Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Roadkill and Lewis & Clark

It's risky to choose a 7-year-old to be your co-presenter.  I knew this going into a recent series of talks with my kids at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  My 13-year-old son, Sho, 7-year-old daughter, Saya, and I gave five 1-hour presentations to groups of students and adults.  We described our experience cycling 1700 miles of the Lewis & Clark Trail last summer and tested the audience's knowledge of the famous expedition, including some of the plants and animals documented in Lewis & Clark's famous journals.  We also showed a video about how we collected roadkill data throughout the 2-month journey.  I think Sho and Saya most enjoyed having older kids and adults listen quietly to what they had to say and raise their hands to ask a question.  It's the little stuff...

The Tennessean newspaper published an article about our talks, which includes a short video.  You can check it out here:  http://tnne.ws/1h8WawO

In the article, the journalist described Saya as "a girl who fidgets more than talks," no doubt because she refused to sit quietly and answer his questions, preferring to leave the interview shortly after it began and go play.  She also did back bends during our presentations and generally stole the show.  It was risky to include her, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Here are some pics:
Tennessean article

Saya goofing around during the presentation

Question: "Can a 12-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl pedal over the Rocky Mountains?"

Answer: "Yes, they can, because they just did!"


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Team Zoey Spin-a-thon Thank You

I'm grateful to everyone who supported the Team Zoey spin-a-thon.  I surpassed my personal $1,500 fund raising target, because of the generosity of many of you.  Thank you thank you!  The event raised nearly $40,000 to fund research to treat and cure the fatal rapid-aging disease Progeria.  

The spin-a-thon took place at the YMCA in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey in a room that held about 40 bikes.  Over a period of 4 hours, a new instructor and group of riders came in every 30 minutes, cranking on the bikes to some seriously rockin' music.  My friends Alison Berna (who wrote a beautiful description of the event here), Karen Carolonza, and I pedaled for the entire 4 hours.  Riding a spin bike for that long is physically challenging, but it wasn't the brutal slog you might imagine.  In fact, the experience felt pretty much like going to a party and getting really sweaty.  Kinda like what I used to do every weekend in college...  

Zoey, the young girl we were all riding for, showed up and cheered us on.  Here are some pics:

Alison Berna, Karen Carolonza and Barbara Batesko (the amazing organizer of the event)

Me, about 2 hours into the ride

Celebrating 4 hours of spinning with Karen and the very flexible Alison

Alison and I with Zoey