Joe rides solo


Joe Deluna took his first solo bike ride without the training wheels today.

Watch out Shelley and Louis, he will be driving before you know it.

MS150 - 2004


Well, the deadline for donations for this years MS150 was May, 17 and it looks like I have raised all of the money I am going to for this year's MS150. I raised $1505.00. Better than last year but below my goal of $2500.00. I will have to do better next year. Yesterday I found out that Team Honeywell raised more than $10,500 this year. That is an increase of about 30% over last year!

Team Honeywell top 5 fund raisers:
$2,091.00 - Robert Geary
$1,505.00 - Greg Gillis
$1,150.00 - Howard Marshburn, Jr
$1,050.00 - Terry Gerbert
$1,000.00 - Aubrey Doggett

The weather for the weekend of the ride was great. It was a little cool in the mornings but not so cold that I needed a jacket. All it took was 10 or 15 minutes of riding and I was feeling warmed up. I had been watching the weather and was hoping for a south easterly wind to help push us all the way to Austin and the night before the ride the Channel 2 weather guy calls for a 15 mph SE wind. My prayers had been answered. Unfortunately it was not a direct route straight from here to Austin and that tail wind turned into a head wind and did work against me more that once. I guess what they say is true; be careful what you wish for.

I rode with Team Honeywell again this year and I want to thank everyone on the team for allowing me to hang out with them. In particular I want to thank my brother Jeff who got me on the team last year and his wife Sandy for her support and for giving me a ride home so I didn't have to ride on a crowded bus. We started from Schmalz Elementary School which is near the official MS150 bike route. We started from there so we could get an early start and miss the madness and waiting that you have at the official stadium starting places. I arrived at the school at about 6:15 AM and started getting my gear together and do some stretching. We had a team picture at about 6:50 AM and started riding a little after 7:00 AM.

Once again this year I was surprised at the diversity of the riders. There were riders of all colors, shapes, sizes and genders. I saw old people, young people, tall, short, big , small, men and women. In fact I noticed an increase in the number of women riding this year. It was a topic of discussion Saturday night and some guess that it was as much as 40% women. I guess the reason I noticed everyone so much was because they were all passing me.

I also noticed that there seemed to be a lot more accidents this year, I saw a number of ambulances near downed riders. The MS society says that it was the same percentage of accidents as last year so I must have been just a little closer to the action. Some of the stories I heard from a medic this year was a man had a heart attack while waiting for the start at one of the stadiums. I also heard a teenager crashed and broke his wrist within a mile of starting and that a tandem (2 seater) bike crashed on the way to the stadium and weren't able to ride afterward.

Some notable observations from this years ride:



I am riding along at a pretty good pace for me, dressed in my best riding gear. High tech carbon soled shoes, new cycling socks, padded cycling shorts and form fitting cycling shirt. I am riding a good road bike, have on my aerodynamic helmet and cool sun glasses and am passed by a kid wearing casual shorts, flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt who is riding a mountain bike. Man, that still kills me.

I saw a guy wearing a full tuxedo with a top hat glued to his helmet.

I saw a guy with a huge afro wig glued to his helmet at one of the rest stops.

I passed a guy on a uni-cycle.

I got passed by a girl who had a mini disco ball hanging from the bottom of her seat.

While just starting to go down the longest and steepest hill on the ride I watched in horror as a rollerblader got tangled up with a bicycle and the rollerblader went down. I saw his feet up in the air twice as he rolled head over heels down the asphalt and then as if by magic he was back up on his feet. Best recovery I ever saw. Even though I had to slow way down to avoid the flipping rollerblader I still managed a top speed of 37.4 mph down that hill. Last year it was over 40 mph.
 

I took a lot of pictures and short videos during the ride and I noticed one strange thing when I reviewed the videos. I keep using the words "Mad House" to describe what was going on around me. The pictures and movie links are at the bottom of this article so take a look and let me know if you think it was a mad house.

My average speed for the 166.07 miles was 13.8 mph according to my bike computer. It was really higher but I was so tired at the end of day one that I forgot to pause the computer while I walked around finding the team tent and while lining up to start the next morning so there are a few slow miles that botched my average. I think my average was really somewhere between 15 mph and 16 mph. I'll try to remember to do better next year.

If you would like to follow the ride all the way from Houston to Austin the MS Society put together a video that you can order from their web site at www.ms150video.com. They have it on VHS or DVD. I doubt that I am in the video but if you order it and see me let me know. I am the guy on the silver bike. (that's a joke)

2003 MS150 Fun facts provided by Team Honeywell's co-captain Phil.

Fact #1: In 2003 MS150 cyclists consumed more than 120 cases of Oreo cookies, Fig Newton's, Vanilla Wafers, and Chips Ahoy during the ride.

Fact #2: In 2003 MS150 cyclists drank 50,000 gallon jugs and 15,000 bottles of water during the ride.

Fact #3: More than 600 cases of oranges and bananas and 4,000 energy bars were consumed at the various breakpoints along the 2003 tour.

Fact #4: More than 8,000 pancakes were eaten for breakfast in La Grange after the overnight stay (Phil says he personally ate 826).

Fact #5: Over 60,000 cups were used during the 2003 tour.

Fact #6: More than 2,500 rolls of toilet paper were used during the 2003 Bike Tour in the port-a-potties.
 

Here are the pictures that I took during the ride. These range in size from 163k to 632k. If you have dial up these may take a minute or two to view so please be patient.



Picture - This is Team Honeywell just before starting the ride.
Picture - Another Team Honeywell just before starting the ride.
Picture - My brother Jeff and me just before starting the ride.
Picture - I found Bob at the next rest stop.
Picture - Jeff at our first stop.
Picture - Another one of Jeff.
Picture - This is the lunch stop
Picture - This is the lunch line.
Picture - Not enough port-o-pottys.
Picture - Tons of people all looking for something.
Picture - More people arriving for lunch as we leave.
Picture - General craziness at a rest stop.
Picture - General craziness at a rest stop.
Picture - More general craziness at a rest stop.
Picture - You can tell that it is starting to warm up.
Picture - Our cooking crew in La Grange.
Picture - Honeywell team tent.
Picture - Duke Energy's tent.
Picture - Dow tent.
Picture - Anandarko team tent.
Picture - Paradigm team tent.
Picture - Air Products team. Notice that the cooker is a furnace.
Picture - Contenental Airline. That jet is really a grill.
Picture - A very cool Hummer.
Picture - Team Mega Myelin has a hot tub in their tent.
Picture - Marathon Oil team tent.
Picture - Our Team cooks smoking some meat.
Picture - Inside the Honeywell team tent.
Picture - Inside the Honeywell team tent.
Picture - Getting ready for bed.
Picture - Getting ready for bed.
Picture - This is my little corner of the tent.
Picture - Lining up for the start on Day 2. I am still 100 yards from the front
Picture - This is the line behind me. You can't tell but the back of the line is another 100 yards behind me
Picture - Lunch stop on day 2.
Picture - Lunch Line.
Picture - The guy in black is wearing a full tuxedo and stuck the hat on top of his helmet.
Picture - More rest stop madness.
Picture - The finish line.
Picture - Finsh line.
Picture - Finish line.

Below are the Movies.
You will need the QuickTime player or plug-in to view these.
If you don't have it you can download it for free from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download
If you are not sure try clicking on the smallest movie first to see if it plays.

Movie - Start at the school - 8 Meg
Movie - Rest stop #3 - 3 Meg
Movie - Time for Lunch - 4.5 Meg
Movie - Lunch - 6 Meg
Movie - Rest stop after lunch - 6.5 Meg
Movie - Next rest stop - 6.5 Meg
Movie - Fayeteville - 9 Meg
http://www.sillig.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20170426131034538" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Movie - Last stop before La Grange - 4 Meg
Movie - La Grange 5:30 PM - 14.5 Meg
Movie - Elvis, Bull riding and sling shot - 16.5 Meg
Movie - Fireworks at bedtime - 2 Meg
Movie - Day 2, first rest stop - 6 Meg
Movie - Next rest stop - 10 Meg
Movie - Lunch in Bastop - 9 Meg
Movie - Follow the old man - 7.5 Meg
Movie - Last stop before the finish - 7 Meg
Movie - Finish Line, feeling good - 7 Meg

Memorial Day


May it be spending time in remembrance quietly in the house or spending time in the sunshine-- In the words of Marvin Zindler, may you have, good golf, good tennis, or whatever makes you happy! Happy Memorial Day!

Missing Stories


It looks like I am missing 2 ride stories. I think that my server must have gone down and when the technicians restored the server they used an old backup which was not completely up to date.

I don't remember much about these two rides, they seem to all flow together after a while, but here goes.

I rode in the Tour De Cypress on 03/28/2004. The total distance I rode was 64.83 miles in 4:43:52 which is an average speed of 13.7 mph. One thing that I do remember is that this was a tough ride. It was hilly, and windy.

I also rode in the Katy Ram Challenge on 04/04/2004. I rode 65.85 miles in 4:27:22 for an average speed of 14.7 mph. I do remember that it was very foggy and I had to slow way down driving to Katy Mills Mall

Here are a few pictures from the ride.

Picture 1 - Waiting for the start

Picture 2 - Still waiting

Picture 3 - A sea of people and fog behind me

Picture 4 - More fog

Picture 5 - Look closely for the birds next in a pile of broken beer bottles

Picture 6 - Rest Stop

Picture 7 - Rest Stop

Picture 8 - Rest Stop

Picture 9 - Rest Stop

Picture 10 - Last Rest Stop

Picture 11 - Last Rest Stop

Easter


Yesterday was Easter and the gathering and the feasting was very much enjoyed by all. We had orange ginger turkey, maple pecan pork loin, and honey baked ham. Not to mention the famous Gillis rolls. We had some side dishes as well with deviled eggs and mini dessert cakes to boot. If everyone was not bloated I am surprised! When all was said and done Greg and I have enough left over for a couple lunches and dinners. I understood everyone to enjoy themselves, and I am glad. Note!! Now it is time to focus in on the next couple of days. We will have another trooper joining us very soon. Kim is so ready to have that baby and we wish her and the family nothing but the best.

My Bad


Linda just mentioned that my BlueBonnet ride never showed up on the web site. I had it set as a draft and forgot to publish it. It is available now. Sorry about that. My bad.

Bluebonnet Express


This past Sunday I rode in the Bluebonnet Express.

As is normal for most rides they have several routes to choose from, 25, 40, and 62 miles. I decided on the 62 mile route which is also known as a metric century because it converts to 100 kilometers. I like the sound of 100 kilometers better than 62 miles because it sounds like I went a lot further.

All routes started at the Waller County Fairgrounds up near Hempstead. The start time was set to be 8:00AM and not being sure of how long it would take me to get there I left early and arrived at about 6:45AM. This is not as early as it seems. In fact I think if I had been 10 or 15 minutes later I would have been stuck in the mother of all traffic jams. Anyway, I had plenty of time to do a safety check of my bike, make sure the tires are aired up, seat is on tight, etc. About 7:00AM the thunder and lightning started. A few minutes later the rain came in big fat drops then in a short while as a drizzle. I covered my bike seat and computer having learned the previous week that the rain will make my computer freak out.

I stayed in my truck listening to the radio and watching all of the riders wander around in the rain until about ten minutes before the ride was to start and decided it was time to head over to the starting line. The rain had tapered off some but I still had to hang out under a big tree to keep from getting to wet. From under my tree I could see and hear the announcer up at the start giving everyone instructions of where to register and where to park. 8:00AM rolls around and the guy announces that we can't start yet because there are so many cars on the road so we will have to wait about 15 minutes. Five minutes later he says that we will start in about 15 minutes. Then, you guessed it, five minutes later "15 more minutes".

Finally, someone got smart and stopped traffic and five minutes later we finally got to start our ride. It drizzled for about the first five or ten minutes then the rains magically stopped. I thought my prayers must have been answered and I made pretty good time for a little while, then the mighty winds started blowing. It was a tough route and I had no idea that it would be as hilly as it was. This was a really good ride for MS150 training as it had all weather conditions, rainy, windy, cold, hot, sunny and cloudy and different road conditions, flat, hilly, rough and smooth.

Next week it's the Tour De Cypress.

Wish me luck

Space Race


Yesterday I rode in the Space Race. I decided to wait to register since the weather looked bad for Sunday. Early in the week the forecast called for major thunderstorms so I didn't think I was going to do the ride. Then on Saturday I watched the channel 2 weekend weather guy say that it will rain but not until later in the day on Sunday. Cool, I can do the ride after all. I decided to do the 62 mile ride again this year hoping that it was only 62 miles. Last year they said it was 62 but I clocked it at over 70 so I had my fingers crossed. I got there a little late and they made us park about a mile away from the start so I was rushed to get my bike together and pedal over and register. After registering I had to go all the way back to my truck to drop off my t-shirt and the extra goodies that they give you with your ride packet. I did a final bike check and headed back over to the start. My group headed out at 7:45 AM and I was on my way. As usual there are 10 or 15 people that get flat tires within the first 1/2 mile and I have my fingers crossed that I wouldn't be joining them. I had an unusual number of flats during my training out at the Woodlands this year but was hoping that the new tires I put on would help to keep me moving. It was overcast and a little foggy but I had faith in the channel 2 weather guy, so I pedaled with confidence that I would stay dry and it stayed dry for about an hour. Then the rains came. It started out as a steady drizzle and I told myself that it wasn't all that bad, then I found myself riding behind a small group and found out what the road tastes like since I was riding a little close and the tires of the bikes in front of me were throwing muddy water all over me. Yummy. Thanks again to my new little friend (naproxen sodium) I had few problems with back spasms but I still stopped at all of the rest stops. My bike computer stopped working because of the rain so I don't know the exact time and distance but I finished a little after noon. This was my second ride using the new pedals and shoes and they performed very well. The only real problem I had with the pedal/shoes was after I finished the ride and was pedaling back to my truck I stopped at a stop light when I didn't unclip one of my shoes from the pedal, fell over and got a little road rash. Bummer. There was some excitement during the ride. Just after the rain started I was riding in a small group when we heard what sounded like a gun shot. It was just a blowout on a bike about 10 feet in front of me. The guy was riding a recumbent bike, and the noise startled him and he turned to look behind him. Turning to look combined with the wet roads got him skidding sideways and when he tried to correct the slide he fishtailed the other way. A few more side to sides and then he was off the road into the mud and sliding to a stop. Meanwhile the rest of us around him are trying to get out of his way. About 50 miles into the ride I was riding on the I-45 feeder road about 50 yards behind another rider when I heard someone behind me yelling Whoa! And then I saw it out of the corner of my eye, a Ford Mustang spinning off of the freeway and into the ditch. The girl driving had very fast reflexes because before the car had stopped spinning completely she had it back in gear and was gunning it so as not to get stuck in the ditch. If she had not been spinning I am pretty sure she would have nailed the guy in front of me and as it was she almost hit a few people while spinning her tires trying to get on the feeder. When she hit the asphalt she burned some rubber and hauled butt. Nice one Mario. I should probably warn the Channel 2 Weather guy that there may have been a few disparaging remarks about him during that cold, wet ride and something about hosing him down to see how he likes it. Next Sunday it's the Bluebonnet Express so stay tuned.

Spring Breakaway


This past Sunday I rode in the Sun & Ski Sports Spring Breakaway. This is 28 or 44 mile training ride for the MS150.

This was my first organized ride this year and I am happy to say that it went very well. I decided to do the 44 mile route that started and ended at the Sun & Ski at Katy Mills Mall. It was a great day for cycling and although it was a little chilly at the 8:00am start it warmed up very quickly. By 9:00am I was sweating and by the time I finished a little before noon I had a little sun burn.

I had no big problems on this ride and that is a miracle considering all of the trouble I had last year with muscle spasms in my back. Luckily, Linda introduced me to my new friend Naproxen-sodium. Two of those bad boys and I barely felt a twinge. The other miracle is that I did this ride with new shoes and pedals. I received the shoes in the mail on Saturday and spent all of 5 minutes trying them out. These pedals are wonderful and the shoes make a lot of difference. The only problem I had was that I forgot to adjust my seat up an inch or two to make up for the extra height of the shoes and cleats.

I took some pictures with my new digital camera but I forgot to take one of the start. Here are pictures of each rest stop which were spaced out about every 10 miles. These are fairly large (400k - 500k) and will open in a new window.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 8

New Pedals


I met up with my old friend Troy last year and got to talking about cycling and I mentioned that I have done all of my rides with regular pedals and tennis shoes. He said I was crazy and told me how much better the right pedals and a good stiff road shoe would make my riding experience. So this year I decided to go for it.

Troy suggested Speedplay pedals and after some research I learned that they are just what the doctor ordered. They allow you to clip in on either side of the pedal and you simply turn your heel out to disengage. They also allow for some float so your feet can move a little and still be firmly attached making it more comfortable for your knees and I have bad knees.

I liked the x-series and they come in titanium, stainless steel or cro-moly. I found that I weigh too much for the X1(titanium) so I figured I would go for the X2 (stainless steel). I called a few stores but found that they retail for an arm and a leg. Since I needed both arms and legs for riding I looked online and finally found them on ebay for a great price.

I am waiting for my new non-Shimano shoes which should be here in 4 or 5 days and the real training begins.

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Daily Quote

"America is a country founded on guns. It's in our DNA. It's very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don't feel safe, I don't feel the house is completely safe, if I don't have one hidden somewhere. That's my thinking, right or wrong."

Brad Pitt

Submitted by: gtgillis / 2013-11-01
Category: Guns

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