Sunday, June 24, 2007

My New Ride

I mentioned in my last update that I had a surprise for this post. As you can see by the picture, my surprise is a new ride for RAGBRAI. Last Sunday I traded in my "old" bike for a new Trek Pilot 5.0 road bike. Why a new bike when I had a perfectly good one to begin with? Three reasons: First and most important, the Trek Pilot has a different frame geometry more suited for middle aged riders like myself. It allows me to sit a little more upright in the saddle even when I am low on my handlebars, which takes stress off my neck and back and quite simply makes for a more comfortable ride. When you are approaching 50 years of age and spending many hours a week on a bike, comfort is pretty important. Second, nothing beats new technology. My new bike has a full carbon fiber frame and fork which makes it very light and strong. The OCLV carbon used in my frame is the same that Lance Armstrong rode in his 7 Tour de France victories. At 17 pounds, my new bike is fast and comfortable, a great combination. And the final reason to buy a new bike (this one in particular)??? Because it is Wisconsin red and white.....enough said!

The Dexter Apache challenge is shaping up to be a real horse race. Dexter got out to an early lead but the folks up at Apache are closing the gap very quickly. Who wants a lunch cooked by senior management worse? Keep up the great work everybody and remember you have until July 15, 2007 to donate (see my "Welcome" post for details). Whether it is $1, $10, $100 or more, everything helps and is very much appreciated. Join the fun and help us beat cancer once and for all! All of you non Dexter Apache supporters have been equally fantastic. Thank you for your generosity.

Despite being gone most of the weekend at a wedding, I had another good training week. I put in 120 miles on the bike which takes my total training miles up to 800. Just for good measure, I threw in 42 miles of running. With 4 weeks until RAGBRAI, I feel great. I'm starting to think I may be able to hang with Lance for more than a few miles.

RAGBRAI week for Team LIVESTRONG is shaping up to be real exciting. In addition to riding with Lance, we will have a couple of opportunities to spend time with him off the bike as well as get front row seats to a concert he is hosting at the UNI Dome. I'll keep you posted as more is announced.

Until next week, take a walk, ride a bike or go for a run. And most importantly, help me help the Lance Armstrong Foundation get a stranglehold on cancer.

See you down the road.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Back In The Saddle

After being in Las Vegas for a week at a trade show, I finally got back in the saddle this past weekend. It was an important two days as it was my first back-to-back long days. Saturday I rode 70 miles through Jefferson, Van Buren and Washington counties. The last 20 miles were very warm. I was really tired by the end of the ride and was pretty worn out the rest of the day. I was really worried about my 50 mile ride the next morning. Riding in the same heat Sunday, I felt great for 50 miles and I think I solved the mystery of saddle soreness as I had a virtually pain free ride. My legs and lungs felt real strong and I am really encouraged about my fitness and my ability to survive 7 long days in the saddle. I am up to 670 miles of training and have now increased my training goal to an even 1,000 miles.

On the fundraising front, things are going well. Me and my 100 other LIVESTRONG teammates have raised about $150,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation with over a month to go. Personally, my fundraising campaign is off to a strong start. For those of you who have contributed, thank you so much. For those of you still planning on contributing, you still have time. See my "Welcome" post below for details on making your contribution. And by the way, Dexter has the early lead on Apache in the DAHI contribution challenge.

This week's picture is of the back of my LIVESTRONG team jersey. It's what I hope Lance will see most of RAGBRAI week!!! Stay tuned for next week as I have a surprise for my next post.

Finally, I would love to hear from you. At the end of this and each post you will see the word "comments". Click on this and you can send me a comment, question or just some simple words of encouragement.

Thanks again for your amazing support.

See you down the road.


Sunday, June 10, 2007


Congratulations to Team Dexter/Apache this past weekend. Lead by team captain Dale Sue Glass, the team raised about $4,000 for the American Cancer Society "relay for life". My wife Denise and I walked with the team for a while. The volunteers, supporters and survivors were all an inspiration. In their own way, they all stepped up and met the challenge.

Speaking of challenges, the employees at Dexter in Iowa and Apache in Wisconsin have agreed to a challenge worth every bit of the 500 miles I will ride in RAGBRAI. They have challenged each other to raise more donations per employee than the other. If Apache wins, I will head up to Wisconsin with some Iowa based managers and cook and serve lunch to everyone at Apache. If Dexter wins, Jim Freeze and his managers have to head to Iowa and cook and serve lunch to everyone at Dexter. This one is for more than donations. It is also for bragging rights. So come on everyone, step up and support cancer and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. We can't win the fight without your help. For those of you who have already made a contribution, thank you so much for your generosity. I must say, I am truly overwhelmed.

My training continues to go well. I rode about 150 miles this past week and ran 40 miles. I guess its no wonder why I am falling asleep on the couch at 8:30pm most nights! Yesterday, I rode 75 miles. My longest ride yet. I rode the same route as last week with a loop around Fairfield thrown in to get the total ride up to 75 miles. It was a great day to ride, and I felt good all around. Next weekend I plan on doing a 70 miler and a 50 miler on consecutive days to see how I respond to back-to-back long rides.

This weeks picture shows off my new RAGBRAI 2007 cycling jersey. It came a few days ago with all my credentials for the ride. Very exciting! Now all I need is for my Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG jersey and my Wisconsin Badger jersey to arrive and I'll be all set. And yes, I would wear a Hawkeye jersey one day during RAGBRAI if I had one.

Well that's all for this week. Get out for a walk or go for a bike ride and LIVESTRONG!

See you down the road.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Questions and Answers

Its been about two weeks since my last post and I have had a lot of questions about my RAGBRAI ride. I'll get to some of those in a moment, but first, an update on my training.

Today I did my longest ride yet. I covered 70 miles in a little less than 4 hours touring through the southeast Iowa towns of Birmingham, Stockport, Lockridge, Brighton and back to Fairfield. Rain threatened the first couple of hours but after that, it was real nice. As Lance might say, it was a good day in the saddle. My legs, lungs and heart felt great. Most important though, my saddle felt pretty good. I'm up over 400 training miles now and about halfway through my minimum training goal. Now on to some questions:

What kind of bike do you ride? As you can see by the picture, I ride a Trek 2200 road bike. It is made out of high alloy aluminum and carbon fiber. The wheel sets and tires are made by a German company named Bontrager and the mechanical components are made by a Japanese company named Shimano. The most important part of the bike is my saddle. It is made by an Italian company named Fizik (pronounced "physique") and I am starting to get real comfortable in it. My bike weighs about 19 pounds. Trek has made the world's best bicycles for over 30 years including every bicycle rode by Lance Armstrong during his seven Tour de France wins. I wear cycling clothes by Pearl Izumi including shoes with cleats that lock into the pedals and gel padded gloves to absorb road shock. And of course, I wear a helmet, made by Bell.

What do you think about when you ride? Work, friends, family, how much I am going to enjoy a cold beer when I get off the bike. Today I thought about many of the people I know battling cancer. I thought about my cousin Diane who is doing great and starting to put cancer in her rear view mirror. I thought about Julia Burt, a close family friend who is fighting a tough bout with cancer. She has just finished up a very aggressive schedule of chemotherapy. Julie, you are in our prayers and we think of you often. I thought about the Dexter Apache employees who right now are battling cancer. You guys are in our hearts and prayers. And I smiled when I thought about our survivors. Continue to LIVESTRONG you guys!

What route are your riding in RAGBRAI? The route and everything else you would want to know about RAGBRAI can be found at

What can you tell me about the Lance Armstrong Foundation? Everything you need to know can be found at

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the LAF on behalf of my ride. Your generosity is overwhelming. Keep your support coming and remember, either Dexter Apache Holdings, Inc. or myself will personally match all donations.

Check back in a week or so for my next post.

Until then, go for a ride, just for the health of it.

See you down the road,


P.S. Thanks to all the riders and walkers who participated in Dexter Apache's first "bike to work Friday". I'll see all of you and hopefully more next Friday.