Lockville Park, maybe the most unusual start place in my brief cycling career. I quizzed Steve O about why here and it was because Dan Farley starts from here on his training rides but Dan, while invited, did not make it. The good thing about the Park is it gets us off the Waterloo/Cedar Hill/Amanda start so that is a good thing. Steve had sent invites out via text message but later thought some did not receive the exclusive invite because they don't have text capability enabled on their cell phones. He also said he put it up on Facebook, which should have brought people out in waves but his post was put up late Saturday night. So, it was Steve, Jeff S and Rick G, making his nearly first ride after his crash.
Rick, seeking compensation for the crash, implores Steve to contribute but Steve turns his back and will have none of it. Mystery surrounds the actual cause of the crash. Some say it is Rick's fault for crossing tires with Steve and, upon hitting the knobby cross tire.....wham! Others say Steve, without warning, swerved to the side to expel expectorate and caught Rick's tire and....wham!! As a glass half full type person, I appreciate the fact Steve now swerves out of the line to let loose as not that long ago he would stay in the line, causing a mad swerving of bikes as we tried to avoid. The text message said 50 miles and off season pace. By Sunday morning it had morphed into 60 miles with a lunch stop. Alas, while I wanted to ride the entire route, I had obligations to get back to cut the Christmas tree so I had to opt for short cutting. I admit it seems that I short cut virtually all rides but there is always a valid reason. We headed to Lancaster via some newish roads that avoided Rainbow but still had the climb at the end on Stringtown Road. We arrived at Four Reasons Restaurant with 16 miles, where I parted ways and retreated back to Lockville Park, ending with 33 miles and 1700' of climbing.
A funny sign on the morning of another wipe-out of Michigan.
Steve O and Eve are inviting everyone to the party described above. All are welcome. Please come to talk to your cycling buddies, eat good food adn drink good liquids.
Feverishly, I scanned the maps, satellite images, "mapmyride.com", past ride reports, etc... looking for that special route with many new roads to make Craigs, "Thanks For Letting Me Kick Your Ass All Year Ride" a memorable experience. Craig had delegated this responsibility to me (as well as all other facets of planning, promotion, recruiting and post ride analysis) so I did not want to disappoint the great one. I am proud to be able to claim the route was a good one with many new roads.
At the start, there was Kenda Janet & Paul but where are those other Kendaites? Cindy and Rod had eaten at a new Chinese restaurant in Granville for their anniversary so she was asked how she liked it. Curiously, she said she is used to eating at buffets so having to order off the menu was a new experience and she didn't like it as well???? Craig was asked if in honor of the nature of the ride, would he stick with the group for more than the 1st mile and to his credit, he did.
The ride was a little late getting started with Margarita Rick and Ginger being late arrivals but the opportunity to ride alongside a celebrity like Rick was worth the wait. Also joining us was Da Boss, Steve O, Jeff S, Cindy, Jeff, Dennis, Kenda Janet & Paul, Mark V, Amanda and Jeremy. The forecast had been for sunny skies but not a single blue patch was seen at the start yet the start temperature was around 40 and probably stayed there too. Out on the road, the first new patch of road was reached in Lithopolis. We arrived at the main street that was under construction and dropped onto the new road and exited it 20' later.
After 17.5 miles, at a medium fast pace, we arrived in Amanda, having stayed on Cedar Hill all the way to Ridge, then over to Amanda Northern. I jumped from the group at St. Rt. 22, just missing a large RV and grabbed the sign sprint. I am against stop sign jumping unless I am the beneficiary of it. We had a fun time cavorting around the gas station but my mission was to look for the telltale signs given off by route short-cutters. You know who they are, whipping out the map while standing off to the side, frequent glances at one's watch, not filling the water bottle because they won't need it, etc... I was not disappointed and soon had rounded up the Kendaites, Jeremy, Rick and Jeff. Frankly, a year of short cutting has left my legs with little endurance and at the current pace, oy vey! Da Boss announced he had brought a sheet cake to share with everyone....but after the ride. This put me in a real quandary, ride the extended route and eat cake or take the short cut and miss it. Then, Craig announced he would give me his car keys so I could short cut and eat my cake too. WHAT A GREAT GUY!!!! We shortcutters parted ways with the long riders, with the intention of, once we arrived at Westfall, going east and getting back on the long route, probably ending with around 45 but at Rock Mill, I headed straight back for that cake. Arriving in the parking lot with 35 measly miles, I threw my bike into the car and headed straight for Craig's vehicle. My hands shook as I cut into the cake and savored the first bite.
Later, the long group arrived (I was long gone) and some ate at Shades. Later, later, Dennis and woman, Mitch, Steve O, Cindy and Rod attended Rick's starring role in "Greetings" (see below) and had a great time. My intent was to begin organizing winter metric century rides from different locations beginning this Saturday but with my beloved Buckeyes playing at noon, I'll have to postpone until the following Saturday. However, some of us are planning to ride Friday and I'll post that option later this week as the weather forecast clears.
After returning my wife to the comfort of the hotel's hot tub, after the half marathon, I headed to Saguaro National Park to find the Tanque Verde Ridge Trail, supposedly one of the most difficult in the area. I took a wrong turn after entering the park and ended up on an 8 mile, one way loop through the park. Every type of cactus was on display, including some I had not previously seen.
Finally found the trail head and headed into the wilderness. Trail is fairly easy to follow except in spots where there is slick rock but even there, "ducks" mark the trail. After 5.5 miles and 3000' of climbing, I decided not to continue to my goal of a basin camp at mile 6.9. The solitude and lateness of the day makes things kind of eerie so I turned around. Getting stuck out here after dark would not be fun.
The view looking westward and....
...the view looking eastward. Finished with 11 miles on a rugged trail with lots of rattlesnake ambush sites but heard they are now hibernating so I didn't worry too much.
Today we salute Rick Holt (shown on the left), a largely anonymous cyclist content to ride slowly in groups unseen by us ultrafit, greyhounds riding like caged animals at the front. Rick has a passion for acting and after years of toiling in the backgroud performing bit parts in prison themed porn movies, Rick finally hit the big time. Here is the actual review from the Newark Advocate:
Rick Holt steals the show right and left as Andy's father, Phil Gorski. Holt lives it up as a character who enjoys bickering with other people, yet the actor built a true character, not just a cranky parody.
Never once could Holt be caught projecting the thought, "Look how funny I am!" Instead, no matter what was going on, his character was concentrated on it. Even when Mr. Gorski was across the room wiping out a shot glass with his Christmas tie, one could watch the unfolding conflict in Holt's face as he listened intensely to the others, despite pretending not to pay attention.
OK, Craig Butler's "Thanks For Letting Me Kick Your Ass All Year Ride" will start at 9:00am behind Shades restaurant in Canal Winchester. Overnight low will be a balmy 33 degrees so by 9:00am...probably 60+/-!!! 50 or 60 mile routes with some hills but relaxed off-season pace unless you want to go faster. Buckeye game at 3:30 so no conflict there.
I had heard and read about Mt Lemmon, a popular destination for cyclists, so we headed out to check it out. Mt Lemmon is part of the Santa Catalina Mountain range and rises over 9000' above sea level and 6000' above the valley floor. Temperature change is 25-30 degrees so in the summer, it is a must ride to escape the desert heat. At the base of the mountain, Saguaro cactus are plentiful but soon they fade from view.
The distance to the top, which I think is Summerhaven, a town that was virtually wiped out in a 2003 fire is 26 miles so the climbing, while constant, is not steep, but the views are great. At the top, they receive 12-15' of snow during the winter.
Team Radioshack trained out here in 2009 and during our drive up the mountain, I counted over 30 cyclists, on a Friday afternoon.
Tucson pops up on cycling friendly lists for good reason. Every street or road I saw had designated cycling lanes and the place is crawling with cyclists and bike shops. Kenda Dave trained out here one year and gave the area a thumb's up for cycling.
Dawn in Tucson and it is cold, around 46 at the start of the Tucson Half Marathon.
Wow, a funny pair of shoes but the wearer swears they are better than conventional running shoes. Must work. He ran a 1:20 half marathon and came in second behind the winner at 1:11.
The start. Some where in there is my favorite half marathoner. A relatively small field of 770 with 300+ running in the half, the others in the 5k.
My wife, who started running only a couple of months ago, ran in the Columbus Half Marathon and now has finished the Tucson version (they gave each finisher 2 freakin T-shirts!). Oh yeah, she found one in New Orleans in December so the blog will be on the move again! I am a lucky guy for sure! Also, coming soon the Mt Lemmon review and the 11 mile trail run on Tanque Verde Trail out of Saguaro National Park.
At the urging of Da Boss himself, we are creating the first annual, 'Thanks For Letting Me Kick Your Ass All Year Ride" The name of this event was my idea, not Craig's but he did want to have an end of season ride and he has endorsed this plan. To avoid the hundreds of emails and phone calls, below is a FAQ section:
Q. Can anyone attend or it it just for the elite?
A: There is a qualification, you have to have had your ass kicked by Craig during the year so there is a qualification but everyone I know qualifies.
Q: Where will the ride start?
A: Behind Shades Restaurant, the usual starting place for the Tuesday COP evening rides.
Q: What is the ride distance?
A: The short route is 50, the long route is 60. The route will be NEW so no grind to Baltimore or Stoutesville on roads that have become too tedious after an entire year of riding.
Q: How hard will the route be?
A: Somewhat hilly but at an off-season pace unless you want to ride faster.
Q: Craig will really be there?
A: Unfortunately, yes.
Q: Anything happening post ride?
A: Yes, Craig wanted everyone who can stay to head over to Shades Restaurant for lunch or snack so he can thank you for letting him kick your ass (my words not his).
Q: What is the start time?
A: 9-10:00am depending on overnight temps. Will confirm in a couple of days.
Q: Can losers who ride recumbents participate?
A: Yes, Nathan is welcome to come.
Q: Can slow women ride too or is this just a man thing?
A: Yes, Flyin Tuna and others are encouraged to attend.
Q: How about fat people, can they ride too?
A: Yes, SuperDave and Kenda Dave are urged to be there.
Q: Will Mark ride the full route?
A: You're kidding, right? There will be multiple short cut options.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: No, Grand Poobah is welcome to attend.
Q: What if I just want to arrive post ride and eat with you guys?
A: That would be good. Three hours after we start would be a good ETA for eating.
Because some think I make these trips up and grab images off the internet, it has become necessary to provide proof. So again, I embarrass myself by asking a complete stranger if I can stand by him for an image. This blog makes me do stupid stuff. But HEY, a major and I mean MAJOR announcement later today regarding the first annual, "CRAIG BUTLER THANKS FOR LETTING ME KICK YOUR ASS ALL YEAR RIDE" Also, more reports from AZ to come.
The classic hike for the Phoenix area. Very rugged and tough and there is a steady stream of hikers, particularly in the morning. The parking lot holds 60 cars with more parked on the road entrance and other cars waiting in a line to take a spot that becomes empty. Pictured here is the first section.
Well worn railroad ties mark the early portion of the trail
The steepest section having an iron rail to assist the climb.
This might give a better perspective of the challenge.
A boulder field with railing for help designates another prominent part of the trail.
Another boulder field with no discerable trail. Just pick your way through it as best you can.
The top at a little over a mile and 1200' of climbing. It took me 30 minutes to climb, slowed a little by taking images. Strong trail runners do it in 17 minutes. Following me up the trail a couple of days later was Dentist Brad, who was in Phoenix for a seminar and planned to hit the mountain.
This guy hikes the trail every day except Sunday and he repeats the climb 3 times each day. Appears to be over 70 and he estimates he has climbed the mountain over 30,000 times.
I have so much to tell you and I will in the next couple of days. First, we went wine tasting in freakin AZ!!! Actually, a very nice group of wineries about 50 miles south of Tucson. Then, we arrive back at the hotel and discover the USC football team is staying at....
....our hotel! my wife wore OSU gear today so she took some crap. Much more to come later.
A landmark on the skyline of Phoenix is Camelback Mountain. There is a very neat trail that starts at Echo Canyon Park and goes to the top. The trail is so steep in places, there are iron bars that are used to pull yourself upward. It's a great workout and the scenery is fantastic, in terms of the views and the others who are running up.....I'll be sure to post lots of images!
I asked Craig Butler for a full report from his trail running marathon and Mr. Funny responded with this:
Bobcat report. Finished in 3:52. Second in over 40 class, 10th overall.
I found the results and he was 10th out of 158 runners. Not bad.
Place Bib Name S Age Div City St Finish Pace
===== ======== ========== ============ = === === ================== == ======= =====
1 80 Justin Hayes M 27 B Akron OH 3:15:47 8:00
2 169 Michael Seiser M 21 B Athens OH 3:25:53 8:25
3 116 John Logar M 35 D Davis WV 3:30:49 8:37
4 142 Brian Polen M 30 D Wooster OH 3:32:41 8:41
5 84 Brian Herek M 38 D Bay City MI 3:33:50 8:44
6 40 Brian Caskey M 34 D Oakmont PA 3:44:18 9:10
7 13 Cyrus Barucha M 45 F 3:46:35 9:15
8 90 Brian Hubert M 37 D Boardman OH 3:46:56 9:16
9 77 Nicholas Hanson M 28 B Blair NE 3:51:58 9:29
10 34 Craig Butler M 41 F Groveport OH 3:52:39 9:30
The Canal Sunday morning ride was visited by "The Others", out on the road. The Others moved through us like a spirit through a room. Riding efficiently and smoothly and oh so rapidly, I'm not sure all of our group was even aware of the presence of The Others. More about that later, however.
The parking lot scene was typical, there were Kenda Janet and Paul sitting on the freezing asphalt, changing their clothes, Eve, Coach and Jeff S leaving early to ride to breakfast....wait....Jeff S??? Yes, I did a double take when I saw this august symbol of riding dynamism heading out early with Eve and Coach. I don't know the story behind this so don't want to speculate. What's next, membership in the Dutch Kitchen ride group? The sun was very low on the horizon and with the ice crystals, made for difficult photography with all the glare so I have no good images. Also I was too lazy to walk to the other size of the parking lot. However, we had a good group of Mark V, Chris, an Albanian speaking dude from Canton, Franz, Kevin K, Dentist Brad, Amanda fresh off a 200k brevet on Saturday, etc... Roy was there too in civilian dress and completely wiped from riding the brevet with Amanda on the tandem. That he was wasted and she was not suggests quite a bit about the proportion of effort on their Saturday jaunt, no?
We did the traditional Stoutesville route, apparently the same as was ridden on Saturday so there was a 45 and 50 mile option. We headed south on Winchester, went east on Marcy and then south, eventually climbing to the highest point in Fairfield County. I had gotten a little ahead of the group and missed Janet crashing, while riding up hill. I'm not sure exactly what happened but she toppled over into some gravel but appeared ok. I saw a group approach and melded in with them and realized it was The Others headed on a 100 mile ride to Kingston then Hocking Hills and back. These guys have ridden together for so long that it's like watching the Olympic synchronized swimming team. I was privileged to hang in there for a moment and noted they each pedal with the same rpm, chains in the same ring, all grabbing for the water bottle at the same time and taking the same swig of what appears to be the same energy brew. Incredible stuff. Where we weenies turned east on Stoutsville, they flowed south. Note one of the pre-eminent members of The Others, Mark Waites, has already begun his winter, trainer program that will have him emerge in April, stronger than he is after a season of riding. Mark was nice enough to fax me the program a long time ago but it was Greek to me. Let's just say it is meant for those who have the will and discipline of an Ironman. We broke at the market in Stoutsville and soon headed back onto the road. There was some discussion about relenting on the pace to keep a larger group together but Janet bolted from the parking lot and our group was soon whittled over time to 4-5. We finished with 50 miles, 1900' of climbing and an 18.2 average. Strange, it seemed much faster than that. I returned home to the sweet relief of seeing a friend's trailer with hydraulic lift waiting for me. We pitched, over two trips, 5 cord of wood into the trailer and used the lift to dump it into my yard.
This is a great read from SanFranJan. Interesting she stayed at the Westin St. Regis. The first time I was in the area I stayed in Oakland. Took the BART under the bay and emerged from the underground into a surreal atmosphere of San Francisco. Spent hours walking around the city and walked past the St. Regis, walked into the very ornate lobby and thought, wow, only the super rich could stay here and not someplace for the unwashed from Ohio so I exited quickly. An image of the lobby is below but here is Jan's report:
I left on Tuesday flying Southwest through Chicago Midway and arrived into San Fran roughly 7 hours later. The good news is that Southwest serves endless snacks and drink, which of course made me happy. I was really looking forward to a good dinner that night at Scomas, based on your recommendation. I squared your recommendation with my PR agency chic local to San Fran, but only as of a couple of months. She hadn’t heard of the restaurant but checked it out and agreed it was worth a try having received four to five stars for its cuisine. Joining us was my boss from Boston, who also said he was game. We met at 5:30 pm local time in the lobby of the Westin St. Regis, grabbed a cab and headed for Scoma’s. Boy, there were some steep climbs on the way to Pier 47, the site of Scomas. I kept imagining what it would be like to ride my bike here – a heart attack for sure. We were dumped in front of Scoma’s and I was kinda wondering what I had gotten my colleagues into; it was pretty touristy (and kinda trashy or should I say interesting) at the waterfront…My co-workers were very good natured and we ventured down to the wharf and saw what appeared to be the real deal as far as seafood restaurants. Scomas looked very authentic as if the fish had been caught, killed and drug in that day by the local fishermen. We asked to be seated and rejected our first table given its location and the view; I was beginning to wonder if this was a good pick after all. Next we squeezed into the bar, where I ordered my signature drink on the road – Kettle One dirty martini with three olives and waited for a seat by the water. Presto, in two more minutes, the four of us were seated. John, a gracious and kind waiter, served us. My colleagues knew it was my birthday on Monday, so of course, we needed to continue the celebration on the West Coast. They announced to John; it was birthday. We all laughed, since I had told them it was my week-long birthday celebration (which btw continues through tomorrow.) We ate like kings and queens. The food was completely outstanding. The meal started with the house bread (of course, I was completely starving since my stomach said it was 9:30 p.m) and then moved our way to a fish sampler appetizer of oysters, calamari, oysters and something else. I ordered the seafood sauté for dinner which included lobster, crab and scallops. WOW! Everyone was super pleased with their meals and loved the authenticity of the restaurant. After finishing our meals, the staff came and sang happy birthday to me and then brought my chocolate (to die for) slice of cake with raspberry sauce. Of course, obligated, I shared it was my colleagues also thinking of all the calories I had just consumed! On the way back to the hotel, it was scary. The down hills were so steep I was praying the cabbie’s breaks were in good shape. Riding a bike through the streets of San Fran would no doubt be a challenge! .
On Wednesday, I had to attend an all-day meeting in downtown San Fran. My boss thought it would be a good idea to walk to the meeting…okay, I was game. Wearing my ever so fashionable tennis shoes and my black work dress, I packed my four-inch heels in my laptop bag. As we headed out for what was supposed to be a two-block jaunt, we ended up walking for at least 20 minutes. I was literally sweating by the time we arrived at our destination (kinda like overdressing for a bike ride now that’s it’s cool out.). You see, we had to make our way through the throngs of people who had lined up to wait for the Giants World Series Winner’s parade to begin at 11 am local time. WOW, at 8 am local time, there was A LOT of folks on the street. So much so that we couldn’t even get through. Miraculously, one of the guys from our ad agency knew how to take us underground through the local public transportation station to arrive on the other side of the street. Plus I think someone forget to let the locals know that the marijuana legalization bill did not pass; as the smell of it was everywhere. I was rather amazed. Fast forward through Wednesday’s all-day meeting (where more great food including lots of fresh veggies and fruit was served) next onto another so called “drive-by meeting” (new term for me) with another PR agency and it was time to go out to dinner again…Once more, my colleagues announced to the wait staff it was birthday and this time a large hot fudge sundae was put before me after a merry round of singing by the staff…At this point, I’m wondering how I’m gonna be able to work all of this food off, given this weekend’s weather forecast. Again, I happily shared the fantastic desert with my colleagues in hopes of reducing my caloric intake and upping there’s! I was super tired by the end of the dinner, as it approached 10 pm local time (1 am e our time). I think my body was switching over to local time, but regardless I had to get up this morning at 3:30 am local time to start the return trip process. Right now, I’m sitting on the flight back on Southwest drinking water and eating the abundant snacks, a bit tired having done what is always in my line of work a three-day blur of a trip out to the West Coast, with too little sleep, too much work and too much food.
Hey All. Yesterday, John Gorilla, a well known super cyclist, sent an email out to a very select group of cyclists. I happened to hack a copy, applied suitable pressure and got added to the invite list. The email describes the idea of forming a cycling team of racers and nonracers. John gave me the ok to open this up to my loyal blog readers so read below. Now, I know most of you will want to know if I will be a member as this will sway the decision for many. I understand this and am sympathetic to your plight. For me, it comes down to the jersey design. It has to be classy, not like the garish "Kenda" jersey with that giant logo and uncreative red/black color...ugh...who would want to wear that thing, right???? Also, the name has to be suitable. Another attraction for me is I need a new crop of innocents who I can ridicule from the safety of the blog. I mean, how many more times can I say Steve is stupid for bombing descents during a night ride or, implying Dennis is a cross dresser or, take goofy images of Flyin Tuna? So, if John comes up with a classy jersey and a creative name than I am in. You will never guess who was the first person to officially join the club.........none other than......Da Boss! Anyway, feel free to contact John at his email below or he even said to give him a call.
It’s November. The days are short and the weather is cool, the cycling season is winding down for most. As we bid farewell to another season of riding, thoughts start to turn to the upcoming season and one of those thoughts is starting a legit cycling club. By legit, I mean licensed with USA Cycling as an Ohio Club/Team, team kits with sponsor logos and financial support and hopefully reduced prices on goods and service. Currently there are no plans for a team bus or soigneur, but in the future who knows.
So, what am I after? A couple of things:
Feedback on the idea.
What do you think of this plan? Would you have any interest in joining the club? Nothing is set yet, but what I had in mind was club dues of $100. The dues would buy you one short sleeve jersey, with the remaining funds going into a team account to be used on other perks like parties, race fee reimbursement and club overhead. Being a member would get you access to team clothing orders, discounts on parts, bikes, nutrition and other accessories. All of this has to be worked out, but I am in the process of trying to pull together some sponsorship letters. Having an idea of how many people would be flying the flags of the sponsors would help out a lot, so please feel free to pass this email along to others who may be interested. An important note: this is a club, some people race a lot, some not at all and others in between. If you don’t want to race, that is not a problem at all. The main goal is to create a presence for a large group of unattached riders and hopefully give the club members some perks as well.
Ideas for sponsors.
There are already some companies I have spoken with about the possibility of kicking in cash for logo placement on the kits and some of these companies could act as proxies for parts and bike orders. As mentioned above, I am going to be working on trying to get some formal sponsorships in the next couple of weeks since it is the best time of year to do so. Typically, there are varying levels of sponsorship ranging from a couple hundred dollars for a small placement on a jersey pocket to a couple thousand for a title sponsor. Companies that offer goods or services in lieu of cash would get placement commensurate with their level of involvement.
Maybe the most fun part of this, we need a name! I have some ideas (see the end of this email), but we need more. I will consolidate everyone’s ideas, send them out for a vote of the top 3 and then we will have a name. See USA Cycling Ohio Clubs for reference ( http://usacycling.org/clubs/index.php?state=OH).
As an official club, we need officers. I think we need a president and a treasurer for sure, but there is probably room for some additional help as well. Are you interested? Depending on the number of people who express interest in joining the club, we will hold elections. Let the smear campaigns begin.
I think that’s it. In summary:
Rushing to get out of my hotel for the airport…here’s the images. I’ll work on my report next highlights included east to west coast b-day celebration where my colleagues announced each night to the waiter it was birthday and I received a free desert each day! Also walked my way through the parade crowd for the San Fran Giants World Series on the way to work yesterday morning!!! There were throngs of people.
I asked Craig about the 50 mile trail run in November but he confirmed he was not participating but is running this Sunday. Also qualified and running in the Boston Marathon in April. See below.
Running the Bobcat Trail marathon this Sunday. It is at Burr Oak State Park and
consists of running the perimeter trail around the lake. A mere 27 miles. I
postponed the 50 miler until next spring. Ride on down and watch the
BTW, interesting story .... met a guy from Wash. Ct. Hse this weekend at the OU
ootball game. A biker too. Got talking and he is a FAN of your blog. He kept
aying ..... you look familiar .... then it clicked and said, I know you, you're
re Da Boss.....
That's right. Janet is headed to San Fran for a business conference or something like that. Business has taken me there several times so she asked if I could recommend a good restaurant. Why yes but the hamburgers served at San Fran area McDonalds are the same as those in the Columbus area McDonalds so I was not much help but I heard a place on Fishermen's Wharf, Scoma's, is good so she might try that. Janet has promised to send images and commentary for an update from the ground.