The ride, Part 1: 450 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway (from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee) with 10 of my cross country riding mates from last summer.
I covered a lot of miles today, but all in the car. Just shy of 700 miles from Columbia, Maryland to Nashville, Tennessee. I left perfect weather to find 95+ degrees and high humidity as I drove further south. The drive was long, but easy, and provided me the first chance to clear my head in a long while. Work has owned my the last eight months and the break will is long over due.
Even with work, I have managed to stay pretty focused on my training and have logged 2,200 miles for year (half of that was inside on the trainer). Simpler goals, simpler training ... more fun? It will be great to ride with my friends again and see new sights.
I arrived in Nashville around 4PM Central Time. I only realized about an hour before I got there that the time zone was changing. :-) Leo arrived shortly after that and then Helen and Alex. The four of us are driving to Natchez tomorrow to meet up with the rest of the group. It was so great to see them. We shared such a memorable summer in 2010. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Ellandale's in Nashville and talked and laughed about our trip, the upcoming week, and just "stuff".
Tidbits ... Leo just got back from a trip to Turkey and Iran. He and his wife now have two owls living with them in Austin. Alex just graduated from Occidental in Los Angeles and has big plans to move to Chile in the Fall. She plans to spend the summer riding with her mom. Helen is a true multi-tasker and continues her blog, lots of bike rides, working at the lab her dad started, caring for her mom, and being a great mother. She celebrates her 25th wedding anniversary soon too! I was quick to snap a picture of Helen before she could even break out her cameras. My blog has words ... hers has art and substance. The evening was the perfect start to what should be a great week. Some pictures:
|Helen, Me, & Alex|
|The First Photo Opp|
|Leo and Alex ... Great Food, Great Friends|
|Here's to a Great Week!|
Like my training, my fundraising goals and efforts are simpler this year too. After raising an amazing $17,000 last year, I set my sights on $3,000 this year. My friends, family, and business associates continue to amaze me. The ride has not even started and we are already at $3,500. Each donation helps families struggling with lung disease and enables the American Lung Association to save lives, search for cures, keep kids off tobacco, and fight for laws that protect the air we all breathe. Donations can made online at Donate 2011. Thanks so much for helping! Together, we are improving life, one breath at a time.
Over the course of the month I will highlight my donors. Two long-time supporters have again joined the effort with amazing corporate level donations. Prashant Arni and his team at Lancesoft, Inc. provide global IT services and solutions to Fortune 1000 companies in a wide range of technologies including application/systems development, management outsourcing, ERP & CRM services, quality assurance services and web applications.
Sanjeet Harpalani and his staff at Dimensional Concepts specialize in business intelligence, data management, and data analytics. They have significant expertise in health care IT and work with both government and corporate clients. Thanks again to Prashant and Sanjeet!
Watch my blog for all the fun, sweat (it is suppose to be 95+ everyday), miles, food, and donors. A sspecial thanks to my wife Karen for letting me go on this trip right in the middle of major remodel of all four of our bathrooms. Hang in there babe ...
Good night moon ... good night jeep ... good night heat ... good night Leo (my roomie tonight) ... good night Leo (my father-in-law and inspiration) ... good night Dad ... good night Natchez ... here I come.