Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday

You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  How about Giving Tuesday?  Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season.  It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.  What a great way to show love and generosity amidst a sea of consumerism.

Heifer International, one of my charities through A Year of Centuries, is an official partner with Giving Tuesday.  Please consider a gift in honor of your loved ones to Heifer or any of my other charities.  Even though A Year of Centuries has not officially begun, any time is a good time to give.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Well, my favorite official holiday – Groundhog Day and International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Arrrr!) rank pretty high, too.  Anyway, even though this hasn’t been the easiest year, I have more than ever to be thankful for.  In addition to my ongoing blessings (Robert, dogs, chickens, bees, home, work, cycling, wine, books, etc.), I am so, so grateful to be feeling, functioning, and looking as well as I do after my crash.

Today I want to send a special thank you to all my cycling friends.  Robert and I have been riding in Macon for about 10 years.  It’s been wonderful to see the cycling community grow.  When we first started doing group rides, there were maybe a dozen people.  Now it’s common to see close to 50 people at Tuesday/Thursday Worlds.  Some of us ride for competition, some of us ride for fitness, some of us ride for recreation, and some of us ride to keep from blowing a gasket (or a combination of these reasons).  We’re a rather motley crew of roadies and mountain bikers, professionals and tradespeople, and college students and retirees.  We may not all agree philosophically or politically, but the important thing is that we get out and enjoy riding together, always looking out for one another.  To all my riding buddies, I really appreciate your friendship over the years and your support and encouragement in these recent difficult months.  Wishing you and your families the happiest Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Base Mileage

Winter training rides continued in Macon this morning.  Our group rode at a nice, steady pace of about 18.5 mph for 60 miles.  That may sound like a fast pace if you're a non-cyclist, but we take advantage of the draft effect, similar to race cars and flying geese.  (We needed it today; it was rather breezy!)  The amount of effort I have to put out drafting in a group like this is equivalent to me riding around 16 mph by myself.

During Daylight Saving Time, we have group rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work.  These are essentially practice races.  In fact, we affectionately call them Worlds, as in World Championships.  I ride with a group that goes 30-35 miles at around a 21-mph pace with an occasional attack (hard interval).  By the way, even though I no longer do mass-start races, I feel comfortable riding in Macon because our group is much smaller than the one in my crash, and, more importantly, I am very familiar with my friends' riding styles.  Anyway, Tuesday/Thursday Worlds are a lot of fun - and certainly a challenge - but by the time fall gets here, I'm ready for a change.

Right now we're building base mileage.  We'll increase our distance over the next few months, pushing toward 100 miles (perfect training for A Year of Centuries!).  Then, as spring approaches, I'll be primed for Worlds to resume.  Cycling, like life, has its seasons.  I think the key to happiness is learning to enjoy them all.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Journey Begins

Today is the wonderful end to one difficult journey and the official kickoff to an exciting journey.  Seven long months after my crash in a bicycle race, I had my final dental work.  I am thrilled!  I can't believe how much I look like myself.  At the same time, I am looking forward so much to riding my first century in A Year of Centuries in January.  I could ride it right now, but I'm glad to be building some base mileage on our winter training rides in Macon on Saturday mornings.  Thank you so much for joining me on this journey!

Big smile in the parking lot after my dental appointment today!