Friday, March 30, 2012


When I purchased this framed poster some 20 years ago I did so because it spoke to me. Not so much as it had cyclists on it but the message below the cyclists. "There Is No Substitute For Hard Work".

There has never been a statement so true, in sports or in life.  And work does not specifically apply to 9-5 it applies to plain old living as well. 

Now don't misunderstand  me. Perseverance does not guarantee success in everything you do in life, but it will propel you through it. It can allow you to achieve that which you thought was unattainable or lead you in the direction you need to go. 

It can even help you to overcome obsticals others see and turn from, or carry you through the toughest times and allow you to become an inspiration to those that see it. It will make you a better Husband , wife, friend, employee or student. It is aplicable in every aspect of life.

Throughout my life I have known many people that are great examples of the benefits Perseverance. So here are a couple examples. 

The first and one of the most recent being my wife. Who despite working full time and helping maintain a household, was able to complete her BSN in the same amount of time most students do with nothing else to do in their lives but study.

Another would be my good friend Scott. Having been injured in a train accident and losing an arm, he decided not to feel sorry for himself but to continue to live his life as if he had both arms. He is currently racing for the Paralyzed Veterans Racing Team.

Of course if you have been keeping up with this site you know I have had my own obsticals to overcome.

I could list many more but I believe I have made my point. So get out there and do something. Live your life to the fullest and when time get tough, or you dont think you can go the distance, put your heart into it and go for it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thanks Mark

For those of you that know me, this heading may send your mind reminiscing to the days of old. When a group of rag tag cyclists, some racers some not from Indiana County, regularly put a team together to participate in the Tour De Strongland. bike race. Yes that was actually the name of our team one year, "Team Thanks Mark". One of many off the wall names. It actually got to the point where the race promoter would just call us those guys from Indiana. 

Now there may be other reasons for that. Not the least of which was the year of infamy. The year we actually took the traveling trophy home for the year. The year I know the Strongland Chamber of Commerce, reluctantly put our team name on the trophy. You see this particular year was a year that everyone will remember to this day. A year of slow speed police chases. The year an American icon, A professional football player and hack actor, would be accused of murder. The year an infamous lawyer would make a name for himself with a tag line, "If the glove's don't fit, you must acquit". the year a complete police precinct would be turned upside down. I digress.

So as usual this particular year we show up for the race and have yet to pick a name for ourselves. So after having gone through the usual litany of  names that would never make the cut, one team mates wife says, "Why don't you guys call yourselves The Flying Fuhrman Four". So there it was, we looked at each other , laughed and filled out the paperwork. Needless to say at the awards ceremony, that is always painfully late and long, they refused to call us by our team name, and just referred to us as those guys form Indiana. And that is how it would be for years to come.


Back to the reason for the original heading.

It is not often you get 70 degree sunny days in early March. Lets face it, here in PA we only get about 50 blue sky days a year, so one must take advantage when they can. So of course a ride was in order. So I made plans with a couple of friends to get out after work. One could go early and one a little later. So I devised a plan to do a short 15 miler with the one friend then meet up with the other to go for a longer ride, reaching for the 50 mile mark for the day.

I've been seriously lacking in saddle time this year and figured this the perfect plan to get some good long tempo riding in. So Matt and I headed out at a good even pace. The winds were not too bad, compared to what they have been lately and of course the weather was perfect. We cruised around the first 15 miles without a hitch. As we rounded the bend to where we were to meet our 3rd rider I see a 4th. A familiar face to me, and immediately knew that my steady tempo ride was about to turn into a hammer fest, wrought with reign-deer games.

There sits Mark, a guy that I have spent countless hours with on the bike. Riding places on our road bikes that most would cringe at. No winter maintenance was our battle cry. A gravel road, a good excuse to find out where it went. Bad weather, no problem. So I knew I was in for some major pain.

So after some niceties we were off again, like a shot out of a cannon. It was not bad at first as I had a 15 mile warm up. Attacking the first climb, then ramping up the speed on the decent, only to catch the draft of a pickup and accelerate even more. But as the ride progressed, my lack of mileage for the year started to show, and Mark loves to take advantage of such situations, so he never let up for the entire ride. Needless to say my legs were thrashed at the end but in a good way.