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Attention all skaters - your logged miles are needed for Vivian White's cause: her son Brian Bales. Please HELP!

MikeB's picture

A recent Sports Illustrated piece "Going the Distance" showcased the touching story of Vivian White and her son Brian Bales. 

Please take a moment to read the short article:

 http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1156477/index.htm

I made contact with Vivian and we had a wonderful conversation.  In a nutshell, she would VERY much like to add our skating miles to her cause.  If you would like to participate it couldn't be easier.  Just email me your Name, Date Skated, and Mileage.  I'll compile it on a spreadsheet and email it to her weekly.

Members can send details to me by clicking on my user name above, by visiting http://roadskater.net/user/mikeb then clicking the Contact tab, or by visiting this direct link: http://roadskater.net/user/245/contact

I'll keep this blog post updated as mileage accumulates.  Thanks for your help!

Location

Charleston, Illinois
United States
39° 29' 3.804" N, 88° 10' 16.0644" W

Comments

roadskater's picture

What is our start date and event miles only or training

Hey MikeB, thanks for your interest in this and in the Roadskater.net team being part of it. [Let me remind people that you are welcome to be part of our team no matter how fast or slow, on skates or on a bike. You just need to be a roadskater or love them, or one, at least.] Some technical questions: How far back in my records should I go for miles? I assume we don't want to go too far back, and certainly not before the start of her project. Can you give us a start date? Also, do any training or touring miles not part of an event count, too? I have 101 miles from Sunday and Monday on the Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet, and eebee has 67, and northinsouth 34. I assume any miles count. Now I have another good use for the Garmin Forerunner 305 mileage logs!
MikeB's picture

All miles starting 07/01/09

Great question. Miles would start 7/01/09 and could be ANY miles (training, event based, warmup, whatever). Just send me an email with details: name, date, miles, and mileage classification - inline, run, or bike. It will go on a weekly spreadsheet to Vivian. This will help her determine how to best tally our miles. Viva le Garmin Forerunner!
MikeB's picture

Week 1 in the record books

Week 1 only encompassed July 1 through July 4, and so far we have 5 skaters signed up to report mileage. More will sign up I'm sure.....it couldn't be easier. Week 1 logged 270 miles, which adds 135 miles to Vivian's cause. (remember that since we're on wheels she'll divide our true miles by half - seems only fair) Vivian wanted me to pass along her sincerest appreciation for our efforts. Thanks to all who have donated their inline miles! Please continue to drop me emails of your progress (name, date, miles). Keep 'em coming.
eebee's picture

Misread!

Phew! I misread this comment: "Week 1 logged 270 miles...". I thought you meant you logged 270 miles, MikeB! I even went so far as to try to break it down into 5 or 6 workouts - 4 x 50 miles + 70, etc.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how you (and Vivian's quest) helped me today. I wanted so badly to quit skating after about 40 mins, but realizing Vivian is going to  halve our miles made me keep going for 20 more mins/four more miles.  I hope to have better mileage for you than last week's big fat zero. 

MikeB's picture

me? 270? surely you jest......(don't call me shirley)

Yikes.  270 in a week would do me in.

I'm glad you found extra motivation though - that is awesome.

We're collectively doing pretty well.

roadskater's picture

Tuesday Night Skate & Bike Greensboro Country Park July 15 2009

Yep. Over 300 miles away up here at Country Park we had 5 Roadskater.net jerseys and the skaters and cyclists to match. We also had northinsouth's daughter for whom there's no matching jersey yet. Four Roadskater.net Skaters and Cyclists at the Tuesday Night SkateFour Roadskater.net Skaters and Cyclists at the Tuesday Night Skate timv and I did 13 miles or so on skates, two others did 10 miles on bikes, and northinsouth and daughter did 3 to 5 miles on their bike with tagalong attachment she could pedal and brake too. It's a three-wheel inline bicycle when you think of it (even when you don't). Northinsouth and Daughter on the Inline Bicycle (Bike with Tagalong) at Country ParkNorthinsouth and Daughter on the Inline Bicycle (Bike with Tagalong) at Country Park
MikeB's picture

End of week 7/11 in the books at 249.75 miles!

Hi All, Thank you so much for reporting your mileage. The next week to report was the one ending 7/18/09 so please email me those #s. We now have about 9 skaters reporting with a weekly average of about 260 miles! MikeB
roadskater's picture

62 miles in a week instead of a day

Well last week was interesting and the mileage logging for the project helped me keep rolling sometimes even though I was doing poorly in terms of heart rate for a given result, this on Friday and Saturday especially. I usually do a session without much of a break, but I took long enough breaks that I considered them two sessions instead of one each day. After a half hour or more of not skating, I think it helped me start up again knowing I had some sort of goal. It also helped to realize I'd done 95 miles in a day not long ago and surely I could whine out another 6 miles or 20, even, despite not being any good at skating or breathing or pumping blood or whatever on those two days. Things got better Sunday and Monday in terms of hr required for a given speed at the park. I missed Tuesday night skate for a cycling/skating-related phone call (NC Active Transportation Alliance policy committee meeting), but managed to get out for the medium garlic and onion pizza with timv. That was good.
MikeB's picture

your miles needed for week #3 ending 7/18/09

So far, with just 2 weeks of mileage reported, the Roadskater.net team has contributed 520 total miles to Vivian's cause. (260miles for her calculations) More skaters continue to take notice and make the effort to email weekly mileage. Thanks! Please let me know your mileage for week #3 which ran from 7/12 through 7/18. Thanks and keep up the great work. Vivian recently sent me a message that read: Thanks so much Michael! I really appreciate what you guys are doing, please thank the group for me. i'll get these miles added on. Have a great week. ~Vivian That's really cool. We're making a difference.
roadskater's picture

Making a Difference

Yep, MikeB, it's making a difference, and it was a nice idea you had for helping someone out, and for introducing some people to what we do. It'd be neat if someone asked about skating and how to get started from your effort. I had someone call out to me at the park a few nights ago, saying, "I want to learn to do THAT!" Hopefully they'll get some skates based on some quick advice and some of us can help them get started. I'm glad you wanted to help Vivian with her miles and wanted to be in charge of collecting and communicating them. I hope she feels your enthusiasm as we do, and I can tell she appreciates your efforts. As for us, I think it makes us conscious when we're deciding if we want to do "one more" or go out despite the radar and traffic camera images indicating it might rain. Today I was about to let it drop but went out kind of late, taking my helmet light in case, and I got in 10 miles at least in part due to wanting to have miles for Vivian.
roadskater's picture

Roadskater's Miles for July 19-25 2009

My miles for the week tallied to only a bit more than last week...I got exactly 80.00 miles. Crazy to land on the hundredth of a mile. 35 of that was on Saturday at the Paceline Bicycles Tour to Tanglewood Training Ride.
MikeB's picture

80 miles for the 7/19 - 7/25 week? I'll take it!

80 miles it is.

Thanks for the update.  As a group we were light for the week ending 7/18 but the week ending 7/25 will be strong!

MikeB's picture

Week #3 ending 7/18 is in the books and a little light

Hi All, Perhaps it was a rainy week or a low reporting turnout, but we as a group we lowered our average a bit. We reported 175 total miles skated (87.5 for Vivian's calculations). Not a bad effort at all, and thanks for the vigilance! Please don't forget to report your weekly miles either here or by email. Members can send details to me by clicking on my user name above, by visiting http://roadskater.net/user/mikeb then clicking the Contact tab, or by visiting this direct link: http://roadskater.net/user/245/contact
MikeB's picture

Your miles needed for Week #4 ending 7/25/09

Calling all skaters --- Week #4 tabulations are ongoing and look VERY strong! Please advise your miles from 7/19 through 7/25. It looks like a new record is in the making. Thanks!
roadskater's picture

Does Vivian have a tracking website for the project?

Hey MikeB. Thanks again for staying on top of this project and for being the one to have the idea in the first place for us to join in. I wondered if there's a tracking website where we can see the little feet crossing the Atlantic ocean on their way to Brian. If so I'd be interested to see it. I didn't find that, but... I did find the local (to them) article from February... http://www.herald-review.com/articles/2009/02/17/news/state/1039215.txt Here's some stuff on her participation in the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY (9.3 miler)... http://www.uticaod.com/sports/x737366159/Supporting-Private-Bales http://www.syracuse.com/sports/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1247302531193570... http://www.uticaod.com/news/x631624621/Soldiers-mother-runs-to-honor-Brian Thanks again... roadskater
MikeB's picture

Week #4 ended 7/25/09 and Johnny is in the house bigtime!

Hi All, Week #4 was from 7/19 through 7/25 and what a week it was. So far we've had about 8 or 10 skaters reporting miles for this project. And collectively these 8 or 10 had a very nice week at 425 miles. But that wasn't all. TX Johnny reported some miles this week - WOW.... 469 miles! That's not a typo - 469.3 to be exact. Really? Are you kiddin' me? That's RIDICULOUS. I've got the daily breakdown if you're interested. So we'll report 894.3 to Vivian (447.15 for her calculations). Thanks everybody! Please keep me posted on miles from 7/26 through 8/01.
roadskater's picture

Johnny Needs a 12-Strokes Program

I say he's in training for a 24-hour record attempt, along with goodness knows what else. Yeah show us the dailies! That's some supersick skateylovin' there. See...we wouldn't have known were it not for your getting us into this project. Glad to see more are contributing miles.
eebee's picture

A 'BRAG' type event?

That looks like mileage from a Bike Ride Across Somewhere type event! I hope Johnny jumps in and tells us!
roadskater's picture

Smart deductificationismalitiousness

That's good thinking. I wonder where Johnny did all those miles. He's a gatorback eater indeed. Oh BTW by 24-hour record I just meant the record at Montreal perhaps, but it could be some world record, or I would believe it. I'm just spreading rhubarb jam anyway as I know nuttink!
MikeB's picture

Week #5 miles are needed

Hey gang, Week #5 of the skateymiles project was from 7/26 to 8/1/09. If you get a moment, check your logs and report you skate miles. Together, we are crushin' some miles and really boosting Vivian's totals quite nicely. Thanks!
roadskater's picture

OMG Jerseys are Killing my Miles

OK. Only 15 miles for those dates! Last weekend was entirely absorbed by jersey communications, design issues, photos, color swatches in various kinds of light, and excuses! I'm going skatin'.
eebee's picture

Only 37

Only 37 miles for me last week (7/26 to 8/1).
MikeB's picture

Week #5 = 145 miles collectively......Got Week #6 miles???

Hi Gang, I'm sure we all skated more than 145 but that's all that got reported. Week #6 was from 8/02 through 8/08, so please check your logs and post mileage here (although emailing me directly simplifies things). Members can send details to me by clicking on my user name above, by visiting http://roadskater.net/user/mikeb then clicking the Contact tab, or by visiting this direct link: http://roadskater.net/user/245/contact So far we've logged over 1700 miles! Thanks
roadskater's picture

81.33 miles for 20090802-08

Hey MikeB. I hope people will report to you directly, but also I hope they'll want to report miles here too so others can see what we are doing, how much or how little, while preparing as best we can for the skrides we do...especially Tour to Tanglewood, Athens to Atlanta and the Carolina Century. I had 81.33 miles, which included about 29 at the t2t training skride and 10 later that afternoon in the park (Country Park, that is, no swimming pool, no movie stars).
MikeB's picture

You're a good egg

Thanks for the update.  It is truly amazing to see the RSN Community rally around this project.  Just WAY cool.

Thanks for looking out for me on the spam potential.  When skaters click my specific contact links, will they be able to then email me directly?  .....not sure since when I tried it on a dry run I couldn't figure it out.....but hey, I'm not bringing the potato salad to the next MENSA meeting, ya know?  ;-)

roadskater's picture

My Bad. Contact Form Should Work for Authenticated Users Now

Oops. Thanks for the gentle test report. It was my bad. I had an extra level of access required beyond basic authentication to use the contact form. I'm working out a multilevel role setup but for now I've turned on the contact form for all members. If anyone gets spammy stuff from anyone but me (ha) let me know as we like to keep things clean around here...maybe too clean for our own good, but so be it. The one guy said the password security test was stronger than his banks. That makes me worry about his bank...and mine. Fortunately I have an identity nobody would want! Anyway, here's hoping the contact form will work OK for members. No point in allowing it for non-members. I did that and you don't want to read the stuff I was catching from that! Or maybe you do, but secretly!
MikeB's picture

Need INSPIRATION?! Check out Vivian's new mileage website!

Hi Skaters, After reporting Week #5 mileage to Vivian, she kindly responded with the following. Check it out. It's awesome! "These are great miles Mike! I'll add them on. Have a great weekend. We have a new webpage blog at www.boilermaker.com then click on miles for Brian. ~Vivian"
MikeB's picture

week #7 ends 8/15/09 --- got miles?

Hi All, Please let me know your miles for #7. muchas gracias
roadskater's picture

roadskater mileage update

I just wanted to put my miles up for the last 2 weeks...ending... 8/15 55.43 miles 8/22 47.29 miles And thanks for posting the responses from Vivian and Brian.
MikeB's picture

New Message from VIVIAN -- direct from BRIAN himself!

Hi All, Our mileage campaign is making a huge difference. Bigger than you might have ever imagined. Please take a moment to read this 8/24/09 message relayed by Vivian, direct from Brian in Iraq! Hi everyone, I just wanted to share with you a message from Brian, as he sends his thanks to all of you. If you'd like to send him a message directly, you can email him at bbales223@yahoo.com also, for anyone who hasn't seen our webpage blog, you can go to www.boilermaker.com then click on milesforbrian. There's some pictures of Brian on there. Thanks, Vivian Brian's message: Dear, readers, runners, friends, family, supporters, anyone who has searched or found this very committed inspirational quest, My name is PFC Brian, C Bales. I've been in Iraq serving our country since January of 2009. My mother Vivian sends me and forwards me all of your very motivating and life touching emails on a daily basis. As i sit and read them i think about how far we have all come as people, as citizens of this great country...our sacrifice as soldiers has become a truly life touching event for millions of people around the world. My life in the short time I've been here has changed significantly, it has been a hard and a long deployment thus far...but as the perils of combat have become increasingly stressful I find comfort in my family and anyone who has taken the time to run just one mile for me, and for the soldiers of the united states Army, and other branches. Being here has changed my life forever it has been a very difficult task in my life...but for every mile and every letter I read I become a stronger individual and a stronger soldier...to know that my duty overseas defending your freedom and the freedom of humans in general around the world has become so recognized and respected...all of you who donate these miles are true American heroes... I read how many people refer to me as a hero and it makes me so proud...but what makes me more proud as a soldier is knowing that its heroes like you all that bring us home safely..you give us the strength and courage to keep running our race overseas...to keep rucking that last mile...to keep pushing on in our own quest for freedom...take my words as you will, but know that if you're one of the very honorable people that have dedicated their time to me and to the fine Americans I have pleasure to be here with... my respect and honor will always be somewhere in your heart as you continue to reach your goals as a runner or as a person. All of your ambitions have truly helped me and my fellow soldiers get this far in our deployment to the middle east. - PFC Brian Bales
MikeB's picture

Week #9 ended 8/29/09 - got any miles to report????

Gang, we are doing a tremendous job. Vivian collects/logs miles from generous participants literally from all over the world. As a group, Team Roadskater.net contributes fully 2.5% of all logged miles. That's AWESOME. Can I get week #9 miles from you all? Thanks!
roadskater's picture

Roadskater had 81.07 miles ending 090829

Well it was an OK week I guess, with more miles than i remembered. The Forerunner 305 reports 'em and I checked to make sure that didn't include any random driving with my 305 on! Glad to hear we're 1/40th of the total. Thanks for your work representing skating and roadskater.net on this MikeB!
MikeB's picture

The pleasure is......

The pleasure is all mine.

It's a great feeling to know this skating community is so charitable. 

And anyone that wants to chime in with miles is more than welcome.

MikeB

MikeB's picture

Week #10 ended 9/05/09 with 425 skated!

Hi All, Collectively we're doing an awesome job. Brian's cause is quickly approaching 52,000 miles! Of which, the Roadskater.net family has contributed over 1,600 (actually over 3,200 but since we're on wheels our miles are halved). Please check out http://milesforbrian.com for the very latest. And keep the miles coming! MikeB
MikeB's picture

ARG! My apologies........

Skaters, My apologies for being delinquent in asking for your mileage update. Our Week #10 ended 09/05/09. And some skaters have weighed in with their #11, #12, #13, etc. miles. Please post your weekly miles all the way to 10/10/09. I'll compile and send to Vivian and play catch up. Thanks! 11 9/12/09 12 9/19/09 13 9/26/09 14 10/03/09 15 10/10/09 thanks again.
roadskater's picture

Roadskater's Mileage Catchup Through Week 15

week mileage 11 102.25 12 59.01 13 61.81 14 67.63 15 5.89 16 89.64 so far, sunday 10/11/09
MikeB's picture

Whew!! miles caught up to Week 16 ending 10/17/09

Well it's been long overdue, but the latest miles have been tabulated and sent to Vivian. We had to play catch up from way back to Week #11 through Week #16 ending 10/17/09. Thanks to TTT and A2A some big #s trickled in. Folks we did well, adding 1867 total skate miles (933.5 for Vivian's cause - remember our miles are halved). This means that so far we've accumulated 5,133 miles (2,567 for Brian). Nice.....very nice. With any given week only 6 or 7 skaters reporting miles this is all the more impressive. Thanks everybody.
roadskater's picture

119 miles, 102 in one day

While my Forerunner 305 gave out on me and suffered amnesia, I am thankful to have photos and witnesses with data. I added a 102-mile entry to my Garmin Trainin Center manually, and I'm not happy about not having my own data, but glad to have others'. My Forerunner's battery was not as robust as usual so I must have left it off the cradle more than usual in the week before, or it's starting to fail. About mile 60 I noticed it wasn't reading my strap. Then I realized the buttons were not working. After a reset, only half the screen would display. I handed it to Val at the rest stop so I wouldn't be distracted by it further. My camera was out from mile 33 to 79, so I was facing post techno depression and thinking this was going to be an expensive charity event to attend for me personally. We'll see how long the battery lasts as we go forward...the next time I need it for over 6 hours, ha! The Sony DSC-W120 is doing well now it seems, after some drying out time. Next time I'll need to make a ziplock case or cover for the switches and such if it's supposed to rain that much! Should be easy enough to improve the water resistance. Still it had water in the lens too! What a day!
MikeB's picture

Week #17 saw 456 Miles, got any for Week #18 ending 10/31/09?

Thanks to some herculean efforts by a select few, the 2nd Annual Carolina Century enabled us to report 456 more miles to the cause. This brings our total miles to 5,589! Give it up for yourselves....we're knocking on 6,000!! Week #18 ended 10/31/09 so I'm looking to log/report those miles soon. As the temps drop the miles will too but we can get to 6,000+.
MikeB's picture

Last major push for miles before project ends!

Happy Thanksgiving skaters. With any luck you've completely over indulged and are looking for ways to burn some calories. Skating would be a tremendous way to do just that. As so many of you are, Vivian has been dutifully logging miles for her son Brian and all his buds overseas. If memory serves me correctly, the project will be ending approximately December 10th, when Brian is to come back home. The Roadskater.net family has been tremendous in reporting and logging almost 6,000 miles. We're oh so close, with only a couple weeks left. Let's finish strong and hit that 6K mark. Every mile counts going down the home stretch. As this project wraps up, I hope to have an ending report done for y'all by Christmas. Thanks for your help and your wonderful support + as always: skate strong, skate safe.
roadskater's picture

Skaterfornia Dreamin' on Not a Winter's Day

Hi Y'all! Post Carolina Century I took it easy, and I think I may've missed credit for a session or two, but they'd be light ones. (I left the Forerunner off the cradle some and it had not sizzle.) 11/1-11/7 = 3.30 miles 11/8-11/14 = 12.98 miles 11/15-11/21 = 67.51 miles (25 for Today We Ride for Dave; 38 on Silver Comet Trail with eebee) 11/22-11/29 = 0.00! So I celebrated by eating badly. So, that's 83.79 miles for November (less than each of two particular days in October!) Arrgh Skateylove, Roadskater
MikeB's picture

THIS IS IT - The Brian Bales project ends 12/31/2009

Hi All, It's with mixed emotions to inform you this project ends in 10 days. The www.roadskater.net community has truly been outstanding in this effort. Thank you. I rec'd the following note from Brian's mom, Vivian, just the other day: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Greetings family, friends and fellow runners, After many, many days of travel, and about 15 hours of flight, Brian's plane has landed in the United States! He is safely home from Iraq! The longest year of my life is over, and I can finally breathe again. He'll be home in a few days, to be with us for Christmas! When I started this journey, my goal was to run 6,436 miles - the distance from my home to where Brian was stationed in Iraq. I knew it was a lofty goal, and I'd have to work hard to acheive it. I never imagined, in all my dreams, that people like you would bond together to help me - a person you didn't even know. With all of your support, we reached 179,982 miles!!! Yep, you read it right, one hundred seventy nine thousand nine hundred and eighty two miles! We've had 45 states and 6 other countries running with us to 'bring Brian home' - and we did it! We've had individual runners/walkers/bikers/skaters on our team as well as daycares, elementary school classes, high school track teams, and large corporations that have helped. It's people like you that make this country strong and proud! You've helped this mother stay connected to, and feel closer to her son so very far away. I wanted to thank all of you for the overwhelming support that you've given to Brian and I over the long year of his deployment. I don't know how I would've made it through on my own. The donated miles, the birthday cards, the gifts, the emails, the thoughts and prayers that you've sent warmed my heart and gave me hope through the darkest of days. There are so many of you that have given your time and deligently reported your miles every week to help keep me focused on the end result. You kept my mind from thinking about the many horrors of war, and the danger that he was in every day. You kept my mind clearer, and my heart stronger. And for this, I cannot express enough my thanks. We'll continue to accept miles, but keep an eye on our website, www.milesforbrian.com for updates. Thank you for your continued support of our soldiers overseas! With God's help, they'll all come home soon. ~signed, the happiest mother on the earth right now, Vivian - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Hey, how cool is that?! So, please report December miles when you have a chance (either here or to my email). We've logged 6,115 miles through November and it would be so awesome to close in on 6,436 which was Vivian's original goal in running to Iraq. Skate strong, skate safe, and many thanks!
MikeB's picture

6,219 miles! + a final note from Vivian

Hi Skaters,  Thanks to you we were able to break 6,200 miles!  Vivian just sent a wonderful note and would like our pictures for a scrapbook of this experience/journey.  Please send a pic to me and I'll forward to her.  Check out her note ---- it's awesome:

Thanks Michael! Your team has been so incredibly supportive of our efforts, and for that, I'm forever thankful. Your team was one of our largest donators, and the dedication that you all have shown is commendable. A huge thank you to you for organizing and tracking everyone, and please thank everyone on the team for their time, their efforts, and their dedication to our journey and to our soldiers overseas.

I'm putting together a scrap book for Brian so that we can remember all the wonderful people like yourselves that have been so diligent about putting in miles for us during his deployment, so if you get time, I'd love to have a picture of you and the team to put in the book.

It's people like yourselves that truely make this country great. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping bridge the distance between Brian and I, and making this mom feel closer to her son.

Thank you!
~Vivian

Team Roadskater.net had so many faithful participants who did a fantastic job.  There are some though, that were just incredible and should be recognized:

"Skart" 1568 miles
"Roadskater" 1073 miles
"eebee" 1058 miles
"JohnnyC" 520 miles (469 of which were in 1 week while skating across Iowa!) 

Folks, we made a bigger difference to a larger group of people than we could ever imagine.  Thank you!

MikeB
roadskater's picture

MikeB You Get All the Kudos We Get for This One

I just want to reiterate that MikeB is entirely responsible for the success of our part in this project. He had the vision, mentioned the idea, then powered the entire database, emails, encouragements and enthusiasm for all of us who skated. We hope it helped Vivian and Brian and others, and we KNOW it helped us get out and skate...and keep track of it and REMEMBER it. No matter how rapidly or slowly, we logged some significant miles from July 1 to the end of the season. Thanks, MikeB, for your spark on behalf of the project and the Roadskater.net team. And thanks to all who skated under our banner with us for this project.

MikeB's picture

The pleasure was all mine Cap'n

Thanks for the thanks.  It sure was a rewarding on many levels.

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