Monday, June 30, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'M' student stoked for ride of life
By ANDY REID the trip, he decided to link it with an
Daily SportsEditor organization. He settled with Alli-
ance to Save Energy, a non-profit
While waiting in line at White organization based in Washington,
Market on East William Street, D.C. With donations pouring in
Justin Leath could barely contain from family, friends, fellow School
his excitement. In two days' time, of Dentistry students and ASE mem-
the third-year School of Dentistry bers, the Star to Sun Ride, named
student would begin a grueling after the respective newspapers in
seven-day, 458-mile bike ride from Windsor and Toronto, was born.
Windsor, Ontario to Toronto and "Once I started shopping around
back. for a charity, I realized the sincerity
But Leath wasn't getting worked of the guy I was talking to at Alli-
up about the trip. ance to Save Energy, Chuck Wilson,
He pointed to a front-page story who is like the head of the contribu-
in The Ann Arbor News about the tion department there," Leath said.
growing popularity of public trans- "He inspired me to keep riding and
portation because of consistently do it."
rising gas prices. "This is what I'm To some contributors, Leath's
talking about," Leath said, placing decision to ride in Canada is a per-
the newspaper back on the shelf plexing one. Although the money
Finding a way to reduce gas pric- raised by the Star to Sun Ride is
es and lower atmospheric pollution going to an American organization,
produced by car emissions concerns Leath decided to take his bike across
Leath, so much so that he dedicated national lines.
his bike trip - one that started out But he says that fact shouldn't
as something for him to do during deter people from getting involved.
a short break he had between Den- "Pollution has no governmentally
tistry classes and patient appoint- indicated boundaries," Leath said.
ments - to raising awareness and "The course was just the right dis-
money for the cause. tance for me. I knew I could com-
Leath had not been on a bike in plete it with the limited time I'm
over a year before he started train- given, because I'm going to have to
ing for this trip. But he hopes that go back to school two days after I
his enthusiasm will inspire others finish riding, so hopefully that will .
to investigate alternatives to burn- give me time to rest up before I see
ing fossil fuels. patients again."
"I just want people to get out Armed with a Gary Fisher bike
there, walk, cycle, ride, whatever (which can retail at more than
you want to do, man," Leath said. $5,000) borrowed from a friend, the
"Think about getting a car'that cuts bare essentials and only the clothes
down on fuel consumption. That's on his back, Leath set out at 1 a.m.
something I'm really passionate Friday. He is currently en route. The
about." trip from Windsor to Toronto was
Two days after Leath planned originally scheduled to take three
School of Dentistry student Justin Leath is currently biking through Canada to raise money for the Alliance to Save Energy.
days, but Leath pushed well past
his 10- to 12-hour guideline every
day and kissed the CN Tower just 36
hours after he started pedaling.
Although he planned to be on
the road for seven days, the St. Clair
Shores native is likely to smash the
original plan he had set.
Overall, Leath spent 24 of those
36 hours on a bike. In fact, only "tor-
rential rains" stopped him on the
first night of his voyage.
By rushing past the checkpoints
he had for himself and biking until
midnight on some days, Leath has
resorted to "roughing it," on the
trip, saying that if it comes down to
sleeping under the stars, he'll have
no reservations about that.
"Just keep going. I think that's
exactly what I'm going to do," Leath
said. "I'm just going to go. I know
my starting point, and I know my
ending point, and I'll fill in the lines
"I'm just an open spirit. Wher-
ever it takes me, it takes me."
Leath has even set up a blog
about his ride (www.thestarttosun-
ride.blogspot.com) that he is updat-
ing from his Blackberry during his
trip. Information about donating
can be found there.
Leath is barely even stopping to
eat. Munching on bananas, grano-
la bars and weight protein, he only
stops for solid meals when neces-
"The weight protein - I'm
just going to throw a scoop in my
mouth, drink some water and
swallow while I'm in route," Leath
With more than half of the Star
to Sun Ride behind him, Leath
isn't worried about actually finish-
ing, anymore. His most pressing
concern has to do with the iPod he
"My concern is running out of
music along the way," Leath said.
MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
Phelps breaks own record at Olympic trials
By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Sports Writer
OMAHA - Yesterday was the eve
of his 23rd birthday, but Club Wol-
verine swimmer Michael Phelps
During the preliminary races at
the U.S. Olympic swimming trials,
the world's fastest swimmer had
been beat in the 400-meter indi-
vidual medley, an event in which
he holds the world record.
"After this morning I was pretty
upset," Phelps said. "And I had no
idea what to expect tonight."
Phelps smashed his own world
record by 0.97 seconds, setting the
new mark at 4:05.25. Second place
finisher Ryan Lochte was never
more than 1.5 seconds behind
Phelps and pulled within just 0.02
seconds of him with 100 meters
remaining. Lochte dropped over
three seconds from his own per-
sonal best and also beat the world
record, but it was not enough to
The 14,000 fans at the Qwest
Center were on their feet scream-
ing during the race. And after his
swim, Phelps couldn't conceal his
excitement either, thrashing the
water with his fist.
"I hear the crowd from the first
50 meters on, and at the first turn,
I thought, 'Oh god, don't overdo
this. Don't get too excited for the
last 350 meters,'" he said. "It gives
me an extra boost of energy to get
to the wall because usually when
they're cheering that loud it means
something good is happening."
Phelps's coach Bob Bowman,
who resigned as Michigan's men's
swimming and diving coach in
April, knew that having such a
close competitor would also help
push him to swim faster. He said
it was the first time since the 2007
World Championship meet that
the field of competition was able to
"That's what (Michael) does, he
rises to the level of the competi-
tion," Bowman said. "You have to
be pushed to that effort level and
pushed into the race the way that
you would want to. It's hard to gen-
erate that level of excitement when
you're swimming by yourself."
Phelps wasn't the only Club
Wolverine swimmer to draw atten-
tion on day one of the U.S. Olym-
pic trials. Peter Vanderkaay and
Erik Vendt were both part of an
exciting finish to the 400-meter
freestyle finals. Vanderkaay, Vendt
and Larsen Jensen were all within
a half second of each other after
the final turn. Jensen finished
first, and Vanderkaay was second.
Vendt touched 0.19 seconds behind
Vanderkaay and won't qualify for
the Olympics in the event. Vent will
have another chance to make the
team in the 1,500-meter freestyle
later this week.
The trials continue through