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Bikes to Rwanda: Hitting the First Century Mark

May 12, 2011

Ride: 48km—Up Valley Rd., out to Woodhill Rd., back along Jerseyville Rd.

Weather: Sunny, windy.

My first ride since learning of Wouter Weylandt’s death. I missed yesterday’s Giro stage, but was very moved by the shot of the Leopard-Trek team finishing together in a line, accompanied by Weylandt’s close friend and training partner, Tyler Farrar. Back in the saddle, Weylandt was less on my mind than he has been for the past couple of days. The occasional pang set in as I passed a stone wall along the side of the road, but the ride was relatively free of emotion.

I’m starting to finally round into form. Good sensations, good cadence, good speed. I’m dreading—or delaying—the next step of really pushing it for a few rides and including serious intervals to expand the training and my fitness. Today was about enjoying being out on the bike. In fact, I didn’t even have a route set before I left, which is usually a recipe for disaster. As it happened, I ended up riding further than I originally planned. As I climbed up Olympic/Valley Rd., I only knew that I would likely veer left onto Harvest Rd. and maybe take on my old nemesis, the hill at Crooks Hollow. After that? I ended up heading west along Concession Rd. 2 out toward Lynden and then back home along the rolling hills of Jerseyville Rd. Which was a good bit longer than I meant to be out, especially since the headwind on the homeward leg was brutal. Wind can be cold; today it was just loud, which is almost as soul-destroying. I wasn’t cold riding into the wind, but I couldn’t hear anything over it and found my energy being sapped as I struggled to keep the bike moving forward. While google maps indicates that today’s loop was 48km, I’m half tempted to add an extra 10km to account for the weaving I did along Jerseyville Rd. to keep the bike upright at such slow speeds. But I’ll stick to the intended ride log.

The other nice bit of news is that today’s ride put me over my first $100 for Bikes to Rwanda. I had initially hoped to secure more pledges, but they continue to spill in—another this week, one last week, and a newborn arrival on whose behalf a pledge was made. It’s nice to see the positive correlation between more sponsors and the number of kilometers I ride translating into an ever-growing donation. Thank you all. And please pass along the word—the more pledges, the more money raised for every kilometer. Anyone interested in sponsoring me can send me an e-mail at

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