Archive for the 'Other' Category

Cimarron Tepee Party

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Don’t forget to watch the Pony Ride.

Day 15: Journey to away from the center of the earth

Monday, July 17th, 2006

Monday, 3:43PM MST. We are in Blanding, Utah.

We “woke” at 4:30am in Hite, UT. (Woke is in quotes because technically when you don’t sleep you can’t exactly wake.) It was about 85-90F (29C-32C) al-throughout the night. The routine was: try to sleep, wake up in a puddle of your own sweat, down a bottle of water, get hit in the face by a bat (yes, really), and then try to sleep again.

I woke up with a hangover from the heat and drove (and slept) the first stint along with David. We figured we didn’t want to take any chances with heat issues so we’d keep 2 in the car and trade places riding often throughout the day. But, lo and behold, 10 miles outside of Hite (remember: hotter than the sun) it cooled off and everything was pleasant again. The ride went off spectacularly and we made it to our campsite destination before noon, even including long breaks for breakfast and lunch.

Well, it’s time to play our favorite game: Guess What Ezra Fears Most (Cycling Edition). So, on a bike, what is Ezra’s worst fear? Is it:

A. Bonking (completely losing energy and collapsing).
B. Pieces of his bike falling off while descending at 50-60mph.
C. Dehydration.
D. Particles of roadkill getting kicked up into his open mouth by a cyclist he is drafting behind.
E. Testicles becoming useless after miles of wear and tear.

If you answered ‘B’ or ‘E’, you share the fears of most cyclists. However, the correct answer is, in fact, ‘D’. Ezra fears pieces of roadkill getting into his mouth more than death or maiming. If you answered correctly, you win a coke. Cheers.

In other news, Max got his Oxford degree results today and picked up a first. (In American: he done good. Real good.) However, there is no store within 20 miles that sells alcohol.

Also, Utah must know something we don’t. Or perhaps the news hasn’t hit that the Cuban missile crisis is averted!

That’s all for now.

Today’s Numbers

Miles cycled: 78
Flat tire tally: 9
Times David had to wake John: only 3
Scorpion attacks in the morning: 0
Bat attacks in the morning: 2
Times David woke up and found spiders in his hair: 3

Day 14: Utah… when did we go so wrong?

Monday, July 17th, 2006

We are in Hite, Utah.

First, let me say again: a big “wow” for southern Utah. Absolutely stunning. However, second, and more importantly at this point, let me say a big “ow” for southern Utah. Today was perhaps our most strained ride and by the end, nearly everyone admitted to having wondered why they decided to do this in the first place. (Keep in mind none of us considered quitting.) Why so bad? Simple: it was extremely hot and we exhausted ourselves too early in the day. Everything was fine until the last 15 miles of 100 miles. When we finished the ride, three of us were borderline heat stroke, I had been out of water for 5 miles, and it was 98F (37C) in the shade. *%$#. Definitely the most emotionally exhausting ride of my life.

It’s a little known fact that Hite, UT is actually hotter than the core temperature of the sun (this is achieved by a system of mirrors and pulleys in space). It’s a fact.

In Hite it was too hot to do anything (and there was nothing to do anyways) so we sat in a Market for about 4 hours reading and buying $2 microwavable burritos that contained over 1000 kcals each. At 5pm the store closed. Bummer. So we waited in the “shade” of a ranger station and discovered that Hite is home to some of our favorite things: debilitating heat, scorpions, large red ants, and bats. We decided to sleep on the roof.

We waited until the sun set for it to be cool enough to sleep. Then we kept waiting because the temperature only dropped to about 85-90F in the night. At least the giant bats kill the giant mosquitos.

Apparently Butch Cassidy and his gang, The Wyld B0yz (or however that was spelled in ye old west), made Hite their home for a while. If he ever slept there in the middle of July in leather chaps, I must say I have a bit more respect for him.

Today’s Numbers:

Miles cycled today: 98.8
Flat tire tally: 9
Temperature at Hite, UT: 115F (46C)
Insects that scare Max: all of them
Water consumed by each rider today: 18-22 liters (5-6 gallons) (no joke)

Random photos:

Cancer Announcement

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

A good friend of Ezra and myself was diagnosed with testicular cancer these past few days and went in for emergency surgery on the 9th. We just found out today since we’ve been out of wireless phone reception for quite a while. He is 21 years old and a strong individual, so the surgery appears to have been successful at this point in time. While the struggle is not over for him and his supporters, he will be joining the ranks of Lance Armstrong, Tom Green, and Richard Belzer as survivors.

Testicular cancer is diagnosed in about 8,000 US citizens a year with the common age being 20-30 years old. Testicular cancer is considered one of the most curable of cancers if caught early since it is well contained.

To our friend: We wish you all the best our world has to offer and please know your fight will be our encouragement as we ride for you and your peers. We will be praying for your safe recovery and full cancer remission.

Zero Hour… Preflight.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

It’s been a long last day… we officially start our 4,000 mile journey tomorrow. There’s been quite enough of packing, administrative work, and last minute purchasing to go around for the lot of us, especially Ezra and myself. The support car is fully loaded up with food but lacks the necessary room for all of our “stuff”. I hope I don’t have to choose between pasta and extra shirts…

I’m loading up about 30gb of [legal] music on my iPod as I write this. That’s about enough music to get me to Kansas before I’ll have to start repeating songs like “Dust in the Wind”. But hopefully we’ll all trade iPods before that happens.

Waking at 4am tomorrow. We’re riding about 85 miles from the beaches of San Francisco to the prisons of Folsom.

Wulp, time to go buzz my hair. Salut-

UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center

Friday, June 30th, 2006

John, Paddy, Max, and I visited the University of California San Francisco Medical School today to tour their Cancer Research facilities. We arrived about 75 minutes late for our tour thanks to SF traffic and stellar navigation, but the ever patient Ann Carollo met us with a big smile and open arms… well, really, arms full of UCSF cycling jerseys.

Dr. David Stokoe spoke to us about current cancer research and advancements taking place at UCSF. Dr. Stokoe’s own laboratory is undertaking a project to match patients with specific cancer treatments (in a big-picture sense). In recent years, it has been discovered that there are many forms of cancers. For instance, in the past, it was believed that there was only one type of breast cancer.  As a result, all women with breast cancer were given similar treatment despite having different cancers.

With our knowledge now that one cancer may take many forms, it has been possible to predict patients’ responses to cancer drugs by examining mutations in the original cancer tumors. Rather than having trial-and-error drug prescription or chemotherapy, which indiscriminately targets proliferating cells in the body, cancerous and non-cancerous, research on the genetic origins of cancer, like that being done in Dr. Stokoe’s lab will one day be able to predict a particular drug treatment that will work most effectively for patients with certain types of breast, pancreatic, lung, and et cetera cancers. A big part of this future success is figuring out the differences and similarities that exist between types of cancers and comparing drug responses in patients with various types of known cancers.

Luck is a great factor as well. Widespread clinical trials of some new cancer drugs have led investigators to find patients who have variations of a type of cancer, and this has helped them study those cancers more in depth. The implications to cancer research at UCSF is far-reaching and exciting considering the fact that 10 years ago the only option for cancer was injecting a poison into your body that targeted and killed all presently proliferating cells. After talking with Dr. Stokoe, a fellow cyclist, I’m a bit less concerned about having testicular cancer after years of riding.

Here are our future doctors, John and Paddy, discovering exciting new data about Phosphoinositide 3-kinase in the Stokoe lab. Mmm-Brilliant!

On top of it all, they gave us UCSF urology cycling jerseys! JERSEYS! I don’t have pictures of them at the moment, but you’ll see us wearing them apart across the US. FYI, urology is our favorite “ology”. (And I’m sure we’ll all be seeing urologists later on. Riding on saddles isn’t exactly conducive to making babies.)

A Toast

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Well, I’m leaving San Diego, going to Northern California, and preparing for a 6 week bike trip.

Here’s a toast, in memory of good times in the past, and in hope of good times to come…(in words written at the end of another bike trip)
-To Mermaids and Trolls, The Swedish Chef and Bike Jousting

I am comfortable in spandex. I have discovered that any town larger that 100 people will have an espresso bar. I have developed, and will continue to nurture a righteous hatred of RV’s. I have looked disdainfully on anyone who camps with so much as a tent. I have slept in a waterproof sack for a month. I have learned a little bit about perseverance. I have seen trees draped with moss in forests that feel older than the earth. I have seen surf crash against jagged rocks hundreds of feet beneath me. I have worn padded spandex in a lumberjack town. I am willing to take off my pants in public. I failed to see an attractive woman until Bodega Bay. I have fallen over, in public, for no reason – multiple times. I have seen more beauty in a summer than I thought possible in a lifetime.

If that much can happen in 4 weeks with only 2 guys, here’s to 6 weeks and 7 guys and the chance to make a difference.