Ross Perich's Team In Training Page
"Team Griz" Century Ride to Save Lives
I am training to participate in a 100-mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.
I’m completing this event in honor of Tom Grywczynski. Tom is the father of four beautiful young children, a loving husband, and a dedicated youth soccer coach (who was still coaching just a few days prior to being diagnosed with leukemia in early December 2007). Our daughters are in the same class at St. Raymond School in Dublin, and our paths frequently cross at various school, church, sports, and social functions.
As Tom fights for his life, I am going to help fight for a cure; and you can help by making a donation today. Feel free to check my web site frequently for details of my “bicycle bloopers” and hopeful progress. Thanks for your support and please keep Tom in your prayers!
TEAM GRIZ'S TRAINING BLOG
Feb. 2nd - First team ride in Pinole, only 10 miles, but in a cold rain. First time on my new bike that I bought on Craigslist...did not have a chance to buy my Lance Armstrong bike attire, so had to pedal on standard pedals with running shoes on...not a good idea...slippery feet and wet roads, but I survived despite thinking during the ride "what have I gotten myself into?"
Feb 9th - Team ride #2 in Dublin. First time riding with my new bike shoes that actually clip onto the pedals; it's not uncommon for rookie riders to tip over when they come to a stop as they can't get their feet out of the clips fast enough...so far, so good...no spills. Also, the coaches treated us to a little picnic afterwards. We always eat well at TNT!
Feb. 16th - Buddy ride in Livermore, 20 miles. I somehow got caught up with the fast riders and really had to push myself to keep up, but I did...although my legs felt it afterwards! We got back about 30 minutes ahead of the next group...and it felt like it!
Feb. 23rd - Team ride #3 in Sunol. They told us when we signed up for TNT that we would see parts of the Bay Area that we have never seen before...and that was the case with this ride. Although fairly close to home, I had never seen these parts of Sunol. It was like our own Bay Area Backroads TV show experience. The ride included a long, gradual climb that took us around a reservoir...at times it seemed as though we were in a rainforest as there was a complete canopy of trees overhead...a total of 30 miles...and the way back was really fun as it was mostly downhill so we gained some good speed and practiced hugging corners around pretty sharp turns. Fun....and I am glad we are wearing helmets!
March 1st - 30 mile buddy ride, we started and finished at Pleasanton BART, toured down Foothill Rd. (part of my weekly training route) and into Sunol. We endured a pretty steep climb up Kilkarre Rd...good practice for the Emerald Bay and Spooner summit climbs that we will be enduring on June 1st.
March 8th - Team ride #4 in Pt. Reyes. Mother Nature was nice to us as we had good weather. Apparently, this ride can be nasty when it's really foggy and drizzly. This was my first ride with my new ride group as they moved me up to a faster team as I prefer to ride at a quicker pace. Wonderful ride with a very touching send off as we took a team photo to honor a 3 year old boy who is battling leukemia. That was more than enough motivation to finish our 44 miles in style, punctuated by a pretty tough climb at about mile 40. I still had enough energy to attend our St. Raymond School auction that night.
March 12 - I experienced my first setback as I caught the flu, and I still have it as I write this blog entry on March 22nd. I missed my 55 mile team ride in Danville today, and I am worried I am falling behind. But my coaches say I should just ease back into it when I am feeling better and everything will be fine. No whining here. My honoree, Tom, just went in for his bone marrow transplant at Stanford this week and he is in excruciating pain as a result of full body radiation prior to the BMT. He is my inspiration and whenever I feel my thighs burning on the bike or when I am huffing and puffing up hills, I think about Tom and my other honorees on my TNT bracelet on my bike...and that pushes me even harder. Happy Easter everyone....I hope to be back in the saddle soon.
March 29 - After a two-week layoff, I certainly felt a bit out of shape as I resumed my training this week. Thankfully, I bounced back pretty quickly as I rejoined my team for a Buddy Ride that began in San Ramon, and then we headed for Mt. Diablo. We were only supposed to go up about halfway, but a group of us "the masochist club" as we joked, decided to go all the way to the top. WOW...thigh burn that would make Suzanne Somers and her "thighmaster" product proud! The last 150 yards to the summit is brutal, but we made it! Our reward?....fog and no view...oh well! We then toured through Walnut Creek and back home.
April 5 - Boosted by great news that Tom was discharged from Stanford yesterday and his white blood count continues to escalate, I joined my team for a 63 mile ride back in Point Reyes. Another challenging ride punctuated by several rolling hills, one really daunting ascent, and some severe head winds. At the end of the day we had climbed more than 4000 feet, but remember, what goes up, must come down...so we got to cruise downhill for many miles too!
April 13 - Our first "scorcher" ride of the season as the temps pushed 90 degrees today as we toured much of the East Bay. I actually rode to the start of our Buddy Ride as we started from Shannon Park in Dublin, only about a 4 minute all downhill coast from our house. We toured through Castro Valley, over Redwood Road (about a 10 mile ascent and descent) into Moraga and Lafayette, before heading south down the 680 corridor through Alamo, Danville, San Ramon and back home to Dublin with one nasty hill climb back home. About 4 hours and 57 miles later, I was home in time to watch the rest of the Masters! The temps should be much cooler next Saturday as we have a team ride in Half Moon Bay.
April 19 - It was cool alright. Temperatures in the mid 40's with a serious windchill as we took off on a 70 mile bike ride beginning in Half Moon Bay. The first 20+ miles were spectacular as we went South on Hwy 1, watching waves crash along the beaches. It was tough not to hang a right turn at the Rtiz Carlton to play a round of golf and get a massage, but we had a job to do. Our gorgeous scenery experience was tempered by some very severe wind gusts. I am not a meterologist, but some of the gusts had to exceed 30 mph! We have all been buffeted in our car before; and now I have experienced what it's like to be buffeted on a bike as I was nearly pushed over twice as severe crosswinds came off the ocean...crazy! We headed inland, but not without a brief intermission as I experienced by first flat tire. My team thankfully jumped into help, otherwise I might still be sitting on the side of the road:-) Of course, we encounted several hills and climbed about 5000 feet today. We keep telling ourselves "thigh burn is a good thing" :-) Bring on Tahoe...we are ready!
April 26 -- Buddy ride in SF/Marin. On a picture perfect day, we left Ocean Beach in SF, toured through the Marina, right past Robin Williams' house and other mansions, cruised over the Golden Gate and into Marin County, touring through a bunch of towns including Sausalito, Tiburon, Corte Madera, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and of course, ROSS. Yes, the town of Ross, where Sean Penn resides and where we commoners can never afford to live! I got lost when we tried to take a safer detour through some hills and ended up paying for it with some additional climbing, but survived a total of 75 miles as we returned back to SF through the Presidio and Golden Gate Park and back to Ocean Beach. Gosh, we are lucky to live here!
May 3rd - One of our fun coaches, Barb, led us on the "Cinderella Ride" around the Livermore wine country. This is a metric century annual ride that has become quite renowned in the East Bay with women dressing up as Cinderella. I did not go there:-), but we did have a swift ride on a great day. Yes, we climbed hills again and had a great view of the windmills between Livermore and Tracy. I followed up with a 30 mile ride on my own on Sunday to make it about 100 miles in 24 hours. We then enjoyed a wonderful Day on the Green picnic in Tom's honor. About 800 people showed up at St. Raymond to support the Grywczynski family -- we are all one big TEAM GRIZ family and Tom is feeling our love and prayers!
May 10th - 84 mile team ride. I moved up to another team again and this is the team I will be riding with in Tahoe. I have now been on three teams, and what's great is I have gotten to know a lot more people than if I had remained on the same team all season. Today's ride was our last long tune up for Tahoe. We covered a lot of ground while rolling through the middle of nowhere, also known as Mines Rd. Consider this: we started in Alameda County and traveled through parts of Santa Clara County, Contra Costa County and then back home to Livermore. We climbed a LOT...all the way up to where pine trees grow....over 3000 feet elevation! We enjoyed more tasty food at all of our SAG stops, including pancakes rolled like tacos with peanut butter and honey inside...we eat well and then burn it all off! We will all sleep well tonight!
May 17-18 - I logged 110 miles over the weekend touring through various parts of the Tri-Valley. The key was to get an early start as we had temperatures in the 90's both days. I also spoke to Tom, my honoree, and he is planning to come with his family to our Tahoe send off ride and picnic next weekend in San Rafael. That will be an emotional send off for all of us as the countdown to Tahoe is underway. We are less than 2 weeks away! I am also pushing hard to tally $15,000 in donations...thanks for your support as we all work together to find a cure!
May 24th - We are now just 8 days away from "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride" when we make the 100 mile trek around Lake Tahoe (including an out and back to Truckee). Ironically, we started our training in the rain in Pinole in early February and we ended it in the rain in San Rafael with a very soggy send off ride of 50 miles. Tom and his family brought good luck as it didn't rain during our post-ride picnic. All of the coaches spoke as well as the honorees, including a very inspirational speech by Tom that left a few of my teammates in tears. I held it back, but I will likely need a lot of Kleenex when I cross the finish line next Sunday. Tom received a huge cheer when he told the team that he will be riding with us next year! What we are doing pales in comparison to the rocky road he has traveled and the still tough journey ahead, but I have no doubt Team Griz will have Tom at the helm next year and I will be right behind him. As we say in TNT lexicon, "GO TEAM" and in Team Griz country, we say "GO TOM!"
June 1st - Race Day! We started rolling from our hotel in South Lake Tahoe at 5:50 AM. It was a little chilly, but overall a perfect day for a ride...and the scenery was spectacular. We were so well trained that Tahoe was very enjoyable -- in fact, a couple of our training rides were tougher! The highlight of our trek came at about mile 85 when my family met me at the top of Spooner Summit (a long tough climb after Incline Village). I knew they would be waiting at the top so that gave me special incentive to get there in a hurry. We cruised home from there and crossed the finish line, where Graham and Camille greeted me with big hugs. The entire weekend was so special with several inspirational stories that left many of us motivated to continue the fight to find a cure for leukemia. I plan to return to TNT for the Tahoe ride next Spring and Tom is planning to join me! Keep him in your prayers and thanks again for all of your support!