Zeke has shown signs of improvement. Slow going but it appears he is moving in a positive direction. He's still on the respirator, hopefully not for much longer though. Great news! Just got word he is off the respirator. Lots of people have donated money and goods for raffles, etc. Thanks to everyone. If you haven't done it yet or want to give more, that would be great. Contributions have been generous, but the his bill is going to be huge and right now funds collected are a drop in the bucket. Tough time to be asking people to be generous when Hurricane Katrina has caused problems for so many others. Do what you can, no matter who it's for, every little bit helps. And big thanks to Ken in KC (among others) who has been spearheading these efforts to raise $$$.
I'm heading out for some R&R with my lady, so there probably won't be any updates for a week. Stay tuned to Zeke's progress and the various fund raisers going on by checking this link and this link. Again, thanks for all of your help.
While some of us were at 24 Hours of Seven Springs last weekend, a whole lot of other locals were down in VA doing a 100 mile mountain bike race known as the SM100. Some really great performances by too many people to mention, they all did great and should be proud, but I want to give special props to Joe, who shaved over 4 hours off of his time from last year, and Becky who was the only woman single speeder. No guts, no glory, eh?
And make sure you check out these retro styled jerseys, not wool but cool looking enough to forgive that. They'll be doing frequent design changes, so if you see something you like, best grab it now.
Aloha, I'm on a jet plane in a few hours. See you in a week. In the meantime, go read Bikecentric.
Zeke Fund Update //
Thursday - September 8, 2005
More stuff for sale that will go towards the Zeke fund. Also be sure to click the above banner for additional fund raising avenues.
The 24 Hours of Seven Springs was a blast. I wish I had time to write a blow-by-blow post, but time is not going to allow. I was really stoked with the course. Those of you who were digging the SSWC course would have been very happy here. It was like a 13.5 mile version of that course with a little less climbing proportionally. There was climbing though, some of it deceptively long and a final mile that was punctuated by a brutal wall that left you crying for your mama. If you wanted rocks you were in heaven - which I was. I really dig the technical stuff. This was the fourth 24 hour race I've done in the past 7 years and coincidentally, the 4th real race I've ever done. I don't count those SS race/rallies and punk bike enduros since there is usually more beer drinking than racing and the winners are usually decided by something other than who is first across the finish line.
We ran a full team of fixed gears and wound up winning our class. Pretty cool as that's never happened before and none of us even considered it a possibility going into the race. Survival was our game plan, being able to keep the cranks turning over every inch of the course and not bite it from a pedal strike in the rocks. I think I can speak for the team when I say we just wanted to see if we could do this. I must admit I was feeling tuned to the bike and one with the trail and this helped a lot. Although at 3 in the morning I could feel fatigue setting in and needed to use a lot of energy to focus to make sure I didn't stack as the rocks and roots got greasy with dew.
I am not a racer and never plan on being one. For some MTBers this is a big part of the sport for them. For me, the occasional 24 hour race is enough. It is a format I must admit is very appealing, camping out with your friends and riding your heart out. I've got to give huge props to the people who put this race on, it was run smooth as butter, the volunteers were great and the course was both tough and fantastic. I highly recommend attending next year's event.
A few quick stats for anyone interested: Justin, Ricky, and I were all running 29ers with Brad running a Carver 29/26 setup. Justin rocked a Crosscheck with Panaracer Fire 45s. As a team we had zero flats the whole race - amazing.
Big thanks to our wives and girlfriends who sacrificed a lot of sleep to feed us. We didn't have any real organization, team manager, mechanic or strategy, which made the ladies that much more important to our team. Not having to think about grub was great. To top it all off, the weather was not good, it was freakin' great. And congrats goes to Fat Marc's Team who cleaned up in the 5 person.
Zeke Fund Update: A PayPal acount has been set up to help with Zeke's medical expenses. Click the banner above for info on PayPal or one of several other ways you can help. Thanks.
Rider Down //
Monday - September 5, 2005
Great weekend at 24 Hours of Seven Springs, I'll post a quick recap shortly. Unfortunately, I just saw some distressing news about a fellow single speeder and all around good guy who got struck by a car while riding. Much more info can be found here. Please consider donating to the fund that is set up for his medical bills. Short story: I met Zeke last spring when a few of us went out to the Midwest Mountain bike summit in Kansas City. That's him in the picture above getting his derby on. Like everyone else out there, he did not know us, never met us but totally took care of us. We shipped our bikes to his shop and when we arrived they were unpacked and assembled and waiting in Ken Miner's garage, tuned up and ready to go. He even replaced someone's brake cable because it was spent and fraying. All just because he was a cool guy. You've probably met plenty of people just like him in your travels, a fellow cyclist who hooks you up because you are one of the tribe. Consider spreading that karma back by helping Zeke. Thanks.