1 01 2009

Happy solar New Year Everyone!

While I realize that I am long overdue for a posting (or for that, an update on the Iron Horse and its final leg to Cincinnati), it does occur to me that New Years was a special time for my mother and father.   In the crisp, bright air of this 1st day of January, I wanted to say to everyone thank you for your support, your attention, and most of all your compassion as 2009 stretches its legs and the year of the ox approaches, with another chance to bless the year with energy and hope that the cure for ALS is not far away.  I want to thank all the families that are trying to keep hope alive and keep smiles and thoughts brimming for those who are struggling to find a way against this disease. 

I have been mulling an idea for the last few months and its time to share it and do something to make it happen.  So far my quest to draw attention and support to the fight to defeat ALS has spanned 3 seasons a year, from Spring to Autumn, with winter being a time to conserve and draw close to family and friends and remember the beautiful life of my mother.  This year I want to deepen my pledge to carry her voice and spirit and try and grasp at the imagination.  Since most cyclists and athletic charity events stick to the warmer months, I thought “What better way to challenge myself and reach out to capture the dream of hope than to try and warm the hearts in the middle of winter”.  Ohio’s winters are rather unpredictable and this year is no exception, but I decided I will venture into it all the same, and here is the idea:

I will Bike 100 miles from Columbus, OH to Loveland, OH on the 13thof February 2009.  My plan is to use the same route I’ve used in getting to Cincinnati (a combination of the Ohio to Erie trail and the Little Miami).  I am trying to get my hands on a bike called the Pugsley (by Surly) that should make snow conditions much less of a problem and would make the trip a bit longer to accomplish and slower as the bike trudges.  My hope is to take off early in the morning and get to Loveland late on the 13th.  I am going to make Valentines to give out to those who donate to the Central and Southern Ohio ALS chapter.  Inside they will say “This person had a Heart for ALS” and have a illustration of the route and a link to this blog.  I would like to get some local businesses to donate Valentine themed stuff that the card would work like a coupon for: like Florists who might offer a discount on a dozen roses, or a free carnation or daisy, or chocolate companies who might offer discounts on a box of chocolates, or something along those lines.  Everyone who would participate would get advertising on my flyers and on the back of the Valentine and on this blog.  I will also be presenting this idea to AJ at the ALS Ohio’s chapter office and hopefully that can yield even more exposure. This idea is in the planning stages now.

 Staufs has been having a great deal of success with the new Gerhig’s Blend. I have been very happy with its popularity and finding so many people who are interested in supporting the ALS chapter with their purchase.   Mark Swanson, President of Staufs/CupOJoe has been very generous in his support and aid in getting this project off the ground.  Robin (my assistant manager), who designed the blend, also deserves some kudo’s for his efforts along, with my staff, who have done a great job of presenting it to the public.

I am also gearing up to potentially fight in the Arnold Classic again.  The last time I fought my mother was alive and there and I hope to potentially bring honor to her memory and bring the message of “fighting for ALS” to the Arnold and to the fighting community that competes there.  I will give more details on this latter; for now I just want to present it and concentrate on the “Having a Heart” in Ohio ride.

I hope this year can be like today.  Bright, hopeful, and with the gift of love.  I wish that for everyone.

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