pbray: (bike)
Tomorrow is the annual Prouty Ride to raise money for cancer research, treatment and patient services. I've been riding in the Prouty since 2008, graduating from the 50 mile course to the 77 mile course last year, and doing the 77 again this year. It's a great cause, and if you feel so inclined you can sponsor me here.

Over the years I've done charity bike ride events both large and small, and the Prouty is both the largest and the best organized. But there's a special challenge when you have food allergies--because I'm allergic to peanuts and most nuts, much of the food provided at the well-stocked SAG stops is off limits. I can't eat most brands of granola bars, and likewise the pb&j sandwiches are a no-go. So while I can snag water, Gatorade, a banana or the occasional chocolate bar, for the most part I need to bring my own food. Not the easiest thing to do on a road bike, but for short rides I bring my own Patricia-safe snack bars, and for long rides I've mastered the science of packing sandwiches and keeping them cold with mini ice cubes.

And Pringles. Ah Pringles, my secret addiction, something far too dangerous to have in the house because an open can of Pringles is an empty can of Pringles. But for Prouty day I'll bring a small can of them, because they pack really well, and around mile 50 I'm going to need a treat.

Then of course at the finish line they'll have post-ride bbq. And ice cream, because I can always bike for ice cream.
pbray: (bike)
Had two great rides this weekend, which seems fitting because I'm getting in shape to bike for two great causes:

In June I'll be riding a metric century in the annual Macy's Vermont Cares Champ ride to raise money for HIV/AIDS prevention, support and advocacy. Click here to sponsor me or click here to sponsor my teammate Stacey.

In July I'm riding seventy-seven miles in the Prouty to raise money for cancer treatment and research sponsor me, or sponsor my enabler Stacey.

No donation is too small, or if you can't spare cash, send good thoughts our way.
pbray: (bike)
Yesterday Stacey and I rode in the 30th annual Prouty to raise money for cancer treatment and research. There was a strong headwind at times but that kept us from being too hot, so we decided it was a fair tradeoff. After fifty miles over hill and dale in New Hampshire and Vermont, we returned to the starting point where we chatted with some of the other riders and volunteers, before packing up. On the way home we stopped by the co-op and grabbed bison burgers and a six pack of IPA for lunch. NEED PROTEIN NOW took precedence over showers, but we did eventually clean up and rejoin civilized humanity.

It's hard to capture the feeling of the Prouty. The way the community comes together to make this event happen--a thousand volunteers, five thousand participants (riders came from 32 states!), and a level of organization that I've never seen in any other charity ride. As the riders pedal along, we easily outnumber the residents of the small towns we pass through. People who aren't volunteering put up signs along the road offering encouragement, sit in lawn chairs or stand at the end of their driveways to yell encouragement to the riders. Groups of senior citizens saying "Thank you, thank you," as each rider came by. Then there's the steel drum band at the top of the last big climb who keep calling out "only 1 mile left". As you cross the finish line, there are people clapping saying "Great job, great job".

Even afterwards, as we're in the co-op in our bike gear and Prouty shirts, the deli clerk asks us about our ride and congratulates us. In the parking lot, a customer coming in to the store stops us to say thanks, mentioning that he has a friend being treated at the cancer center.

Yesterday's event raised over 2 million dollars, with donations still coming in to be counted. I want to thank everyone who donated to support my ride, or who sent in good thoughts that helped speed us along the way. You're all awesome, and deserve your own pats on the back.
pbray: (bike)
On Saturday July 9th I will get up before 5AM to run the morning ledger database loads for my day job at Megacorp and then I'll throw on bike clothes and join my friend Stacey along with thousands of other riders, runners and walkers in the annual Prouty to raise money for cancer treatment and research.

I want to thank everyone who has already donated to support my ride. And if you'd like to make a donation, visit my Prouty webpage here. No amount is too small.

This event is important to me, so much so that I'm finding a way to fit in a trip to New Hampshire to take part, even though this comes at a crazy time for my day job since it's right in the middle of the 2Q close. I think what I appreciate most about the Prouty is the tremendous sense of community-- not only the thousands of people taking part in the event, but all of the volunteers who make it happen, not to mention the people along the route who put up signs supporting the riders and stand in their front yards to cheer us on. Everyone comes together on this day to say that this cause matters to them, and that's a great feeling.
pbray: (bike)
Yes, I am once again signed up to ride in the annual The Prouty Bike Ride. The fundraising suggestions have a canned letter that we can use, but I'm in favor of keeping it simple.

We all have friends, family and/or loved ones whose lives have been touched by cancer. Fighting this disease and supporting cancer patients is a commitment that we all share. The Prouty helps raise money for cancer research and treatment. Equally as important, as thousands of cyclists (and walkers) descend upon the small town of Hanover, New Hampshire, we demonstrate to the community and to each other how important this cause is to us.

If you have a few bucks to spare please consider visiting my web page here and sponsoring me. No amount is too small.

Thanks!
pbray: (bike)
This year I'll once again be riding in the annual Prouty Bike Ride to raise money for cancer treatment and research. It's a cause that I'm proud to support.

If you'd like to join with me in the fight against cancer, please consider sponsoring me with your tax deductible* donation. No amount is too small-- every dollar helps the cause.

Go to the website here to donate online or to print off a form to mail in your donation.

Then think of me on Saturday July 10th as I'm biking 50 miles (rain, shine, or plagues of locusts) while I'll be thinking of you and of all the folks that you're helping.

*Deductions are deductible to the limit allowed by the law, for non-US residents please check applicability.
pbray: (oops)
Had a great time yesterday at the Prouty Cancer Ride/Walk. Stacey and I got an earlyish start, beginning the route at 7:45 AM and finishing up our 50 mile ride exactly four hours later. Thanks to everyone who supported me and helped raise money for this great cause.

The most amazing rider we saw was a cancer survivor with only one leg (the other had been removed at the hip), who was also riding the fifty mile course. He passed us on the road, then we caught up with him at a rest stop, and he then passed us again. From the moment we saw him, Stacey and I instituted a "no complaining" rule--how could we complain when we had two functioning legs?

Getting an early start proved wise as by the time we got back it was in the 80s, and the folks who were only just now starting were in for a hot ride.

It was a great day--they hit their max limit of 3,200 bikers, plus all the walkers and volunteers. And all along the route, people were there to cheer us on--one family had made a homemade banner that said "Thanks for riding!" and sat out in lawn chairs calling "Thank You!" as we passed by.

Returning home we cleaned up and then went out to a brewpub for a late lunch & beers. All was well until...

...I woke up this morning, and realized that I'd done something to the muscles in my back. Getting out of bed was an exercise in pain and logistics, and as I hobbled into the kitchen for coffee I knew I'd done something bad. The muscles spasms settled after Motrin and some moving around--best guess is that I'd strained some muscles lifting my bike on and off the bike rack on Stacey's car. (I normally put my bike in the back of my SUV, so I'm not used to lifting it up over shoulder height, and it's a heavy hybrid not a lightweight road bike.)

As of now I'm moving okay if carefully, and have once again vowed to work on upper body strength and abs, not just biking and aerobics. We'll see how long that resolution holds. But hopefully I'll be good enough to drive home-- it's about a 6 hour drive. If I get stuck, plan B is to crash with [livejournal.com profile] jennifer_dunne's parents in Troy, which is roughly halfway.

Or I can just hang out in New Hampshire for another day or two, and continue to spoil the puppy.
pbray: (bike)
On Saturday, July 11th I'll be in taking part in the annual Prouty Cancer ride to raise money for cancer treatment & research. Stacey and I will be biking the 50 mile course, which takes us over hill and dale in New Hampshire and Vermont. It's the same route as last year which means it's a challenging ride, but there will be supporters along the roadsides cheering us on. Last year they had over 3,000 cyclists descend upon Hanover for the event, not to mention the walkers, volunteers, and all those who came to show their support--the energy was simply amazing.

Click here to learn more about the event, or to sponsor me. Donations of all sizes are welcome, even small amounts add up quickly!
pbray: (bike)
Had a good ride today-- I'd set a reasonable goal given that I'd been off the bike for a while, but blew by that turnaround point and wound up doing twice the distance I'd planned. Which counts as a good day, though my hips and knees are twinging a bit. My fit of conscientiousness was in part inspired by the realization that the annual Prouty cancer ride is a mere 5 weeks away --(obligatory click here to sponsor me link.)

I took a road I haven't been on so far this season and was dismayed but not surprised to find out that 2 of the 3 dairy farms along that road are now idle, including the farm that always had a wooden sign propped by the road advertising fresh brown eggs. I'd spent many a ride debating if stopping to purchase fresh eggs and then transporting them on a bike could in any way be called a good idea (conclusion was always a resounding No!) but alas that's no longer even an idle fancy.

In wildlife news, my friendly neighborhood bunny has apparently found a better spot to bed down for the night, since I haven't seen him in the yard today. Still his (or her) proto-den remains undisturbed, and if he/she should return, I'm ready to mark it off with tomato stakes and crime scene tape, to make sure he/she isn't disturbed by the lawn guy.
pbray: (bike)
When I signed up to ride in The Prouty with my friend Stacey, I'd pictured this as a training bike ride, and registered for the twenty-five mile route. But being who we are, it comes as no surprise that when we hit the ten mile mark, Stacey turned to me and said "That was fast. We're doing the 50, right?" and of course I said "Yes."

There were over three thousand cyclists on the various routes (25, 50 and 100 mile options), everyone from families with young children to senior citizens. A sprinkling of white number tags indicating that the rider was a cancer survivor offered inspiration to all of us.

The organization of the event was outstanding. As we rode through small towns in New Hampshire and Vermont, there were volunteers at each turn on the route making sure no one got lost. There were rest stops spaced every ten miles or so, offering a wide variety of snacks. People had posted signs along the route to encourage their favorite riders-- (btw, Sharon, I don't know you, but I think it's awesome that your friends posted a half-dozen signs reminding you that they had cold beer for you at the end of the trail.) And as we climbed the final steep hill to the finish line, there were more volunteers cheering riders along.

We loaded our bikes up, went home to shower and meet up with Nick, and then headed out. After a great lunch at a brewpub (beer!) we went to downtown Hanover and walked around, stopping by the bookstores and admiring the sights. Hanover is home to Dartmouth College, and it's very much a college town. Then we drove over to Norwich, Vermont and stopped by another brewpub for a drink before heading back.

I've lived in upstate New York for most of my adult life, but visiting Hanover reminded me that at heart I'm a New England girl. It's a classic New England town (and #2 on Money Magazine's Best Places to live list.) Nick and Stacey, who moved up to Grantham last year, spent time showing me the sights--the co-op, coffee houses, bookstores, and where I'd need to go for big box stores--Staples, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. I'm not seriously considering relocating, but it's the kind of place I could see myself living some day.

The only drawback was that it was such a short visit--work meant that I had to leave at noon on Sunday and head back. But it was a great time, and I'm definitely riding in the Prouty next year.
pbray: (bike)
This Saturday I'll be riding in the Prouty annual Bike/Walk challenge, to raise money for cancer research and treatment. My thanks to everyone who's generously pledged their support, and a reminder that no donation is too small-- click here if you'd like to find out more.

On a related topic, over the long weekend I rode each morning, culminating in a 31 mile ride out to Owego and back yesterday. This is the hell week at work, but hoping to sneak in some riding time in amongst the 16 hour days.
pbray: (bike)
On July 12th I'll be taking part in the Prouty Bike Ride to raise money for cancer research. Click here if you'd like to sponsor me or visit their website at www.theprouty.org for information about how you can join the event. Both biking and walking options are available, and all contributions are tax deductible.

We'll be biking through the scenic Connecticut River valley of New Hampshire. My local scout has reported that I should expect many steep hills, bugs large enough to carry me off, and stretches of pavement that only a thrifty Yankee would think were good enough to last another year. In short, it's going to be great fun.
pbray: (bike)
As promised, photos from Sunday's bike ride. Pictures behind the cut for kindness.

Click here to see Patricia ride )
pbray: (bike)
Yay, survived the bike ride! This was the Connecticut edition of the Tour de Cure, which raises money for the American Diabetes Association. I rode with Cannondale's company team, which was a fun experience. Some of the riders did the long route (100 miles!) but the majority of us opted for the 50K route. Weather cooperated--gray clouds overheard, but no rain fell.

I usually bike alone when I'm home training, so it is very different riding with a group. Particulary at the start of the route--when they sent the 50K group off it looked like there were at least a hundred of us, maybe more. Then traffic lights and hills spread us out along the route, but there were always other bikers in sight.

Glad I came and did this, and that we had a good time. It's also a good training check--I'm in okay shape for June, but need to start riding a 50K training route on the weekends so I'll be in shape for the trip in August.

Hopefully there will be photos later--I'll post links.
pbray: (Default)
But first a brief word from your sponsor.

Reminder, if you want to enter the contest for a free ARC and chocolate, deadline is Sunday at midnight. Details here.

And this weekend I'll be biking in the Tour de Cure so wish me luck.

Back to Novel-in-90, I managed 8,750 words for the first seven days. Adding in the 1,500 2,250 words that I wrote this afternoon, that takes me up to 11K. Not outstanding, but pretty darn good. That's two entire chapters that didn't exist on May 31st. I'm hoping that I can keep up the momentum despite having two travel weekends in my near future.

The [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90 community has been motivating--I know I need to write so I can post my totals, and so I do. But the community is also a bit like the gym after New Year's resolutions. Lots of folks show up on the first day--then the crowd starts to thin out. It will be interesting to see how many are around and still active by the time we've been at this for a month, and how many are still going when the 90 days is up.

Though I understand why people drop out. Between the day job, writing, and squeezing in time for the gym, I'm frazzled. I nearly had a meltdown trying to figure out how I'd get my hair cut and a grocery run in this week, before I left town. And at least I don't have to worry about children looking to me for food/grooming/entertainment.
pbray: (bike)
On Sunday June 10th I'll be joining the Cannondale Bicycle team in the Connecticut edition of the Tour de Cure, which raises money for the American Diabetes Association. I'll be riding 50 kilometers, rain or shine, to raise money for this important cause.

If you're in the Connecticut area and would like to join the ride, we'd love to have you. If you'd like to sponsor me, you can do so by clicking here.

Thanks!

August 2017

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