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Archive for the ‘Mission Moments’ Category

Kirkwood Sunday Ride, Blessing of the bikes, Atlanta Intown Rides, atlanta beltline, Stone mountain bicycle,

We have all had some close calls on our two-wheel adventures: spills, accidents or worse.  Please join the Kirkwood Sunday Ride for our first ever Blessing of the Bikes & Ride to the Rock. We are getting started early and will be finished by noon- so you still have the rest of the day to do stuff. Get righteous and ride!

8:00 AM

  • Moment of Silence & Remembrance
  • Nondenominational Blessing of the Bikes  led by Rev. Susannah Davis, Kirkwood UCC
  •  Preride caffeine uptake

9:00 AM (SHARP)

Ride to Stone Mountain! We will have 2-3 ability-based groups departing Kirkwood Station just outside of downtown Atlanta in the Historic Kirkwood community and riding 30-35 miles to Stone Mountain; roughly following the PATH route.  All groups will be no-drop, meaning nobody gets left behind!

To view the Atlanta PATH Foundation maps of the route click [here].  This is not the exact route, but if you are for some chance seperated from the pack, it will help get you home! 

This ride will not be supported, so please prepare accordingly. It should go without saying, but HELMETS ARE A MUST!

Post-ride brunch will be held at hip and yummy Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood Station, voted the “Best Breakfast in Atlanta” by Yelp.  Bring your appetites!

Find the Kirkwood Sunday Ride on Facebook [here]-stay in touch!

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About 6 months ago I founded 5hive Social Media after discovering that I had a natural and intuitive grasp of the social media world being revealed around us.  I actually discovered these skills while helping my brother Dan develop and implement a social media strategy for his company- Oxnard California based Channel Islands Helicopters.  In that time he has allowed me to use his Facebook Page as guinea pig- a bit of a testing grounds for some of our zany concepts.  In that time, his following has grown from a couple of hundred to nearly 3,000- accounting for an increasing percentage of tour sales.  This is not a shameless plug, I now transition from social media into my other favorite world- Cylcing!

I knew that the 2011 Amgen Tour of California was going to be happening soon, but while I was at Barnes & Noble this evening picking up the latest issue of Road Magazine, I noticed the official Tour Program for this year’s event.  Excited, I picked it up and began flipping through it, noting with a certain inward pride that Stage I would begin in Lake Tahoe and following much of the same route I had ridden as part of last year’s Team In Training! For an account of that epic event see:  Team Eddie News Vol. I.  In fact, the header for this blog was shot there! I eagerly bought both publications.

As I read on, I realized the Tour of California would be heading right through Dan’s neck of the woods near Oxnard. The Stage 6 time trials are taking place in nearby Slovang, California and after the Stage 7 mountain stage from Claremont up Mt. Baldy,   the Tour would return north for the final Stage 8 right in his back yard; finishing with road stage in neighboring Thousand Oaks.    I thought how terrific it might be to see the tour from the air in Dan’s  helicopter- then the light went off!  We should offer helicopter tours of the Tour of California!

A quick phone call and several text messages later, Dan and I came up with tour options and pricing. An hour later, the final graphic (above) was created and updated on his Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/channelislandsheli).  Cross postings were made to nearly 200,ooo fans on related pages and calls were made to race organizers VIP concierge services.  Dan said that if all the available slots were sold that he would fly me out to California to see the tour in person.  Giddy is not the word to describe my excitement at the prospect.

Just in case you are curious (this is a shameless plug), Channel Islands Helicopters is now officially offering the following tour options to view the Tour of California by air:

Friday, May 20th-Stage 6: Time Trial
Slovang, California-1 hour slots- $1000 each 
3 slots available
 
Saturday, May 21st– Stage 7: Mountain
Claremont, California to Mt. Baldy-1 hour slots- $1000 each 
2 slots Available
 
Saturday, May 21st– Stage 8: Road (Finish)
Claremont, California to Mt. Baldy-1 hour slots
1st half (est. 1hour)- $1000
2nd half  (passengers will see all finishes)- $2000
 
Pricing for each flight is for up to three passengers. 

As a final tie-in, one of the primary purposes of this page is to highlight my planned cross-country ride in spring of 2012 (read: Is This A Crazy Idea?) in memory of my father and Team Eddie Founder Terry Casey, to raise funds for cancer research and build awarness of all types of cancer.  Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer is a national initiative to increase awareness of the important resources available to people affected by cancer from prevention to survivorship. The initiative supports the valuable support, education and advocacy resources offered by Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

Note to self: do not drink coffee at 8pm to pull an anticipated all-nighter, then not need an all- nighter.  It is now 2 am- ugggghhhh. 

Keywords: Tour of California Areal, 2011 Tour of California, TOC

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This is the second part of the Series Sometimes It’s About the Bike.

 

Dad and Dan Skiing at Homewood, Lake Tahoe 2006

The final straw with the KHS cruiser as a credible training bike came in March, near the end of a weekly Team ride in the Town of Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta.  The Team-In-Training program assigns a volunteer mentor to help guide each participant through the challenges of fund raising and the rigors of preparing for the specific event.  My mentor was a British expatriate named Andrew Hirst- an all around great bloke who had completed the Tahoe Century two years earlier.  I had grown significantly  stronger  in the saddle since the first winter training rides and managed to stay with Andrew on his faster bike that day…until we reached the final climb of the ride leading back to the Kroger parking lot where we had begun.

Ahead of me, Andrew rose to lean into the steepening climb.  Meanwhile,  gravity exercised itself upon every ounce of the nearly thirty-pound cruiser which I rode; compelling it back toward the bottom of the hill as every muscle and tendon I was capable of summoning cajoled it upward.  I had read a Scientific American article indicating cursing actually produces a physiological soothing effect on pain.   Judging from the sting of superlatives I was in absolute agony as I cranked up that hill in pursuit of the Brit.  As we rolled toward the cars Andrew jokingly questioned my intention to ride the cruiser in Tahoe.  I questioned my intention as well.

Until recently, I was a person that found it convenient to dismiss the possibility of a “grand design” for the universe and the fact that I had a place in it.  I was baptized Catholic as an infant, but had always jokingly exclaimed  as an adult that it was not my fault.  I can count on both hands the number of times in my life I had voluntarily crossed the threshold of a Church.  Considering myself a spiritual person non-the-less, I maintained an undeveloped dogma which was  primarily of my own divination and which omitted almost completely the possibility of a personal and loving creator who’s power guided my way- independent of my acknowledgment or comprehension of that creator and his power.

My small ideology did allow  for the possibility that strings of cause-and-effect circumstances, like long sequences of computer programming code, may on seemingly random occasions generate unanticipated results which appear to be correlative-  coincidence.  A ghost in the machine.  It had entered into my consciousness that  perhaps such a coincidence was at play in the fact  it was in Lake Tahoe, during a 2006 family Christmas ski vacation that I witnessed the first signs of my fathers illness, and that I was now training to return there in order to ride in honor of his life- and the lives of others effected by cancer.  That the hand of god was plainly at work in this “coincidence” eluded me completely.

On a blustery day at the Homewood Ski Resort  in Tahoe, the wind was screaming in sixty-to-seventy mile an hour blasts over the peak above us, exploding into white mist on the water’s surface below- like an invisible freight train falling from the sky.  Looking down the lake from the chairlift we counted waterspouts as they rose in angry dervishes driven by the wind’s fury.   The ladies had called it quits on the slopes, retreating to the lodge with Liam and Ethan.   My Dad, Dan and I were the strongest skiers of our  family group  and having surveiled  a challenging glades run through the woods, we took the opportunity to  hit a couple of runs together.

The heavy snow and technical difficulty, combined with the  thin air  at an altitude of nearly 7800 feet, found me catching my breath at the end of the run as I joined Dan emerging from the tree line.  Dad joined us moments later and he was doubled-over, gasping for air.  Dan and I took the opportunity to lovingly taunt him about getting old and being out of shape- he shook his head breathlessly holding his gloved hand up to us indicating that he was okay, but  that we needed to wait a minute for him to recover.

Read the rest of the Sometimes it’s About the Bike Series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When I committed to participate in the 2010 Tahoe Century a.k.a. America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, with the Georgia Chapter of Team In Training (TNT), the fund-raising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I did so from the fairly self-centered standpoint that it provided an avenue  for me to achieve the personal goal  I had set of completing a 100-mile bicycle ride in 2010.  After a nearly decade long hiatus, I had begun riding again in earnest the  just  the previous fall, but had managed to complete a solo “death march” 60-miler on the Silver Comet Trail, so the 100 mile goal was a relatively realistic one.

I started the year with TNT riding the trusty and hefty KHS Urban-X, a great fender-clad city bike for cruising the neighborhood with the kids or throwing a case of beer on the rack, but not so great for hills of any grade, rides of more than 30 miles…or for looking good on the open road.   I rode alot with the the slower group and the older women I hung with all thought my bike was a hoot.

I had spoken to my Dad about doing the Tahoe Century in his honor, even though he was suffering from lung cancer rather than Leukemia or Lymphoma.  He was teary eyed at the prospect that I would even think about doing something like that for him- and he agreed.  He said that I would need a proper road bike for the effort and since he didn’t ride his anymore, why not send it down to me to ride.  In time, I could sense my Dad’s spirits rise and hear the excitement in his voice as I shared my training updates and fundraising status- this news really pulled him up a notch.

The large box containing the Dad’s bike arrived and I opened it excitedly; but then I just kind of sat there amongst the tools and parts and cried, realizing that the the reason that Dad had sent the bike wasn’t because he “didn’t ride it anymore” it was that he would not be riding it again- ever.  I closed up the box and it sat in the garage for a month.  I continued to ride the KHS on my TNT training rides for those weeks, and pedaled a little harder in an effort to avoid the grim reality of the road bike at home in the garage and what it meant.

This is part one of the series Sometimes it’s About the Bike

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In contemplating this journey by bicycle across America I am realizing that what I desire here is to tell a story. The story is that when we give, we love. When we love, then the light of god shines within us and upon us. When we are called from within to give of ourselves, then we comprehend the meaning of serenity and we know peace. To speak plainly, I think perhaps that it is only in these moments that we are truly human. This story and this journey are my answers to that call within me, and of necessity they are of the spirit.

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Is This A Crazy Idea?

Perhaps slightly, but not for the reasons you might think!  I am going to ride my bicycle cross-country nearly 4000 miles from Santa Barbara, California back to Atlanta, Georgia and I am going to raise $100,000 to fund the fight against cancer.  I am tentatively shooting for a late spring 2012 launch date roughly 18 months from now.  Now there…I feel such relief about it being out there in the open!  Now there is work to be done.

When I was 19 or 20  years old; after kindly being asked by my college not to return the following semester due to my sterling grade point average, I decided that I should take the opportunity to “find myself” on a cross-country bicycle trek.  Like many young men that age I was full of wanderlust and with a soul full of Kerouac, Thoreau and other  literary greats I was ready to discover the world.

In preparation for this truly epic and life-changing journey I had quit my job, broken up with my girlfriend and was making rudimentary preparations to head out onto the open road.  However, shortly before my departure I fell of my mountain bike while night-riding (without a headlight) and suffered a compound fracture of my collarbone and a run-of-the-mill fracture to my scapula.  Needless to say, the trip did not come off as planned and I found myself reporting for basic training at Ft. Knox Kentucky some short months later!

All of this is to say that this journey has been in me for quite some time. My more recent experience this summer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and completing my first 100-mile bike ride left me holding a live wire of sorts…the realization of joy and personal fulfillment that comes with giving of one’s self for the sole benefit of another.  I participated in the Tahoe Century and re-constituted Team Eddie to honor my father who had been battling lung cancer for the previous 3 years.

I was brought to tears of sadness and of joy by the personal stories I encountered in preparation for that ride.  I gained a new insight into the love of my father and his gentle  yet unyielding toughness in the face of an all-consuming beast.  My Dad passed away several weeks before the Tahoe Century ride- but Dan and I met him on the road there.  I still smile and feel a calm come over me when I clip-in for a training ride- because I can feel him right next to me.

It is my sincerest desire that this journey can help spare the life of at least one other in their fight against this disease. I hope that it is the ounce of gold I raise that can tip the scale to the favor of a survivor.  It is my hope that each stroke of my pedals will breathe life into someone who is struggling for a breath.  It is my hope that someday another son won’t have to say goodbye to his Dad because of this shitty disease.

“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”

-Jack Kerouac

Grandpa Eddie giving a last hug to Liam and Ethan. He died 5 days later.


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