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, May 2, 2010

Week of 05/02/10 - Cycle the Seacoast Century - Broke $11k in Donations - 225+ Miles

The long anticipated start of May ... my first century of the season and a fun long weekend in New England. Throw in almost $600 of donations, and you have another great week of preparation for Mark's Trek Across America for the American Lung Association.  The week started as most do, with no riding on Monday.  Work kept me busy with a quick turn around cost proposal the first part of the week.  I squeezed in a fast 50k at the Columbia Gateway Business Park, including seven laps of the 2.1 mile loop. The loop is a popular training spot for cyclists and triathletes and has a nice mixture of hills and flats.  The Park is also home to the 24 Hours of Booty.

24 Hours of Booty is a nation-wide event for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and helps raise critical funds for cancer research and survivorship. The Columbia event will celebrate its third year in 2010.  The event is scheduled for August 28-29 and also supports the Ulman Cancer Fund. It poured the entire time last year ... hopefully, we will have nice dry weather this year.

A busy Wednesday kept me off the bike again.  On Thursday, I put in a two hour ride (almost 30 miles) after work from Laytonsville.  I am still riding my winter bike (Trek 1500) while Princeton Sports completes an overhaul of my Serotta Nove for the big trip.  They are waiting on a new SLK light crank arm from FSA.  The overhaul will result in almost a new bike ... disassembly, repacking of the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset; new cables, new chain, new cassette; complete drive train and brakes cleaning and adjustment; wheel truing and lube; new bar tape; and a shiny coat of polish.

I made the drive to Massachusetts on Friday in a little over 7 hours ... no dog, kid, or wife stops!  Had a nice dinner out with Amy, Rebecca, and Amy's friend Pete.  Lots of food for the dollar at TGI Fridays.  On Saturday I took a nice 60 mile spin south from my sister's through Easton, Taunton, Norton, Mansfield, and Sharon.  It was much flatter than the rolling hills of Maryland, so even with an easy pace, my average speed was pretty good (almost 16 mph).  After savoring a black raspberry cone at locally famous Crescent Ridge Dairy, I headed to my brother Joel's house for the night.

Up and out early on Sunday to drive to Portsmouth, NH for the 1st Annual Cycle the Seacoast for the American Lung Association.  A little cool and overcast at the start and even a few sprinkles.  No worries ... a great route, great staff, and energized volunteers made for a nice day.  The 100 mile route started on the coast and then headed inland.  Very flat and fast at the start.  I led a nice group of 9 along the ocean at 18 mph.  I hung with the group for the first 60 miles but they were just a little too fast and I finally fell off the back.  Picked up the last 30 or so with a nice couple from Massachusetts that also been in the group.  Then had 200 riders, over 100 volunteers and raised almost $60,000 for the American Lung Association.  It was a great chance to see all the ALA staff that has been helping me with my trek.

The century ended up being almost 110 miles thanks to a bridge detour and a few missed road markings.  Great practice for the cross country trip. Over 225 miles for the week.

On the way back to Joel's I stopped at America by Bicycle and chatted with the owner, Doug Torosian.  We have 48 people signed up for the coast-to-coast ride and several additional segment riders.  Less than 2 months until departure.

A blog entry would not be complete without a discussion of my great sponsors and donors.  This week saw almost $600 in new donations bringing my total over $11,000!  Thanks to following Bronze donors:  Lesa Pollard Davis (new Facebook friend fighting with COPD), Michael & Barbara Kaner (long-time high school and USY friend), Caryln Samuels (good friend of my parents in Florida), and Sandra Grant (childhood friends of my parents).  Special shout outs to my Silver donors Rakesh Malek of Infinite Computer Solutions and Toby Mauer at The Brandinghouse. And last, but not least, a big thank you to Sophia Parker and her team at DSFederal, Inc. for their gold donation.  This marks the second year in a row that DSFederal has supported my ride for the American Lung Association at this level. DSFederal is an up and coming technical and management consulting firm with offices in Bethesda, MD and Atlanta, GA. Thanks for helping make a difference!