"Life Is Like Riding A Bicycle. To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving." (Albert Einstein)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tour Divide Racer - Scott Williams - Raising Funds For JDRF

Scott Is Racing The 2014 Tour Divide
Raising Funds For JDRF!
What is it? 

Itʼs the most difficult mountain bike race in the world.
It travels along long dirt roads and jeep trails that wind there way through forgotten passes,
along the continental divide. Beginning in Banff, Canada and ending on the
Mexico border town of Antelope Wells, divide racers must endure weeks of
consecutive 16+ hours in the saddle and must bring other skills to the trail.
The route travels through remote backcountry where the largest density of
grizzly and mountain lions in North America. Intervals between services are
frequently 100+ miles between services and demand calculated food/water
resupply, OR ELSE! Riders must also find shelter each night or bivouac
trailside. By routeʼs end, a thru rider will climb 200,000 feet of vertical
equivalent of summiting Mt. Everest from sea level 7 times. Itʼs no wonder
National Geographic Magazine listed the race as one of the great
adventures of a lifetime.

To see what part of the country Scott and the other racers are go to trackleaders.com/tourdivide
if he's not moving, yell "get out of that warm sleeping bag and start riding!"

WHEN: June 13th, 8 AM
WHY: With the support of Scottʼs wife (Carol) and his 4 daughters (Lynneal, Elyse, Addy, and 
Marissa) we are raising donations a special cause:

It started in 2008 as an independent fundraiser for juvenile diabetes
research foundation to aid in their continued research efforts in
finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. TeamUp4Type1 wants to get
families living with this disease connected and aware that disease
cannot impede dreams and that a healthy and active life is still
possible for families even with a type 1 diagnosis. TeamUp4Type1 has raised and donated over
$6500 to JDRF and has hosted two mountain bike skill clinics for children. it is exciting to say
that more is planned with the ongoing support of our volunteers and sponsors. Look for more
mountain bike clinics to come soon. check out the story of 2010 women's tour divide winner
Cricket Butler and and her son Grayson who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

We would greatly appreciate ANY amount to this great charity.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We're Not In Kansas Anymore - Or North Carolina

Grayson and Marshall at Glacier National Park
It has been a month since Grayson, Marshall, Flip the Turtle, Spot the Cat, and I made our way west to our new home in Whitefish, Montana. Moving cross country alone with 2 children, 1 being diabetic, and 2 animals and not really knowing anyone can be a bit unsettling.  But I have never felt more at home than I do out here and starting our new lives out here and making new friends has so far been exciting and never felt more right.  Everyday something to be thankful far!  Having Glacier National Park as our backyard practically is still unbelievable to me and I can not think of a better place to raise my boys than here!  

Grayson's First Descent
The boys are settling in with Marshall picking up soccer again and Grayson mountain biking everyday.  Marshall will start playing with the Flathead Rapids this fall and until then is working with a mentor to keep his skills sharp.  Grayson's interest in mountain biking grows stronger everyday.  I enjoy hearing "Mom can we ride the Summit Trail every morning to start our day"?   However, that has now turned into "Mom can we do Dave's Dive or Runaway Train"?  For me, to ride down black diamond downhill specific trails is 100% outside of my comfort zone but you know a Mom will seriously do ANYTHING for their children and I am a living  testament to that.  Thankfully a "living" testament :) Watching Grayson ride down his first downhill trail aged me but you know watching him conquer that first trail really impressed me.  I was a proud Mom for sure and he pushed me to do something I never would have done otherwise.  

Morning Ride Down Summit Trail
Since moving here, Grayson's Blood Sugar Levels have been spot on with very few highs.  He is much more active out here and is constantly on he move - well except for the video games :))  We just make sure before we head out for a hike or bike ride that we take plenty of snacks, insulin and a meter.  With the increase in activity and the altitude and other new factors, it is a new learning curve to see how Grayson's BGs will react.  So far it is all good and watching Grayson pump bag bounce up and down as he moves down the trails is a constant reminder to be cautious but to enjoy life!!!

For me, it was a little tough the first few days seeing the last few Tour Divide Racers filter through town since I had decided to bow out this year to let the knees heal and make the permanent move for the boys and me.  There is always this thing inside of me that calls me back to the Tour Divide Race - I love that race - nothing is even close to compare.  It really is the journey not the race - riding that route south and living off the bike is the appeal without a doubt.   But for now I put racing on hold and settle in to this welcoming town.  Living just 5 miles from the Great Divide Route - also unbelievable!!!!  

One thing is for sure - our life here will be full of adventure as we find our place and rhythm here!

The move went perfect thanks to BullDog Movers from Charlotte - nothing - not a single thing broken - also unbelievable!   Need to move - CALL PHIL!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Allegheny Loop ITT

Two very similar photos at first glance - so what is the difference - well let me tell you...

- 400 miles and 56 hours and 45 minutes
- Not knowing what awaits ahead and knowing exactly what was out there
- 30 degrees in temperature and wearing mittens on my feet
- A sore butt and a half of tube of DZ Nuts Bliss
- Two repaired knees unproven and two knees a little sore and swollen but intact
- 1 slow leak in rear tire requiring air every few hours
- Quarter bottle of chain lube
- 27,000 feet of climbing - 22,000 feet after the first 200 miles - not joking - killer!
- 5 Honey Stinger Waffles, 1 bag of caffeine Jelly Beans, 2 packages of crackers, 2 bags of Perky Jerky, 3 bags of chips, 2 Subway subs, 1 blueberry muffin, 6 Subway cookies, 3 brownies, 1 Kit Kat,10 Reese Cups, 1 order of cheese sticks, 1 order of waffle fries, 1 Mountain Dew, 4 Gatorades, 1 Vitamin Water, 2 chocolate milks, 2 oatmeal creme pies, 1 package of Reese Pieces Easter Eggs, 2 packages of peanut butter/chocolate mix, 1 NUN electrolyte drink, 1 bag of mixed nuts, 1 cashew granola bar, 1 pack of gum
- 1 depleted iPod battery
- Riding on and off with Markley Anderson - one tough dude that never quits!!!! An inspiration!
- 3 frozen water bottles
- 1 deer carcass
- 6 NoDoz pills to replace no coffee
- 1 scary woman with a bit too much make up around the eyes
- Using ChapStick as sunscreen for my face
- 6 AA batteries
- 1 foot of Duct Tape

The Allegheny Mountain Loop was such an amazing ride for me. I was so thankful I was able to ride like that again after 2 knee surgeries and experience the unknown of a new route. I went into this ride with little information, just a line to follow on my GPS. Not knowing what was around the next corner or over the next hill was rejuvenating - it is that sense of the unknown that made this loop so special for me. The knees started to hurt at 250 miles - I remember it clearly when it started- but what was not hurting at 250 miles right? Backing off so not re injure my knees was hard and I was frustrated with the knees at first since everything else was feeling so strong and good and it did became a small mental battle in my head for the next 50 miles but it was the right thing to do. I eventually realized I want to be able to do continue to do the things I love like ride long distance and taking care of myself was more important than finishing with a faster time. Enjoying being out on the bike, living off the bike, and riding through some amazing country was my reward!

Now I am back home - reunited with the boys and riding the greenway with them and thinking what might be next......... ummmmm. Nothing is better!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Busting A Lung In Colorado Springs

I arrived in Colorado Springs Friday night and put my bike together in my hotel room as I searched for a route to ride Saturday morning. I tried MapMyRide for the first time and I still have a few issues to work out but what a great App! I found a local bike shop first thing in the morning to get a few things before heading off on my own - as I was there a group ride came through, and being the shy one I am, I asked if I could join in. What an amazing way to see Colorado Springs - riding with friendly locals! Everyone here I swear has a bike and ride it.

So the ride was a no drop with a faster group and slower group and I just sat back and enjoyed the view as my lungs adjusted to the altitude. But as the ride progressed, I just kept feeling better - could it be that it was because I was on my light road bike instead of a loaded mountain bike?? Perhaps... but I just settled into my pace and climbed trying to maintain the breath of life. Making it to the top of the climb, "the Zoo", no kidding there was a Zoo there with giraffes and even the coolest tortoise. He was 60 years old! Ok back to the bike ride... The ride continued and ende
d back at another bike shop where the group started earlier in the morning, Bicycle Village.

I had been following the group all morning just enjoying the views and not really paying attention as to where I was or how to get back to my hotel... I would worry about that later.. iPhone :) But as we approached the Bicycle Village Shop, I recognized it. It really is such a small world. The first year I raced the Tour Divide Race, I got sick and had to pull out in Hartsel Colorado. Several months later after I got my strength back, I shipped my bike out to this shop and rode 40 miles west back to Hartsel and reconnected with the Great Divide Route to finish my ride - the race was over, but I had to complete what I had started. Anyway, this was that shop!

The groups ride was over but I had to find my way back to the hotel. Gabrielle, a local mountain biker leading the group, gave me a fantastic route to get me back adding more miles to an already amazing day. I pushed onward through the Garden Of The Gods... more climbing and more fast descents. Beautiful outcroppings created a maze that the road followed passing herds of Big Horn Sheep. I just had to keep stopping and play tourist - how could you not!!

Once I left the park, I was back on route to the hotel and a grocery store to find food. Score! There was a Safeway. But as I pulled up to the door, expecting to take my bike in as I shopped, this person, dressed in a sloppy security uniform approached me and asked if "this was one of those light bikes" and if he could pick it up. Now first, I seriously did not believe this guy was a "security officer" for Safeway but ok sure pick it up. Then he OFFERED to WATCH it while I shopped... RIGHT - thoughts of the La Ruta race in Costa Rica popped into my head - the local Ticos would OFFER to CARRY your bike across the treacherous railroad bridges and then once they had your expensive race bike in their hands, they took off with them. This man just reminded me of them. So I said no thank you and rode off.

I returned a few hours later on foot and that man was not there as where no security officers....ummmmmmmm. I think I made the choice!

I finished my day off at a Tapas Bar sampling some amazing food. No scrapes from the boys plates this evening - mom was dining out in style!

I am here for the week to learn some much needed bike mechanic skills at Barnetts Bicycle Institute and hopefully get more miles in on the road through the mountains. This will be a fantastic week - just got to watch out for those "security officers"...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Diabetes In Photos

Below is a link to Teresa Ollila website. She is a mom with a son living with Type 1 Diabetes. She is a photographer and has captured images and the emotions of living with diabetes.

So many of her photos remind me of the difficulty of living with diabetes in my family and the everyday struggles we have. But it also reminded me that we do not let diabetes run our lives. I mean diabetes is a part of our everyday life but we do not focus on it. We have adapted it into our routine and of course we have to think about it constantly but then we move on.

Anyone who has contact with Grayson is effected by diabetes and know exactly what I mean.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Note

So yesterday, I had to go pick up Grayson from school just after lunch for a dentist appointment. As I was signing in at the office, this man came up to the front dest with a sticky note that looked a little familiar but I dismissed it. Well until he said I found this sweet note on the floor in the hall from someone to their child. I took a closer glance and was said "OMG that is Graysons carb count list for lunch!" Thoughts of him not dosing to cover lunch flooded my mind - where is he and was he ok. How could he just lose that?? But while I was worrying about all that, Grayson was finishing lunch and the teacher had just dropped it on the way to the lunchroom. All was right because by the time I found him he was finishing lunch and it was perfect timing to bolus.

Now what was funny was the man reading what I wrote to Grayson on his lunch carb count list. I am a mom so I have the right to do this and to be honest I just can not resist! I ALWAYS add a little note at the end of the carb list to hope he has a fun day or some note of encouragement or something along those lines. Then ALWAYS write something about LOVE - yes for a Third grader I am sure if this note became public he would be embarrassed - but a simple I Love You everyday and maybe with a little penciled heart - well it just has to be good for any ones soul. In fact, I admit this - I add a note in Marshalls Lunch frequently - could you imagine the consequences if that note was found in fourth grade :))))

I Love being a MOM!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Product Reviews

So to compensate for my downtime during the ongoing knee recovery period, I started to write a few product reviews for Andy Johnston, a pro mountain biker from Atlanta. Andy is one of the most accomplished cyclists in the Atlanta area, with a career spanning over 20 years and having three Mountain Bike National Champion titles under his belt. As a pro cyclist and a very successful coach for CycleYouth, Andy is constantly on a lookout for the newest products, allowing better performance, functionality and convenience.

His Product Review Blogs will feature new products that he will personally field test and discuss their attributes. In collaboration with his review efforts, I have contributed a review on dzNutz Bliss chamois cream and the Marmot Alpinist Bivy, both products I have tested beyond their limits and can personally praise their quality. Both reviews were also posted on www.examiner.com.

It was fun to share my insights and relive the memories of all the miles and hours I have logged and knowing there are many more to come even as I sit here icing my knees.