John Fischer. John is an institution ... at least with the American Lung Association of New England and the Trek Across Maine. He has been riding for ALA for 15 years and has gone cross country three times. This year he will make his fourth cross country trip following the Northern Tier with the Adventure Cycling Association. John's trip is self supported ... he carries all his own gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking items. He rides a recumberant bike and tows a trailer. All that would be enough to give him institutional status, but his real claim to fame is his fundraising. This year he has raised over $30,000 and is within striking distance of an amazing milestone ... $250,000 over his 15 years of riding! John and I have been communicating quite a bit and really wanted to get together before each of us headed west to start our rides. Leah initially called John my "arch-nemesis" because we were number one and number two on the fund raising list for the Trek Across Maine. A more appropriate term is "mentor" ... 15 years of stories, ideas, adventures, and great conversation. It was fun to meet up and ride together. The fact that Steve and Dave could join us made the day even better. We missed a road marking and passed the same British car shop (Brit Bits) three times, but that did not bother us at all ... provided a nice 40+ mile loop around Portsmouth and Rye including some windy stretches along the ocean. An easy pace enabled good conversation and a nice stop for pastry and coffee. After the ride, we grabbed lunch in Portsmouth at The Rusty Hammer. A great day all around.
After a nice night with Joel and Rachel (and Lindsey too), I headed back to Maryland on Tuesday. Wednesday saw some catch up at work and a quick 50k in and around Laytonsville including some great back roads near Goshen Branch Stream Valley Park. On the way home (via car), the transmission started to slip on my van ... new car on the horizon! On Thursday I squeezed in another 50k after work around Fulton and River Hill with a return home via Centennial Park and the Columbia Mall. Lots of new proposals kept me busy at work. Headed out late on Friday for a nice 40 mile ride to West Friendship past the Howard County Fair Grounds and then Glenelg before retuning home.
With the van dead in the water (transmission needs replacing ... with 165k miles, that won't happen ... new car when I get back from my big trip), we are down to one car. That made logistics a challenge for what was an action packed Saturday. The Howard County Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association had 100k and 50k rides from Glenwood. As a type-2 diabetic and new member of the Adventures for the Cure (AFC) cycling team, it is an event I try not to miss. In order to make my friend Sarah's wedding reception, I opted to ride the 50k. Karen dropped me off around 8am so I could meet up with the AFC gang for a few photo opportunities. Easy to spot me in the "Red Rider" jersey ... all type-1 and type-2 riders get one. It is a nice contrast to the AFC polka dots! See my 03/28/2010 post on AFC and our captain, Adam Driscoll. My AFC jersey should arrive soon. First picture is of me, Adam, and his dad, Ed.
The ride was amazingly windy ... 25+ mph the whole day, with gusts of 35+. That made the first 20 miles pretty challenging. The rolling hills of Western Howard County seemed a little harder than usual! That all changed when we finally turned with the wind after the last rest stop for a wonderfully quick 15 miles back to the starting line. Great lunch and another great event. AFC was the top club/organizational fundraiser with almost $6,000. The event raised over $230,000 for diabetes education, advocacy, research, and programs like the Camp Glyndon at Lions Camp Merrick (ADA's summer camp for children with diabetes). Karen and Leah picked me up around noon and we quickly headed to our friend Melissa's house so I could shower and change for the wedding reception. Leah stayed the afternoon, while Karen and I headed to a proper English Tea to honor my friend Sarah Worthing's marriage to Gary Holt. The high tea was held at the Inn at Buckeystown. The Inn was built in 1897 and is one of the few great local spots for tea (one of Sarah's favorite things). A great assortment of teas, scones, and sandwiches gave way to a cake cutting ceremony and the traditional first dance. The reception actually came before the wedding (held the next day), but none of us noticed. A fun afternoon!
In honor of Mother's Day, I refrained from riding my bike. We spent the morning at Sarah and Gary's ceremony in Frederick complete with a rock and roll revival group and lots of bubbles. Leah enjoyed the service and another cake reception afterwards. The bride and groom did not stay long ... had to catch their cruise ship in Baltimore Harbor. We took a nice drive in and around Middletown and Braddock Heights to look at a few houses new to the market. Some day we will find the right one. We saw one exquisite 1867 house, but alas it was on the "wrong" side of the town and was too close to multi-family units to warrant an appointment. Karen had her choice of eating establishment and chose one of our favorites ... Beef ‘n Buns ‘n Paradise. Not a fancy sit down place, but a great local establishment we have been frequenting for many years. Great burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Happy Mother's Day!
Auto Engineering of Lexington (Massachusetts) for their Gold Level donation. Auto Engineering specializes in the service and sales of German cars including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, AUDI and Volkswagen. They have been taking care of my brother Joel's cars for many years. They have a pretty nice bookkeeper too ... my sister-in-law Rachel. A great Silver donation from my cousins Henry & Alberta Strage from England. Henry recounted his bicycling adventure from 50 plus years ago ... he self supported and well ... a sign of the times ... check out the photo for the attire (not sure he really rode like this!).
Shout outs also go out to the following bronze donors:
- Karen Locke - Karen works with fellow bronze donor, Craig Wehr, at PROTEUS Technologies. She was inspired by his account of my ride. Thanks for reaching out.
- Dr. Richard Levine - Dr. Levine is my father's primary doctor in Florida and has made a big difference in his health the past year.
- Chuck Wilson - Chuck rode with America By Bicycle in 2009. He has been a great help to me over the past year and provided great insight into what I can expect this summer.
- Chris & Shaun Borsh - Chris & Shaun are my neighbors. Our daughters are very close friends and spend a lot of time together.
- Ernest & Chao Gotthardt - my mom's brother (my uncle) added to his previous donation. He is one of only a select few that have supported me every year I have ridden for ALA.