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March 31, 2015

To Beat MS Donate to a TEAM IDENTIFI rider

(Links to riders fund-raising page are linked to their names directly below)

Alan Wiessner Ali Wiessner | Court Corbino | Duane Desouza | Elliott Lightman | Jennifer Nettles | Dan Reese | Todd Reese | Kay Wetzel | Caitlin Wiessner | Dan Wiessner | Mark Wiessner | Stacy Wiessner |


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Team iDentifi Continues to Roll On in the Battle to Beat MS in this Year’s bikeMS 2014

April 19, 2014

While the team only sported 13 riders this year, we kept with the tradition of our ongoing excellence in raising awareness for MS by raising nearly $20,000 in donations, an average of nearly $1,500 per rider.

We’re not done yet!  You can still choose a rider to donate to (select link to riders names on roster lower right) on the Team iDentifi bikeMS page.

What struck me most was the returning loyalty and generosity of our riders, family and friends.  Year after year they reach deep into their hearts and their pocket books to help Team iDentifi raise funds to beat MS and to participate in the annual bikeMS fundraising event.

Below the photo gallery is our progress report for you.  Thank you for your continued support!

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Tem iDentifi Progress Report

Tem iDentifi Progress Report


Florida Keys Bike Ride

February 8, 2014

L1210035Florida Keys Bike Ride  – Brother Al and I rode our bikes down the Overseas Heritage Trail from just south of Key Largo (MM 103.5) to Zero Duval Street (MM 0) in January. We decided to try this in two rides.

The first day (January 15th) was from a Marriott in Key Largo just north of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to Duck Key (north of Marathon) where we stayed at the Hawk’s Cay Resort. We ended the ride at Ocean Key Resort at Zero Duval Street in Key West on the 18th.

The Overseas Heritage Trail is still a work in progress. The state of Florida conceptualized the trail in 1997 as a means for bicyclists to avoid (or at least reduce) exposure to the heavy traffic on Highway 1; the only highway from mainland Florida to Key West.

The original connection between all of the “Keys” or Cays (Spanish for island) was first made by the Florida East Coast Railway headed by industrial magnate Henry Flagler. Once the railroad route was connected all the way in 1912, it was dubbed by some as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and by others as “Flagler’s Folly”. In fact, Flagler died soon after the last connection was made to Key West and the railroad was bankrupt by 1935 when a massive hurricane destroyed 40 miles of the track sinking it for good.

There are still 23 historic bridges left and a good deal of the fun we had on the rides was riding over some and marveling at others.  Our first day of riding was unseasonably cool and quite windy.   About 60 degrees to start, it seemed cooler than that due to the gusty NNW wind coming off the Gulf of Mexico. To some degree, we had a tailwind and sailed along pretty quickly after we started around 11AM. Unfortunately, the southern end of Key Largo fades into The Town of Tavernier and then to Islamorada. All three of these areas are pretty touristy with enough land on both sides of the road to prevent a water view for most of the way. The trail also jumps back and forth across the road so you have to be very vigilant.

We ended up riding on the shoulder of the highway which wasn’t too narrow in most places but the traffic is heavy with a good deal of truck traffic. Where the separate bike trail exists, it is narrow enough for two way traffic to be dicey. Also, it was constructed long enough ago that tree roots have pushed up the asphalt so it is difficult to carry any speed in those sections on a road bike. Most of the time it is on the northbound side but not always! The shoulder riding was a bit nerve racking in the more urban areas as multiple businesses connect directly to the road you are on. So you have to be extra careful to watch for vehicles turning off the road right in front of you.

The views get better after Islamorada. We happened upon a brand new section of the trail (about a month old) when we stopped to get drinks at a little bakery/café. This new section was not marked well (one small sign with no more than an arrow) and we missed quite a long section of it. Also, you do ride on a couple of fairly long bridges between miles marker 74 and about 70. One is 3 miles long and the other 5. This was really the riding we had been looking for.  The state has added a nice layer of concrete to the old railway bridges with new railings. There are lots of people fishing on these bridges but we found them to be very courteous. The wind was still gusting though and we got blown around pretty good on the open sections. We concluded our first day at a bit more than 43 miles. I later found out that I had picked up a nail on that last stretch but made it to Hawk’s Cay without having a flat. Whew!

Ride details:

The highlight of our townhome location was a big old iguana sunning on the beach. We knocked around the Duck’s Key area and had two excellent meals at the aptly named Hideaway Grill (above the office in a trailer park) and the equally eclectic Grassy Key Outpost. This latter place is quite new and is easy to find since it is right on the highway. The unusual part is that the tables are in a grocery store. They didn’t take reservations but we were able to get in OK. It features excellent food and service in a very casual setting. You can even buy beverages in the store with your dinner but they have better quality options on the menu as well.

We left a bit earlier the next day as the wind had moderated a bit. We also had further to go (it turned out to be 62 miles). The temps climbed into the mid 60’s. We had sunny days for the entire trip, by the way.

As we made our way through Marathon, one of the biggest towns along the way, we came across a big traffic jam. When you only have one road, any traffic problems become big traffic problems! Well, the night before we left, a bar/restaurant just before the Seven Mile Bridge at the southern end of Marathon had burned to the ground. We passed most of the traffic on the shoulder but had to maneuver around the police and fire vehicles parked along the shoulder.

The Seven Mile Bridge is both an intriguing and a frustrating part of the trail. As you get to either end of the old railroad bridge there are parking areas and lots of folks going for a stroll, bike ride or just taking pictures. All the attention is on the old bridge with its rusty steel railings. The new bridge is right next to it, higher and carrying all the car and truck traffic.  Of course, it is not all that scenic, although the water on both sides is a gorgeous color of mixed blues and greens (depending on the depth). Fortunately, Al had done some research on the trail the night before and we discovered that the old bridge had gaps in it. We were very disappointed when we realized that we had to ride seven miles over the new bridge with the traffic whizzing by a 65 mph…. No choice, though.

So we stopped and enjoyed the old bridge for awhile, back tracked and hit the new shoulder on the new bridge. While not too steep, it does get your heart pumping a bit, partially from exertion, partly because of the fear of trucks and motor homes zinging past your left shoulder at high speed. The shoulder is about three feet wide but there is the typical amount of debris so take care! It was interesting to look over and see the old bridge with the bikers and joggers. There’s even a small island with its only access provided by the old bridge. It had some commercial establishments on it so it might be fun to ride to it. However, you’d have to back track several miles and then do what we did; ride all seven miles on the new bridge.

After the small island, you see two gaps in the old bridge. This left one small section inaccessible to all but the pelicans and other sea birds. Pretty soon you will see the southern section of the old bridge with its own set of fishermen, joggers and bikers. If they could possibly improve the entire seven miles like the other upgraded old bridges, it would be the highlight of the trail. Unfortunately, a sign on the northern end reports that the supports are deteriorating. They might even have to close it to foot and bike traffic eventually.

We took another break at the south end and chatted with a group of guys who were doing the ride in smaller pieces than we were but it fun to compare notes.

We didn’t have time to stop but Bahia Honda State Park (MM 35) looks like it would be fun. There’s a section of old railway bridge left that apparently connected the island to the main railway route for construction and supply purposes.

We hit another traffic jam further down. Expecting to see another accident or other casualty, we passed dozens of vehicles on the right shoulder. Surprise; it was a flea market! This was Pine Key where you bend a bit northwest. It is a larger island so you lose your water views for awhile but not for long. This southern section of the ride was, far and away, my favorite part. You see less commercial/tourist attraction stuff and much more of the natural settings. Lots of awesome water views.

There are many bridges in this section. You have to be vigilant once again because the trail is much more of a work in progress here. The trail goes over some of the bridges but not all.  They’ve also used more asphalt on these newer sections of trail so the tree roots and two-way traffic won’t be as much of a problem as it is on the northern end.keys map

As you might expect, traffic picks up both on the road and on the trail as you approach Key West. Our hotel was at the very southern end of Duval Street so our plan was to skirt the center of Key West by following the perimeter road around on the Gulf side. The Atlantic side has the airport but also a nice beach park (Higgs) if you go that way. Our route was really just a broad section of city sidewalk and unfortunately it was also under construction most of the way. We literally had to climb over barriers and lift the bikes over behind us a one point. In the completed sections, we had to dodge all sorts of walkers (some with open beverages), bikers, skaters, etc. Very busy place!

As we got into the older section, the street became very narrow and car traffic became very sparse. Bikers, scooters and walkers pretty much rule the roads in these areas. We easily passed several vehicles due to that advantage. So our finale was much more fun than day one’s ride.

Ride Details:

Key West is quite the experience. We had the best weather of the trip; t-shirt and shorts weather with sunny skies and pleasant breezes. Duval Street is a great place to stroll and “people watch”; you will see all kinds of folks. We had dinner at Hog’s Breath followed by a visit to Sloppy Joe’s; reportedly Hemingway’s favorite watering hole. On our full day, there, we took a glass bottom boat out the coral reef a few miles south. That was fun as was the marine life and plants on the reef. The sheer variety of watercraft you see ranges from giant cruise ships to jet skies and kayaks. Sailboats are all over; we also saw a few races. The USS Cole was docked there; this is the destroyer attacked by terrorists in Yemen 13 years ago. The sailors on board looked eager to get shore liberty.

Our hotel was right on Mallory Square where folks gather to see the sunset. The first night was a bit disappointing as we had a cloud bank on the distant southern horizon. The second one matched our expectations; with clear skies, vibrant colors and dozens of watercraft moving about. Key West also has quite few colorful wild roosters. Fun to see but they like to crow at all times of the day and night…

Key West seems like another world when you realize that the polar vortex is freezing Chicago in between snowstorms. So my question is “Why did we leave?”

By Daniel Wiessner

Courtney Campbell Trail Ride

November 30, 2013

20131129_115959I had been interested in riding the Courtney Campbell Trail for months and I finally made it on a lazy Friday after Thanksgiving.  I parked in the Ben T. Davis parking lot, which was a mistake, because there is a fee for parking.  There is plenty of free parking by the new bridge and elsewhere as I discovered during my ride.

My thinking was to ride my hybrid due to the nature of the ride.  I figured 1) it would be a short ride, less than 10 miles and 2) there would be debris on the Pinellas County trail, if there was even a semblance of a trail there.

Although I started the ride heading west, towards the new bridge, I was later surprised to find the trail went further east than I had anticipated.

I was right about the debris on the Pinellas portion of the trail, but I was wrong about the trail itself.  While the Pinellas side wasn’t maintained, I was able to ride west to within a couple of miles of Bayshore Blvd., before it ended, at least for a short distance at a smaller bridge span.

I contacted Senator Latvala’s office to find out where Pinellas County had plans to update the Pinellas side in similar fashion to the Hillsborough side.  They, in turn, contacted the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 7 office, who reported they expect the Pinellas side to be completed by Fall 2015.  The projected cost is nearly $11M.

Upon further investigation, I could have walked my bike less than 50 feet up to the highway (pictured in gallery below), either walked or rode on a wide shoulder to the west side of the bridge span and continued on for maybe 1-2 miles to the Courtney Campbell Beach.

From there, I could have crossed the highway, rode sidewalks and side roads to the East-West Trail  then west to the Long Center on Belcher Road or north to Safety Harbor.

Instead I turned back heading east, back over the new bridge, past Ben T. Davis Beach.  If I was hungry there were several restaurants, including Hulk Hogan’s, Whiskey Joes, the Chart House, and Oyster Catchers in the Hyatt.

Past the Hyatt the trail followed the freeway east past the airport and some low flying jets, all the way to Cypress Street.  The trail appeared to end there, but by riding through Cypress Office Park, I was surprised to find Cypress Beach Park with a nice picnic area, bathrooms and a sprawling beach.

All told RT,  I was able to squeak out 20 miles.  I may try starting out from SH next time and add another 15-16 miles to the ride RT.  It would still be more conducive to ride the hybrid, considering the route, debris, etc. but it would make for 2 1/2 – 3 hr. ride not counting a beer and grouper sandwich at Hogans.  Here’s a link to my Garmin:

Crater Lake Loop Ride

November 29, 2013

20130816_133944-PANO The Crater Lake Loop is a spectacularly scenic and at the same time challenging ride.  One I have had the good fortune to experience this past August, 2013.  The best part of the 33 mi. ride with 4,000 feet of climbing, in altitudes from over 6,000 to 7,000 ft. for me were the plentiful vistas.  For Dan, the ride had to be almost 40 miles and 5,500 of climbing, as he had to double back looking for his errant brother, who made the wrong turn!

This afforded me numerous and necessary breathers, as I did my best to follow big brother Dan, fresh off a week of riding in the mountainous Colorado Rockies.

The visit to Crater Lake had taken on a very personal endeavor as Dan and I were tracing the footsteps of our Dad, who at age 18, had been stationed in Klamath Falls as a Marine during WWII. We had B&W photos of Dad and some of his Marine Corp. buddies on a side trip to Crater Lake.  By contrast we had some great pictures of our own as we made tracks of our own around Crater Lake.  Enjoy the vistas.

bikeMS 2013 Team iDentifi raises over $21,000

May 25, 2013

By Dan Wiessner

Another successful MS 150 ride to raise money to fight MS. This was our eighth year as Team iDentifi and it is all due to your generous support. After quite some time of beautiful spring weather, at least according to the locals, we northerners apparently brought cooler and potentially rainy weather down with us.

The weekend was supposed to be a washout with 70% rain forecasted but we dodged the drops and really had very little to deal with other than some wet roads. Actually the cooler weather turned out to make the ride easier for those of us not used to the Florida heat.

We had a couple of “walking wounded” riders drop out for last minute medical reasons but our team of 18 has raised over $21,000 so far this year. You, as a group, contributed $1,450 under just my name this year! Many, many thanks!

The Central Florida Chapter raised almost $667,000 so far although the number of riders was down this year. We couldn’t do any of this without the consistent and magnanimous support from all of you….

Here are a few pictures of the weekend activities. We rode 50 miles on Saturday partially because of the weather forecast (and a stiff headwind all the way) and partially in deference to the lack of training with this cold rainy weather this year. Sunday’s ride was much more fun since the wind maintained its direction making it a tailwind almost all the way.

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Team IDENTIFI Charts a Course of Progress into 2013

April 5, 2013

Team IDENTIFI DONATIONS OVER THE YEARS bikeMSTeam IDENTIFI  Charts a Course of Progress into 2013

We should be very proud of our accomplishments over the years.

Not only have we grown as a team, we have grown as a family, developed long-term friendships, shared many great memories, endured the challenges of the roads, the winds and the rain.

We’re down right awesome!

And we have the numbers to prove it as we just tipped the scale at over $150,000!


Just a reminder, we’re not done yet!

If you want to donate, follow the link below, select a rider on the Team Page and donate to them!

Link to —->Team IDENTIFI bikeMS 

There was no Lance…

January 19, 2013

Washington ParkI’m no Lance.  You’re no Lance.  There was no Lance.

Since early childhood I have lived by the creed, before you judge someone else, “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.”  I am a cyclist, albeit, a sorry ass one at best.  Sadly I will never be compared to the elite cyclists one speaks of, in the same breath, with Lance Armstrong.

I am and will remain a huge supporter of Livestrong.  The work Livestrong does for cancer victims is excellent and incontrovertible. The organization and the people behind it, sans Armstrong, are absolutely amazing.

Even before Lance’s true confession, I had tried to put myself in Lance’s shoes.  First and foremost, it becomes extremely difficult, unless you have been diagnosed, been treated and lived with a life threatening cancer.

There are many of Lance’s detractors who have never had cancer, let alone been on a bike seat, or experienced the extreme sport of competitive cycling or can even begin to appreciate his inimitable brilliance and determination.

Still there will be many of Lance’s detractors who have been diagnosed with cancer, so thank God, I’m at a distinct disadvantage here.  I can fall back on the fact I have one sister who is a breast cancer survivor, another sister who is battling breast cancer as I write this.

I am here to say, I have a serious problem with many of Lance’s detractors who have never experienced his amazing journey from serious life threatening testicular and brain cancer to recovery.  Back to trying to put myself in Lance’s shoes, as a cancer survivor, in his case, it was nothing short of being raised from the dead.

The problem is he had already doped.  He already knew how to dope.  He knew the culture of doping in pro cycling.  He knew other elite athletes in his profession were doping.  So he doped.  Somehow he won.  It was off to the races.

His genius and competitive furor brings to mind Steve Jobs and his achievements in cycling why competing with co-conspirators were immeasurable.  If you have read the book or studied the life and work of Steve Jobs, the comparison to Steve Jobs, is to say Armstrong is also a complete asshole.  It begs the question, is ruthless determination, the price one must pay to celebrate incomparable success?

The saddest of all, for me in this and for other cycling enthusiasts is the effigy of a championship cyclist.  We may never know.  How tragic.  Lance will never know.  We will never know if he was truly a great champion.  If in fact, if there was someone who rode clean, who could remotely challenge Lance, will we ever know who the greatest cyclist(s) in the history of the sport is, truly?

I will say this, if they were complicit in any way, they aren’t going to receive a pass.  If they were innocent and Lance rolled over them, he needs to make it right.  I would hope he would.  If not, he’s still the biggest loser, because this is one of his only means of redemption.  The other, is to protect and nurture his love for his family, especially his children.

I can’t remotely place myself in Lance’s shoes when it comes to his admonitions, accusations and confessions.  Lance was larger than life.  For a time, Lance’s achievements were larger than his lies.  No more.

In the end, none of his perceived success either on the pro circuit or in his work for charity can be applauded.  Neither can it be easily and lightly be disparaged and denigrated.  Why?  Simply, no one can ever possibly imagine, or conceive to “put yourself in Lance Armstrong’s shoes.”  Lance Armstrong is an enigma.

I’m no Lance.  You’re no Lance.  There is no Lance.

What I know for certain is we can Livestrong!

Living Backwards, Still Moving Forward

April 25, 2012

Diane Petersmark, with Danny Altenburg and John Whittenhall celebrating the finish of a century ride bikeMS 2010.

My reflections on bikeMS2012:  With quiet courage and conviction, those I meet with MS radiate hope, determination and optimism.  Even afflicted with MS, spiraling their physical selves backwards, their indomitable spirit moves their minds and souls forward.   Their hope gives me hope.  There’s a better world out there.  They inspire me, the ordinary man.  They are moving forward into the hearts and minds of all of us. 

Maybe those of us who clicked in Saturday AM for bikeMS2012, can take away a valuable lesson.  It’s not just about raising money, or the route, or the weather, the wind or the ride, it’s about the challenges in our very ordinary lives of living backwards and still moving forward.  It’s about the challenge of living extraordinary lives, like living with MS.

I’m very proud of our supporters and my Team iDentifi.  Individually, collectively we scorched our goals both as athletes and fundraisers, exceeding $25,000 in contributions.  Thank you!

To learn more about Team iDentifi, donate to one of our riders and how you can help support the battle to defeat MS within our lifetime visit or bikeMS team page – Team iDentifi

Going Primal and Why You Should Eat Leafy Greens by Mark Sisson

February 3, 2012

Dr. Terry Wahls - Minding Your Mitochondria

Kevin Moore, fellow cycling enthusiast, friend and living proof a primal diet works writes, “I have found the Primal/Paleo diet a revelation.

I came across it by a desire to look into nutrition that would make me healthier. I was following the “conventional wisdom” of more grains, less meat , less fat, and more exercise ; and yet my health was declining and I was gaining weight. I wanted to see what was going on. Through a search I came across Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories, Bad Calories,  and it was a revelation. It pointed to a scientific basis for the societal health problems we are witnessing. But, it wasn’t a specific “diet” per se, so I started looking at the various dietary programs to put those changes into effect. I studied  Atkins and South Beach, but found the regimens involved somewhat contrived and too strict to use as a daily philosophy. Then I came across The Primal Blueprint at the library and I found a way of thinking and eating that made sense to me as a lifetime program.

After deciding to try the low-carb lifestyle I found it was a satisfying way to eat. I wasn’t hungry, and I started feeling better.  I slept better and had more energy during the day without getting hungry mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Then the weight started falling off; about 30 pounds in 5 months, without being hungry, and without having to curtail any activities.

Next I found at the doctor’s that several of my health markers were improving: lower LDL and triglycerides, lower blood pressure and lower blood glucose. I was hooked on a new way to eat and live. My wife has also experienced a significant weight loss. Several of my riding buddies have seen the effects I’ve received and became interested in what I was up to.  It has been a pleasure to see them increasing their health by cutting back on the carbohydrates in their lives.

Probably the most interesting and satisfying  thing I have noticed is that I now feel like I am in control of my life and my body.  I don’t feel like I am the victim of “getting older” or suffering some genetically programmed pathway of degenerating health. By eating as we evolved eating I now feel I can be the person I was meant to be.”

Kevin writes about the video, “This is an incredibly interesting and moving post. The story Dr. Terry Wahls relates about her remission of MS through dietary means is the best reason I’ve seen for following a hunter-gather, Paleo/Primal diet. You need to see the Youtube video!”

Dr. Terry Wahls – Minding Your Mitochondria

Why You Should Eat Leafy Greens

By Mark Sisson (reposted with permission)

By now, you’ve probably seen the TedX video from Dr. Terry Wahls, a former Tae Kwon Do champ and current MD diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (the kind that degenerates your brain and has you relying on a wheelchair to get around) who describes her transformative experience with a dairy-free Paleo diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meat and organs, and seaweed. Relegated to and totally dependent on a wheelchair in 2007, by 2008 Wahls had adopted the diet and was commuting to work on a bicycle and now incorporates this kind of intensive directed nutrition into her primary care and brain injury clinics. If you haven’t, go ahead and take twenty minutes out of your day to go watch it. It’s a real eye-opener (but not all that surprising to longtime readers). Think of it as a grass-fed, wild-caught success story. I already linked to this video a couple months back, so why bring it up again, you might ask? Back when I watched it for the first time, something caught my ear: the focus on vegetation. Wahls speaks of eating nine cups of plants every day, with three coming as leafy greens, three as sulfur-rich vegetables, and three as brightly colored fruits and vegetables. She explains why each category is so important, not just for someone looking to reverse MS, but for anyone who wants to be healthier in general. She got me excited all over again about incorporating more vegetation into my diet. It’s not like it’s lacking or anything, either. I had just taken it for granted – some spinach here, a Big Ass Salad there, some roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner – and instead focused on the animal food. If you remember, the base of the old Primal Blueprint food pyramid was vegetation, and I still maintain that the optimal Primal plate is overflowing with mineral-and-antioxidant-rich plant matter. I think the (understandable) tendency of some to knee-jerkily rebel against anything resembling Conventional Wisdom means that leafy greens and other vegetables fall to the wayside. That’s a mistake, I think, and it’s important to understand that eating both loads of leafy green things and things that crawled, flew, or swam is not mutually exclusive. You can do both. You should eat both. And I’m going to tell you why.

Before I start, when we talk about greens, we mean leaves. So things like:

  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Collards
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Beet greens
  • Sweet potato leaves
  • Arugula
  • Baby greens
  • Endive

I haven’t covered all the regional leaves utilized in various cuisines across the world. These are the basics that most people reading this will be able to find at their grocer, farmers’ market, farm stand, and/or frozen section. Other vegetables like broccoli or certain types of cauliflower are green, but aren’t “greens.” A discussion on those guys will come next week.

Terry Wahls likes greens for the minerals and vitamin content. With that, I agree. Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese. Heh, so what have those minerals done for me lately, you might be wondering. Well…


Of all the minerals we Primal folks talk up, magnesium may very well be the most widely supplemented. It’s certainly one of the most important; over 300 physiological processes in the human body require magnesium to function optimally, foremost among them the production of ATP for energy. Your mitochondria use magnesium to produce ATP, the body’s energy currency. So if it’s so important, why must we all supplement? How did people get enough magnesium before Natural Calm? There are a few factors, including the disappearance of magnesium from our drinking water and top soil, but the fact remains that most of us aren’t even trying to get enough magnesium through our food. That should change. Eating greens like spinach and chard will go a long way toward adding dietary magnesium.


Of all the minerals we discuss, calcium may be the least-supplemented or most-ignored. That’s a mistake. While I’ve certainly called into question the wisdom of supplementing with handfuls of calcium pills without considering the roles of vitamins D and K2 in bone mineralization, we still need calcium. We still need that raw building block (and crucial trigger for neurotransmitter release). And if you’re not eating dairy, leafy greens are probably your best source.


Potassium is another nutrient a lot of people miss out on, especially if they’re overcooking their meat (the juices contain the potassium), avoiding tubers and fruits (both are high in potassium), and shying away from avocados because of the linoleic acid (don’t stress out over a little whole-food omega-6, folks, especially when it comes in such a creamy, green package). I just got done writing about the importance of the potassium:sodium ratio in regulating blood pressure, so if you’re not eating the aforementioned potassium-rich items (and even if you are), be sure to eat your greens.


Your mitochondria use manganese to manufacture manganese superoxide dismutase, a potent mitochondrial antioxidant. With inadequate superoxide dismutase, you increase your chances of ischemic brain injury (think stroke) or developing a neuropathology. Simply put, manganese keeps your mitochondria running cleanly.

Unless you’re eating bones, drinking blood/meat juice, and eating hoof, fur, and tail, you’ll be missing out on magnesium, potassium, and calcium by excluding leafy greens.

Terry Wahls also likes greens for their vitamin content, specifically B-vitamins like folate. I tend to agree, and I’ll highlight a couple key nutrients that greens provide.


Though it’s widely touted as particularly crucial for expectant mothers and the development of the babies they bear, folate is also important for anyone’s general health. Inadequate dietary folate intake can lead to elevated homocysteine levels (which can impair endothelial function and is a risk factor for heart disease). Modern processed grain-based foods are usually fortified with folic acid, but you’re not eating that stuff. And unless you’re also eating plenty of liver, if you shun greens you are most likely lacking this vital nutrient.


Betaine is another important but oft-ignored nutrient that many people, even Primal eaters, lack. Like folate, it regulates proper homocysteine levels. Betaine also helps maintain liver health. Spinach is perhaps the greatest vegetable source of betaine (other than maybe wheat germ, but who wants that?). Spinach tastes pretty darn great steamed and tossed with olive oil, sautéed in bacon fat, or raw on a salad, so go ahead and eat some.

Besides the micronutrient content, there are other benefits of eating leafy things, especially in concert with the other foods on your plate. For those interested in eating less or losing weight, eating a salad with your meal spontaneously reduces overall caloric intake. I dunno about you, but I think any weight loss “diet” should include spontaneous caloric reduction. Although we know that caloric intake factors into weight loss or gain, we also know that many, if not most, people have difficulty consciously reducing calories. It simply doesn’t work very well, so the key is to spontaneously reduce calories by eating satisfying foods that don’t derange our satiety hormones. That’s what going Primal is all about, and research shows that eating salad (perhaps a Big Ass Salad?) can help in that regard.

Although I’m coming up dry right now, I remember reading research that showed eating leafy greens, like spinach or kale or a green salad, alongside your grilled steak reduced the absorption of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) from the meal. HCAs are carcinogenic and form with high-heat cooking, especially on meat, and absorbing fewer of them is a good thing. I’d be much obliged if anyone could pull up the research. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking.

But the real beauty of leafy greens? They are prepackaged whole food “supplements” with safe and well-balanced vitamin and mineral levels. You eat a few cups of spinach, a romaine lettuce salad, maybe some kale chips and you’ll be getting a nice healthy range of nutrients. Your overall caloric intake won’t really be impacted and you’ll be safe. No, you won’t have a nutritional profile from the manufacturer telling you exactly how many milligrams of magnesium your bowl of sautéed kale contained, or the amount of betaine in that head of spinach you chopped up and turned into a salad. The nutrient range will vary from head to head and leaf to leaf. And that’s okay. Heck, that might even be optimal. I can imagine an organism that evolved eating a varied diet with lots of ups and downs and big blocks of this mineral in one meal and another big block of that vitamin in the next. I can imagine an organism that evolved eating food, rather than prepackaged, preordained, pre-meted out collections of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Can you?

That’s why it’s food, without a label: it doesn’t need to be exact. So if you ever find yourself paused in front of the grocery store display, agonizing over the respective folate content of two particularly large heads of romaine lettuce and frozen – totally unable to act – hang it up. Start back at square one. Realize that this is food that’s meant to be eaten, not over-analyzed.

If it’s green, leafy, crisp, and free of chemicals, it’s safe, healthy, and good to eat. Adding such a food to your diet – in sautéed, steamed, boiled, dehydrated, baked, or raw form – will most likely help, so eat it! I’m not saying you have to eat three heaping platefuls of vegetation, like Terry Wahls did. I’m suggesting that adding leafy greens to a diet lacking in them will almost certainly improve the nutritional content of that diet.

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For Victims of MS, They Live Every Day “Outside the Box”

May 20, 2011
Team iDentifi riders Mark, Stacy, Ali, Court, Dan, Amy and Caitlin

Team iDentifi knows the money we raise for the victims of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a feel good moment for us and part of a movement that is life-sustaining for them.

It’s nice to do something once in a while, like bikeMS, that is “outside the box”.  By “outside the box” I mean doing something special, even extraordinary.  For those with MS, like my sister Diane, they “live everyday outside the box.”

I can’t say it any better than this very “moving” video.

All of us with Team iDentifi want to thank you for your generous contribution.

Team iDentifi’s bikeMS team had 18 riders who rode for a combined total of over 1,000 miles this past weekend…

Team iDentifi raised $26,095 to date towards our goal of $25,000 (7th overall in total fund-raising).

Now for an update on my crash and my personal bikeMS 2011 experience…

First, thank you again for your generous contribution.  I hope to get a personal note off to each of you in the near future.   I think you may have heard I fractured my pelvis on a training ride 5-6 weeks ago.  I wanted you to know your donation wasn’t wasted on me.  I hand-cranked a recumbent bike 53 miles on Saturday. Check out my Garmin recording of the routeI was fortunate my good friend and (secretly sadistic) business partner, Adam Yahre loaned me his hand-crank recumbent.

If you look close at the photo (click on the thumbnails view), yes, I forgot my sneakers!  When you discover this at 5:30 AM the day of the ride you have to make a command decision, me being the captain and all… flip-flops or barefoot.  Biking socks are too expensive to soil ;-), so flip-flops it was.  Plus I had to wash and wear them to dinner Saturday night!

The first 30 miles were hilly, a lot tougher than the last 23.  At times I was doing 2 mph, just short of rolling backwards down a hill!   It took some coördination.  I had to stop hand pedaling or pedal with one arm when changing gears or using the breaks.  The steering radius was wide.  Again, with my level of coördination I’m lucky I didn’t head back down the hill(s).

When you’re using your arms to pedal  and being a relatively friendly guy, I made the mistake (or concession) of waving to people cheering me on more than a few times.  I’m here to say that’s not getting you down  the road any faster.

If I was going to fold my hand it would have been when I made the wrong turn.  It cost me about a mile of cranking away, until I decided there was no sign of other riders.  You see I was a peloton of one, but occasionally a rider would pass that had a flat or was riding the 75 mile route.  So I concluded I needed to turn around.  That was a low point.

Four Advil at about the half-way point and flatter terrain kept me cranking away.  Then rain came.  Actually there were thunderstorms the last ten (10) miles but I figured I was closer to the ground than most and less vulnerable to lightning strikes.   The finish line was very gratifying, the cheers, my team, the beers, more tears and more beers… It was an experience I term “outside the box,” but I have to say once again, I’m back on my feet.  There are thousands of people with MS that cannot walk, will never walk.  They live “outside the box” every day.

I want to thank all the bikeMS volunteers for their amazing support of the ride and the dedicated police officers, who on more than one occasion took it upon themselves to wade out in front of traffic to help us riders continue on our way towards the finish line for bikeMS 2011. 

If you want to make a donation to a Team iDentifi rider, help a rider meet his or her goal, please go here…

bike MS – Where does the money go?

April 9, 2011

What the money YOU donate to the Bike MS ride can provide for people with MS and their families?

FLC_Bike MS 2011

$10-$20 – Leg positioner, handheld shower or knee splint
$20-$50 –  Tub Grab Rail, Ankle Orthosis, Walker or transportation to a physician or therapist appointment
$100  –  Sponsors one hour of counseling for an MS client or family member in crisis
$225 – Underwrites one child’s attendance to MS Kids Camp
$500 –  Provides a six-week MS Journey Club workshop for one family
$1,500 –  Provides assistance with home or vehicle modifications to maintain independence

Again, this year I am asking for your help.

Your donation means a great deal for those who suffer from MS. You make a difference to someone with MS. That’s why I formed Team iDentifi. That’s why I ride… Well then there is the need to work off an extra 10 lbs I always manage to add during the holiday season to this svelte figure for which I am so famous.

Team iDentifi – Choose your favorite rider  –

Diane lives with MS

March 26, 2011


Diane has had MS for more than 15 years.  And I complain about a little back pain!  She lives on her own in a suburban neighborhood outside of Chicago convenient to public transportation.   Di gave up driving (due to side effects of MS) her own car, not long after taking auto repair classes.  She was able to change the oil and tune-up her own car!  She often traverses by train to visit her northern IL and WI family, especially when our Dad convalesced in a dementia center in WI.   Now she’s ready to help with any family member in need or just to be Aunt Diane to her nieces and nephews.

Sewing area and studio

Diane recently recounted, “I’ve had MS for roughly 15 years. Nobody can say it’s not a life-changing situation, but I believe the key is to adjust your habits and your thinking to accommodate the “problem”. I’ve gone from organizing triathlons and running races to organizing an office. Then, a few years ago when I found I couldn’t work full-time any more, I found a creative outlet for my limited energies, image editing and art quilting. Life has changed, but life is still good!”

Certainly Di has been busy, but she’s not busy feeling sorry for herself.  She is currently on the board of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) (follow the link to her quilt which was auctioned for $190) and she spends between 15-20 hours per week working for AAQI doing mostly website and program content work.  She tries to make one or two 9×12″ quilts for the AAQI each month.

Di has turned her living room into an art studio and invites her friends to come in and create with her every month or so.  She has devoted a great deal of her creative talent in memory of our Dad as exhibited on her website

My work table is where my dining room table used to be. My sewing machine is where my TV used to be. Lucky for me, I also have a den where I moved my TV and sofa and recliner. But I decided that I needed more room to devote to my art since it has become such a large part of my life.

When her father (our Dad who recently passed away) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Di began volunteering at a local assisted living center.  She still volunteers one afternoon a week, working activities on their two special care (dementia) floors.  She loves bringing a spot of comfort or joy into the resident’s lives – whether it be a shared laugh, just a hug or a cup of tea and a cookie.

She volunteers her time to her residence association and she is building them a web page.   She belongs to a neighborhood book club – (she just hosted a discussion on Still Alice by Lisa Genova) – she emphasizes is a VERY good book!

“With MS,” Diane says, “my life has certain limitations I didn’t have before I started with the symptoms.  In general, I think I’ve found a comfortable lifestyle – half volunteering and half creating art.  I get tired easier because of the MS and I think slower because of the MS and I certainly don’t rely on speech as much because of the MS – but so far it’s nothing I can’t work around.”

I think family, friends, including members of Team iDentifi echo Diane’s sentiments…

“There are many people with MS who have a lot more limitations than I do, so I count myself among the “lucky” ones.  But I sure wish they’d come up with a cure or even a disease modifying treatment that had more than a 1 in 3 chance of working!  I try, every morning, to be thankful that my legs still work – knowing that one day they might not.

For all those riding the uphill battle against Alzheimer’s.

When I stumble over words or stumble into walls, I know that things could be (and may one day be) much worse.  So I am grateful for folks like the members of Team iDentifi who ride for a cure, and for all those who donate to their efforts, either with their financial or physical support.  I love you all!”  Diane

That’s why we formed Team iDentifi.   That’s why we ride… Well then there is the need to work off an extra 10 lbs we always manage to add during the holiday season!

You can make a difference to someone with MS. —->  Choose your favorite Team iDentifi rider .  Help them pedal for MS.  In no small measure any amount will be greatly appreciated!

Alan Wiessner, Captain

Team iDentifi

Let’s Be Careful Out There!

March 1, 2019

Bike Commuters Are Dying in Record Numbers

According to the League of American Bicyclists, more cyclists died on U.S. roads in 2016 than at any other time in the past quarter-century. But that doesn’t show the whole picture.

Tires: How Wide is too Wide?

August 3, 2014

I have been reading several articles about wider tires. I used the 25 mm tires on the Ride the Rockies tour thinking I would get a more comfortable ride and fewer flats. I didn’t flat the entire 6 days of riding. This is a good read on the topic.  I did notice the 25 mm tires required a bit of adjustment to the breaks.

Off The Beaten Path


How wide a tire is too wide for optimum performance? Our research shows that wider tires don’t give up anything on smooth roads, and gain a significant advantage on rough roads. This has been shown for tires up to 31 mm wide.

It’s now a well-established fact that wider tires roll faster than narrow ones. Professional racers now use 25 mm tires, which are 20% wider than the tires that most racers used just 20 years ago. Will this trend continue? Can we expect racers to be on 30 mm tires in the future? No matter what the pros do – they are influenced by many factors that have little to do with science – the real question is: Up to what point are wider tires faster?


It is obvious that the tires in the photo above will not roll very fast. Clearly, at some point, the performance benefits of…

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2nd Annual Walk and Run for Isaac – Saturday May 31st – 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM

May 20, 2014

 Come Join the Fun!   It’s for a great cause.

Walk and Run for Isaac

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