Friday, April 25, 2014

Getting Close

Last night The Georgia Chain Gang had it's silent auction at Ormsby's.  This year is the third time we've had the event, and it gets a little smoother each time.  It was great to see such a great turnout of people supporting the Gang and LLS.  Thanks to all that came out and to the local Georgia Chapter LLS staff who all did a great job in helping this event go so smoothly.  

As I type this, the Gang has raised almost $146,000 this year and over $500,000 for LLS over the 4 years that we've raced in RAAM.  As always, proud to be involved with such a great team for a great cause.

Because of the people that come out to support the Gang and LLS, because of the people who have donated their hard earned money to a cause that they and I believe in, those people and my teammates are reason I get out on the bike or the trainer when I don't really want to.  We're raising money to help people that don't have choice in the fight they're in, the least we can do is suffer a little on the bike.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

100 days

June 14, 2014 is the team start for RAAM.  100 days from now The Georgia Chain Gang will once again roll under the banner in Oceanside California and start what we hope is a sub 6 day trip across the country.  Now is the time when all the dreams and broad strokes of planning start coming down to the actual dirty little details of getting stuff done.  In the engineering and manufacturing world that I live in, you'll hear the phrase 'there are a million ways to do something wrong and only a few ways to do it right'.  The Chain Gang is into the phase of this project where the details are getting nailed down.

I've posted in the past about the simple logistical problems that RAAM imposes.  Getting 18 people, 10+ bikes, material, vans, etc. from Atlanta to Oceanside, bunking and feeding said people for 10+ days while moving the entire circus 3000 miles across the country is a pretty complex problem to solve and manage.  If you add in the fact that the reason we're doing all of this is to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the budget constraints start to make this a really interesting problem to get right.  The reality is that the $200,000 that we're going to raise, is likely less than what some teams are going to spend on RAAM.  So... the entire team is feeling a little bit more of the workload, not only training and fundraising, now all the little details are reaching deadlines.  Stuff is getting done and it's getting done economically.

Fundraising for the team is going well.  This year we have some new blood in the rider and crew pool so the net is getting cast on a slightly different group than in years past.  We also have some team members with a very passionate connection to the cause.  I and the entire team are humbled and grateful for the support we have already received, and I encourage you visit our team fundraising page, donate early and donate often.  As I type this, 03/06/14, we're currently at nearly $90K.  Again, thank you.

Staying on the fundraising for another moment, mark your calendars for a couple of upcoming events.

March 22, RAAM Spring Jam with the Stems - at Atlanta Beltline Bicycle

April 24, Chain Gang Silent Auction - at Ormsby's

May 18, Ride With the Gang - location TBD

June 8, Virginia Highlands Summerfest Ride - Atkins Park

Make sure to like the Georgia Chain Gang's Facebook page to keep up with all the upcoming events and encourage your friends to do the same.

Also tune in tonight at 8PM eastern to Google+ for an interview with some of the team.  Lee Kreider from the Ohio RAAM Show will be hosting, go to this link to check it out.  Hopefully my bandwidth at home will allow me to stay connected through the entire interview.

Enough for now...  I've got some interesting (technical) bike stuff on the horizon, so it might not be quite so long before the next post.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year

I have a co-worker that always comments on the tendency that people have to start some new phase of their lives at the beginning of a new year.  New diet, working out, making some other kind of positive life change.  He has a valid point, why wait till a new year to make a positive change?  Don't know... the human brain is likely wired in such a way that crossing a threshold of some kind makes it a little easier to make an above board change.  

The first 6 months of the new year for me are going to be pretty busy.  Mostly, but not entirely, from commitments made last year.  RAAM with The Georgia Chain Gang is going to be pretty high on the priority list.  I'm impressed and humbled that we where able to reach over $50K in funds raised before the close of 2013.  The team this year has some pretty heavy hitters from both fundraising and athletic ability, the bar is plenty high for me.  My own fundraising is going well, both bike repair and the Ultimate Cycling class look to be putting well on my way to reaching my personal goal.  I'm also grateful for the donations that have been made in my name as well.

Back to the 'new year' theme, one thing I'm going to try to be a little more proactive about this year is continuing my coaching education.  It's easy to get complacent about something that isn't really putting food on the table, but I do enjoy coaching and cycling, do have a lot of time already invested into it, and am likely going to be involved in it for a long time.  I don't have any aspirations that coaching is ever going to be my 'job', but in today's world there are some pretty good educational opportunities that are very affordable or in some cases free that can be accessed online.  Even if my only client is myself, it is worth it.

My photography outlets are going to be Tumblr and Flickr (didn't get completely into the Yahoo ecosystem by design, it just kind of happened), and to a lesser degree, G+.  Thanks to Frank Fuerst for turning me on to Tumblr, it seems like a pretty good place to share photo's.  Not sure yet exactly how I'm going to divide the work among the three, but I do hope to push more work out this year.

Enough for now.  Training for RAAM gets serious on Jan 6th, or maybe the 7th...