Tag Archives: Ride for Habitat


If you would like to donate to Liz’s Bike to Build Fund at NBSS, click here

My one yoga pose Ready Set Go Trying to be Haley Typical smile

Mother Nature could not have cooked up a better offering for the 100 riders and volunteers who participated in the 8th annual Ride for Habitat on June 21st. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the scenery along the coastline towns of Scituate, Cohasset, and Hull was exquisite. The ride started in Wompatuck State Park, and that is where about 25 riders who were doing the 50 mile route began at about 7:30 a.m. Once we exited Wompatuck in Hingham, we biked by the cows at Hornstra Farms and crossed into Norwell passing dozens of “non-affordable” but beautiful houses. Our first pass through Norwell was short because we headed directly towards Hanover, where we stopped to see one of the Habitat for Humanity homes being built. We were greeted by volunteers, some who served us fruit, snacks, and beverages, while others told us a little about their building progress. All in all, it was a poignant moment which captured the spirit of what this ride is all about.

Because there were not a lot of riders, I tried to stay close to a few that looked like they were riding at a good clip, but weren’t training for Tour de France trials. Overall, I was able to stay close to the lead pack of six or seven riders during the first couple of hours, that is, until my bike started getting a little attitude. Having one or more beacons ahead is very helpful during long rides like this because they serve as pace setters and they provide you with the inspiration to keep pedaling.  My beacon was in a yellow, orange and red Pan Mass Challenge shirt (pictured below). I figured I was doing okay if I was trailing close behind Mr. Yellow, Orange, and Red (YOR) because his shirt demonstrated his cycling stamina and prowess, having ridden the Pan Mass Challenge before. I kept within eye shot of Mr. YOR and crew for the first 30 miles or so, until my wheel decided it was time to negotiate the roads alone somewhere in Scituate. This is where the lessons from the road began…

My guide

My CATEYE Astrale 8 was doing its job for the last thousand miles or so before this ride, tracking my speed, cadence, miles per hour, etc. However, somewhere in my drive over to Wampatuck, the bike got shuffled around in the car and MISS CATEYE would only tell me the time. I could do without knowing my distance and speed, (even though I would miss the cheap thrill I get from seeing how fast I can go on the downhills), but I could not overcome MISS CATEYE’s wheel interference without an intervention. I noticed at the first pit stop that my wheel was rubbing against something, so I did a quick wheel adjustment and went on my way, still holding pace with others. Now, in a thickly settled area of Scituate with nobody around, my chain came off when down shifting too quickly; and when I put my wheel back on, it was chafing against the rubber barrier underneath one of MISS CATEYE’S SENSORS. In the fundraising rides I have done in the past, I was accustomed to a steady pack of volunteers driving in vans by the cyclists, catering to our every need. If we needed medical, sagging, or bike repair assistance, they would stop and help. As I looked at MISS CATEYE and my chain hanging off, I realized I was on my own. After getting my hands very greasy, the chain was back in business; and after using a sharp tool from my seatbag to cut away the rubber barrier, the wheel stopped rubbing and I was back on the road again…with Mr. YOR now hidden by the miles in between us.

In hindsight, I am very grateful for this first lesson from the road, which was: Have a basic toolkit to repair minor bicycle problems. It was no accident that I was separated from Mr. YOR and pack because these are exactly the situations I need to be prepared for when riding solo to NYC. I need to be able to handle quick bike emergencies (flat tires, fallen chains, rubbing break pads) like the wanna-be-bike tech that I am.

After jumping back on my bike, lesson #2 smacked me in the face because there were no beacons ahead to mindlessly follow while I took in the lovely scenic route. LESSON 2…Don’t rely on GPS technology because you may have no signal in rural areas, so use your Girls Scouts 101 map reading skillsI actually wasn’t a Girls Scout, but I can read maps. It became abundantly clear to me at this point that I have my work cut out for me in terms of mapping my route to New York City, especially because there will be no signs like these to follow:


As an adult who possesses a fair percentage of ADHD symptoms, I tend to love big challenges, I overestimate my ability to do tasks and underestimate the time the tasks will take, and I have “minor difficulty” with prioritizing tasks. So when the bolt of insight struck me three months ago, telling me to ride my bike 300 miles from Quincy to NYC as a fundraiser, I committed to this without hesitation…as easily as I would agree to taking my dog on a mile walk to Wollaston Beach. I didn’t think about the hundreds of hours I would need to train (cycling and weight lifting); how hard it would be to teach myself how to administer a blog or learn the ins and outs of Twitter; the time it would take to write dozens of fundraising letters, follow-up emails, Facebook status updates, thank you notes, blog posts, and tweets, and take way too many selfies; and/or exactly how I was going to safely map out every twist and turn along the 300 mile route through hundreds of New England cities and towns. I did not think about the supplies I would need, where I would stay, where I would stop for nourishment if needed, where the public restrooms are located, where the closest bike shops are if repairs are called for, and God forbid…where the nearest hospitals are located should injuries occur. No, when the bolt came, I welcomed it with open arms and thought only of the remarkable feelings of freedom, accomplishment, and connection with nature and with my bicycle, which I had felt many years ago when doing interstate bike rides.

Thankfully though, Miss CATEYE gave me problems and I was separated from Mr. YOR at about mile 30 because I had 20 more miles to think about all the lessons from the road, which had not been so glaringly obvious before. Now I am much better prepared for my ride…or at least I know how to prepare for my ride over the next 42 days. Happy Prioritizing!

And most thankfully, I have the best athletic supporter that anyone could ask for, who will be my volunteer crew in a Honda Accord…Thank you Justine!

Support team

More shots from the Ride for Habitat 2014:Helmet is on

Lovely poseHingham farmNorwell pond

Hanover house


tree farm too    tree farmCoastal Riding Scituate harbor Glorious day    Hull harbor boats Hull   Sailboats    Carnival in HullFishing at end of peninsulaSelfie

If you would like to donate to Liz’s Bike to Build Fund at NBSS, click here


, If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build fund,              click here:

Hi, my name is Liz and I am a tweetaholic…it has been 21 hours since my last tweet. Dramatic projection or keen foreshadowing? IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN…

Last Friday, June 6th, I had a fabulous networking meeting with a good friend and a couple of wonderful women from South Shore Habitat for Humanity (SSHH). I am thrilled to be partnering with SSHH, as we share a common goal of bringing more attention to both of our causes. SSHH’s goal is to deliver simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with families in need. My cause, Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS, originated from a pure passion for carpentry and deep yearning to attend North Bennet Street School; and has blossomed into a solo, bike riding, dual-focused fundraiser to gather the money for my first year at NBSS and for South Shore Habitat for Humanity.

Ideas on how SSHH could help me get the word out about my cause were flowing readily in the meeting, and I could barely keep my excitement from pouring out. One of the ideas suggested, about which I am completely stoked, was for me to be the one to film the Ride for Habitat by carrying a webcam on my helmet or bike. The video will be used to advertise next year’s Ride for Habitat, providing I do not say or do anything so objectionable or outlandish that would preclude them from showing it and from ever inviting me back. JK of course, I would never! Lucky for SSHH, I will be on the videographer’s side of the camera, and therefore not able to jump in front of it too often…especially if it is attached to my helmet. You might see a “selfie hand wave” or two so I can make sure I get some air time, but other than that, I will do my job and film the picturesque ocean ride and hard-working and big-hearted volunteers and riders.

Being the enthusiastic and moderately compulsive person that I am, I immediately did a 55 mile “practice run” of the cycling route the day after our meeting. Then I spent a little too much time thinking about what cute cycling outfit I could wear on the day of the Ride. Did I just say the words cute and cycling outfit in the same sentence? Must have been a typo! Seriously speaking, I am pumped about the upcoming Ride for Habitat and humbled by the opportunity to wear the video camera. I am thoroughly looking forward to meeting other riders and volunteers who share a similar mission of helping people through building affordable housing. I hope to capture the essence of the wonderful spirit behind this ride because clearly there is a lot of love, sweat, and tears that go into putting together an event like this.

Before I exit, I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the subject line and pictures included in this post. More than anything else that came out of my networking meeting, I left knowing that my “tweet free” days were about to end. The marketing director made it very clear that if I want to expand the amount of people who see my blog and/or who donate to my fundraiser, I need to get on Twitter and be active. Well ya don’t have to tell me twice. I assured her that although I don’t know a lot about Twitter and have never actually sent out a tweet, it would not be long before I become a well-versed tweeting fool…which trust me, is not something I longed for. I am the person who found it distasteful and incredibly annoying when I was watching the Voice (amongst other shows), and the Twitter comments from judges and audience members  were streaming across the bottom of the screen and interfering with my picture.

After the meeting at SSHH, I set off for home and thought about what book I was going to buy, remembering that I still haven’t read much of the Blogging for Dummies book and will probably do the same with Tweeting for Dummies….so scratch that. Then I thought about how my technically savvy girlfriend could bring me up to speed quickly with a Twitter 101 class, and then I remembered that she is not even on Twitter…scratch that too. My brain was sending make believe tweets full of ideas the whole way home.  When I arrived home, my plan of jumping right on my bike to go for a ride flew right out the window with the make believe tweets. Since patience and impulse control are not two of my greatest virtues, you may be able to guess what I did next. Of course I jumped right on the computer and opened up my dusty Twitter account and began loading pictures, following some of my favorite sports teams and actresses, and sent out a few tweets to the whopping three followers that I managed to accumulate through begging.  SSHH’S Marketing Director told me that building up my Twitter followers should be my biggest goal right now. So if you are reading this and are on Twitter, then please follow me here….and as long as you are a polite Twitter follower, no restraining orders will be issued! HAPPY TWEETING!

If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build fund,              click here:


If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here :

Sitting on my couch on the last day of May 2014, I am looking at my monthly workout calendar and reflecting back on how much things have progressed in terms of my fundraiser in the last 31 days. Here is a peek at the monthly totals as I can recall and itemize them:

  • 23 individual bike rides totaling 340.7 miles (averaging 14.8 miles per ride), which will be increasing considerably over the next 11 weeks until my ride to NYC
  • Walked Hope 860 minutes, or 14.3 hours
  • Biceps: Lifted 992 repetitions, Back: Lifted 945 repetitions, Legs: Lifted 1,212 repetitions, and Chest/Shoulders/Triceps: Lifted 1,318 repetitions
  • Drank 560 ounces of G2 Gatorade and a lot more ounces of H2O
  • One GREAT tune-up of Old Yeller at The Bicycle Link
  • 59 plus hours of grooving to Spotify tunes
  • $2145.00 Raised ($400.00 which went to South Shore Habitat for Humanity) from 30 separate donors, averaging $71.50 per donation. LOTS  MORE TO RAISE, so feel free to donate here.
  • 20 thank you notes written with 10 more to do…and I’m happy to do plenty more, so keep it coming :)
  • 15 Facebook status updates and 22 emails sent on fundraising, bicycling, and training
  • Registered for one 50 mile Ride for Habitat to benefit South Shore Habitat for Humanity on June 21, 2014
  • Countless hours of brainstorming, writing, and drawing up ideas of how I can raise the money to get to North Bennet Street School.

Thanks to all the people who have helped me with ideas, support, encourage, and donations this last month! BRING ON JUNE BABY!

If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here :