Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's a Plan "B" day

Ok, it's a Plan "B" day...

After a fitful nights sleep, which I always do if I have an early ride time schduled, I woke at 5:15 and got ready to ride. The deck out the back door was damp but no rain! I ate a quick breakfast and flipped on Weather Channel. Yep, rain is heading this way but maybe we'll get a few minutes of riding in today.

I grab my gear bag and head out into the garage, open the door and here it comes... rain. Big sigh of disappointment then turn around and head back into the house, flip the coffee maker on and stand there and stare at it.

I return to my stack of donor letters and it's a growing stack to say the least. I plan on making an impact for these kids I'll be riding for. If I can help make the life of a hearing impaired kid a little better and help him/her to succeed in life then I'm happy. To change it for many? Well, honestly that would be like winning the lottery, I can't comprehend it! It's too good! But it does happen to people! We all dream!

Ok, true confessions... actually two. First, the story about the new bike was an early April Fool's joke but not many folks read the comments attached to the daily entry's so it was a bust. I really do love that bike and am actually taking it out for a test on Tuesday night for the club ride.

Confession #2: Yes, I'm becoming very nervous about going for 3 weeks without a hearing aid and basically being completely without hearing. It's just outpatient surgery but the ear has to heal. Dr. Dornhoffer, who is a hero to me and many others, said no bike for 1 week but no hearing aid for 3!! No music or laughter is just something that spooks me to no end. Serious, can you imagine not hearing anything? Stop for a moment and list all the things you can hear at this very moment. Now take them ALL away. Nope, you can't even hear the tapping of the keyboard, no music, no family voices, no friends voices not even the lawn mower if you were standing right beside it. Spooky huh? That my friends is EXACTLY why I am riding for these kids!

Plan "B" calls for riding in the beautiful forecasted sunny and 80 degrees tomorrow! I can't wait!

All for the kids!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Weekend quick hit...

Ok lunch is almost over so I have to write fast! Here are the weekend training plans.
Saturday morning:
6:30 start time from hut at the bottom of the Big Dam Bridge (yes, that's really what it's called)
We'll ride until the start of the diabetes charity ride, Tour de Cure

We'll ride the century at a social pace (about 15mph) due to the long day in the saddle. When we finish we'll stay down on the river and continue riding until every falls over.

Ok, Plan "B" -- There is a 70% chance of rain tomorrow (Saturday).
Move long rides to Sunday, start around 10:30 (after early service), ride until the sun goes does around 7:30.

Goal: Must have 100 miles in at least one day this weekend.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oh goodness! What have I done?!!!

I bought this jewel and she's fast and I'm in soooo much trouble! My wife is out of town on business and I haven't mentioned it to her yet. I was supposed to buy a new lawn mower but I bought a bike instead. Oh friends... someone let me stash this Specialized beauty in your garage until I figure out what to do!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The rain cometh!

There are rivers of yellow flowing down the roads! The rain finally came and started washing the pollen off of everything. It's been a mess! Everyone has yellow cars.

Since we are having rain I took it as a cue to work some more on the donor letters. It's actually fun to do but really time consuming so I get up a lot earlier so I can work on them before the sun raises and then I can spend after work on the bike and with family. I don't see how these men and women that train for the Ironman races do it. I have one bud that gets up at 4am to swim.

Everything is really come together for a great ride event. I got an email from Unitron, the maker of my hearing aid, and they will be a part of the event and gave me news that made me jump and yell! Serious! They made a donation. It's a major one! More details later... yep, it's like getting that little bit of frosting off the spoon and wondering how great the dessert will be when it's all finished! To Sue, Brian and all the wonderful staff at Unitron, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have changed so many lives with your products. I still remember the day I stepped out of my car that afternoon I got my Unitron and I heard the dry leaves rolling across the parking lot.... magic doesn't even capture it! Hearing things I've not heard since I was a kid. It was a then and there moment that you just never forget! Thank you!

Audiology Online has also jumped on with a great donation and a story that will be worth gold! Paul and Joanne are the best in helping me tell the story in hopes that folks want let a hearing impairment stop them from what they love to do.

Tomorrow will find me back out on the bike and training on the hills. This is one of the little hills out the back side of my neighborhood. It's a nice hill that makes me think of new words as I climb it. I took this photo about midway down. What you can't see is that after what looks like the bottom of the hill, well, it goes on and on and on. It's great for training and car are used to seeing cyclist back there some they're good. I've only had one crazy car in all the years I've been training on this.
I saw the forecast for Saturday and we are supposed to ride in the morning, then ride to the Diabetes ride called Tour de Cure and ride their century then ride more after the ride. On the saddle for at least 8 hours Saturday is the plan. Keep your fingers crossed the weather plays fair! I'll go nuts if I have to cancel a whole training day.
I have this weekend and next then I have my canal plasity (sp?) and have to stay off the bike for a week and no hearing aid allowed for up to 3. Man, it's going to be an expereince when I enter 3 weeks of no sound. In all honesty, I think it will make me a better man. It will make me understand what a deaf person goes through. It will make me train that much harder to ride that much better for the kids.
Remember... it's ALL for the kids!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday ride

What a day I tell ya'll! It was great right from the start. Beautiful morning with spring time temps and light wind. I was just about to head out and Emand Terri got up so I stuck around to greet the morning with them. I rolled out about 8:30 and headed down North Hills to the river. I was feeling great this morning! Full of energy and had a big smile on my face ... well til the bugs started hitting my teeth! HA!

When I got down the the river I remembered that last week I noticed the new baseball stadium had it's gates open for the workers to come and go. I decided I would take and get in and sure enough the gates were open and I rode my bike right through the gates and into the stadium. What a beautiful place! I can't wait to go to a game there!

Just after I left the baseball stadium I rode right by the Hilton and there were two tour buses there. I had forgotten that Evanescence (sp?) is in town town. Actually they are back "Home" tonight. They are from Little Rock! The buses were all roped off and it was funny because one of the buses also had a black hummer sitting in the roped off section as well. I suspected that the leader singer Amy Lee went home to crash. Alltel Arena is non stop shows and concerts this spring. The Who was heere a couple of nights ago and I heard it was great. Rod Stewart is coming, Evanescence is tonight. Cirque is coming in late May. There are several others I'm sure.

While I was riding by the Hilton another rider rode up beside me and lo and behold it was Rick Beall! He is one of the guys that got me back on the bike several years ago. We had a great ride and rode together until we got to the boat ramp and dropped off for the Trek bikes demo days. They were really ready and would be there until 4 so I left and got more miles in. I came back a while later and spoke with the demo guy and got to take a sick Trek Pilot 5.0 out for a while! I'm in love! The bike I have is actually too big but I've been happy with it for over 3 year now. Well, I finally rode one that was my size for the first time and it was candy! It was smooth, quick to change to giddy up, just pure love! If I can get a good trade in I might do it. Richard, the owner of the bike shop, found out today that his shop sold me the bike and said he was sorry several times. I told him it was cool and that I have been happy with it for 3 years now. I really am. Yep, that's the Pilot over in the photo. He also suggested an different Specialized so I'll probably go at least look. Maybe since I have them as a sponsor then I can get are really go deal. If anyone wants a bike, go see Robb or Richard at Arkasnas Bike and Fitness and tell them I sent you!

Stats: 46 miles
Average speed: 16.2
Did not count miles on the Pilot demo.
Year to date miles: 868.10

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday night

Great training ride tonight. Everyone was in the zone and playing hard. When I got to where I normally park my car it was close to 6 already so I expected to see them coming through within seconds but no club. I rode toward the starting point and I could see them up on the hill in the parking lot about to start. They would be coming my way so i started down the route. Just as I got to Ft Roots they fast guys caught me. I rode the rest of the ride in the mid group.

Awesome aftenoon and evening to be out. We had to stay away from Alltel since The Who was in town.

I'm ready for the weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Kelly (Phonak), Patti (Driector of ACH Audiology/Speech), Me, Nanette (UAMS), and Mary Martha (ACH -- my Audiolgist guru)

Wow! What an awesome day yesterday was! I had so much to get done but somehow it all feel in place.

I met with Phonak rep Kelly in our Audiology Center here at the hospital and we discussed all sorts of things to do during the ride in June. Kelly wired me for FM and it was mind blowing to say the least! Kids these days have such an advantage when it comes to hearing impairments. Kelly had me put on this necklace and then she had a control that looked like a remote. She was able to pick up my hearing aid signal (that was mind blowing enough!) and then she started talking and I sat there with my mouth opened in awe! Serious! Everyone in the room was laughing. Hear speech was actually IN my hearing aid. Then she got up and walked down the hall a long ways and I could here every word she said and very loud. What this was, was the FM device that they now use in the school system to help kids with hearing problems. There were all sorts of ways to configure the system. I could even answer the cell phone by a touch of the button and not even pulling the cell phone out and the voice was inside my hearing aid. Thanks PHONAK!

I met up with the club and we rode out to Ft Roots for climbing and socializing. After we all flew down the hill we rode the road a little bit then turned around to head back to Burn’s Park. I was riding along with David M and his son Blake (up and coming bike star!). We rode up Ft Roots again instead of chasing the crew to Burn’s. On the way up it was great to listen to David coaching his son. David has been around the cycling world for a long time and is know as a strong rider. He is also married to Lori who works here at the hospital as a Telecommunications Director. While going up the hill the second time Blake told me this was his first time to climb Ft Roots. Wha?!! The kid is a turning into a strong riding machine! I think his is 13. I remember last year when he came out with us and he did great then for a young rider but now he is really zoning in on his skills. When you hear the name Blake Mc talked about on the Jr circuit, you remember where you heard it first!

The rest of the ride was good and I met up with the guys over in Burn’s for the tail end of the ride and social jabbering in the parking lot afterwards.

All in all it was just a great day!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Presenting the new jersey!!!!

I hope you all can see this! It's the most awesome jersey I've ever laid my eyes on! Jon has really gone over the top on this one! I hope you can click on it and see the big version. This is the jersey we are getting for the River 2 River ride in June!

Have you ever had those days where you look up and several days have gone by and you didn't even realize it? From last Thursday until this afternoon have been sort of a zip-zap-zoom. I worked through the day Thursday with really no sleep.

Friday -- Terri and I went to Roma for dinner. Oh man, I could live in that place!

Saturday -- stuff around the house then a nice 69.7 mile ride at 15.7 mph average. Then we grilled for dinner! Yummmmm!

Sunday -- Church, down to Benton to visit Dad, back to Sherwood, worked on donor letters for the ride in June, had friends over.

Monday -- Work, spent all afternoon doing pre-surgery for my ear surgery in April. 4 hours of docs and waiting. Gee whiz! Got home, rode 29 miles and was very surprised to see a 17.1 average especially since I rode the hill in the backside of Burn's Park. Saw my first snake of the season. It had just been hit by a car and was still moving a little.

Ok, Dad news... first of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kind notes, emails and phone calls. Dad has been moved to a "skilled nursing" area. I thought the name was funny. Aren't all nurses skilled? Anyway, he has a huge room and the unit is set up so that he learns daily living skills again. The whole illness was centered around diabetes. He is doing things that he hasn't been able to do in 3 years! He has workouts a couple times a day. When we saw him yesterday he looked like a different man all together! He even spent the night solo in his room. I think his life is going to be better and this whole thing was a wake up call for him. His mental alertness was so much better too!

Well y'all take care!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Not goin' down til the sun comes up!

"Not goin' down til the sun comes up" is a song by Garth Brooks but it was my dad's anthem last night. Yep, I spent the night at the hospital with my daddy. I think he slept for maybe 2 hours all night. I slept for a couple of 10 minute sessions and here I am shoveling down my yogurt and working through the day like no one's business. Lunch as usual. Ok, that's a lie... I am working but like a propped up zombie jacked up on a veni (the jumbo cup) from Java City. My boss asked me how many I would have today and I predicted 3. Ya do what ya gotta do!

Spending the night in a hospital with my dad was actually good for me. I think I now know why my sister Sherry actually enjoys some of her insomniac nights. The world is very quite and still. I sat in a chair beside the window of his 5th floor window and watched trucks going down I-30. I began to get the silly's about 4:30 and tried to guess what was in the trucks. I had convinced myself that one of them was full of those Tickle Me Elmo toys that dance. But I also had deep thoughts. Thoughts about all of my family. Where we've been. Where we're going.

At one time when I did doze off I woke 8 minutes later to find my dad standing beside his bed without his walker. I had thought that he would be sleeping all night since he was up the night before and didn't sleep during the day. My first thought was the siblings are gonna kill me if he falls. I kept my eye on him the rest of the night. Just as he would go to sleep the nurse would come in to check vitals. At 5:30 he started shaking violently and I was just about to hit the door for the nurse station but he was yelling about being so cold. He was dreaming. When he realized this and was awake his face looked like a scared child. In all honesty, he was looking into the face of his scared child. I sat in the chair that I had now pulled up to against the bedside and put my hand on his shoulder to let him know I was there and he returned to sleeping. I sat in the early morning darkness wondering just how many nights he had done the same for me when I was a child.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Like ah hot pink storm!

It happened tonight! The "family" was all back together and what a fun time it was! The 6pm start time at Cook's and as I rolled into the parking lot I'm greeted long before I ever roll to a stop. Sort of like the beginning of the tv show "Cheers". It's just a warm fuzzy feeling when you have a bike group like the one I ride with. Ok, it was warm fuzzy until after a couple miles then it was "eat my shorts!". The kids are soooo fast this year. I remember when I first started riding with them and we rode along about 18mph. I think the 18mph was within the first couple of pedal strokes tonight. But it was all good! No wrecks, no pukes... just a good time had by all.

When we started it was like a rolling dust storm heading across the desert! Folks could see it long before it hit and when it hit, you knew it. There was a running club that had just finished as we started and they all sort of stood there with their mouths open in awe. Or maybe they were gasping for air. Then there were families walking along that stopped just to watch us roll by. Several smiled and waved. I always wished we had water bottles to toss over to kids. Hey, they don't know we don't ride "that ride over in France".

Spotted several Carve out training and one of the Competitive Cyclist guys rode with us tonight.

Yale took a bunch of photos so as soon as he post them I'll beg to snag a few and post here so you can see just how big the ride was.

Later y'all!

Oh yeah baby!!!

Emotional roller coaster the past few days.

Sunday my Dad was admitted to the hospital. I spoke with one sister and she said he was ok and I should come tomorrow. Later another sister called (there are 4 of them) and said you should go on down and see him, "it's bad". I drop what I'm doing and rush down the interstate. Yes, Dad looked trouble and they had him drugged up. I stayed until about 9:30 and drove back home. Went to work until 11 and heading back down there. He was a lot better. He had been passing out for a couple of days and was really weak. The jury is still out right now.

While I sat in the room with my parents it made me realize how lucky I was at my age to still have both parents. My mom asked if I would give Dad a shave and it was instantly an retro moment of standing on the closed toilet watching my daddy shave and wanting to do it so bad! He always gave me shaving cream to play with. Now here I am shaving my dad while he lays in a hospital bed. We both get tickled. I tried to put shaving cream between his lip and nose and I think half of it went up his nose. I took forever for me to get the shaving done. Sort of like tying a tie on a little boy. It's all done opposite from what you're used to. It was a good moment. A moment that reminds me of my upbringing.

I just now got a call from yet another sister and said she dad was doing much better. They are still looking at other stuff just to be sure but hopefully he will go home in a couple days.

My niece from was there with funny stories about her twins. I have to share this one. She was telling me that she could hear the little boy crying and went to check on him and the little girl (they're twins) was right in his face and had been licking his head and his hair was coated in spit! Another time the little girl was screaming and she ran in there to find the little boy with a fist full of her hair pulling and he was laughing. I'll get to see them in May when I go up for the Joe Martin Stage races. Can't wait!

Ok, yes it's daylight savings and oh yes... I'm excited!!! I rode for a while last night after i got back from the hospital. I had to do something after sitting for so long.

Tonight is the return of the Fast Girls Slow Guys Tuesday/Thursday night rides. I suspect there will be 50 or more folks out there. It will be a good time had by all. I'll take my spot close to the back while the racers will rip the assfault (he he he) off the road! Last night during my ride I saw a gathering of Carve all stopped and chatting. I bet they were talking race strategy for when the racing season starts. They will have a new force to recon with when Fast Girls Slow Guys start in. The season is sort of like a blockbuster movie you've been waiting for. The critics are gonna love it!

Well lunch is over and got to get back after it.

Oh, by the way, guess who I get to meet with next week... yes it's about the ride in June... Yes it's a major company... yes, they are coming here!!! PHONAK!!!!!! Rumor has it they also want to try some new technology while I'm training and riding.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Welcome spring!

It's here and I'm so happy! I woke this morning to see sunshine and blue skies after a rainy evening last night. The streets were already drying and the temp was comfortable. It was setting up to be an epic day! I had a light breakfast of just a couple of cinna-sticks and a cup of coffee and then was in the planning mode. I knew I was going to ride a lot today and wanted to get it started.

Loaded up and headed to the river. The plan was to ride laps around the river as well as some side trips. I pulled into the parking lot and Fonda, Mitch and another guy had just come in from a ride out to Scott (farmland). We spoke for a little bit and they headed home while I started getting my stuff ready to ride. Then the big "Ot-o"!! Ok they must have slid under the seat... nope. Big sigh... no shoes! I always check before leaving the house but somehow missed putting my shoes back in the bag after my last ride. Back to the house, got shoes, back to the river... 40 minutes blown.

Finally got going and it's getting foggier and foggier. It's getting cooler too. The more I rode toward the dam the darker and colder it was getting. Everyone coming my way had jackets and tights on. I have on shorts and a short sleeve jersey. No way, I turn around and start riding back toward the car and will ride toward Scott (farmlands). I ride to England! It's one the the best rides! Very light breeze if any. No traffic for most of the ride. The fields are being turned for planting and several have dark green grass growing. Not sure if it's a cover crop or for hay. It's really a mental lift to see the field all green. I ride back to the parking lot and still feel good so I ride around the river trail. Lots of bikes out and everyone seems to be smiling and happy winter is over!

I met up with Paul Creel over at Cook's. For those of you who pray, please pray for Paul's dad. He's been in the hospital for a month and has heart problems. Paul was finally getting to get out and ride a bit today and was waiting on some friends to show up. I pedaled on but after stopping and talking to my body got out of sync. I wasn't tired until then. I guess when I stopped I must have cooled down. I was still moving at 17 but I was feeling the love now. Bummer. I rode back to the car and called it for the day.

I was surprised to see my readings: 78.1 miles with a 16.6 average. Not bad at all for my first good long ride of the spring!

Since tomorrow is the beginning of daylight savings (excuse me a moment I must do a little jig!) and it's basically Christmas to me, I'll ride a recovery ride tomorrow of about 30-40 miles then maybe start riding home from the hospital. There are lots of options!

I started putting the donor letters together last night after Terri and I got back from eating out. I have 500 return envelopes. I have no telling how many companies with owner names in the cities along the route. I will hit them first since we'll be riding right through their towns. there are several cities that I can't go after such as Russellville, Conway, Clarksville since they already have ACH Circle of Friends chapters there rasing money for the hospital. The rest is fair game!

I sent a letter to FRS yesterday and got a response back from a staff member and the letter was heading over to sponsorship dept! I'm hoping since the ride is extreme distance they will jump on board! And yes I used their products today. Between that and the weather, I think that's why it was an epic riding day!

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm now an FRS snob!

Ok, I admit, I'm an FRS products snob and for a good reason... they are awesome products! I ordered the chews and tried one this morning before leaving the house for work. I could tell all morning long that something was different. It's not like coffee/sugar rush. It's just a feeling like you had the best nights sleep you've ever had and your mentally very alert. I was plowing through my work and it was all just flowing.

More later...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Don't let the sun go down on me...

It was one of those afternoons where the weather was perfect and the riding was good! I rode from the hospital and Terri picked me up around 6:30 after her meeting. It was a get afternoon of riding. I felt strong.
I spotted Carve out for there team training. Spotted a few Compeitive Cyclist team guys out. Season is about to begin!!! Woo Hoooo!!!
Sorry for the delay in posting but it's been very busy!!

We had about a thousand kids running in the Little Rockers Marathon! Lots of fun and the hospital is a major sponsor. We chalked up the streets all around the hospital with messages to the kid runners.

In a few minutes I'll head out from the office on my bike and ride until the sun goes down. Should get close to 30-35 miles in.Coach Rogers has really turned up the heat on my riding. Long saddle time.

Daylight savings starts next week so I'll be able to train a LOT after work and outside now! I LOVE daylight savings!.

Chris Irons, on of the River 2 River riders raced his bike on Saturday and threw down a sick 1/2 marathon on Sunday. Crazy man! All the Fast Girls Slow Guy runners did awesome! Congrats freinds!! WooHoooo!

The jersey is going into the coloring stages so we'll see a color version of the front before long! Yes!!Thanks for reading!Geo.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Little Rock Marathon

Here's a few shots of the marathon today.... more and write up tomorrow...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Anybody here?

I just think these signs on my ride are a hoot!

Afternoon on the Arkansas River

Spring is almost here!
A week from tomorrow is daylight savings time!

No one on the river trail this afternoon.
I spent the early morning reading a new book I bought. Yep, another bike touring journal. Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage. She and her husband ride around the world. So far they have started in CA, up to Canada, across the US, down to FL fly to Spain... Reading 2 ride journals back to back plus reading journals at has really got me into the touring mood!
The weather outside was cold and windy but otherwise a beautiful sun kissed day. I worked around the house until about 4 then headed out for a ride. 45 minutes later I'm finishing up. I was one of 3 bikes this afternoon. I should have guessed that when there are no runners or bikes on the river then something is going on. I suspect most of the runners are chowing down and resting for the big marathon tomorrow.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday afternoon quickie...

Just a quick one... it's been busy this week and looking forward to weekend.

Check this out!!! Fox 16 is going to show the finish line of the Little Rock Marathon live!
Here's your link!

Looks like about 1,000 kids will be running in the little rockers marathon. I'll be riding my bike as the lead out complete with ACH gear on and bunny ears! They are supposed to chase a rabbit! What can I say, I do just about anything for ACH! HA!

Also heard something like 9,000 runners for the marathon! WOO HOOO!!! We'll be putting up signs Saturday night for the runners and chalking the road by the hospital on Sunday midmorning.

Lots and lots of excitement here in central Arkansas this weekend!