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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

First Ride in A Year of Centuries – A Benefit for Face to Face/Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Woo hoo!  Great first ride in A Year of Centuries!

Here Comes the Sun
There aren’t too many rides I’ve done in January without leg or arm warmers.  It was 61 degrees when the group started at 9:00 A.M.  When I finished at about 2:30 P.M., it was 79 degrees.  I’ve ridden in plenty of cold weather and willingly would have done so today, but it sure was wonderful to get to ride on this unseasonably warm and beautiful day.

Rocket (Wo)man
You might think it’s necessary to eat tons of calories on a century, but it’s really not.  The main thing is to fuel consistently.  For me, that’s about 200 calories per hour.  Usually, I eat something about every 1½ to 2 hours.  Today I had Claxton fruitcake and Dr. Lim’s rice cakes.

Recently, my husband Robert heard a radio interview with the owners of one of the fruitcake bakeries in Claxton, Georgia.  They said that, as you’d expect, their clientele is on the older side.  However, they have started marketing their fruitcake to younger endurance athletes.  Robert and I decided to give it a try, and it works great. 

Another recent addition to our bike food repertoire is Alan Lim’s rice cakes.  Dr. Lim is a trainer for some of the pro cycling teams, and he has come up with a rice cake recipe that’s a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins, which is important on long rides.  The rice cakes consist of cooked sushi rice (stickier than regular rice, which helps hold the cakes together), cooked bacon, scrambled eggs, soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, and a little brown sugar.  You press it into a pan, cut it into squares, and wrap individually to take on the bike.  It really tastes good to have something savory on the ride to contrast with the sweetness of Clif Bars, Gu, etc.

Here’s a photo of today’s bike vittles:

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends
And now for the best part, the ride itself.  During the winter, Robert and I do long rides on Saturdays with our cycling group in Macon.  These winter training rides are called the Peach Peloton.  Today’s PP ride was already planned to be 95 miles, and so all I had to do was add a few more.  Here are some of the guys in the parking lot before we rolled out:

As always, it was a challenging yet satisfying PP ride.  These guys are some of the best cyclists in Middle Georgia, and I really enjoy the good workouts and their excellent companionship.  We usually ride two abreast, except when we have to ride single file on short stretches of busier highways that connect the less traveled roads.  When we’re two abreast, the front two people pull a while and then gradually fade to the back.  Everyone behind the front riders gets to take advantage of the draft effect.  This goes a long way to equalize the energy output between riders of varying abilities.  I’ve learned that on these long rides, I don’t need to be up front pulling because it uses too much of my energy.  When I make it to the front, I immediately roll off, letting the stronger riders ahead of me.  The guys are totally cool with this.  In fact, they respect you a lot more if you know your limits and ride within them.

Given all this, I still often get dropped from the group.  (I always study the route ahead of time as well as have my phone with me to make sure that I can find my way home!)  Today I made it to mile 71 when I cracked.  Even so, I’m very happy with the way I rode.  When I got dropped, we were averaging 21.7 mph.  Holy moly!  If I were riding by myself, I would be happy to average 17 mph.  That gives you an idea of how much faster you can ride with a group because of drafting.

A couple of guys popped at the same time I did.  Once I slowed my pace, I immediately felt like I could keep going for a while.  Things were good.  It got even better.  Gabe, one of the strong riders, hung back to help me and the other two who had popped.  That was really nice of him.  The four of us worked together to get back to the parking lot.

When we were a mile or two from the end, Robert and our friend Chad Davies joined us.  (They had already finished with the front group.)  Robert and Chad are on the Georgia Neurosurgical racing team.  They provided the Georgia Neuro Century Escort Service, accompanying me on the last five miles I needed to make it a century.  Thanks, y’all!  That really meant a lot to me J

I also have to give a special shout out to a couple of my other riding buddies.  One is Tom, who also had a bad bicycle accident last year.  He was on a cross-country ride, and about 10 days into the trip, he crashed on a steep descent.  He had some bad injuries, including a broken pelvis, which required several months of recovery.  He’s been back on the bike for a good while now, but today was the first opportunity I’ve had to ride with him since his crash.  It was good to be with him.  Props also go to Sidney, who rode his first century ever today!  Way to go, Sidney!

As I rode and appreciated my friends’ help today, I couldn’t help but contemplate on how much my friends did to help me through the toughest days of recovery from my crash.  These were my cycling friends plus friends from many other parts of my life.  They prayed for me, sent me cards and e-mails, called me, and brought food to me.  I couldn’t have made it without you all.  Thank you again to each of you.

I send today’s ride out as a prayer for the women who have or will receive treatment through the Face to Face program of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence.  May they experience healing and new life.

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