Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I need your help!

I really need your help! I have signed up for the Palmetto Peloton Project's Challenge to Conquer Cancer ride that will take place in October. This will be a 24 hours a day relay ride from the "Hills of Hincapie to the Land of Lance." 1300 miles from Greenville, SC to Austin, TX. However, it isn't the ride that seems so daunting to me... it is raising $5000!

I have committed to doing a major charity ride each year for the purpose of raising money to fight cancer. You can learn more about why at the site I set up to chronicle my fight against cancer one pedal stroke at a time. Visit to learn more. You can also click here to visit the Web site to learn more about what that organization is doing to battle this killer. Want to donate right now? Follow this link...

I've never expected much of my readers. Actually, I've been surprised how many there are! I'm now asking you to take a moment to give a little something... not to me, but to the Greenville Hospital's Oncology Research Institute. The money you give will go to this local organization to help find ways to improve the lives of those battling cancer... and who knows, perhaps find a cure.

$25... $50... maybe a little more? I'm certainly going to be doing my part and giving myself. I just need a little help. Of course, your donation will be tax deductible. Just give and I'll do the riding!

You can bet you'll be taking the trip with me as I will be reporting on the preparations for the ride as well as the ride itself. My plan is to blog the ride as well as to capture video of the event to upload as we go along or to place on the Web upon our return. Much of that will depend on the bandwidth we have available to us and the logistics of the road.

I'll be honest. I don't have $5000 to put up for this myself. However, I am trusting that there are enough good people out there who will take an interest in this project and join me. I know the courageous battle my friend Mike fought against the cancer that attacked his body. He faced the insurmountable with faith and an indomitable attitude. Certainly I can follow his example in something less daunting.

Thank you so much for considering to help me. I look forward to seeing how much we can raise together. Remember, you can easily donate online.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

My Ride for Mike - the 2007 P3 ride

The bed felt great last night, but the sleep was fitful. Laying there the stiffness in my shoulders and back were noticeable. Finally the ibuprofen kicked in and sleep came. 5:15 came all the earlier.

Happily, I woke up with less stiffness. A quick shower and I was off to McDonald's to get my favorite morning pre-ride meal: a steak, egg and cheese bagel along with some black coffee. After getting back home and putting my stuff together, I was out the door to make it do the starting line for the Palmetto Peloton Project by 6:30.

The sky was overcast and the air was cool. If it didn't rain, this was going to be a perfect day! You might think you want sunshine, but I'll take a cool overcast day.

After some announcements, we rode off in the brightening morning shortly after 7:00. I started off near the front - maybe 30 or so riders ahead. We were going at what I figured was a good pace, but I wasn't sure. I had forgotten my computer! I would be riding this one blind.

By the time I reached the overpass of Poinsett Highway, I was sitting in third. I eased off though as we neared the base of Paris Mountain. I said to myself, "Ride you own ride, don't get caught up with the pace of those around you." So, I put it in the granny gear and just took my time on the climb. Yep, I got passed several times, but I kept my cadence. I didn't have my computer, but I had done this enough to know how my pace feels.

I passed a couple of the people back before reaching the KOM. Then we head down the other side. I connected with a guy in a Clemson kit and I came off of Paris with what I figured to be 10 or so riders in front of me. At that point I connected with two other riders and we stayed together back to the start-finish line.

As we passed beneath the sign, I asked the guy beside me, "What was our time?" He replied, "1:09." My plan was working! Now, if I could just do that again, I'd be in business. It seemed possible because we had a group of about five riders and if we formed a pace line, maybe we could make it easy on all of us.

About that time, the rider who had given me the time had a flat. His friend eased off and we were down to three. Then by the time we reached Pete Hollis, the other two riders dropped back. Now it was just me. Of course, going alone on this route was nothing new for me. So, I just dug in and went on alone.

Turning off of Pete Hollis onto Old Buncombe, I could see the other five riders up ahead. I tried to take my time to bridge the gap, but I did want to catch them. Two lights later I caught them and something about me catching them made them decide to turn up the wick. I felt like saying, "Hey, I just worked to catch you guys! Give me a chance to catch my breath!"

We continued our pace line over Poinsett. It was fun. However, I started figuring my place in the group and realized that I was getting set up to pull the group up that last part of Buncombe before Paris! I tried not to think they were doing it on purpose :-)

I did as much as I could, but just about at that point my body started tiring. Just past Choice Hills Baptist Church I pulled over and said, "Sorry guys, that's it for me." Off they went leaving me in the dust. I arrived at the base of Paris for my second climb alone.

Oh boy, I had set in my mind to try three laps. The way I was feeling at this point, I was thinking I would be glad to just get two! The ride was uneventful, though I ended up getting passed by I think three people before the KOM. Once we got there, I noticed they had stopped by the side of the road and I just kept going.

At the Big Lots parking lot I stopped to get some fluids. They were very kind, but I could tell they were wondering why I was in such a hurry. "I'm trying to make it by 9:30. What time is it?" "It's 9:13," came the reply. Ooooo, that was going to be tough. Still, the banana and Powerade gave me a kick and I felt pretty good.

The hills on Main gave me a test and I figured at that point I wasn't going to make it. Still, I kept at it all alone. As I came into Cleveland Park I was overtaken by a rider I remembered from earlier in the ride. I hung with him for a bit, he left me, and then I caught up with him just as we crossed the finish line.

I had no idea what the time was, but as we rode by ride coordinator he said to us, "If you're going to go for three - now is the time to go." I actually thought about it. By the time I neared the traffic light I decided against it. It was enough for me to know that I had given enough in those first two laps to make the third possible. Once I stopped, I figured I had come in at around 9:34.

44 miles in just around two hours and thirty minutes. I have to be pretty happy about it.

I can remember several times when the going got rough thinking, "Mike didn't quit." I kept thinking of him and pushing on. Thanks to all of you who donated to my Ride For Mike. I'll be doing another ride in his memory next year - but I'm not sure it will be the Palmetto Peloton Project.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

A real quick entry

I've got to get in bed. Tomorrow morning is the Stars and Stripes Charity ride. I'm going to have to get up pretty early to be ready to get down there so I don't have to start at the rear of the group. My mood is apprehensive.

I rode yesterday - which I shouldn't have - and then rode again this morning and pushed pretty hard. I'm very sore in my shoulders. Here's hoping I'll feel better tomorrow morning. If I don't, I'm not going to try for three laps. If I don't try for three laps, all of this is just going to be anticlimatic.

Good night all!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

P3 Ride course breakdown

If you are planning to ride the P3 Ride on September 2nd, you might want to read this. If you aren’t, go on to something else. This is my blow by blow account of each segment I rode on the USA Cycling Pro Championship Road Race course.

What I am hoping to do is average just under one hour and fifteen minutes for the first two laps and then ease off and complete a third lap in one hour and thirty minutes. You have to do the first laps that fast because the organizers will cut off any riders who approach the start/finish after 9:30 AM (the ride starts at 7 AM). So, you have to get those first two laps done in two hours and thirty minutes. Then you have until 11 AM to get that last lap.

I went out alone at around 6 PM. It was 98 degrees as I left and upon my return an hour and eighteen minutes later, the temperature had only dropped to 93. I’m certain that played a role in some of the struggles I had. That is a positive looking toward a 7 AM start time.

Segment 1: I left the intersection of Broad and Main and headed to the base of Paris Mountain. I ended up with an average a tick below 19 mph. This was a stretch of nearly 8 miles. I was really pushing it knowing that this was rolling roads and I hoped to build up some time to “give” when I started to climb. Frankly, I think I overdid it and it hurt me later in the ride. Best scenario for the ride is that I get in a group and we work together. I was banging at about 185 bpm on my HR. Don’t need to do that.

Segment 2: This segment starts at the base of Altamont Road and covers 2.25 miles up to the KOM marker. In that distance, you climb nearly 1000 feet. I have pulled out a 9+ mph average on this climb, but if I try that I don't think I'll get the time I need on the second lap. This ride I actually had to use the climb to recover from segment 1! My average was just over 7 mph. 18:06 m:s is nothing to write home about, but considering I was trying to pace myself and keep my HR low (kept it below or around 180 bpm for the climb) I feel pretty good about it.

Segment 3: Starts at the KOM marker and heads down Altamont to the light at State Park Road. It is a distance of 3.80 miles and if you don't kill yourself climbing in segment 2, you can really get some time coming down. Unfortunately, I had gear problems and had to fight that as I descended. I averaged 24.6 mph with a max speed of 44.1 mph. My HR dropped from an average of 180 bpm in segment 2 to 159 bpm during that time. It took me 9:16 m:s to get off the mountain.

Segment 4: It is a minor climb from the light at State Park Road to the top of Piney Mountain Road. It is less than a mile (.66) and even on the climb I was able to hit 21.5 mph. My average speed in this segment was 15.5 mph. After Paris the heart was happy with a max of 172 bpm and a climbing average of 164 bpm. I was at the top in 2:33 m:s.

Segment 5: This is a moderate downhill that goes from the top of Piney Mountain Road to the light at the intersection of Piney and Pleasantburg. It is roughly the same distance as the climb (.64). You are down before you know it - 1:18 m:s. I hit a top speed of 38.9 - basically without pedaling, but just tucking and coasting down. My heart rate dropped again to a 159 bpm average.

Segment 6: Pleasantburg, right on Rutherford, left of Main Street. This is a segment where I think you can pick up some time. The downhills are good for time, but there is only so much speed you can get. On this section, you can earn some time pedaling and if you still have a group together at this point, I bet you could pick up half a minute or more. Unassisted I averaged 20.3 mph in this rolling segment. On the last downhill portion, I maxed at 32.6 mph. In the 5:55 m:s it took me to complete this section, I had an average HR of 164 bpm with a top bpm of 177.

Segment 7: This is a short segment that includes the last "big" climb on Main Street - it seems big because of what you have gone through to get there! It starts right after the top of the first minor climb and continues to the intersection of Stone Ave. and Main Street. It probably shouldn't be its own segment, but that climb kind of sets it apart and you need to be prepared for it. It will only take you about 2 minutes to cover the .61 miles.

Segment 8: I call this the downtown segment. This is where if you are riding for training you can see your time go down due to the lights. In this case, it wasn't so bad. There wasn't that much stopping. This segment starts at the Stone Ave. and Main Street intersection and follows the "urban" portion of the course to the entry of Cleveland Park. It took me just under 7 minutes to complete this section. I bet you could take 30 seconds to a minute off if the roads were cleared for you. I averaged 17.6 mph and got up to 37.6 mph as I approached the park. My heart was recovering and my average was back to 160 bpm.

Segment 9: This is the Cleveland Park segment. It starts at the entrance of the park off of East Washington. This is a time when you feel good -- the riding is easy enough and you know the end is right around the corner. There are the slight climbs on Woodland Way Circle and East Broad, but I was still able to average 18 mph in this segment. I was pushing it a little to cover the 2.35 miles in 7:51 m:s. I moved my heart up to a max of 181 bpm and averaged 171 bpm.

So, overall, I finished in 1 hour and 18 minutes. In order to get a chance to do three laps on the day of the P3 ride, I will need to average under 1 hour and 15 minutes the first two laps. Then I will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to do that last one. My average of 16.8 over 22.03 miles, is just a little short. I've got to pick up a mile per hour more on my average.

Can I do it in 1:15? I really think I can. There are a number of places where I could pick up time if I pushed just a little. Plus, the roads should be clearer and if I can just connect with some riders who have the same goal I do, we should be able to work together to get more speed with less output. At least, that is my plan!

I'm starting to believe!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

My new Hincapie jersey

Yesterday I got a Facebook wall post from Dave McQuaid. He was asking me if I had heard that the cut off time for the P3 was set for 9:30 AM. I went looking on The Greenville News site and couldn't find anything, so I hoped over to Didn't see anything there, but as I was looking for it, I came across the following picture.

This is the George Hincapie autographed jersey that I got during the second fund raising blitz. The autograph isn't real clear - the ink is kind of faint and it runs into some of the jersey color. Still, I didn't raise the money to get a jersey! I'm still deciding what to do with it. It is a small, so I can't wear it. What do you typically do with these sorts of things?

Here for posterities sake is what the site looked like when I was on it...

I was disappointed to learn that the cut off time was 9:30 AM (the ride starts at 7:00 AM and you are supposed to finish as many laps as you can before the cut off). That means we have only 2.5 hours. I will be PUSHING it to get two laps! We will need to average 17.6 mph. The last time I did two laps of the course, I averaged 15.7 mph.

As I was working on this post, I got a message from Dave letting me know that the cut off time is 9:30 AM, BUT if you make the cut off, you can go ahead and finish your lap with the course closing at 11 AM. That is a little better. There is a chance we could get in three laps (about 66 miles - a metric century). Still, I hope next year that move the ride back to Saturday. Having such a short ride with the time pressure takes a lot of the fun out of the ride.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two jerseys and a rainy day

Last night just before going to ball game, I connected with Precise Imprintable Products and picked up my Ride for Mike jersey. We were rushing to get it done by Friday evening so that I could have it this morning when I was to be presented a George Hincapie autographed jersey before the Sunshine Cycle Shop ride.

Here is my jersey! After riding in the rain...

I woke up to find it raining. Oops. Not sure we would ride, but I knew someone was going to be coming to the shop to present the jersey. So I loaded up the bike on my car and drove over. No one was there. As I started to drive away, Art (a Saturday morning regular) pulled up. We decided to wait and see if anyone else would show up.

That is when Kevin showed up with the jersey. We talked a little bit about Mike and the P3 ride. Since no one else was there, he went ahead and took a picture of me with the Hincapie jersey and went on his way. Shortly after, Tyler (a shop employee) showed up with his mother and the four of us rode an abbreviated course in the rain.

Got home and turned on the TV to check out the time trial of the Tour De France. What a finish! I'm so glad I was able to see it. Levi turned on the afterburner and to have just around 30 seconds between the yellow and third place is amazing after thousands of miles is amazing!

Just crossing my fingers on the doping stuff. There is a rumor that another rider has tested positive.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Crawling out from under a rock

I got up this morning to join David "Locomotive" McQuaid for a couple of laps of the USA Cycling Pro Championship Road Race course. We both plan to participate in the ride on Labor Day weekend. The goal is to do as many laps as you can in four hours. We figured we needed to get out there and get a feel for what it would take.

We've done a lap of the course before and I think we have done two before, but I can't remember. Anyway, going out there again today definitely showed us what we need to do! We covered 2 laps - about 44 miles in 2:49 of seat time. If you count the time we spent at stop lights and waiting for Chris Hartzler and his brother-in-law, it took us over three hours.

I felt bad about leaving Chris and Bruce. I'm certain Chris could have kept up with his, but his brother-in-law is just beginning to pick up riding. So, he was only able to hang with us until we reached the bottom of Paris Mountain. Chris connected with us at the top and told McQuaid and me to go on. I think they ended up completing one lap.

Here is a link to my upload from my Edge 305 to Motionbased account. The most relevant portion of the report is the elevation graph. Two climbs of over 1000 ft in just a couple of miles.

The big problem for me is that once I finished, I crashed -- not on the bike, but my body. I thought I would be fine as I had a chance to eat within the first 30 minutes after the ride. However, I ended up just dragging myself around and ended up dragging myself right into bed where I slept pretty solid for an hour. It wasn't until shortly before I started typing this that I felt like I was getting back in shape.

Why? Sure, the climbing was part of it. However, I think it was the way I did the climbing. My first time up I came across the remnants of the Carolina Triathlon shop ride. Of course, that is a carrot and I wanted to pass them all. I did, but my HR spiked at 192 bpm. That push combined with the rest of the ride must have done something to me. I felt better on the second climb because I didn't push myself.

Bottom line is that I've got a lot of work to do before September!

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

What's Up?

Ride for Mike

We are up to $2545 in funds raised for my Ride for Mike fight against cancer ride. The last donation was annonymous for $250! Thank you to whoever it was that did that.


Things ain't looking good for me on Sunday. I guess that is just as well. I won't be able to watch the race because I'll be driving on I-95 (which is about like Daytona). Still, I don't like the thought of losing two weeks in a row. The gap could close this weekend.

Why is that? Well, with Gordon and Johnson getting put to the rear of the field due to some inappropriate modifications to their cars and my best driver in the group (Kyle Busch) starting in 24th place -- things don't look to good. You might get away with it at a super speedway, but Sonoma? Don't think so.

At least Gordon named his daughter something normal. Ella Sophia is a very pretty name. Better than what Tiger Woods named his little bundle of joy: Sam Alexis - not Samantha Alexis, just Sam.

Computer problems

Thanks to my wife for letting my use her computer. My Mac's harddrive bit the dust today. The worse thing is that I am leaving tomorrow to spend the week at my parents. I love them and I can't wait to go -- but they are in the sticks! I mean there isn't much at all there and my cell phone is on constant roaming. I'll have to pack in all the technical stuff I'll need. I've ordered a new harddrive and will have it delivered there.


I'll be taking my bike with me. It will be a big change to go from the hills of Greenville to the flats of the swamps of southeastern North Carolina. I'm also having my new cycling computer to my parent's house. I should be able to do some max heart rate testing there where I can do some good sustained rides.

I'll say though, I have a ways to go. Today, I did the same 35 mile ride that I did on Thursday. Paris Mountain is still kicking my posterior. Part of it is because I can't get into the last three rings of my rear cassette without my chain slipping. I either slip and lose momentum or I have to go harder and wear myself down. I just can't seem to make progress.

Well, that is what is up. Not sure I'll give many updates over the next week. I can get a dialup (about 21 kbs), but it can be a real pain.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

A service of praise

I got up this morning to board a plane to fly up to Raleigh for Mike's funeral. I was joined by David Orr and Jeremy McMorris. We landed in Hickory, NC to pick up Dr. Bob and then it was on to Raleigh/Durham. After a short drive, we arrived at the church where Mike's funeral service was held.

Looking out the window of the plane thinking of Mike.

There is something about being a Christian when it comes to face the death of a loved one. Certainly there are feelings of sadness. However, you can't come to a conclusion that the one you love is gone. It is as though they boarded a plane and flew to some distant location. You don't see them, but you KNOW they ARE. You have not faced the end of their existence. They exist - in a sense in a way much greater than they did when they were with you.

That is the feeling I had as I looked at the wooden coffin holding the body of Mike. It was not him. Yet, he IS. The sadness is in not having him here with us. The gladness is knowing that we will be with him again. The sadness was in seeing his family knowing that they would not feel his hugs or hear his laughter any more on this earth. The gladness was knowing that they are not without hope.

The credits song to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "Into the West," came to my mind. It is the song about the ships sailing into the west to take the elves away from the changing Middle Earth to a new land. "What can you see on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call? Across the sea a pale moon rises. The ships have come to carry you home. And all will turn to silver glass. Light on the water, grey ships pass into the west."

Mike has boarded the ship. The ship will return for each of us and we will board it. We'll leave the fading world and enter a new one that is made new. "The white shores are calling. We will meet again." Mike is not dead. He is simply waiting.

Michael T. McCaskill April 27, 1981 - June 16, 2007

Thanks, McCaskills, Lora, Carl, Johnny, and all the folks at Catawba Springs Christian Church. You are an inspiration and testimony.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Ride for Mike Web sites

UPDATE: After posting this entry, I visited the site where messages are left for Mike and his family. At that time, I learned that Mike passed away. I'll miss you, Mike. But I will see you again.

Check out the new Ride for Mike Web site. Chris Hartzler was really nice to redesign the site and create a really nice logo that will go on my jersey. The logo will also be going on t-shirts that will be available for purchase with all the proceeds going to the ride in honor of Mike.

Mike is not doing well. We do not know how much longer he will be with us.

This morning was the Sunshine Shop Ride. John and Tony, our two normal leaders, were not on the ride this morning so it was kind of a self guided ride. It also meant that I was one of the top riders out there.

I was a little tired at first because I had ridden 20 miles just the night before after being off the bike since Monday. However, I got my legs under me and for the sprints I tried, I did pretty well - finishing 1st or 2nd. I even had someone jokingly ask me if I had a secret coach.

The Paris sprint was the most fun. About six of us started a break away and I purposefully went to the front to bring up the cadence. Then I backed off to allow five riders in front of me. We crested a hill that would start the downhill before the last climb. I moved into the big ring and tucked in. The draft allowed me to slingshot around the outside just at the base of the climb.

I used the momentum to take me into the climb and smoothly transitioned into a lower gear. As I climbed, I looked back between my legs and there was no one on my wheel. I pushed a little more but let up a bit as I neared the end of them climb. Then on my outside a rider came rolling by. At that point, we were just five yards from the entrance to the park and I couldn't get up speed enough to pass him back.

Foiled again!

The best thing though is that I have been able to earn the respect of the riders I'm with. They know I can hang with the best of them, but I'm not a dangerous rider. Frankly, that makes me feel pretty good.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pray for Mike

My heart really isn't into writing anything today. I have learned that an earlier MRI that showed swelling on Mike's brain possibly shows that the swelling was actually more growth by the tumor. Unless something amazing happens, they will be taking Mike home.

I have my own problems right now, but how insignificant and puny they are.

Mike, I want you to stay with us, but how selfish of me to want to hold on to you when you could be where I should desire with all my heart to go. I am praying for Lora and Grace - and your parents and all.

To God be the glory - you have already been a testimony for Him and you will continue to be so should He give you to us or take you home to Himself.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Thanks, Eric

Yesterday I had a nice thing happen. I called an acquaintance to see about getting a logo screenprinted on a cycling jersey for my Ride for Mike. My hope was to get a one off print for as little as possible.

Turns out, Eric knows Mike and Mike's parents are one of Eric's customers. So, he responded that the printing was on him! If you have priced a custom, one-off screenprinting job, you know how nice that is.

He'll be printing it on a Hincapie jersey. I'm hoping that I can get a jersey donated from Hincapie Sportswear and get a reprint on it so I can give it to Mike after the ride in September.

If you ever need some marketing items, be sure to give Precise Imprintable Products a call!

Oh, I took the new crank out last night. Had to ride a quick hour between my kids' soccer games. I averaged 20.2 mph again. With the changes to my bike, that seems to be my new baseline. I can hit that average every time out. With a little conditioning, 20.5 is definitely in reach.

My bike is still popping though. It wasn't the bottom bracket - at least not completely. It appears to be the frame itself or maybe the seat post. Anyway, when it starts popping, I can put my hand down and press down on the frame and the popping stops. I'm going to ride tomorrow with the Sunshine crew. Hope they can figure it out for me.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Newspaper and Updates

My letter to the editor appeared today in The Greenville News. If you read it, you may recognize it as an earlier entry on You can check it out at the following link: Greenville needs to be more bike-friendly.

More importantly, I want to give you an update on my friend Mike. He had an MRI last week and the final report was that the tumor was slightly smaller. This is good news in that it isn't bad, however the doctor would have liked to have seen it shrink more. There is also no bleeds from the tumor and it does not appear to be growing.

There are complications. Mike is having trouble swallowing. He hasn't been talking, but does nod or smile to conversation. Of more concern is that he has started having seizures earlier this week. They had to take him to Duke Hospital where he had two more seizures in the ER and then two more later in the day. They were pretty bad.

He is currently under sedation and is being feed through a tube. The doctors seem to be stumped why the seizure medicine is not working. This prayer request comes from Mike's church family, "Please pray that the seizures would be controlled, if they do not get better, they may have to induce a coma like state again. Last time they did that it took months for Mike to come out of it. Please pray for strength and God’s sustaining grace for all."


My Ride for Mike 2007 seems so insignificant right now. Still, I am glad that I can be an encouragement in this very small way. The donations have reached $1090. Things have slowed down somewhat, but I hope to find other ways to increase the amount. Would you consider giving?


Monday, May 28, 2007

Praying on Paris

Today I rode Paris Mountain for my daily ride. Mike was on my mind as I made my way toward the top. Didn't see any other cyclists, though I did smell a lot of Memorial Day cookouts! The time was around 5:30 and I was trying to get a quick ride in before going to my son's soccer game.

As I thought about Mike, it hit me, "Why don't you pray for him while you are just sitting here spinning your legs?" Turns out that not only was I interceeding for Mike, I was also taking my mind off of the coversation my body was trying to have with me.

How to pray for someone with cancer like this? I just pray that God will get the glory from this circumstance that Mike is in. My heart asks that God will get glory through Mike's victory over this and his use of the experience to help others. Still, I understand that God might have something greater for His son. Either way, God is good and God is great. Eternity will show the answer.

The fund for my Ride for Mike 2007 is now up to $1080. $420 to meet my minimum goal, but I trust it will be more. I know it doesn't change Mike's circumstance, but it is just like as I was riding today. I kept thinking, "If I could just transfer some of this health over to him." You can't. Then the pain sets in and you think, "This is nothing. Think of what Mike is going through. Share with him in a small way by pushing it just a little harder."

I still have a lot of pushing to do. I left my house, passed over Paris, and then came up to the top in one hour. In another 19 minutes I was back home (20 miles at a 15.4 average). My first goal is to shave off 5 minutes from that ride.

Ride for Mike 2007

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Bryant Young - You may recall I mentioned Bryants trip across South Carolina. The man is still not back in the saddle because of the saddle rot he acquired during the ride. I saw him last night and he said we was going to try to start easing back this weekend. Wow, I hope that never happens to me!

Ride for Mike - I got an update on Mike yesterday. He is extremely week. They have continued to give him Avastin and CPT-11. With the last MRI, it appeared that the tumor might be shrinking somewhat. They are waiting for confirmation from the primary doctor. Right now are taking off the chemo in order to allow him to gather strength for another round.

Please, pray for Mike. I'll keep giving updates as I receive them. Please consider supporting my Ride for Mike 2007.

Cycling - I've started a group in Facebook called, "I love cycling in Upstate SC." If you have a Facebook account and you really do love cycling in Upstate SC, come and join us!

Here is my favorite sight in Greenville when it comes to cycling. Can you guess where this is?

Know where this is? Leave a comment.

Last night I did a ride of Paris Mountain to judge my time there and back. I made the ride in 1:20. I'm not sure what my goal will be. Probably would be best to do several rides to get an average and then set a goal for gaining on that time.

82 Airborne

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ride for Mike Update

Last night was the NASCAR All Star Race in Charlotte. A year ago I was sitting just before turn one with Mike. I also played in a golf tournament yesterday on a course where I last played a round of golf with Mike. My mind went to him several times yesterday.

God is great. God is good. We don't always understand how that goodness plays out in our lives. He knows that there is something more important than just our physical happiness -- even this temporal life is not as important as our eternal existence. I simply have to trust that He has a GOOD plan in the suffering that Mike must face at this time.

God is also GREAT and He can heal Mike. It is one of those things where you just have to pray for what your heart desires having a willingness to accept the answer which ever way it goes. So, my prayer for Mike is that he will be healed, but above all that he will have grace to continue to be a testimony in his trial and even in the suffering grow into a greater relationship with his God.

Anyway, the update is that the fund has reached $935! I imagine it will slow down a tad now, but I still have until September to reach the minimum goal of $1500. Thanks againt to all who have participated.

82 Airborne


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ride for Mike update

It is exciting to see people come together to help support my Ride for Mike 2007. As of yesterday evening, the amount raised is $885.00. Thank you so much everyone! I want to say a thank you here to those anonymous donors since I won't be able to thank you directly.

As for other cycling issues... I have for the first time had to battle with being saddle sore -- not just uncomfortable in the nether regions, but an actual blister like sore. I must have had my shorts arranged differently or something.

Anyway, I'm going to stay at it and use some Chamois Butt'r. I've never used anything like this before. I'm sure it will help on long rides. I'll let you know how it goes. Of course, my kids had fun with the name of the product.

In still more cycling news... Team Road Rash (that is what I call our small informal group of recreational cyclists) will be heading up to Caesars Head on May 26. That is the soonest opportunity we have. Right now it is just Chris, John and myself. It will be my first time up there on a bike.

82 Airborne

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

My ride for Mike

Hey, would you join me on my Ride for Mike? No, you don't have to get on a bike and pedal, but you can go with me in spirit. It's for a good cause and a great guy!

Mike is a friend that I met while working at BJU. He's a young guy - about 15 years my junior - but has a great sense of humor and is a big NASCAR fan. He is a youth pastor in North Carolina. He's married and has a beautiful little girl.

Oh, he also has a brain tumor.

To make a long story short, while Mike and I worked together, he would have frequent headaches. It never seemed to dampen his spirits, but you could tell something was bothering him. After leaving to go to his position as a youth pastor, things got worse and he went to the doctor.

That is when the discovered the tumor and attacked it aggressively. After surgery (that lead to some major complications) and chemo treatment, it really was a miracle that Mike was recovering. We were SO excited! However, just a few weeks ago, we learned the tumor had returned to about the same size as before.

Mike is a fighter. He will continue to battle this. It is just so helpless to not be able to do anything to change his circumstance. I just have the need to do something!

That is where the Ride for Mike 2007 comes in.

I rode in the Palmetto Peloton Project last year. At the time I was participating just because it was my first opportunity at a metric century. I wasn't thinking about the cause that the ride supported.

This year is different. I want to raise as much money as I can to go to the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. In the process I want it to represent Mike. In my dreams, I would raise the most money for the project and it would stand along with my ride as a tribute a great guy who I miss.

Will you consider helping me? You can go to the Ride for Mike 2007 Web site or go directly to the Palmetto Peloton Project site. Click on the donate option and be sure to designate me, Jonathan Pait, as the rider to which you are contributing.

Thank you very much!

82 Airborne

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