Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Amazing Ride is Shifting Gears! FOLLOW ME!

The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's is shifting gears! As of May 15 this blog will retire. The good news is that you can still follow along with me this year by clicking HERE or to the "ride specific" page HERE - my new location on the Washington County Insider!

Judy Steffes (L) with Audrey Steffes (R)
This year, from June 29 through July 20 The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's will be touring from Wisconsin and through Upper and Lower Michigan (always with a few added and unexpected twists and turns).  I'll be riding along with my niece, Audrey Steffes.  Audrey, 15, is an Olympic hopeful who will be tagging along on this year's tour. Watch her interview HERE in an Olympic preview piece about the Wisconsin Speed Skating Club on TMJ4.

The purpose of this fundraiser for 2018 is to purchase a "Cycling Without Age" rickshaw bicycle (photo below) for senior residents at the Samaritan Health Center in West Bend, Wisconsin, courtesy Bike Friendly West Bend. 100% of your donation will be applied toward the purchase of the bike.

Learn more about how to donate HERE.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wrapping up the Netherlands Tour

A crazy way to end the Netherlands tour.

 Lost luggage from Atlanta to Milwaukee.

I could only assume that's what it was as I waited through two shifts at baggage claim. My bicycle arrived; secure in a big cardboard box. There were normally stares - like a crazy lady had shipped her piano overseas and was dragging it through the airport.

As the empty baggage claim turnstyle clunked and whirred along a raggedy man and I stood; mesmerized and waiting.

He was dressed in black. A flare of pins on his worn leather jacket. A guitar slung over his shoulder.

"Looks like they got to ours last," I said striking up conversation about our luggage woes.

He glanced at me through his sunglasses. "I just landed," he said with somewhat of a British accent.

We bantered, dryly, about travel and Milwaukee.

Pretty soon his luggage arrived. He won the bet. I said I was documenting my journey and could I get his name. "Just call me Elvis."

I gave a polite laugh...

Then he started walking towards a chauffeur-looking guy holding a that read 'Costello.'

Things started adding up: guitar, flare, British accent.

My journey to the Netherlands ended waiting at baggage claim with none other rocker than Elvis Costello.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Royal Palace: Fit for a King

July 14, 2017 - Amsterdam -Toured the Royal Palace in Amsterdam and it's a building fit for a king with rich marble, brass and ivory and artwork that salutes Roman gods and goddesses, built in the 17th Century as the Town Hall of Amsterdam.

Aside from the spectacular artwork, the details about the Palace were rather fascinating.  

The Palace used to be the Town Hall and it dates to the 16th Century.

It was often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World because 13,659 wooden poles were driven into the soft ground to carry the weight of the building. 

In 1808 the town hall was turned into a palace for King Louis Bonaparte. 

Six chandeliers hang from the ceiling.  The blue ball with stars refers to the globe of Atlas. Curved hooks on the end once held large oil lamps. 

There were no paintings in the corners above Mars and Venus. The docent said it was because Rembrandt did paint two murals and the four mayors did not like them.

One painting was a hero with one eye and they didn't care for that so they took it down. The other painting was too dark and also removed.

Contracting for another painting did not happen because all the money for the Palace was spent on marble. 

Riding today in tribute to Cliff and Ann Hale

July 14, 2017 - Today I'm riding in tribute to:

As I wrap up this year's Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's, I'd like to thank all of those that contributed to the ride in honor of a loved one. 

Your memorials motivate me on the road and I'm honored by your support for both the ride as well as memory care programs at Cedar Community.