Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Will Get Your Goat...

There is a lot of irony in this picture... it was sent this week to Lynnda from a friend in Colorado Springs, just to let Lynnda look at it. I noticed that it was near where I would be riding in just two weeks, so I sent it to my riding team and to the folks who are organizing the ride... they sent it back to me with a note that indicated that the team I am riding on, will have this section of Wyoming to ride through on Day 4, in fact, we would ride directly over this dam! Cool, eh?

For those who aren't familiar with the view - it's the downstream face of the dam and those dots are bighorns WALKING ACROSS IT. They're licking the surface - salt, maybe?

The Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshoni River at Cody, Wyoming.... []



Monday, September 27, 2010

The Rules are the Rules... Eh?

I have been looking over the years for a way to explain why we should often times listen to employees, medical patients, children and so on, when they say "ya but!". Lynnda sourced this one, and I think it demonstrates the reason very well...

The Good news: It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, KS when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the trek to Salina.

The Bad news: Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.

The Good news: A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with "The Rules".

The Bad news: The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain this to higher-ups but were instructed not to move the train. They were instructed that “The Rules” prohibit moving the train when a part is defective!


RULES ARE RULES! Don't ever let them get in the way of common sense!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

'the ride' is all about CANCER

I put this email out yesterday... I feel so strongly about maximizing this opportunity to raise funds for cancer care and research...

Hi there... I hope this finds you well, and enjoying the first few days of fall. We have gotten a break in the really hot weather and it
is letting me get some good miles of riding in practice for the trip from Vancouver to Austin, Texas. I am getting excited about the start, but I have some unfinished business with the fund-raising part of 'the ride'.

For most of the past six weeks I have been leading the way in fund-raising. As I have written, I had gotten quite sure of myself, thinking we would be the number one... and that would allow me to donate the First Prize (a ride with Lance Armstrong and Pics and so on) to a young man with cancer. Well, now I am #3!!

While that is sinking in, I want to assure you I appreciate every penny that has been donated. This week for example, I sent a thank you to Jean Sloan who had raised $625 for 'the ride' in August... because she had gone out and raised another $430 in September. There have been several friends put in a second donation and I have also sent out those thank you(s). If you have donated to 'the ride', thank you again... I appreciate everything you have done for the four foundations, through your donations.

In reality, here is what this note is about... 'the ride' is all about CANCER, not whether I win a prize or even finish the ride. One in three of us will get it... all of us will know and or love someone who will die from it. These foundations help the folks who get it, and they direct research to try and end it. If you are considering a donation to cancer, I am asking you to consider putting it through one of the two sites that are supporting the give to live effort. You can click on that link to visit our ride. To donate, simply click appropriately on one of these sites...

For Canadians...

For Americans...

Yes, you do get tax receipts. Unfortunately the shirts with honorary names are have been designed and ordered. But I assure you, the satisfaction of giving to these foundations that the ride is supporting, it worth the effort.

The other reason for writing is that we will be headed out in just two weeks... and if you want to see pics from the ride, daily, just check out my blog... I will try to put pics from the route and ample descriptions. You can vicariously come on 'the ride' with me... Yellowstone is around day four, Moab later in the ride... and mountains or desert all the time and everywhere.

We need your help, financial and morale help... so if you are donating to other great benefits this year, send your best wishes and prayers... it will be most appreciated...

Thank you... BRuce

Bruce E. A. Ross

Cell: 608 630 6900
Home Office: 905 468 0053

Skype: bruce.e.a.ross


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ovarian Cancer... Pass on this note to Friends...

This is a copy of an email I recently sent to my mailing lists... it is an important bit of information...

I am going to copy in a link that should make us all excited... a group of researchers in Vancouver, BC have made a huge link

between Ovarian Cancer and Fallopian Tubes not being removed during a hysterectomy or tubal ligation. It turns out that

50%, yes 50% of Ovarian Cancer can be totally avoided if the fallopian tubes are removed during these procedures! Ovarian

Cancer has a 'five year survival rate of less than 35%...

Now, how did that discovery happen... it happened because a group of physicians doing research were granted the dollars

to do the work, base research, data analysis and so on to make the discovery that is announced here in this clip

OK, we have established that, what do we do with it... first, remember that physicians have a lot on their minds, and reading

research papers and implementing them, and making something a new standard of care is not necessarily what happens. We

have to be our own advocates, and make certain that our family, friends and friends of friends know of this discovery. Don't

risk not asking a physician if they are aware of the research and will they be doing the proper procedure in the next surgery?

Second, please remember that 'the ride' is raising money for research and patient care through the Ovarian Cancer Society,

along with Pancreatic Cancer Society, The Canadian Cancer Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation... you can help make

a difference by donating to those groups through either of the two websites below... We thank those who have already donated

(my ride campaign has already totaled over $16,000 raised) and I would not normally copy you here, except that this Ovarian

Cancer discovery just happened... and is not getting air-time in the USA.

American Donations can be accepted at

Canadian Donations can be accepted at

Anyone who would like to follow my progress as I train for this ride which will start in Vancouver, BC on the 10th of October. We

travel through the Rockey Mountains for 2,700 miles ( I will be riding an average of about 120 km per day and the team will cover

around 400 in the relay style we will use... that's 75 miles for me and 250 for the team) ending in Austin, Texas. There are 42 of

us now riding from Vancouver, but there are over 5,000 riding from all over the USA to arrive on the 24th of October.

You can follow my blog at I will post daily while on 'the ride' with pictures and video of such places

as we ride through Yellowstone, past the Grand Canyon, through Moab, Utah, and so on. Come along for "the ride" through my

updates and pictures... have fun, knowing that my 'hardass' reputation is getting a reality check!

Please consider a donation... the highest fundraiser gets to ride with Lance Armstrong and have pictures taken with him...

I have already donated this prize to a young person with Cancer, I would really like to tip the scales at $20,000; with your help,

we can make it happen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Century Post Cancer...

While I am training for 'the ride' I also get to cross the Welland Canal that goes from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. These "lakers" as the ships are known, are up-to 713 feet long... the 'bridge" or control room is at the bow and the living quarters for the crews and passengers are aft... yes, many of the lakers take passengers and the food/accommodation it great. Lynnda's brother, Walter, was first mate on several lakers, some quite famous like the Wheat King. These are the boats that are just like the Edmond Fitzgerald.

This laker is the "Montrealais"... it is headed into this Lock 2 on its way from the lower Lake Ontario to Erie... the spill gates will open, and the ship will raise to the new level...

This next pic is of the QEW highway that runs from Buffalo to Toronto, around Lake Ontario... it is here going over the Welland Canal... I will try to time a ride correctly that will show a boat coming through on the level, and towering above the cars that run along-side on service roads.

Yesterday's Century Ride for Cancer and the new Walker Cancer Center at the St. Catharines Hospital was great. We had rain threatening all the ride, but it never arrived. 433 riders raised >$200,000 for cancer treatment and care at the Walker Center... I felt good being a part of it and met many riders. The new bike was great to ride. Got many oogles from people since it is new and a Madone 5. It was a dream to ride, and I carried 28km for the average. Some great riders helped me along... pulling... but next year I intend to pull them!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Long Week... made longer...

Well, I mentioned in a past blog that I had bought a Trek Madone 5.2... I went to pick it up yesterday, with a lot of excitement. I have never ridden such a high tech bike, and my expectations were high... I got to BikeFit, the St. Catharines dealer for Trek in the area... these guys really know what they are doing!
They had sized me the day before, and they had my old Giant Cadex to help with the set-up. I arrived with my 20+ year old riding shoes by Look... since I have already invested untold amounts, I decided to use my old set up for shoe and peddles... and have my Shimano gear shipped to me from Madison next week. The first time in my life I did a rational thing with personal money! Ha!

Well, John and Rick, the owners started my though the final set-up... me on the bike on a dynamo trainer... measuring the angles of my knee and ankles during stages of the stroke... seat heights were adjusted and so on... then what happened... as I dismounted the front wheel un-ceremoniously slipped out, and I fell down and went bang! Holy Jehoshaphat... I thought I had wrecked the bike, John about pooped, and I felt like the old guy that had fallen and couldn't get up!!! Either that, or Arte Johnson's image of toppling off the tricycle on Rowan and Martin's Laugh In... what a mess! Well the bike survived, so now I don't have to "break-it-in" any more.

While I was at Bike Fit, I learned that a good friend and human being with a wife and three boys was killed in a farming accident in Pennsylvania... Ric Porter worked with us at Spectranetics. He was a fine Service Engineer, and was capable of standing in on complex Heart Cath and Lead Removal cases. He was a great guy... always smiling, rarely looking sideways... he got things done... customers loved him, our team loved him... his family loved him... all will miss him. It is a hard way to end a week... his funeral was Thursday... but he will be remembered for ever
In Loving Memory
Richard "Ric" D. Porter
2/20/1958 - 9/5/2010
A Great Friend who accomplished Greatly

Well, life goes on... I did have my shake-down cruise on the Madone... It went well, It is fast. I did about 25km getting ready for a Century ride tomorrow in support of the new Cancer Center at the new St. Catharines Hospital. The ride is called the Big Move... should be a blast... but it likely will rain, so it will be a wet blast... don't have to pack as much water!

We watched the "Stand Up To Cancer" program last night.. .it got me into the mood for the ride tomorrow... I will be riding with Ric on my mind... but also this... have a look at the logo that the kind folks at 1st Impressions did for the front of my mock turtle neck shirts that are being given to those that donated more than $200 to 'the ride'. This artwork was approved this morning... if you want one, you can either ride or donate $200 to the foundation... Canadian Cancer Society, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Canada or Craig's Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

The bicycle will be on the back with many names and the big logo will be on the front.... Kinda Cool...

Friday, September 10, 2010

More on the Training Rides....

Also, I want today to follow-up on an earlier posting about the area that I am doing my training rides... here near the Niagara River...

As I head south along the road that Winston Churchill once called the most beautiful in the world, I pass over the huge power generating station on the Canadian side of the river... and can look over at the American stations... an amazing thrill to see all of this renewable energy coming from the river... I keep heading south toward Niagara Falls. It is about 25km from the house to where I took these two pics... one below that I noted in my earlier post, with the old Cadex 980C and the one above of the Horseshoe Falls which is often referred to as the Canadian Falls.

It is a stunning sight each time I come to them... the roar is the first thing I notice, especially early in the morning... then the fact that although it is sunning out... I am getting wet! While I am already well into a sweat, it is the cooling mist that is getting me wet... and later in the day if I ride there, it is the rainbows that I notice the most... adding to the beauty.

You have to come and see the falls, whether you have seen them before or not... they have been preserved, and while as you can see in the upper photo, there are serious edifices to our material needs in the area... Parks Canada has done a spectacular job of landscaping the area... and lighting the falls. Yes, there are a few clip joints around... but the Asian and Europeans that come to view them wouldn't have anything to take home to augment the millions of pictures they take without the hats and trinkets...

More on the ride later... I will be doing a 100km ride this weekend in support of the new Cancer Center being built as an integral part of the new St. Catharines hospital. It is called the "big move" ride... I will be with some riding friends for four hours... riding among the country roads that support the vineyards in the area... more beauty... will take some pics...

New Bike Born Today...

Last night I entered the realm of the bicycle riders that have more invested in their bikes than their cars! Here in this picture of the American Niagara Falls, you can see my historical ride that I bought in Atlanta many years ago... more about the falls later... here is also the bike!

It is a Trek Madone 5.2. It is replacing my 1990 ride, the Giant Carbon Cadex 980C upon which I have many, many thousands of great miles. It was a fourteen gear ride that caused me to really learn how to climb hills with little help from the gears. The guys at Bike-Fit in St. Catharines told me that I have missed a couple of generations of bikes, even though I had upgraded the Cadex a couple of times. When I tried upgrading for 'the ride' they said... it is done! Even the carbon fiber is getting shook! A writer from the bike section of the St. Catharine's Newspaper tried to buy it from me during a training ride last month... he hadn't seen one in years, and it was a collectors item!

So, having rationalized the next investment in my life by committing that I wouldn't be replacing my 1998 Jeep Wrangler any time soon... it is the new Bike that will make it to Austin, TX. The name Madone came from Lance Armstrong, who rides Trek bikes... Madone is a road in the South of France near the Italian border that he used as a test for his conditioning during the years he was winning the Tour de France. Since it was Armstrong's book... "Its Not About the Bike" that had a lot to do with winning my intellectual (if not physical) war with cancer, and since I am using 'the ride' to Austin as my personal test... I chose the Madone all carbon bike. It is also the only competitive bike completely made in North America by Trek... the Madone 4.5 and 4.7 are actually made in Korea... not for me... my politics and economics are coming through, eh!

It will be a great ride.


My photo

Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!