Monday, August 24, 2009

New opportunities

My last post was about a new opportunity and I told you that I would fill you in. Well, the big news is this: I have been offered a chance to write for a couple of local publications including our newspaper.

It seems this 40 year old (wannabe) writer is being given a chance.

I have a lot to learn. Aside from research papers in college, a couple of essays and newsletter writing, my experience has been limited to blogging and fiction. Journalism is a whole different ball of wax. Thank goodness for a great and patient editor.

I have also been working on my first novel, The Geriatric Prom Queens, and still hope to finish it by the end of the year. Hopefully, someone will want to buy it once it's completed.

I always wanted to be a writer but never had the guts to "go for it". Thanks to one of my best friends, Paul, and my husband, Mike, I realize there's nothing stopping me. Being a writer is a dream come true for me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

Sorry that this is all about me today. I'm not really this self-centered:) Just wanted to bring everyone up to speed.

I've posted a link to the most recent article above.

~ Jen

Monday, August 17, 2009

Missing my bikes and all of you

Life has been so crazy but in a good way. I have been offered an opportunity to make one of my life-long ambitions come true. I'm not quite ready to share it all yet. I might jinx myself.

I will tell you that it's exciting, nerve wracking and flattering- all at the same time. The only caveat so far is that I have absolutely no time to ride.

The weather has been so hot and humid (as I write this, I am sticking to my chair). I haven't even wanted to ride to work. I would have to leave early to allow time for the "PTA" bath and I just don't have the extra minutes right now.

I am missing my bikes and all of my fellow bloggers. I miss reading about all of you and your adventures. I wonder if anyone has a new bike, had a crash, or decided to give up their car.

Things will settle down soon and I will restore some balance to our household. At this moment, I have about two weeks of dirty laundry, a garden full of weeds, and a list of other projects that need to be done before autumn.

Just wanted you to know that I'm still here and thinking of all of you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

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This article appeared in the Mansfield News Journal today. I thought I would share it with all of you. Photo and story are from
August 10, 2009
Livestrong honors fundraiser from Shelby
News Journal
SHELBY -- One Shelby man is about to take a ride he won't soon forget.
After more than two years of hard work and dedication, Jack Gray, 61, will participate Oct. 25 in his first Livestrong Challenge Ride for the Roses.
The honor is only awarded to those who raise more than $10,000 in a single year for the cancer foundation.
But that's not all.
Riding alongside the "roses" will be record-breaking pro cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, foundation founder and Tour de France champion seven consecutive years.
"I wanted to do the Ride for the Roses since I started fundraising," Gray said. "This is a huge honor for me."
Gray, who directed the Shelby band for 30 years, was diagnosed in October 2004 with stage four prostate cancer.
After surgery, two months of radiation and three years of chemotherapy, Gray is now coming up on his second-year being cancer-free.
When treatments ended in 2007, Gray decided to do his first Livestrong cycling challenge in Philadelphia. The organization donates millions each year to cancer research initiatives and hospitals across the country.
"Many years ago, before children, I was teaching and I got interested in cycling," Gray said. "I did some serious road cycling and probably rode until the kids were born. Then life got busy and riding got away from me."
When cancer later took a toll on his body, Gray said he got back into cycling to regain strength.
After a friend suggested he read one of Armstrong's books, Gray said he was impressed and inspired.
Then visited the Livestrong Web site.
"I found out about the Livestrong challenge and felt this was a way to give back to everyone who helped me through this," he said.
In order to raise money, Gray has sold T-shirts, held raffles, mailed letters and created a bike rally in Shelby.
In just under three years, Gray has raised nearly $29,000.
"Everyone's life has been touched by cancer," he said. "Every minute, someone dies from cancer."
This month, Gray will participate in the Philadelphia challenge for the third time, then travel to Austin, Texas, in October for the Ride for the Roses.
"I don't ride, but I'm here for support," his wife Chris said. "Wherever he is, I'm there."
Chris said many participants raise money in teams.
"They can't believe he's raised all this himself," she said.
"This is just my way of payin' it forward," Gray said. "This is something I can do to really help the foundation help others."

To donate to Jack Gray's fund, visit or mail a check made out to "Livestrong" to Gray at 162 Poplar St., Shelby, OH, 44875.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bike Trail Pics

I've been out of circulation this week. I've been out a few times on the bikes but haven't had much time to be "The Bike Stalker". As usual, I was driving and saw some very stylish cyclists but didn't have the camera ready...story of my life.

Anyway, getting back into a normal routine but it's going to take me all weekend to catch up on everyone's blogs. Have a good one! ~ Jen
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