Monday, January 3, 2011

Background Part III

I told you I would forget some important events!

In early 2010, Sunday Cycles agreed to support Our Ride.  They have provided advice on bikes and have committed to help with some of our equipment needs.

In later summer 2010, Dad stopped at Global Bikes in Chandler.  Shannon followed up to explain some of our equipment needs and he is still working with them on how they can help.  Global did provide a huge item for our participation in Tour de Tucson.  They lent Dad and Shannon a tandem road bike.  Dad and Shannon trained on this for about two months for the Tour and then road the 44 mile section of El Tour.  This was the most distance Dad had ridden.  They both did great and we are now plotting on how we can get Mom to ride in the 2011 El Tour on the Tandem.

I also failed to note how Bodhi Body has helped with Our Ride.  Bodhi is a naturopathic medical office.  They offer an alternative to what most view as "normal" medicine.  I encourage you to visit their website to learn more as I could never explain correctly the incredible treatments they offer.  Bodhi hosted an evening where one of their Doctors described PD, current "normal" medical treatments and how naturopathic medicine treats PD.  We cannot thank Joanna and her team enough for their support of Our Ride and patience in explaining the benefits of naturopathic medicine.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

POP's Ride - The Background Part II

Part Two of how POP’s Ride came to be.
Now it is March and time for the Arizona MS150 Ride.  Kyle joins Shannon and me and we complete something like 160ish miles.  We hung our colors proudly in the main parking lot and wore our new training jerseys.  You may be asking how the MS Ride plays into POP’s Ride.  Well, for the past couple of years I was a volunteer on the organizing committee and met some great people.  A few of those people have volunteered to help us with Our Ride.  I ask myself why…..why would these people who barely know us volunteer their time and money to help make Our Ride happen.  It is very humbling.
About this time Mike Seeberger asked if he could ride along also.  You see, Mike and Kyle are married to sisters, Sarah and Becca.  Of course we said yes, come along.  And so, the Team of Four Friends was formed.
So we are now at Mayish, 2010 and we are assembling our planning team.  The Team includes:  Shannon, Shane, Kyle, Mike, Kerri Mahan, Kurt Stutzman, Sarah Worley, Becca Seeberger, Melody Schlosser, Melinda Schlosser, Rachel Baderman, Maureen Kempton, Mona Amaro, Jodi Thompson, Susan McEntyre and Brandee Wessel.  Their help and dedication has been incredible.  We cannot thank them enough.
Ok, now stuff really starts to happen.  I think these events are in the correct order but if I’m off a little cut me some slack, it’s been a busy year.
On April 17, 2010, I setup a Ride donation account with the Davis Phinney Foundation.  Davis is a retired professional road cyclist living with PD.  His foundation is focused on providing those living with PD a better life.  Visit to learn more about their Mission.
In May we held our first fundraiser, a garage sale of donated items.  We made almost $900!  A great start.
We also designed a t-shirt to sell and help raise money to offset some of The Ride costs.
In June we met with Spectrum Graphics.  Jared and Amber (brother and sister) own this company and are long time friends of Kyle, Shannon and I.  They agreed to help us with some graphics work for The Ride.
During the July 4th Holiday, the whole family was in Nebraska.  This was the first time since Kurt moved to California we were all back at the same time.  Dad was stoked.  We spent the first few days at the Stutzman Reunion in Fremont.  This was a good time to see a lot of people we hadn’t seen in years.  The theme of the weekend was “A Heritage in Christ”. 
Given how this Ride is coming together, I’m confident our Heritage is a significant factor in what is happening.  First of all, we have amazing extended families on both sides.  Their support, in every way, has been incredible.  They have bought t-shirts, made donations, volunteered to drive and organized a Harley Poker Run.
After the Stutzman Reunion, we then went to the Schweitzer Family Gathering.   Again, our crazy dream was well received and supported.   Today (1/2/11) I received an email from my cousin’s wife to let us know their family was sending a donation.  She said they pick a charity each year rather than swapping gifts.  WOW.  I am convinced we will all successfully make this journey and our goals not because of who we are or what we do; but because of Our Families – both biological and our Family in Christ.
While we were in Nebraska, I got a call from the Arizona Republic.  They needed some information for an article they were working on.  Cool.
On July 5th, the Arizona Republic ran an article about Our Ride.  Annie and Jody from Community Public Relations were key to getting this article published.  As a result of this article, we were visited by a reporter from Channel 15 and on July 6th, I received a letter from TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, located in downtown Phoenix.  TGen invited us to a tour of their facility so Dad and I went for a visit on August 6.  We learned a lot about PD and how they are researching for a cure.
On August 16, Denise from TGen sent a follow-up letter asking for a follow-up meeting with Shannon and me.  On September 16, Shannon and I met with Denise and Erin from TGen and agreed TGen would join Our Ride.
Dad had been trying to get us a contact with the Muhammad Ali Center for several weeks and he was finally successful.  In early August, I sent an email to Margaret Anne Coles at the Center.   She forwarded the email to Patty Hatton and Patty called me on August 26th, very excited about what we were doing.  She said Margaret Anne was out of the office but the whole office was very excited about Our Ride and eager to be involved.  Our first meeting with the Ali group wasn’t until October because several of them were attending an international Parkinson’s convention in Europe.
We opened the POP’s Ride checking account at Compass Bank on 75th and Thunderbird.  Why Compass?  It is less than a mile from my house since I banked at Chase it would help to keep the money separate.  One day while making a deposit, Ricky Castro, an employee of the bank, asked if I knew Rachel.  I said yes.  He explained a program Compass had where POP’s Ride would earn referral fees for each new account we referred.  We signed up for the program and have received several hundred dollars as a result.  You may say this is just a random coincidence…. I disagree. 
On August 13th, Shannon, Kyle, Mike and I headed to Folsom, CA to participate in A Ride for A Reason.  Folsom is 13 driving hours from Phoenix.  Road trips are fun right?  Especially when you drive for 13 hours, ride for 3 hours, then turn around the next day and head home.  Yeah, I know, you are thinking, “Those guys are out of it.”  But you don’t yet have the whole story.  You see, this was the nearest Davis Phinney ride to Phoenix.  We had to go.  We wanted to meet Cindy Miller, our contact at DPF.  We almost won the prize for traveling the greatest distance – we missed it by less than two miles.  Guess I should have registered from Mom and Dad’s house in Chandler…that would have added 45 miles!  We made some great friends in Folsom – Brie Lindsey and Sue (Sacramento) Fry.  This was a very cool event and I am hoping we can go again in 2011.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to ride in 2010 because of a sore back…so I really want to go back and have fun with the games.
On August 29th, we hosted Pig’n Out for Parkinson’s at Tom’s BBQ in Chandler.   We had a great time and met Jean Burns.  An amazing lady with PD.  Jean and POP’s Ride will cross paths many times over the next few months.  You can learn more about Jean and her friend Sheryl visit their site
On September 11, we hosted a golf tournament and had about 40 friends, family, co-workers and guests come play.  We had a great time and raised more than we dreamed.
On September 20, we were the special guests of Point B, a consulting firm with an office here in Phoenix.  The story behind this is another one of those crazy ones.  I was sitting at the annual Arizona Multiple Sclerosis banquet and was talking with a couple of the gentlemen at my table.  One of these was Tony Peck from Point B.  We talked about Our Ride and contacted me later and asked if we could meet so he could learn more about POP’s Ride.  After this meeting, he contacted me and said POP’s Ride would the charity of the quarter for their Q3 meeting.  We were invited to provide some information about Our Ride and they presented us with jerseys and some equipment.  Very cool.
Now it is September 29.  My roommate Will told us about a new bike shop in north Phoenix called the Bicycle Vibe.  Shannon and I stopped by and quickly learned this would be our home shop.  Amber, Kevin, Will and Bob made us feel welcomed.  On the 29th, Jason Tullous from Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) drove from Tucson to give us our training plan and give a presentation to Vibe customers on ride nutrition.  More on why Jason created us a training plan later.
Once Amber learned about what we were doing and has been supportive of our plans.  During their Grand Opening, they had a raffle and the proceeds went to two organizations and POP’s Ride was one of them.  They have been helping us with supplier contacts and Kevin worked with us on our bike fittings.  Again, Our Ride is not about the four of us guys riding a few miles each day.  Our Ride is about all of the people who have joined together to make The Ride a success.  I just hope I can be successful so WE are all successful.
Tour de Scottsdale happened on October 3.  This is a 70ish mile ride around the McDowell Mountains here in Arizona.  We had a booth at the festival and again spread the word about Our Ride.
The crew headed to Flagstaff on October 9 for Go Big for Parkinson’s to participate in a 5k run and a 2k walk.  By the crew I mean, Shane and Shannon on the run and Dad, Mom, Kerri, Cole, Melody, Melinda, Mike, Becca and Gideon on the walk.  Fun times.
Now, more on why Jason from CTS would write us a training plan.  Back in March when we were raising money for the MS150, we submitted money we raised at our annual BBQ during Team Week on the day where we could win a weekend training camp at CTS in Tucson.  Well, Kyle and Shannon won the training.  As CTS was planning this weekend, Shannon started contacting Jason and asked if CTS would help us with a training plan.  Jason agreed and that is how POP’s Ride received training direction from the same organization who trains Lance Armstrong.
Kyle and Shannon went to Tucson on October 22 and 23 for their training by the pro’s and learned some sick bike skills and continued their ability to leave Shane in the dust.
While they were playing on their bikes, I was busy working with my co-workers at a Community Picnic on the 23rd.  This crew from Safeway sold over 100 meal tickets and raised more than $1,600.  Great times.   Thanks to everyone who organized the event and thanks to all who bought meal and raffle tickets.
Parktoberfest on October 30.  Through another series of events, we were introduced to Joey and Jayson.  These two guys put on Parktoberfest each year and invited us to come to the event.  Another great event to support the APDA and help those with PD live a more productive life.
November 7, Shannon represents POP’s Ride at the 4th Annual Knock Out Parkinson’s Jazz Festival supporting the Muhammad Ali Center.
Wait a minute, how did I get to November 7 and not mention more on our partnership with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC).  On October 7, Dad, Mom, Kerri, Shannon and I met with the staff at MAPC.  At some point during that meeting, everyone agreed we would partner together. 
Wait a minute, how did Shannon and I go from partnering with one well known PD foundation to four BIG NAME foundations?  I’m not sure but I have to believe there is a greater reason.  I have to believe POP’s Ride will have a positive impact on those living with PD and those caring for people with PD.  We can never forget the caregivers.  They are an incredible group of dedicated individuals.  They must have incredible drive, love, stamina and patience.  They deserve our respect and our appreciation.  Thanks Mom, we love you.
The MAPC published an article about POP’s ride in their Q4 newsletter and a second article in their Q1, 2011 newsletter.
Ok, I think everyone is caught up on what has happened during the last year or so.  If I missed something, please let me know and rest assured it was not intentional.  Like I said, a lot has happened and if I was on my game in September 2009 this would have been a lot easier.
Stay tuned as I know the Lord is still working on providing us with what we need to make Our Ride a success.  Remember, OUR includes you!