My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week of 03/21/10 - Princeton Sports Sponsors Mark's Trek Across America; Spring Has Arrived - Almost 170 Miles

Spring has officially arrived.  I was able to ride outside every day this week!  More on that later.  The big news of the week was Princeton Sports.  Princeton Sports has signed on as the official bike shop sponsor of Mark’s Trek Across America. Princeton has a 70 year history of providing the best bicycling, skiing/snowboarding, tennis, and swimming products and services to the Baltimore/Washington area. They have stores in Columbia and Baltimore, MD.  Princeton is extremely active in the community and is also a sponsor of the Columbia Triathlon, Iron Girl Triathlon, MidMDTriClub, HoCoCyclists, The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, and Adventures for the Cure.  A big thank you to Alan, Stoney, Sonny, Paul, Corey, and the rest of the committed Princeton team.  Alan's mom (Sonny's wife) passed away from lung cancer ... her story and struggle help inspire my ride and encourage me to ride stronger.

I also received donations from Russ Correy and Lorraine Ryan.  Russ has asthma and used to ride on the amatuer cycling circuit.  Lorraine grew up in my hometown and donated in honor of a close friend's mother who passed away from COPD.  Each new story I hear about individuals and families touched by lung disease helps me focus on my training and inspires my 50 day adventure.  Dimensional Concepts increased their donation to become a gold level sponsor.  That earns them a spot on my jersey.  Dimensional Concepts is based in Reston, VA and focuses on business intelligence, data warehousing, and decision support systems.  Thank you to Sanjeet Harpalani and his team.

I continued online communication with fellow Across America North riders Katie Spear and Helen Steussy.  We are all starting to ramp up our base miles and finalize the logistics for the big event.  I made my hotel reservations for Astoria, Oregon for the weekend before we start.  Turns out there is a Scandivavian festival, ScanFest, that weekend. It should be a fun way to ease into the ride. Final trip payments are due next month and after that I should have contact information for other members of our group.  I am looking forward to seeing how many folks will join us and learning their stories.

On the training front, I was able to get outside for five great rides. Tuesday (38 miles) saw the familiar roads of Glenelg, West Friendship, and Clarksville, with time on the Columbia Triatholon route as well.  Wednesday (46 miles) was my longest day of the week and included a descent of Illchester Road (its almost a 20% grade) followed by a nice run to Elkridge Furnance Inn, a short stint on the BWI Airport trail, and home via Sevren and the Arundel Mills Mall.  I squeezed in a  quick 29 miles on Thursday to Timbuktu, the Jessup prisions, and the Laurel Race Track.  The weekend saw a solid 40 mile ride on Saturday to Marriotsville and Randallstown with some good hill work on Ridge Road and Old Frederick Road by the Patapsco River.

I had planned a 50 mile ride for Sunday, but Leah really wanted to get out and ride with me after being in Flordia for the week. So ... we headed out for a nice 18 mile trip on the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail including a ymmy stop at Bruster's Ice Cream at the end.  Check out a few of Leah's Florida pictures below, including her swim with the dolphins!  Almost 170 miles for the week.