Tuesday, October 30, 2007


As I was riding along on the second day of the MS ride, a guy came up alongside me and said, "Craig, right?" I said, yes...thought for a second, and told him, "Hey, I remember you from last year--but I don't recall your name." He told me "Glen." Then I was reminded that Glen was the guy who read my letter last year about why I ride--the one that was sent out to all the people on the SoCal MS Chapter's mailing list--and the one that inspired him to ride. I snapped this picture at the final rest stop on day two, right after we realized they were cutting the ride short for safety's sake, on account of the high winds and fires in the area. I was happy to see Glen had gone for two straight years, and that he was planning to do it again next year.

Keep up the good work, Glen...and may you be someone else's inspiration next year!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fantastic Finish

Watch this.

Then watch it again and count not the laterals, but the number of guys in dark jerseys standing around after lateral #4.

Then watch it again and keep an eye out for clowns, unicycles and seals honking horns.

Cal-Stanford eat your collective hearts out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Other "Bib"

The MS Society has also taken to giving people the opportunity to tell other riders who their inspiration is--who they're riding for. In six rides, I've only done this twice. The last time, my hand cramped as I wrote the names of all those I've met and love who are battling MS. This year, I whittled the list down to one: Mom.

Mom represents all those people for me. She is the most visible reminder to me of what MS does. She is the most loving example of someone who tries hard not to make it about her--like when she told me Monday night how amazing I was for doing this ride. Me? Amazing? How about you, Mom? How about Dad for being the best Dad, husband, father ever? And Mom calls me amazing? I'm truly humbled. I had another MOM-ent on the phone there.

So to all those I love who are battling MS, I say "keep fighting" and I'll keep riding as long as my chubby belly and "second knee caps" will let me. You all rock!

My Big Little Girl

I had a nice voicemail waiting for me when I finished the century ride on Saturday. My daughter left the following for "Daddy":

"Hi Dad. We love you a lot. We really miss you. Congratulations on your bike ride. We miss you lots. We wish you were here with us. We're watching Hannah Montana. We wish you were here to enjoy it. It's not the same without you. Bye from all of us. We miss you. Bye!"

I was thinking of you, too, sweetie.

Thanks: Ready-to-Wear

Everyone who rides the MS ride gets a number known as a "bib". In this year's ride, I was assigned orange bib number "44". According to the results from last year's ride, my supporters pledged enough support to make me the #44 top fundraiser in the ride for 2006. Altogether, you--my friends and family--and I pledged exactly $1500 to help fight MS. For that, I want to thank you forty-four times.

This year, you came through again. As of today, we're over $1200. If you're interested in pledging more or pledging for the first time, click HERE.

...and THANK YOU again!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Three of my Favorite People

For those of you who've heard me talk about how great the Rockin Jalapenos team is, here are some of the reasons right in this picture.

The guy on the left is Arvin, our team captain. I had a chance to talk to him this weekend and realized just how committed he is to this cause--and to making it easy for others to be committed as well. He's an inspiration to me, and truly lives the mantra that you hear when you call his voicemail: "Remember, do good things!"

In the middle, a bit back, is his wife Joannie. I always say that behind every good man is an even better woman. Well, she's behind Arvin in this shot, but not in commitment and just interior goodness. I love them both.

On the right, the woman with the irrepressible smile (seriously, it's always emblazoned across her face), is Jennica. I met Jennica last year on this ride. Her story is that of a thriver, not just a survivor. She's kicking MS's butt daily. She rode the century this year (and kicked my butt, too) and just inspires me to make something out of this. I have what I call "a MOM-ent" each year I ride, where I think about my Mom and what she goes through, along with the thousands of others who have MS. This year, my "MOM-ent" was punctuated by the knowledge that I simply don't know what those who have MS go through, and, God willing, will never know firsthand--but I respect them, love them, and am inspired by their fights every day of my life. Jennica is nothing short of a poster child for making lemonade (with super sweet sugar and a strawberry garnish!) with the lemons of life.

Life's pretty good anyway. Knowing these three people is just gravy.

Santa Barbara at about 8 a.m.

I took this shot as we were getting geared up for day two of the MS ride last weekend in Santa Barbara. This is Leadbetter Beach at about 8:00 a.m. The setting is idyllic to say the least. This is day two, prior to the fires really taking over in Southern California, so what looked like it was going to be a wonderful day actually became a bit of a nightmare for many. What was to be 75 miles morphed into 30; and what was a slight ocean breeze became Santa Ana winds clocking in around 45 mph. They canceled the ride after 30 miles--and I started crying. I asked myself later why, and I think it had more to do with letting down my sponsors by not being able to ride the full distance than anything else. My Mom came through with the right comment at the right time on Monday night, though, as she said: "The fact that you're doing all of this is what matters" not the miles.

It's official, I'm 100...okay, I'm 97.69.

In the first of hopefully a bunch of MS Ride-related posts, here goes:

I did the Century Ride last Saturday at the Santa Barbara MS Ride. The was spec-ed at 99 or something, and my bike computer's calibration coupled with that fact means that according to Sigma, the maker of my cheap computer, I went 97.69 miles in about 7 1/2 hours, including stops. Things I learned on my second century ride:

- I still didn't train hard enough
- The hills are bigger in California than in Idaho
- The temperature in CA in October is hotter than in May in Idaho (Rupert, to be exact--site of my other century ride earlier this year)
- The downhills are the main reason why I ride bikes as opposed to running: in running, you run uphill and run downhill--in riding, your ride uphill and coast downhill. Not as easy as a workout, but it feeds my desire to try to maintain some semblance of being in shape and be lazy too!
- I'll do another one

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Feel Like I'm 100 Again!

I've decided to give the century ride another go this weekend as I participate in the Santa Barbara Start to Finish MS Bike Tour. So it's going down like this: I ride 100 miles on Saturday. Vomit. Ride 75 more miles on Sunday. Get heart transplant Sunday evening. Fly home Monday.

Wish me luck!

Don't forget to donate for MS at my site...and pass the link along!

Donate HERE

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Good Dream Room

Last night the two big kids informed me, after watching a pseudo-scary program on Disney Channel, that our room was the designated "good dream room" and that they would have to sleep on our floor.

Over breakfast, I asked my daughter if she had good dreams while sleeping in the "good dream room" last night. She said with a smile that she had. Then she recounted how she was "in the middle of a really good dream" when Mom woke her up for school. Before I could ask the content of this "good dream," she shared this with me:

"I was winning another prize from the cereal box."

Friday, October 05, 2007

My First YouTube Upload...

I made this little video for my bike friends in California. They're doing a pre-MS 150 Ride get-together tonight in Los Angeles which I cannot physically attend. So I did this: