The BRAG Spring Tune-Up

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This weekend we went to the BRAG (Bike Ride Across Georgia) Spring Tune-Up in beautiful Madison, Ga. We camped in our RV at Heritage Park which was the starting point for all the day rides. And, of course, we took the puppy, Quincy, and Rio with us.

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The first day’s ride was about 60 miles. It was cold and it stayed cold all day. Fortunately there were a lot of hill climbs which provided the opportunity to get warm. Saturday and Sunday’s rides were about 40 miles each and the weather was beautiful.

The country side around Madison is wonderful for biking. There are a lot of open fields with dairy cows and horses in abudance.

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The yellow flowered crop we soon discovered is canola, as in canola oil. Apparently this crop has become popular in this area covering several acres.

The ride on Sunday was cut a little short as we were to meet with a representative from The Guide Dog Foundation in Asheville at 5pm and it was a 3-4 hour drive from Madison. I rode the 40 miles to the last rest stop where Georgie was volunteering to hand out sandwiches and other snacks to the riders. We finally departed about 2pm.

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Once again the BRAG ride was great fun. We got a chance to see old friends and have dinner with the ride director and his wife, Jerry and Gloria Colley.

I was also pleased that I was able to do three straight days of riding, which coverd 140 total miles, and was still able to walk around on Monday morning.

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As we departed we drove through the town of Madison. This was the town that Grant refused to burn on his march to the sea. And for good reason. There are some stunningly beautiful mansions in Madison like this one. It is definitely worth a short side trip to visit this town.

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Looking forward now more than ever to the cross-country ride starting May 20th.

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Riding Around the World

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Last night we had unexpected visitors. Ron and Petra are biking around the world for the next two years. They were looking for a place to stay Sunday night and so we offered our house. They got a good dinner and breakfast the next day before they took off in the 36 degree weather headed for Asheville. From there they were headed to Tennessee, then Niagra Falls, Toronto and to New York to catch a flight to Spain. They plan on crossing Europe, Russia and Asia on this two year self-supported trek. Wow! Amazing.

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A Generous Donor

After reading the Times News article, a very generous donor contributed $500 to iBike4Them. Thank you so much.

Mike

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Article in Times News today

See the article about my ride in today’s paper.

http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20130310/ARTICLES/130309826/1151?p=1&tc=pg

 

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My 70th Birthday Party and Fund Raiser for Kenmure Fights Cancer (KFC)

The KFC committee decided to have a party for me as a fund raiser for KFC. It was great fun. Held at the home of Kathryn Tims, the committee provided a wonderful food spread and some tasty beverages. I was able to make some comments about my ride to the attendees and we had our RV on site so that people could see where we will be living for 90 days while on the ride.

But most importantly this event raised over $4,000 for our two local hospital cancer unit. The total amount raised by June will be divided between ParkRidgeHealth and Pardee Hospital, to purchase much needed equipment.

We intend to have more events like this for iBike4Them before we leave on the ride. Thanks to all who attend the party and were so generous with their donation.

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Barclay leaves for training.

Our 11th guide dog in training that we have had for the past 16 months, left last week for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind school to begin his formal. Barclay will be trained and then paired with a blind person. We hope that he will have a long and helpful career.DSC01153

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Today is 2/18/2012–90 days until the adventure starts.

Unfortunately the weather has been on the cold side with a few snow flakes flying around.

Been doing a lot of work on the stationary bike. The scenary never changes though.

Looking for warmer weather.

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Today is February 1, 2013. There are now 107 days before the adventure starts.

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Surprise Party

Well, there I was. I had just taken the dogs for a walk and sat down to relax. Georgie and I were going to go out for dinner then home early. All of a sudden there were these loud noises and I was wondering what the heck Georgie could be doing in the kitchen to make all of that racket. Then my daughter appeared in the hall blowing a noise maker, followed by my son, his wife and several other friends. The surprise party was on. They brought all my favorite foods–indian food, sushi, shrimp, truffels and a variety of hor d ouvers. Everyone was so excited that they put one over on me and I was truely surprised. They presented me a book called “The Book of Papaisms”. These are apparently expressions I have used over all the years and they captured them in a book. All of them were true. More about that later. Anyway it was a great party. Now everyone has left and it is quiet again. Whew!!!

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Yeah! Today I turn 70

Today is Sunday, January 20, 2013. Today I turn 70 so now I can officially get on with my ride. We are still scheduled to leave May 20th and head for Bar Harbor, Maine. Can’t wait.

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