Pick A Race. Pick a Charity. Make A Difference.

Pedaling With a Purpose
Helping cyclists raise money for worthy causes since 2006.

Back in 2006 I started a website called Pedaling With a Purpose as a way to connect the sport I love (cycling) with my interest in fundraising for worthy causes. While there are a lot of organized rides that you can sign up for and raise money, the problem I had was the charity that I wanted to support didn’t have an “organized event”. So, I took matters in my own hands…

Today, Pedaling With a Purpose (www.PedalingWithaPurpose.org) is responsible for raising over $25,000 towards charitable efforts, mostly benefiting the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation (www.NBHope.org). This rare form of child cancer is one that has impacted me profoundly, with very good friends of ours losing their daughter to this beast of a disease at the tender age of 9, after a four-year long battle. However, Christi’s fight inspired me (and countless others that were exposed to her story and bravery), to treat life as a precious gift and do what they can to make a difference while still here.

It’s my honor to carry on Christi’s memory with PWAP and help other like-minded cyclists to take the blessing of being able to race and connect it with something “bigger” and raise money for a worthy cause. Through a partnership with Active Giving Solutions, PWAP helps cyclists create their fundraising page to collect donations and track your results, offers tips on promotion and generating awareness and is there to help get the word out.

While my first several years of fundraising involved racing the Lumberjack 100, Michigan’s only 100-mile mountain bike race, I’ve since turned to triathlons and will be doing the Rev3 Half 70.3 mile triathlon this September at Cedar Point, in Ohio. My good friend (and fellow WSI Cycling team member) Kathy Roche-Wallace will be doing the Full Rev3 140.6 mile event and both of us will be raising money to support the CNCF.

If you’re a cyclist and interested in doing “something more” than simply crossing the finish line at an event this year, please let me know. Stop over to PWAP and learn more and then let’s get in touch. I’d love to help you put together your very own PWAP event and make a difference by supporting the charity of your choice. As the title of this post says, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. You pick a race, then pick your charity and through fundraising and awareness make a difference.

Keep the rubber side down…

Spring Training

For two years now, I have joined team mates in Atlanta area for some spring training. For those of you familiar with the area, you know that the hills have a demonic attribute to seemingly go up, and up, and up. We even discuss the fact that the laws of physics dictate that you must get as much ‘up miles’ as ‘down miles’ if you start and stop at the same spot….it just does not seem to be that way.

I like spring training because it is a wake up call for my body that I need to get ready for the impending race season. I also like it because it is a little bit of a fantasy camp, we ride, and rest, and eat well. Had I planned it better, we would have had a massage or two and some core work-outs to top off the ideal training. Next year, our plans are to include more mountain training in the smokies and include more and more core and flexibility training.

We rode about 2 hours on Thursday morning to shake off the 13 hour drive on Wednesday night.  Nothing over the top, but enough to remember that the hills are something that cannot be replicated.  (Even though the temperatures in Michigan were about the same as Atlanta, the hills are unlike anything I have been on.)  After a nice meal and a nap, we hammered out a significant 2 and a half hour ride.  The miles are not as important as the time…there needs to be a conversion table for Atlanta miles to ‘flat miles’.  On Friday, we had a nice 2 hour effort in the morning and another 2  hour effort on Friday night.  We treated out hosts to a big meal and a bigger margarita and prepared for our return on Saturday.

On saturday morning, we put in an hour and a half ‘recovery ride’ to spin out some lactic acid before our 13 hour return trip to Michigan.  We donned our compression socks and shorts and hoped that people would not beat the crap out of us in the rest areas for wearing support hose in public!

We are all excited to don our new Team Active Powered by WSI team kits and get the race season started. In the mean time, more training, a little recovery and some rest.

Next up, Barry Roubaix!

End of Winter Party With Chris Carmichael, Donation and First Wednesday Night Ride

Ok… So, this update is just a bit tardy (several weeks actually, but better late than never). However, I’m pleased to report that Team Active’s End of Winter Party was another huge success. For a while it was “bumper to bumper” people in the shop (all three floors) and I even helped sell at least one bike during the event. Another excellent showing for Team Active and getting everyone jazzed up about the coming year of cycling that awaits us.

In addition to celebrating the “end of winter” and getting everyone excited about the coming cycling season, Team Active always seems to figure out a way to get a celebrity (at least to the cycling industry) make an appearance. This year we were fortunate to have Chris Carmichael, of Carmichael Training Systems. In addition to being a Tour de France veteran with Team 7-11 “back in the day”, he’s also most well known as the cycling coach that helped Lance Armstrong to his seven victories in the Tour.

Mike Wood (Team Active) and Eric Cook (WSI Cycling) present a donation check to Chris Carmichael for Kids on Bikes from WSI Corporate .

One thing that Mike Wood, the owner of Team Active, and I talked about when we were lining up Chris for the event was how cool it would be to somehow connect his appearance with some sort of charity effort. When we asked, we discovered he supports (and is a big part of) Kids on Bikes (www.kidsonbikes.net), a non-profit established to help disadvantaged children get exposed to the sport (and freedom) of cycling. So, we had a special invitation-only ($100/plate) dinner with Chris before the event to help raise money for this worthwhile organization. Additionally, WSI Corporate in Toronto sent along a check for $1,000, which I personally presented to Chris later at the store during the party.

Doug, Linda, Chris, Alicia and Me at Dinner

Also on-hand for the check presentation (and dinner) were Doug Schust and Linda Dinelle from M3-SocialMindz, another team sponsor and part of the WSI “family” (as well as being great friends of ours). Doug and Linda came in for the weekend from Kitchener, Ontario (just outside of Toronto) and were amazed at the turnout for an event like this. “I never would have believed this many people would turn out for a party at a bike shop,” Doug said. “We are excited to be part of the team as a sponsor this year and support WSI Cycling, but had no idea the amount of people we’d reach by being part of the team.”

After the party was over, WSI Cycling team members stuck around for a team meeting and we got to meet some of the new faces for the 2012 season. You’ll be seeing many of these new faces on this blog over the season, so keep an eye out for updates! We’ve got what looks to be a great lineup of racers for this  year covering road, mountain, triathlon, time trial and even adventure racing throughout the coming season. We’re also going to get some of the others from the team posting to the blog (so you won’t have to wait for me to post) and let you know what’s going on.

Some of the team sporting their new "kit" before the first Wednesday night ride of the 2012 season.

If you live in the Battle Creek area and have a road bike, be sure to mark your calendars for our Wednesday night road rides. They started this week and leave from behind Team Active at 6 pm. Normal start time is 6:30, but for the next few weeks we’ll start a little earlier to take advantage of the daylight. As the days get longer, we’ll move back to 6:30, so keep an eye on the Team Active website for more information (and I’m sure we’ll post it here as well).

Until next time, keep the rubber side down…
Eric 🙂
WSI Internet Consulting

Here Comes WSI Cycling… Welcome 2012

Greetings race fans. I’m excited to announce the arrival of the 2012 WSI-Team Active Cycling Team. We’ve got a lot of talented riders competing this year on the road, trail and pretty much any place else you can ride a bike. Team members also compete in triathlons and adventure races, so every once in a while we put the bike aside and grab some goggles for a swim, paddle for a kayak or compass for some orientation. Whatever the venue, we’ll be out there having fun and shooting for the podium.

Announcing This Year’s Title Sponsors

WSI Internet Consulting

One of the “title” sponsors this year is WSI Internet Consulting, one of the world’s leading providers of online and digital marketing strategies. Eric Cook (that’s ME) runs his WSI business out of Battle Creek, Michigan and can be found online at http://www.PoweredByWSI.com. If your business is looking for help with its online strategy, whether that means a new website, search visibility or some help with social media, get in touch with WSI today.

Team Active Cycling and Fitness

As Mid-Michigan’s premier cycling store, Team Active Cycling and Fitness of Battle Creek, MI has been supporting the racing team since 2005 and is proud to continue for 2012. It’s one of the largest Trek dealerships in the state of Michigan and also sells Cannondale bikes in addition to The North Face and Patagonia clothing. Conveniently located in downtown Battle Creek, they feature a second-floor test track, so you can take your new bike for a spin, even when the weather’s not cooperating. You can also browse their entire catalog online at http://www.TeamActive.com. You’ll find they really know their stuff, but will make you feel at home when buying your new bike.

What To Expect This Year

As racers compete in events we’ll be posting race recaps to this site for your reading pleasure. We’ll also post updates about coming races, activities and other items of importance. So stay tuned for a great year of cycling and thanks for visiting.

~Eric Cook, WSI Internet Consulting