Archive for June, 2006

Radius and Crank

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Well, there’s super bad news today.

First, the funny bad news: Paddy’s crank fell off. … Go ahead, let that sink in. I’ll wait.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t cycle: that’s the equivalent of driving a new Mercedes off the lot only to have the steering-wheel come off in your hands. Ridiculous.

Both Max and Paddy bought new bicycles at Performance Bicycle in Mountain View this week and for two days in a row, they’ve had to stop riding after about 5 miles because their bikes have simply fallen to pieces. Yesterday Max’s chain wasn’t put together properly and he had to abandon the ride. Then today, Paddy’s crankarm came off on a hill (but at least it’s fixable).

Well, on to the bad bad news: Max broke his radius bone at the elbow. He lost traction at the beginning of a 50 mile ride in some leaves and landed wrong. So after the team (including Max) finished the 50 mile ride and after going to UCSF for 3 hours to tour the Cancer research facilities, we finally took him to the emergency room to see if it was anything worth wincing over. I guess in this day and age loss of feeling and mobility in your arm means it’s broken… I’d like to see a second opinion.

We’re going to do damage control tomorrow and figure out how to go about things.

You can see from the x-ray and large black arrow, his arm is in a bit of disrepair:

(Yes that’s Max’s real arm in the xray, though I may have embellished the break a bit with photoshop)

By the way, Ezra wants me to mention that Max clearly broke his arm to try to outdo him when he rode across the west coast with a broken wrist, as documented here:

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.)

Food, folks, and t-shirts.

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Well everyone on the CCFC team is now under one roof in California. The two brits, Max and Paddy, arrived yesterday and John Lian last night. I didn’t really think about the fact that there would be british folk on the ride until they dressed up in American flag jerseys and asked me “where’s the squash or blackcurrant cordial… you know, robinson’s squash” while filling up their water bottles. If you’ve been raised in the US, go ask a friend for that and take a look at their face… that’s probably the same face I made. Fortunately Ezra was raised in the US and attends Oxford so he can translate brand-names for us (Squash is a fruit syrup).

Here’s the whole team sans David (who went for an early ride):

Left to right: Jacob, John, Ezra, Paddy, and Max.

On top of the team all arriving, the t-shirts came in the mail on Tuesday. And they’re metro-hott and they’re American Apparel brand. We don’t have very many (40 or 50) but we’ll be selling them as we go across the states. Here’s Ezra, David and myself sporting them in style:

And on top of the t-shirts and team arriving, we purchased $700 in food at Costco about an hour ago. That includes hundreds of various bars and about 24 kg of pasta noodles and 800 oz of pasta sauce. Here’s the loot:

(How much food is that? It’s two shopping carts piled 6 feet off the ground.)

PS: The Oreos™ are for David.

Event: July 1st Bike-a-Thon in Palo Alto, CA

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

It’s official: we have an event permit from the City of Palo Alto. Thus, we’ll be holding a 3rd Stationary Bike-a-Thon Fundraiser in Lytton Plaza (map) on Saturday, July 1st from 10:00am to 6:00pm PST. This will be the first time that the entire CCFC team will be attending the fundraiser, so come meet us and cheer on the riders.

Lytton Plaza is located next to Pizza-My-Heart at 220 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301.

(Photo by Dirk Riehle)

Training: Riding to the Coast

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Really quick: Ezra, David and myself rode a bit over 50 miles to the coast and back today. Here’s where we rode and a photo on the beach:

GPS stuff came in the mail today. Hopefully we’ll have it up and running in time for Monday’s launch!

Riding schedule is online

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

I’ve updated the site a bit to accommodate more content. Also the riding schedule (days, dates, and cities) has been posted as well. Maps should be up early next week.

The Three Climbers

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

David Lauterbach showed up in Palo Alto a few days ago and we (Ezra, David, and myself) did a ride yesterday up Kings Mountain Rd. It’s a 5+ mile climb uphill… and it kinda hurt but that’s still nothing compared to the mountainous devastation that awaits us on the Sierras in days 2 and 3. The day before Ezra and I rode Old La Honda Rd. (my first time). Today is a rest day.

Also, I ordered GPS equipment a few days ago so that should be arriving Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully it’ll be easy enough to rig to the website.

David, Jacob, and Ezra (left to right) after climbing Kings Mountain Road:

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.

Going to California

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Ezra and I arrived at our home-base in Palo Alto, Calif this week — from Oxford, Uk and Santa Barbara respectively. David will be joining us here tomorrow, John early next week, and then the rest of the Oxford crew on next Thursday. Things are starting to come together in a major way. Ezra and I have been riding a few hours a day as schedules permit, and will hopfully end up around 4-6 hours a day by the end of next week (when we launch).

I need to get to work on GPS, schedules, and mapping for this website. For now, here are a couple photos:

(Above: The Pierce brothers. Ezra in yellow, Jacob in blue.)

Hertford College JCR Donation

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Many thanks for the solidarity shown by Hertford JCR on Sunday, when a motion was passed to donate £350 ($645.71 USD) to Cross Country for Cancer. Add to this the £87 ($160.50 USD) from the Charities motion and we’ve been given a healthy boost in our fundraising total. More to come we’re sure!