Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday may 29, 2016

Three weeks from today I began what will likely be my most challenging venture to date !!!  Six days and 359 miles through the Rocky Mountains !!!  And I just received word from a good friend who livers in Colorado that it has been a "wet spring" which can translate to colder temps and possibly some "white stuff" particularly above 10,000' !!!  I CAN;T WAIT !!!

No ... really I CAN  but it will happen either way and I must be ready !!!  That is why I have been doing all the training and riding this year ...  having ridden more than 2,000 miles for the year after Saturday's ride !!!  It was supposed to rain today so I planned to take a day off the trike and, of course, NO RAIN !!!

But first things first and I must begin to mentally prep for this next weekends ride ... The Virginia/West Virginia Colonial Crossroads MS-150 !!!  It is the inaugural ride for this event but will make close to 50 MS biking tours I have ridden in over the past 27 years... with over 10,000 miles ridden raising money and awareness for the cause and dream ... TO END THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS !!!  Where have all the years gone so quickly !!!

So, my friends ... stay tuned as all the excitement is gearing to start up !!!  It is NEVER too late to send a comment OR to make a donation ... which is tax deductible !!!  I really do appreciate ALL of my friends and family and especially ALL the support I am constantly receiving !!! 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday May 19, 2016

ONE MONTH FROM TODAY THE RIDE BEGINS !!!  Wow, where has the time gone t's been raining the past couple of days and although the ride is "rain or shine" ... I don't particularly like training in the rain and, in fact, opt mot to ... How did I get this "fancy" writing style ???  I don't know but at least it is far better and FAR more legible than my own hand writing !!!

This time off the hand crank has given me time to have my trike the opportunity for some minor repairs and upgrades so I will be even better prepared for the challenge that is literally just around the corner !!! 

So, I  am off to Cardinal Bicycle to pick up my trike and five the ground just a little more time to dry out before hitting those roads again !!!  And as much pleasure as I find riding the hand crank I must admit ... I DO miss riding my two wheel bike which also gave my life great pleasure and meaning !!!  14 years ago at this very time of year, I was riding my bicycle across these wide and wonderful United States and those days forever changed my life !!!  It gave me an inner confidence that I could face ANY life challenge and STILL SUCCEED !!!  And I KNOW that I have !!! 

My life's journey would NOT have been as complete had I knot ALWAYS had the support of my family and friends !!!  My Mom ws still alive when I road cross country and I called her twice daily during my journey not only for her support but for HER COURAGE !!!  Mom was dealing with cancer at that time and she faced that life challenge without questioning why and without ANY fear of what was inevitable !!!  I hope I have even one ounce of HER COURAGE flowing through my body !!!

So my family and friends ... I am off to face another day ... pick up my trike and hopefully go for a ride later !!!  I ask you to come back to this BLOG to follow my journey through my words and, if you are so moved, I ask you to consider making a tax deductible donation to the MSAV and mail it to the address that is on the bottom of the facepage of this website ...

Until next time ... Take care !!  Kenny

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday May 16, 2016

And good day to all !!!  One month from today I will be heading West to begin my hand crank challenge of riding 359 miles in 6 days through the Colorado Rocky Mountains !!!  Have I lost my mind ... Quite possibly !!!  But it is a personal challenge that I am taking very seriously !!! 

But I have to admit ... I DID taker the last couple of days off the hand crank trike to spend a couple days riding my "other trike" ... my Harley !!!  Susan and I spent a couple days on the Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group ride ... The Hillbilly Hot Dog Ride to Huntington, WV.  There were 24 bikes and trikes with about 35 people riding ...  LOTS OF FUN !!!  Even though the weather got a bit wet and sloppy on Saturday and never really warmed up that much on Sunday ... A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY ALL !!!

So here I am back home ... My hand crank is presently at Cardinal Bicycle as Bob is "fine tuning" that machine to make sure it is ready for the BIG HILLS of Colorado in one month.  That will allow me time to test ride it with the new components and get things squared away before the ride begins !!!

I just wrote another entry on FB and, althjough it shouldn't bother me,  I don't like asking my friends for financial support.  But it's NOT for me ... it's for all my friends living with M.S. ... I just want to try and help make things a little better for those of us living with the disease and our caregivers ...

So, as you follow my BLOG along ... Please take a moment and consider sending a donation to the MSAV ... our address is on the facepage of this website ... I appreciate ANY assistance you might be able to give and I ask you to keep following this BLOG ... especially as I head into the challenge of riding through the Rockies in just one month !!!

Thank you my friends !!!  Kenny

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesdsy May 11, 2016

Another big day on the trike for me !!!  It was supposed to be a rainy day and the way it was looking this morning I had no doubt that would become a reality !!!  :(  But the truth in reality is that one should NEVER count the chickens before the eggs hatch !!!  :)

After another breakfast at Country Cookin' with Under and his son Jason, we left the restaurant to find that the sun was beginning to break through the clouds after all !!!  Under had an appointment so I headed off to Black Dog to do some "warm up" miles and would rondevous at 11:30 for a ride.  So I got in about 15 miles before actually starting the "real" ride.  After returning to Black Dog, Under had to head home so I went back tp my car to leave as well and then along came a fast rider that was heading down to the STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) so I decided to go along.  Hey, It would leave me with nearly 50 miles for the day and that would make me happy with that amount !!!

Coming back into Black Dog for the THIRD time today, I was sure my riding was over and done except I needed about 3 more miles for my 50 mile day ... So off I went to do the "upper loop" to Walker Foundry and back for a quick 3 miles.  As I rolled into the parking lot across from Walker Foundry here came Rodney pulling in.  Rodney is a friend I met about one month ago that also rides a "hand crank trike"  He wanted to ride a bit so I left to do the mile long loop in Norwich while he got ready to ride.

Long story short ... Rodney was heading to the STP so I decided to go again which would give me my first "metric century" (62.5 miles) this year.  After arriving at the STP the sky was beginning to look ominous.  Rodney told me to "take off" and he would be OK so I sped out !!!   It almost worked but as I rolled into Smith Park it began to rain harder.  Stopping this close to the car didn't seem to be an option as I recalled the storm from Tuesday remaining and actually becoming a FULL thunderstorm !!! 

Needless to say ... by the time I got back to the car I was fairly soaked and the rain was beginning to subside !!!  Oh well ... So the day wouldn't be a complete "wash out" ... I changed into a dry shirt and went by Debs Lemonade for one of my favorite after ride bevredges !!!  Oh, and I must add that I DID complete my first Metric Century for the year so, although I was a bit wet and tired ... I was also very happy with today's ride !!!

And might I close out by asking you, if you have read this far ... :) ... PLEASE consider making a donation to the MSAV and mail it to the address that is on the facepage of this website blog !!!  Please keep checking back as the actual Bicycle Tour of Colorado is only about one month away now !!!  Your support and following is appreciated !!!  Until next time ... take care !!!  Kenny

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mondsay May 9, 2016

Today was a very different and, might I say, most difficult day.  It began wonderfully as it possibly could with meeting Under at Country Cookin' for breakfast and the decision on where to ride.  I suggested a bit of a different route ... one I knew would test my riding abilities as much as any of the rides I had done thus far to prepare for the Bicycle Tour of Colorado.

Under had to go home to change and get his bike before joining me on the ride so I headed down to Black Dog, where a good number of my rides begin.  The difference today was a route I had not attempted literally in years ... I headed toward Walnut Street Bridge and proceeded up Mill Mountain on the "new" road.  Just yesterday I had climbed the "old" road to the star before descending back down the mountain.

The BIG difference today was I kept following the spur road all the way over to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  An old cycling buddy joined me on the climb up to the camping ground exit, Mac McCorkle, a good guy (and rider) that I have known for years.  One of my best memories riding with Mac was NOT on the bicycle but rather years ago at a cycling event in downtown Roanoke, Mac drove his BMW around the road course leading the racing cyclists through the streets of out city.  And Mac had asked me to join him riding in the passenger seat of his car.  It was a BLAST !!!

After we reached the Parkway we did the short "zig/zag" and began climbing up Roanoke Mountain, the challenging climb Under and I had ridden on Friday .  Only this time we began back in town as opposed to only 1/4 mile from its beginning.  About half way up, Under aught up and passed Mac and myself but that was OK with me.  I was pacing myself and feeling it a bit in my arms.  I knew this was good training for what will be facing me in just over a month.  After reaching the summit, I took a well deserved 10 minute break before heading back down the mountain.

Under said, "this ride is a keeper", so I guess it is one we will do again in the coming days !!!  And that is probably a good idea as it is now just over a month before I am challenged with the "real deal" ... THE COLORADO ROCKIES !!!   I will keep riding and training and I hope that folks will begin to realize just what it is that I am attempting !!!  Taking this old, broken body and trying to push it through some most challenging days ... PLEASE help me by making even a small contribution to the MSAV to assist folks living with Multiple Sclerosis in Virginia !!! 

I thank you in advance for ANY assistance you may be able to provide ... and if you are not in a position to help out financially ... PLEASE give me all the positive thoughts you can that I can keep moving this body up and over those big and beautiful mountains !!!  Kenny

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday May 6th, 2016

Well, they had said today was supposed to be a rainy day.  NOT !!!  Had breakfast with Under (a good friend) and decided to go for a bike ride as the rain was no where to be found.  Wanted to do a bit of a different ride today so decided to go ride the Roanoke Mountain Loop Road located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

I arrived at the Gum Springs overlook along the Mill Mountain Spur of the Parkway before Under and decided to take off on the climb as I believed I would be much slower climbing.  Roanoke Mountain is a far shorter climb than Bent Mountain but is considerably steeper in spots. 

This was my first time climbing this road on my hand crank trike.  It was a significant challenge but I did quite well.  In fact, Under never caught me on the first climb and I was almost at the op when he finally caught me on the second climb!!!  I was quite pleased with that !!!  And we finished it off with a run up to and through the Roanoke Mountain Campground which added almost three extra miles to todays run.

I'm now at home making this entry and preparing to head down to my "gym" to lift weights.  By the way ... Have I mentioned what a challenging life my retirement has become !!!  ;)  Not really ... Just trying to enjoy everyday as much as I can !!!  ;)

Please come back and follow my journey as I will be heading to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in just over a month to begin what is likely to be my most difficult adventure yet !!!  And also remember ... I am doing it all for the MSAV ... A GREAT organization working with a lot of GREAT people and for an even GREATER cause !!!  To provide programs and services for people living with Multiple Sclerosis in Virginia and to further educate and empower each and everyone so that we all may reach OUR FULL POTENTIAL !!!  Bless each of you !!!  Kenny

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Thank You to my friends !!!

Today was May 4, 2016.  It was a good day !!!  I ran some errands this morning and picked my trike up from Bob at Cardinal Bicycle before heading to lunch with a most special group of folks !!!  About once a month a group of retired probation officers gather at a predetermined location to break a little bread and spend some time together ...  These bonds have been formed after working together for years !!!

Forgive me, but, I will not begin to name all the names of those present least I forget someone making me feel bad ... Those of you that were there know it ...  And they all bowed their heads as a blessing was given and it was asked that I be looked after while on my Bicycle Tour of Colorado and that I return safely.  A collection was taken up and presented to me to be donated to the MSAV ... (Multiple Sclerosis Alliance of Virginia) ... the real reason I am doing this ride !!!

Sure, I love riding my trike ... but the thought of riding it through the Rockies to raise awareness about M.S. and to raise money which will go directly to the MSAV for programs and services, for educational reasons and empowerment for those living with this disease in the State of Virginia!!!  This new 501c3 non-profit is completely staffed by volunteers so ALL funds raised go directly where it might be needed.  This organization is closely monitored by a Board of Directors who either live with M.S.are a direct caregiver of someone that is or just have exemplified themselves by working closely with our group.  We ALL share he same desire and drive ... TO SEE A WORLD FREE OF M.S. !!!

Throughout this tour, I will be asking you, my friends and family, to help us out by making a donation to the MSAV.  The address to make your donation is located on my webpage.  No donation is too small !!!  I have been riding my bike for this cause for over 25 years now so there should be NO DOUBT as to my level of commitment to finding a cure for this disease !!!  Research has come so far since my beginnings and I pray that one day soon we can just all get on our bikes and ride for the pure pleasure of cycling as the cure WILL BE FOUND one day !!!

Please help me realize this dream ... not only for myself but fot EVERYONE living with MS ... Not just those of us that have it but also for the family members, caregivers, coworkers and friends of those living with MS.  I appreciate ALL of you and hope that you will follow my journey through the Rockies. It will be a physical challenge unlike any other I have attempted in the past ...  PLEASE TAKE THIS JOURNEY WITH ME BY FOLLOWING MY BLOG !!!  I thank you in advance !!!