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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: It's as easy as riding a bicycle
By T. F. Chezum


Dear Blake,

With the information you provided Iíve developed a training program to help you achieve your goal of riding in the Meridian River Century.

I will e-mail you specific work out schedules every two weeks, and make adjustments based on your progress. Success will depend on your level of motivation.

Your first task is simple: Shave. Shave at least you legs and arms. This will help scratches and abrasions to heal quickly and with less discomfort. It will also be a reminder of the commitment youíve made.

A 100 mile bicycle ride is quite an undertaking, but youíve taken the first step. I look forward to working with you.

Coach Haskins

Dear Coach Haskins,

I did it. I hope youíre right about the quicker healing, because all these nicks and cuts are driving me nuts. By the way, can you tell me how to get to the mohawk running down the back of my legs?


Dear Blake,

Your first routine focuses on pacing. Iíve attached maps and directions for your scheduled rides, ending with a 30 mile loop in your area. Your goal is to maintain a speed of 13.5 mph. for the duration of the rides, they are relatively flat so try and resist the temptation to go fast.

By the way, I appreciate your response, but it wasnít necessary to send pictures. I didnít need to see how much you shaved.

Good luck,
Coach Haskins

Dear Coach,

Iím starting to believe I can do the river ride.

I enjoyed the routes. It was nice seeing my old neighborhood again. I tried to hold my pace, but couldnít help going into an all out sprint. Did you know a rottweiler can run faster than 26.3 mph? And spandex doesnít stretch that much.



Thereís only 8 weeks until the Meridian River Century. Itís time to send you to the hills and really bust those legs. Iíve attached several rides, each one progressively more challenging. Your progress has been wonderful to this point.

Those were great photos of the dog. He seemed happy playing with the swatch of lycra, Iím glad there wasnít much skin attached.

Coach Haskins


It was nice getting out of the city, the fresh air did me a world of good. Although I struggled a little going up the steeper slopes, I can tell that I have gained quite a bit of strength in my legs.

One ride was delayed by some roadwork. It made for a long day, but I finished the course. I found out that a bike going down a steep hill doesnít stop very easily. I also found out that a patch of fresh asphalt can stop a bike really fast. Luckily it wasnít a very rough landing.



Youíve come so far, now itís time to push the distance. Youíll need to use all the techniques youíve learned during the previous sessions. Youíll do increasingly longer rides, ending with a 70 mile out and back along the bike trail to Meridian Park. Take time at the park to replenish before you return.

Thanks again for the pictures, looks like you had some great hang time. I must admit, Iíve never seen an asphalt angel before.

Coach Haskins


I can hear the Meridian calling me, I can hardly wait for the century. I felt very comfortable during the long rides despite the small delay.

I guess you didnít know the river washed out the bike path, youíd think they put up better warning signs.



I can feel your excitement, the Meridian River Century is right around the corner. Now is the time to taper, conserve your energy. Follow the easy workouts for the next week and enjoy your ride.

For what itís worth, youíre quite a photographer. Iíve never seen a fish wedged between spokes like that before.

Coach Haskins


I did it! 100 miles didnít seem that long. Thanks for helping me finish the Meridian River Century. I only had one small mishap, about 40 miles in my front tire went flat and I kind of ran into the bushes. I never realized that poison ivy grew wild in the area.


Way to go Blake,

Iím very happy, and I can imagine how proud you must feel. That is an awesome accomplishment.

Thatís one nasty looking rash you have. Strange, I thought the riding shorts wouldíve given more protection than that.

Coach Haskins

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This article has been read 1028 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kevin Kindrick09/07/06
As and (occasionally, somewhat, almost) avid cyclist - I truly enjoyed this. The descriptions, the nonchalant recounts of...sketchy encounters, the light banter - it was great!

Thanks for sharing, and God bless,

Beth Muehlhausen09/08/06
Hmmmm....how do you think up stuff like this??!?! Very entertaining/unique/humorous/funny stuff! I have to admit my take-away was more about cycling than the topic (river), but still, your creativity is inspiring. :-)

Lynda Lee Schab 09/09/06
ROFL! A few great lines struck me as too funny! (like the one about not having to send pictures to let him see how much he shaved and the one about the fish between the spokes - HA!) Excellent humor throughout. Definitely kept me entertained and made me laugh out loud! I did think it was stretching the topic just a bit, like the river was just thrown in and not a part of the actual story. But other than that, I loved it!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/10/06
An "r" is missing in third paragraph (youR); might be considered "petty" in Beginners, but is "major" in Masters; however, your take on the topic of cycling is quite creative. Good job. lol
Aylin Smith 09/10/06
Very well written.
Jan Ackerson 09/10/06
Hilarious! I can't tell you how tickled I am to see more top-notch humor writers showing up now and again. This is sooooo funny!
Joanne Sher 09/10/06
Loved the banter between the two of them - and how much you left to our imaginations. I don't think you would WANT to see some of the images I had going through my head! Great approach to this story - I loved the humor - had me rollin in the aisles!
Jesus Puppy 09/10/06
What a HOOT... I am hoping if this were from a real life memory that you were the coach... if not.. i pray the rash wasn't that bad..

Good job keeping me peeled to the story..
Donna Powers 09/11/06
This made me laugh and I really enjoyed reading it! Great letter exchange. It seemed very realistic. Thanks for writing this!
Rita Garcia09/13/06
This is really funny, I love it!! Thanks for bringing laughter my way!!!
Cheryl Harrison09/13/06
Too funny. Nice work.
Jacquelyn Horne06/25/07
This was written before I joined FaithWriters. I love reading the older challenges. This is really funny.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/25/07
This has to be one of the best humor articles I have ever read on FW. What a gift you have! The "pictures" were priceless.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/25/07
I enjoyed the creative way this was put together. Your humor is fun, especially the picture descriptions!
Dee Yoder 06/26/07
Fun reading! Your format is unusual and the two letter writers are funny and charming. I also like the way they nonchalantly mention the mini disasters.
Joanne Sher 06/26/07
As soon as I read the first paragraph, I remembered how much I loved this one the first time I read it. But it was even MORE fun this time! I know I picked up on humor I'd missed the first time through. You are very talented.
Loren T. Lowery06/27/07
This was truly a delight to read, Although I do not ride bikes, I do ride horses and there are so many similarities here. One of my favorite lines, "I also found out that a patch of fresh asphalt can stop a bike really fast. Luckily it wasnít a very rough landing"

As it reminded me of what I once head about horseback riding, that it is the art of keeping you and the ground from ever meeting.

Thank-you for bringing a smile into my day today.