24 August, 2010

Furnace Creek 508, it's just around the corner...and the number 10

With the Furnace Creek 508 just over a month away the team is making the final preparations for travel, vehicle, signage, etc. This race will be like no other that I have participated in this year and while the mileage will be less than the Death Ride, the conditions and fact that we will spend up to 40+ hours in the car or on the bike will provide both physical and mental challenges for each of the riders.

With a total of 508 miles to race through some of the toughest weather conditions, each of the team members will be put to one of the ultimate endurance cycling tests. In preparation for the 508, I have now completed 5 of the toughest Double Centuries on the California Triple Crown Schedule with 4 of those 5 being in the top 4 of the 10 most difficult events of the 2010 season schedule. Additionally, I completed the Death Ride and have ridden a total of more than 3,600 miles and climbed more than 260,000 feet on the bike (the equivalent of ~9x the elevation of Mt Everest) since January 1st.

So, am I ready? I think so but I'll continue to train up till about 4 days prior to the event and then I'll rest. Right now the race schedule is as follows -

Racer / Stage
Gil Hopkins / 1, 5
Steve Bursley / 2, 6
Jason Pierce / 3, 7
Jim Batson / 4, 8

We have a strong team of seasoned riders but the competition will be tough with a total of 217 riders from 7 countries that includes 117 veteran racers of this event. With the cycling season nearing conclusion with the Furnace Creek 508, I'll wrap up this fund-raising effort at the end of October. With thousands of miles ridden, hundreds of thousands of feet climbed, countless hours of blogging, posting on Facebook and Twitter, Photoshop , Illustrator work, PowerPoint pitches and meetings, and relentless requests of donations, this project truly lived up to its name.

As I prepare for this last race of the 2010 season I have designed and ordered a special jersey that I will wear during my last stage that I will ride (front and back graphics are included above). The design of the jersey acknowledges those that have supported this project through the generous donations that I have received but also includes a design element that I hope creates awareness of Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (PID) as well as continued donations. This is the number 10. For those of you that watched the last stage of the Tour this year, you obviously took note of a statement that Team Shack made with a kit change (with the emblazened #28) that almost got them thrown out of the race but was also very effective at drawing attention to the more than 28 million people around the world that continue their battle with Cancer. And while many of you might be surprised to hear it, more than 10 million people around the world today live with PID.

I have and will continue to ride and race to raise awareness of PID in honor of my son Nicholas and all of the children and adults around the world that continue their battle with this disease. Through the tireless efforts of Vicki and Fred Modell (founders of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation) and the many doctors and researchers around the world, there are better treatments for those that battle this disease as well as better tests to detect the disease. And while treatment and detection has improved, we still do not have a cure...yet!

With more than $8,500 raised from this project so far, I am hoping that we can raise another $1,500 or more over the next two months to close this project out with a total of $10,000 or more in donations. With the Jeffrey Modell Foundation committed to matching these donations, this would equal a $20,000 that would go to the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. To donate, you can use the button in the top right hand corner of my blog, click on this link, or contact me to send a check.

I will post a couple of more times prior to the 508 and then Tweet on the way to the event and on the course (based on cell availability). To close the onetoughride project out, I will include one whopper of a post ride report with plenty of photos and video from the team car.

Enjoy the ride...

1 comment:

  1. Good Luck. Will see you out there. It will be quite the experience. Enjoy every moment. Did it last year and finished through the worst winds in Death Valley in 30 years. Jay Kilby and Bob Corman, Team Spike the Wonder Dog.


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