Riding for a Reason

Changing the world, one mile at a time

David Heaslip: Coast to Coast—The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

David Heaslip of Bracebridge has been selected as one of the 40 riders to ride across Canada in the 2010 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. If you ask David why he wants to do it he’ll say “If not now….when?” David’s 68 now, and will be 69 during the ride. His other slogan is “…because I think I can!”.
David’s interest in fitness started back in 1998. An executive on Bay Street in Toronto, time in the office or flying around the country in the back of a 747 airplane had packed on the weight. There was no time for fitness at all.
One day a light bulb went off and he decided to join a downtown fitness club. He got up before dawn, headed to the gym and got on the treadmill. Twelve months later he had lost 54 pounds and 11 inches from around his waist. At this point he started strength training, and then dabbled at distance running. That didn’t prove to be too exciting.
He retired in 2000 and moved to his lakeside home in Muskoka. He joined the Muskoka Fitness Club in Bracebridge, and kept up his daily routine. A few months later he was invited by a couple of gym members to take the CanFitPro Personal Trainer certification. He did, and he loved it. He went back to Bracebridge and spoke at several service club luncheons about wellness as we age.
He then took the CanFitPro Wellness and Nutrition program to bolster his knowledge. At the same time, he completed the Million Metre Row on the indoor rowing machine. He was invited to join a social bike riding club, and caught the bug. He went on to take his indoor cycling certification at Georgian College, and introduced classes to Muskoka Fitness.
David believes that just because you are older that you shouldn’t stop being active and fit. He has no illusions about the effects that aging has on our bodies. He understands the naturally diminished system functions, the diminished lung capacities, and the lower heart capabilities, but believes that with aggressive training he will be able to hold his own during such a grueling ride.
The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is believed to be the world’s largest fundraising event for childhood cancer.  Starting on Canada’s west coast in Vancouver on September 9th, 2010 and finishing on Canada’s east coast in Halifax on September 23rd, the event is an epic journey.  As they travel from coast to coast along a well planned route, national cyclists will be joined by local community riders who will cycle for as little as 10 KM or more. They will stop at Sears locations for community support and refreshments, and visit with pediatric oncology centres along the way. A volunteer team will accompany the national team to ensure the safety of all riders, ensure optimum riding conditions, drive support vehicles, and tend to the needs of all the riders.
Each rider is responsible for raising $25,000 in pledges to help meet this year’s goal of $2 million.

If you would like to sponsor David, go to his webpage at www.snkcr.com/davidheaslip or visit the homepage at www.searsnationalkidscancerride.com. He can be reached at heaslip@B2B2C.ca

When he signed up, he was motivated to get behind a cause that had the potential to directly affect the lives of children living with cancer and their families. Each rider pays a $4,000 registration fee to cover their own costs, which means that 100% of the money raised goes directly towards the cause.

As they ride through the cities along the way, they’ll attend numerous community events, where they’ll hear stories of the many ways the money raised by the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride has helped children with cancer and their families.

If you would like to get involved in the fight against children’s cancer, and want to participate in his fundraising efforts, I know he’d welcome all the support that he can get!

Please check out his link at:
He can be reached at:


March 5, 2010 Posted by | Cycling | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riding for LIVESTRONG in 2010!!!

9-1-2009 2-21-40 PM

After the vote for several weeks, it has been decided that I will be riding for LIVESTRONG as my sponsored charity in 2010.  I am extremely excited for this opportunity and to help raise cancer awareness!

I have also decided on a logo for Riding for a Reason.  Again, special thanks to Mary Navolio and Michelle Podmokly for the amazing logos that they created for the site.  I never could have come up with something nearly as cool as any of their designs!!  I present to you, the logo…


Stay tuned for the jersey and shorts design!

September 1, 2009 Posted by | cancer, Charity, Cycling, Lance Armstrong, LIVESTRONG | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Training Rides and Campaign Update

Last week was another normal week for the most part.  I didn’t make the Gear Grinder ride, but I still managed to get in the Beans and Barley ride and make it out to Greenfield Park.  The Beans and Barley ride was just two of us again, myself and Mark who I rode with the first week.  Nothing too exciting, but a solid 26.5 mile ride at about 17.5 mph.



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 Friday I had a half day and since I only have one more for Summer hours I really wanted to get out.  The clouds cleared up around 2pm and I was off.  The last time I tried to make it out to Greenfield Park I ended up turning around early because rain was making it’s way through town.  Although I was actually only about a mile from my goal.  So I set out and made it to Greenfield Park, then rode by my old house just north of Hwy 100 and Greenfield where I lived until I was 4.  Interesting to see how things change in 24 years.  The house looks the same, but businesses and schools around the neighborhood have updated and changed over that time.  I really need to start remembering a camera on this ride to illustrate the entertaining things happening around me.  For a short period of time I was following a perfect emaple that even plumbers are into cycling.  I kid you not, the dude was riding his bike with a plumber butt hanging out for the world to see.  I couldn’t help but laugh. :)  On the way back I saw two more deer in Whitnal Park.  They were younger and still had their spots.  They were running in the grass playing which was pretty entertaining.  But I digress.  Total the ride was about 2:15 and covered 36 miles.  The only difficult part of the ride was the big hill around 51st and Puetz.  It’s one of those long inclines from the trail to 51st, then levels off briefly, only to have a sharp incline up another hill!  I’m usually pretty gassed at the top, but then it’s pretty much all downhill from there.


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 Charity Campaign Update

This week I will be selecting the charity that I will be riding for in 2010.  Huge thanks to Mary Navolio and Michelle Podmokly, I’ve got a handful of logos to choose from to represent Riding for a Reason to brand this site and my jerseys for years to come!  I’m weighing through them all and should have that selected this week and posted as well.

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Charity, Cycling | , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Site for Group Rides in Milwaukee

group-bike-rideI just stumbled across a great site for finding group rides in the Milwaukee area.  The site is called Wisconsin Bike Law.  It has a lot of other general cycling laws, tips, and information for Wisconsin, but the Group Ride section is pretty accurate.  A couple of rides I go on every week are on there.  Each ride has detail of about how far the ride is and the general pace.  Here’s the list of rides…

Mondays, 6:00 p.m. Crank Daddy’s, Milwaukee MORE…

Mondays, 5:30 p.m. Concordia College, Mequon  MORE…

Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Atwater Park, Shorewood MORE…

View complete list

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Cycling | , , | 2 Comments

Training Rides and Cancer Campaign

Last week was a pretty normal training week for me.  Monday night I met up with Kris for the Beans and Barley team ride.  Same ride as the week before about 26.5 miles in around an hours and a half.  It was only the two of us though, so the pace was a little slower and we didn’t do any drafting.  Hopefully this week we’ll have a few more people.






Wednesday I had the day off and decided to go for a ride around 3pm.  I drove up Puetz to the Oak Leaf Trail between 51st St and 68th St.  I wanted to try and get to Greenfield Park and back since I was feeling good.  When I got to Greenfield withing about a 1/4 mile, I saw two pairs of deer right on the side of the road.  I was a little freaked out because a car was passing me on the left and they just lingered behind me for a while, then I realized they were checking out the deer about 10 ft away from me.  Just up the road that same thing happened where the deer were just hanging out eating on the brush line.  Pretty sweet to see as always. :)  Once I got around Hwy 100 and National the skies started looking pretty dark, so I turned around to race the rain back to my place.  When I was heading back through Whitnal Park I ended up riding along side another cyclist who was rounding the curve as I was passing through.  Back a little further, he was bumped by a guy in a van that was yelling at him for not being on the curb.  Adam, the guy on the bike, was going 28 mph in a 25 mph zone.  On top of the fact that cyclists, by Wisconsin law, are considered a vehicle and are suppose to be towards the right side of the road “as deemed a reasonable distance” when you’re going over the speed limit, I think you should have just as much right of way to the road as a car.  Apparently the COEXIST bumper sticker that the car had was just for show. ;)  But I had a riding partner the rest of the way since Adam lived near me and come to find out we both work for Rockwell.  Small world!  Towards the end of the ride, the rain started to fall, but was light enough that it didn’t affect me.  A pretty solid 30 mile ride, although next time I hit this rout it should be 10-20 miles longer as long as the weather cooperates!

Commit to Fight Cancerlaftoplogo

Please visit the LIVESTRONG site in the next couple of days and sign the petition to fight against cancer.  The petition is already more than 100,000 people strong and has a goal to get 10,000 more before the Global Cancer Summit ends on Wednesday.  It only takes a minute and will do a world of change!  Check out the LIVESTRONG Blog for more info.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | cancer, Charity, Cycling, LIVESTRONG | , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Lance Armstrong News

Seeing as how Lance Armstrong is one of the most influential cyclists in the world both for his efforts on and off the race course, I will have some info about him from time to time.  Three quick updates about what’s new with Lance…

Lance to get back into Triathlons?!?

In a recent interview with Outside Lance flirts with the idea of doing the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in the future.  For those that don’t know, before Lance became a world class cyclist, he actually compete in triathlons as he was growing up.  It would be pretty awesome to see how he can measure up to the other top competitors in multisport.  I think it’s easy to assume that he’d be the first one off the bike, but would he have enough legs left to run a marathon???

Leadville 100 – Lance dominant in another big race… a MOUNTAIN BIKE race!

Lance early in the race before he decided to leave the competition in his dust.

Last year Armstrong placed 2nd to Dave Wiens who added to his streak of six consecutive Leadville wins.  That was before Lance started training for a return to the Tour de France.  This year with the Tour already under his belt, Armstrong spent most of the day pedaling by himself.  Continue reading

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Cycling, LIVESTRONG, Triathlon | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Multiple Sclerosis Society

MSThis week I’m profiling each of the charities that have been voted for so far to provide others with a little more information as to what they are all about.  To view all  the charity overviews, please click the Charities page in the upper right.  If you haven’t done so yet, don’t forget to vote for your favorite charities.  Today I’m covering the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

About the Society

The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops Continue reading

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Bike MS, Charity, Cycling | , , , , | Leave a comment

2009 MS Best Dam Bike Ride

First off, a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported Katie and I in the MS Bike ride.  Together we raised almost $900 for MS.  Over 1,500 participants and countless volunteers attended this amazing event.  This was my first ride and it definitely won’t be the last!  Together the participants raised $595,000 and with corporate donations we combined to raise $1.2 MILLION!!! 

Some highlights…

Saturday night when we arrived, we went to the party tent for the awards and party.  It was amazing to see the number of participants in the ride that have MS.  It was truly inspiring to see these people who refuse to let this disease dampen their spirits.  Sunday morning we were out and about early to grab a quick breakfast and get our bikes.  All of the bikes were locked up on the tennis courts… which seeing 1,500 bicycles in a small area is a pretty cool site. 

Half of the sea of bikes on the tennis courts.

Half of the sea of bikes on the tennis courts.

Most amazing for me was the fact that I’ve never seen another make, model, and year bike that I have.  Which is why I did a double take when I went to grab my bike and realized the same exact bike was right next to mine!  Ok, maybe I’m the only one that finds that cool, but I got a little excited.  Luckily we had our numbers on our bikes, so there was no confusion.  I never found the person in the see of participants to chit chat with them about it. Continue reading

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Cycling | , , | Leave a comment

Another weekly commute

Still maintaining my committment to bike to work at least once a week.  It’s definitely a much more pleasant ride in the morning in summer vs the spring when it was 40 degrees out!  Since my ride to work is easier than the ride home from work, I’ve been pushing harder and harder to get to work faster.  Tuesdays ride to work was a new record for me because I made it in 58 minutes!  My goal was to make it in less than an hour, so I was pretty pleased with that.  It’s difficult at times because traffic lights can hold me back, but made most of the lights. 

The way home was pretty uneventful.  The long steady climbing hill in South Milwaukee is getting a little easier, but not much.  I really hate that hill, but it helps me more in training than any of the other hills that I ride.  It helps to just swear at the hill as I’m climbing it though.  Get this, there’s actually research that supports the theory that swearing makes pain more tolerable.  Granted this isn’t acute pain, but I find it helps!

Total this trip was another 32 miles in the books.  That makes 488.37 miles YTD or 97.7% of my goal.  Setting me up for a nice goal achieving MS Bike ride on Sunday.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Cycling | | Leave a comment

Test Ride

So Friday I was pushing it by riding only 2 days before my race, but I was really itching to get out and ride one more time and really get my heart rate up. It looked like it was going to rain, but I rushed over to the Oak Leaf Trail in Oak Creek to log a few miles before the rain.

In an effort to cut down my T1 time in the Triathlon, I wanted to practicing riding at a race base with no socks on. I think this will be in a race situation only, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t feeling any discomfort or developing any blisters.

I rode 7 miles in about 20 minutes keeping my pedal cadence high as well as my heart rate. It felt great so I decided Sunday I would hold off on the socks until my run. I was originally going to ride all the way to Whitnall Park and back, but as I approached the end of the bike path near Loomis I came around the corner and was greeted by a doe and her fawn right on the bike path! I slammed on my brakes (I was going about 17 mph) and quickly turned around and stopped. I just waited there for a minute, watching the mother and her baby wonder along the brush line, he tail wagging a little bit. It’s a bit intimidating being within 20 feet of a deer that big especially when you don’t know if she feels threatened by you being there. But she didn’t seem to be bothered and just kind of wondered along before both of them disappeared back into the woods. Just another example of some of the amazing things I’ve been able to see while biking this year!

So it was a quick 7 mile ride to make the YTD total 441.37 miles or 88.3% of my goal!

July 27, 2009 Posted by | Cycling | | Leave a comment