My highs of the summer cycling season include pushing through the 10,000 foot incline of the Michigan Mountain Mayhem course in June, and reaching my goal of 10,000 miles for 2016 on Aug. 31!
Here is a complete rundown of the miles and heights I logged throughout June, July and August:
June 4: Randonneur for the Day
With a group called the Detroit Rondonneurs, I circumnavigated Michigan’s thumb through Frankenmuth and the Lake Huron shoreline. The challenging course spanned 250 miles (400 kilometers). Two riders, Rexha Mehdi and Thomas Kazokas, and I found ourselves a good deal ahead of the 27 participants and decided to continue the course together as a group for safety. We had an epic ride with four flat tires, two mechanical malfunctions, and the company of strong winds and heavy rain for the last three hours. In the end, the three of us crossed the finish line first with a time of 13 hours and 24 minutes at an average speed of 18.7 mph.
Randonneuring is a long-distance, non-competitive style of endurance cycling where self-sufficiency is paramount. This style of riding has its origins in audax cycling that emerged out of Italy and France in the late 19th century where in day-long rides, participants aimed to cover as much ground as possible to prove themselves audax or audacious. Today riders keep up with the tradition on challenging courses of 200 km or more.
My co-rider and I both endured two flat tires during the ride.
Meet Thomas Kazokas from Lithuania, one of the three riders who finished the 250 mile course in 13 hours, 24 minutes.
June 10 in Holland: Two Days = 200 Miles
I’m cycling for charity with the Altair Multiple Sclerosis Bike, Walk and Golf Team. Today I ride and hopefully help a few others at the same time.
My wonderful wife!
Two volunteers at the MS ride ask to take my picture:
But only because they like my Rolo bike.
June 18: 128 Miles Climbing 10,000 Feet at Michigan Mountain Mayhem
The MMM is the toughest ride of the Spring Classic series organized through the Team O2 Bicycle Club. This ride is generally held on the third Saturday of June and is limited to 1,500 riders. The MMM is a timed, road-bike event held on the toughest terrain Michigan has to offer.
The event tested me both mentally and physically. I have to say it was the most grueling and challenging ride I’ve ever encountered.
June 19: The Day After MMM
I really needed this 35 mile recovery spin around Lake Charlevoix.
June 22: On the R4R (Ride for Recovery)
I took a photo opportunity at the Orpheus Fountain at Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The evening was warm and the loop covered 30 miles. Cyclists who spend the weekends racing look forward to this pleasant short ride on Mondays.
June 26: Riding to Support Michigan Youth Cycling!
This two-part charity ride started on Woodward and moved through West Bloomfield, Birmingham, Pontiac, and Detroit, and looped back to West Bloomfield! Eighty-three riders made the first wave of the event.
Such a nice start … then my rear ZIPP tire got a flat.
Many more turned out for the second leg of the event in Detroit to raise money specifically for Luke Mullis who is scheduled to travel to Switzerland to represent the USA in the World Track Cycling championships. Thanks to E.J. Levy for organizing the charity event and everyone who is out riding to support Michigan youth cyclists!
A quick snap after the Derby ride with the fastest Pro 1 and 2 guys in MI, Christopher Wanley (right) and Benny Cook (middle). Christopher Wanley regularly wins the top MI races.
Already it’s July and I’m on my Favorite D-Ride to Belle Isle and back with the O2 A and B groups. Big turnout today for a happy Fourth of July weekend!
July 3: Riding Birmingham to Northville
July 4: Happy Independence Day! West Bloomfield to Brighton
July 7: 128.9 Miles from West Bloomfield to Lake Erie Metro Park and Back
This was my fourth time this year riding to Lake Erie. The conditions were rough though; the air was hot and the lake winds were blowing. My journey took me through Flat Rock, MI where I encountered this wonderful bronze bear.
I rode another Century Loop today, and got to log 105.4 miles. On the way back, I met up with my buddy, Chris Butler, and we rode 30 miles more together!
July 16-17: Team Altair at Bike MS 2016
I know how much cycling has helped me manage my own health issues. I am so eager to ride with Team Altair to help wipe out MS and support the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society!
The weekend event covered two days and two Century rides—215 miles in total for me! We had sun the first day and tornadoes the second day. Only seven riders were able to finish the second day’s Century loop due to the weather. I dedicated the ride to a volunteer at the race, Margaret, who suffers from secondary progressive MS. She put wind at my feet to finish.
Cycling for fun today on the Ilinden ride from West Bloomfield to Lake Erie Metro Park. This course is a 130 mile loop in honor of the Macedonian National Holiday.
I beat the rain on a 30-mile loop from West Bloomfield to Birmingham and back.
Aug. 13: Marshalling the O2 Corktown Criterium
This is a new race with proceeds that benefit the MIU Men’s Health Foundation. The area of Detroit known as Corktown is the home of the stately Michigan Central Station.
August 14: On the D-Ride
Riding the 102-mile loop around West Bloomfield, Birmingham, Detroit, Belle Isle, Grosse Pointe, Birmingham, and Sylvan Lake.
Aug. 20: Cross Tour
By myself today on the I-75 trail from West Bloomfield through Hines Park. Rainclouds are making me turn around in the Park and Ride in Canton.
Aug. 21: With Carolyn A. Wells at Kirk in the Hills
Rode to church on this beautiful day and attended the service at Kirk Garden.
With my buddy Chris Butler riding 41 miles from West Bloomfield to Sylvan Lake in Pontiac.
Liked my morning Ride on Sat. on my Specialized S-Works Venge. The 45.3-mile loop started in West Bloomfield and passed through the sites of Cranbrook, Oakland University, Chrysler, Performance Bicycle in Bloomfield Hills and back.
Aug 28: 52nd Annual Debaets-Devos Pro-Am Race
I was a volunteer today and marshalled the Debaets-Devos Pro-Am races. Christopher Wanley won the Pro,1,2,3 race. I believe this is the first time a rider from the O2 club won the main event. Strong teamwork helped get Chris across the finish line as well as Scott Patterson, who placed 2nd in the CRIT Men Masters 55+, and Chuck Morgan, who placed 3rd in the CRIT Men Cat 4/5.
Also great to see the teamwork come through in organizing and running the race. Many thanks to the volunteers, sponsors, racers, officials, and the announcer, Frankie Andreu. And thank you to Altair, a sponsor for this event.
About 30 kids rode a short loop for fun at the event.
Amazing victory Chris Wanley!
Aug 31: 10,000!
I rode 57 miles this afternoon and hit my goal of 10,000 miles for 2016. This is a really big moment for me!
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