Trek Women
July 30, 2008

"This Is My Tattoo"

Dscn1476_2 As I mentioned before, the "Summit" was quite an emotional experience.  Every time we were asked to share our experiences, it seemed to either bring us to tears or we were holding back so hard that it really zapped us.  While at lunch one day, I was feeling pretty low and a young girl came up to me, introduced herself and said, "Marie, I read your blog".  I immediately shifted into overdrive as if I had just downed my favorite Quad, Venti, Skinny, Vanilla Latte.  "Oh my gosh, really, you do; oh my gosh." 

This is Tabitha, she lives in Oklahoma and rode her bike in one of the LA Challenges.  She explained that she related to me because of my learning experiences.  We discussed why I write the way I do, and why I pick my topics and she loves all of them.  Here is something really sweet, she told me that when Molly Dog died, her Dad was reading the blog because he just lost his dog.  Here was this darling young woman standing there, we had chatted for about 5 minutes and we were hugging like relatives.  We had an instant connection that gave me such a burst of energy that I was good to go for the rest of the week.  She will be sending me pictures of her bike, keep me updated on her fun challenges and we will stay in touch through the blog and on our own.

Here is how she fits into the "Clues".  She raised her arm and said, "Here is MY tattoo, I just got it last night."  They were yellow shooting stars in honor of the LIVESTRONG Summit.  Good thing I wasn't with her or I probably would have gotten one too.  This was one of my best days ever; to connect with a stranger, and be appreciated for the work I am trying to accomplish.

Come Ride With Me.

July 29, 2008

"LiveStrong"

Dscn1479 I am back from "The" Ohio State University where the LIVESTRONG Summit was held.  I have so many exciting stories to tell about 4 bicycle riders that have touched my life forever.  Actually there were probably about 500 people that touched my life forever, but I am sure the four stories I will pass along will be very entertaining .  That being said let me just give you an overview of who showed up to speak to everyone.  John McCain, Sanjay Gupta, our former Surgeons General Carmona, The President of Ohio State University, just to name a few.  I am in Las Vegas on business this week and don't have my notes to refer to but I will give credit to the names I have left out as soon as I return.  We all bonded with our signature team, the "Orange Bandits" (see picture) because this was a very emotional week.  It was draining and exhausting, but a "good" tired.  FYI, 5 of the people in this picture have had Cancer.

Dscn1470_6 Lance Armstrong spoke to us every day and was moving around the Summit like all the other participants, including his stops to our favorite coffee shop.  He is a good guy, very "boyish" and very down to earth.  Here is a little trivia, I was on the plane to Dallas with his Mother, Step Father, and other members of his "Family".  I am now a LIVESTRONG Army Leader and feel that the bicycle riding along with my friends from Trek will be a natural fit.  Here are a couple of clues about who I ran into at the Summit:  "Hi Marie", "Look at MY tattoo. AND another..."Do you remember me?"  I can't wait to write the next story.

Come Ride With Me

July 23, 2008

"Where's Waldo?"

Whereswaldo_cakespy_6401_2I am leaving early, early in the morning for Ohio State University to attend the Lance Armstrong Cancer Summit.   I will be armed with business cards and ride guides on my quest to find the Bicycle Riders.  I have been checking out the information web site where I have found tons of different interest groups that will be attending.  I know I will be busy spending time in break-out groups designed to train us along our path of advocacy, but our evenings are fairly free to Explore.  I'm going to meet a ton of new people.

All this being said, here I am, one more time, setting off to a new place on my path to satisfy my curiosity about what's out there as an off shoot to "The Bicycle"  This is a very exciting time right now for the bicycle industry and I am lucky to pop in right in the middle of it all.   

I can tell you that it will take the best part of the day to travel to Ohio and if I can get there in time, barring any hurricane Dolly delays, I will be sitting in on a town meeting to listen to one of the Presidential Candidates speak to our group. Wish me luck. I'll have my lap top to check in and journal my discoveries.  Then I am off to another business meeting that will take me to another colorful area.  I'm beginning to feel like I am playing "Where's Waldo?"

Come Ride With Me. 

July 22, 2008

"Just a Little Fun"

      Images61                                          6 Phases of a Project

Enthusiasm

Disillusionment

Panic

Search for the Guilty

Punishment of the Innocent

Praise and Honors for the Non Participants

Ever think how the above applies to everything? 

  • Sports
  • Cooking
  • Wallpapering
  • Romance

Take some time to laugh every day...

July 21, 2008

"Class Reunion"

Bike_riding_187 Because I have not heard the results of my MRI yet, and in an effort to indulge my doctor just a little, I am taking a Mini Break from riding this weekend and spending my time with friends to catch up and take my mind off the waiting period.  It's funny because I have become one of those people that begins to get grouchy when they cannot ride or exercise.  I am tired of nursing this knee to no avail and so I am "antsy" about getting an answer as to how we can make it better.  ANYWAY... I went to an informal class reunion of about 100+ guests this weekend, and I was surprised how many people approached me about my bicycle riding.  I can thank part of that to my friend Maria who I featured a few months ago about her softball skills.  She is a great communicator and helps to pass around the healthy Mantra. People approached me to discuss how great bicycle riding can be for all of us.  Because of the passing years, many are starting new solo lives and they wanted to discuss how to start again and get involved in new healthy activities.   

We are very lucky in our community of friends to have kept a good connection all these "43" years.  It does take work  and a good team to make these get togethers happen but at the end of the day, we all come away with a feeling of an extended family that will always keep in touch.  By the way we missed the friends that couldn't make it but we will get together soon.  Next on the clipboard, we are beginning to plan a reunion cruise and many fun meetings that it takes to make that happen.  Just a note:  Thank heavens for the Internet and computers.  The one reason we have been so successful with staying in touch.

Come Ride With Me.

July 17, 2008

"Post Script"

Lsc20email20image1 If you haven't noticed by now, I want you to know that it is more important these days for me to enjoy every experience I can.  I know my limitations, and strengths and that being said I try to remember that when I experience new challenges, I take away the whole package and find something good in all of it.  That's not to say I don't analyze and maybe find room for improvement, whether I can change that part of it or not.  Since I helped to raise a great deal of money for the LAC Cancer Fight, I have earned the privilege of providing feedback to the event organizers.  The Lance Armstrong Challenge, I suppose as any event of this magnitude attracts many different kinds of participants, at all different levels.  I saw many "Elite" athletes including Lance with his own group of riders, as well as many professional teams. 

What inspires me, are the other riders I saw and spoke to that wanted to pay tribute to a friend or loved one by pinning "That Name" on the back of their shirt.  These people set out to ride and probably expected to heal part of a broken heart by doing what they thought they could do within their effort level.  I remember in particular one woman along the way that was riding pretty much by herself.  I spoke to her at one of the power stops and she told me she was riding for her Mother who did not survive her cancer battle; this young lady was having quite a struggle. emotionally and physically.  I worried about that girl because I didn't see her at the end of the day.  I hope she came away with the same feeling that I did; that by being there, showing up, raising money and giving all the love she could muster on that bicycle, that she deserved to be there just as much as the pros.  A dollar is a dollar and for a good cause, it all spends the same way.  Good Job Sister.

By the way, I am still looking for the connection cord to my camera so I can send along some pictures.  I'll get organzed again one of these days.

Come Ride With Me.

July 15, 2008

"Identify Your Victory"

Llama_cartm1 Greetings, for those of you that might be wondering, I made it back to town yesterday, from the San Jose  Lance Armstrong Challenge.  Wow, my head is still reeling from all the information I am trying to wrap my mind around.  In fact, I have had a headache since yesterday and I think it's probably post stress.   Talk about a Comfort Zone, I was so far removed, I needed the GPS to find my way back.

I will say this... I experienced terrain on this ride that I have not encountered ever before, on a bicycle that is;  and I was also making my way up and down hills that were a new personal best for me.  That being said, I went as far as I could and the rest of the ride, in my opinion, was out of my league.  I hope you didn't think I was going to report about making it all the way to the top and doing a hip bump with Lance, where is the story in that.   I saw many spills along the way including a lady that clipped my back wheel; she went down, I saved the fall by braceing my knee, and (Oh yeah, I had the MRI performed this morning)  I have decided it's time to get the repair done correctly so I can try to move to a new level with my sport

So in the next few days, I will get my thoughts organized, give you a few more insights into the ride and summarize my opinion of the whole project.  In the meantime I want to thank Andrew Scherf and his wife Loralee for making my visit to Clovis so nice.  Andrew, thank you again for watching out for me and insuring that I had a wonderful, safe riding experience.  Thank you Whittier Cyclery for getting me outfitted with good equipment, no "flats"; YooHoo.  And thanks to "Boo" for the encouraging phone calls during my long road trip.  It kept me calm, centered and the last minute nutrition suggestions were a big helpful reminder.   

Come Ride With Me.         

July 10, 2008

"Leaving My Comfort Zone"

Gear_travelbags11_3 I was just trying to remember when I last experienced my Comfort Zone.  As the baby of the family, I was afforded lots of opportunities to experience new things, but things that were carefully chosen my my parents.  Sure I won prestigious awards for my piano skills and I even played my violin seated on the stage of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra; I'm not sure that I ever told my children about that one.  I was a Girl Scout too and back then, the "girls" never went camping.  Instead, we would visit the park to learn how to cook Porcupine Balls (hamburger and rice cooked in tomato sauce)

Can anyone see what's missing from the equation?  No sports activity; with the exception of our bicycles, which we rode on the sidewalk and never left the block, we didn't do anything unless we played at recess which was Hopscotch.  Not unlike the parents of today, in our household my parents were so afraid that something would happen to us so we were well-confined.  But with us, it was a cultural thing, and their theory was that if things were too strenuous, it was not the best choice.  "No ferris wheels, no trampolines; my gosh, it might crash and then where would you be".  Even my piano playing became a concern to them. (that's a whole other story)  Anyway, It's taken me many years to realize where some of my apprehension comes from and realize that although I am now enjoying my bicycle riding, it takes constant mind bending to work through the challenges.  So I conclude that everyone's comfort zone is in a different place and everyone has to step out of it on occasion.  I don't think I can ever go back, mainly because I wouldn't recognize it anymore.  Maybe I am in a new place, so I can be pushed forward more.    I am at a turning point in my life, and the hardest part is saying farewell to my old ways.  The past can seem cozy and reassuring especially when the unknown looms.  It takes strength and determination to leave it behind, but I have learned that it's the only path left to take.  That's all for now, see ya next week.  M

July 7, 2008

"Pick A Fight"

Pick_a_fight Here I go again, embarking on another new adventure, the Lance Armstrong Challenge.  The "Little Girl" twin bike is in order with her new Bontrager Hard Case tires and the car is serviced and all the gear that I should require; spare tubes, tire, co2, water bottles, water, clothing blah, blah, blah, is ready to go.  I really have no idea of what to expect from this outing, just as I experienced with the Danskin event however I am more relaxed and will go to enjoy the experience. 

I have already signed up for another "Century" ride in September so whatever miles I complete this time will be just fine; because this is not about me and a personal victory.  My personal victory is the fact that I am attending the event.  The team has exceed our monetary goal and that is really what the Challenge is all about.  We are there to support each other, the cause and the cancer survivors. 

One of the great opportunities that this experience will give me, is the chance to meet new people, nurture some lasting friendships and contribute to building more memories.  So I am heading down the road on Friday morning by myself with some quiet time in the car to think about where I am these days and what comes next.      

Come Ride With Me 

July 7, 2008

Can't Go Too Far

Copies_for_kit_075 I can't go too far these days without running into bicycle riders.  This previous week I had my last, yes, last check up in this yearly series which was with the dermatologist.  Because my late husband suffered with the deadly Melanoma this becomes my scariest visit.  But I have been linked with the Advanced Skin Care Med Center in Fullerton California for almost 5 years now so they know me, and I feel at home in their care.

"What's new"? Quint Skipton wanted to know and as I proceeded to talk about being outside a lot more and riding my bicycles. One thing led to another and we were jabbering away about the Trek experience.  I told them how lucky I was to be able to remind people about Cancer awareness and how interesting it is that somehow everything I talk about comes back to my riding.  I missed reminding everyone that May was Skin Cancer month so I promised I would send along the message anyway.  I need just as much of this message as anyone so remember your sunscreen, and protect yourself so you can ride your bike for many years to come.  By the way, I always forget to put lotion on the top of my ears.   

Quint and I discussed riding paths, bicycle models, events, and once again I was so pleased to see how closely all our lives are linked.  They loved hearing about my arrangement with Trek and they loved even more that I was finding a way to be of service to everyone in my own small way.  Guess What, Quint had seen the Trek Demo truck at the Fullerton Loop; he was riding his Mountain Bike.  Maybe sometime we can get a group together and they can show me the ropes out there at the Loop.  I'll post all your pictures on my blog so keep in touch.

Come Ride With Me.