Ok, so I’m not going to lie, today’s post is being made for one reason: I want your money. Well it’s not so much that I want your money, I mean I'd love to just take your cash, but I am asking you to please donate today to my fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Wish-A-Mile. I’d love to tell you all about the training I have been doing for this 300 mile charity ride. I would love to tell you all about how I am settling in on the new bike and trying to find ways to reduce the risk of saddle-sore. I’d love to tell you how I have gotten to really appreciate the scenic beauty of the country roads around me – the same roads I rush down daily getting from place to place without taking in the natural beauty of the landscape. I’d love to tell you about my first flat tire and how I managed to do a NASCAR-style tire change on the side of the road in record time. But I can’t. For a number of reasons, but more about that later. So instead I am going to ask you to please donate.
Why should you donate? Let me share a couple of stories of Wish kids from right here in Michigan. These are kids whose special dreams came true thanks to people like you who donated to Make-A-Wish. I love the story of Lucas, a teenager with cystic fibrosis, who was able to spend the entire day with the Detroit Red Wings. He got to attend the morning skate, go to a game, and even tour the locker room where he met the entire team (including his favorite player, Henrik Zetterberg). When I thought of Make-A-Wish before, I always assumed it was just about taking a child and their family on a neat vacation to Disney. But then I read about Keenan. Keenan comes from a Michigan farming family and has developed a love for pigs. His wish was to get new digs for his pigs. So Make-A-Wish Michigan worked to get this young brain cancer patient a new barn and breeding facilities for his beloved swine, Peaches and Sally. There’s also 4-year-old Monica from Traverse City. She has leukemia and loves princesses. With the help of Make-A-Wish Michigan, the entire city came together to turn her into a princess and then celebrate a day in her honor. They then put on a parade through downtown – a parade in which SHE got to ride in a horse drawn carriage fit for a princess. I almost didn’t make it through that one as somebody must’ve been chopping onions. That or it’s really dusty in here, whatever. If you want to see more of what Make-A-Wish Michigan is doing to grant wishes, check it out here.
Speaking of things in Michigan, there's a reason I can't share all the stories of my training and biking. Winter has finally arrived. Known for her beautiful lakes, bountiful craft beers, and schizophrenic weather, Michigan has been toying with us this winter. While we had chilly temps (and snow) throughout most of November, it has been unseasonably warm for all of December and most of January. Just as many of us thought we were going to ride this global-warming, 40 degree, gray-all-day weather right into spring break, Michigan hit us with a little reality. The last week has brought us temps in the negative double digits as well as several inches of snow. But because it is Michigan, that wasn’t enough. Within three days, we had a 40+ degree temperature swing and an entire day (and night) of rain. As I type, everything is coated in ice, snow, rain, or some combination thereof. While the kids loved the snow day, the weather has not been optimal for bike riding. Which is fine because, guess what? Still no bike. But I think I’m getting close!
Which brings me to a new revelation. Apparently, The Wife and I aren’t as great at communicating after nearly 15 years of marriage as I thought. Check that. SHE is a great communicator. She communicates at me all day. It seems that I’m not the best at sharing. This was made clear when I mentioned something about just buying a new bike, since I was having little luck finding something used. When I casually mentioned the price range of said bike, she suggested I check out www.huffybikes.com. The Wife is such a good communicator, that even her nonverbals helped me realize the error of my ways. So back to the used market I went. A little more digging and I THINK I may have found exactly what I am looking for. Gently used, one year old, a couple hundred bucks less than I would pay new. Only problem? It’s in Milwaukee. Luckily for me, they are willing to ship at a reasonable rate. While it almost seems too good to be true, they haven’t asked me to pay exclusively with iTunes gift cards and haven’t mentioned being an African prince. So I think I’m good. If not, I will probably be doing all 300 miles in a big wheel.
Regardless of whether I am on two wheels or three (I am pretty sure a unicycle is out at my age), I will be riding 300 miles in three days this summer to help raise money for Make-A-Wish Michigan. These tax-deductible gifts will help to grant wishes for critically ill children. As much as this is a fun adventure, I can’t shake the stories of the children mentioned above. Specifically, I can’t stop thinking of the parents of those kids. They all mention how special it is to see their child smiling and forgetting about sickness, even if only for a day. I hope you will help bring that joy to more families. Please donate by clicking here, and share with a friend!