 HOUR TIME TRIAL =  30 minutes a day for 24 days

Rules: Ride 24 or 30 days in March for at least a half hour EACH day (you get one day off!).
  • Stationary bikes, rollers and trainers count! So does riding outside!
  • Track the number of days and minutes per day.
  • The riding minutes start fresh each day (no carryover from a prior day)
  • The Ides of March makeup special (ride an extra day's time - two half hours or two hours) and get credit for both!)
All who successfully complete the challenge and notify me will get listed in the Iron Rider blog (First name, last initial.)

Join the conversation on Facebook:

So who's in?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Friday Writing for Randos: Live to Fight Another Day

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's an excerpt from

A Man's Life

Live To Fight Another Day

By Mark Jenkins 

We went out for breakfast, a great heap of eggs and bacon, and talked about kids and guilt and climbing and Asia. About loss and lessons. We talked straight into the afternoon. We left the cafe and went to his house in the country and sat for hours drinking tea in a living room filled with mementos from Nepal. I told him about my own shadows of Everest. And Guy told me how, in 1995, he guided a client up, Doug Hansen, to the south summit of Everest before making the decision to pull the plug. Hansen died with Hall the following year.

It was a painful subject, and we quickly moved on. But the conversation circled back. It had to. Guy Cotter had spent his entire adulthood trying to determine when to push on and when to turn around. One of his best friends had died on the crux of the dilemma. His wisdom was hard won.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

First Friday writing for Randos: Embrace struggle

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's an excerpt from 

Life Lessons From the Guy Who Just Ran the Appalachian Trail Faster Than Anyone

By Brad Stulberg

Beat and broken down? Focus on what you can control.

Midway through the hike, my shin, which was an area of concern heading into this, blew up on me. It was really bad. I remember thinking to myself, “This could be over.” But I knew if I let that thought occupy my mind for too long, the attempt would be over. So rather than ruminate on the condition of my shin, I focused on what was in front of me, all the things I could do that were within my control like icing, taking anti-inflammatory meds, adjusting the pace, and eating more since I was moving slower. This not only helped me physically but also mentally, because it kept my mind occupied with productive and not destructive thoughts.

Low points are a part of long-ass hikes and low points are a part of life. But low points are just that — points. You’ve got to remind yourself things don’t always get worse and you can almost always make them better.