Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Celebration of Life Ride

As I left work Friday afternoon I knew it was going to be a great weekend. The weather forecast was perfect, plans were quickly shaping up, and well, the Monday Holiday speaks for itself.

The entire weekend was action packed, but a purposeful outing included a Memorial ride for Julie Casey on Monday morning. I did not have the privilege of knowing Julie, but we shared many friends in the cycling community. I’ll spare the gut wrenching details of how Julie passed, but at least she was doing what she loved. Lifetime Fitness helped coordinate a ride in her honor and it was really special to be part of it. The route map included a photo of Julie and her Husband John: it was so meaningful to see the photo of them together (in cycling clothes) sharing their passion. I couldn't help but think of the thousands of photos Kerry (my husband, my best friend, my side kick) and I have in the same exact pose (like this one). With plenty of refection, hugs and kisses were flowing freely among the riders all morning. Just the way it should be.

I heard someone say there were about 40-50 people riding. The ride started off very conversational, and before too long a few small groups formed. I had the opportunity to ride side by side with Marta (like the Brazil Soccer star, this Mpls Marta is also famous by first name). Marta, a fellow Gear West team member, is one of those women who you could spend countless hours with. She is the epitome of positive energy and vibrant spirit. She’s an extremely talented athlete, yet it’s her wonderful social spirit and top notch attitude that really make her AWESOME!!

Marta and I eventually joined up with Kerry, Sue and Chris and we had a nice pace going, but then TWO REALLY fast guys decided to join which certainly changed the dynamics. Before we knew it, Marta and I were hanging on the back for dear life…going 27mph uphill. I’m sure my PowerTap thought my bike was hijacked because numbers were popping out that I have not seen before. Conversation had ceased except for the occasional acknowledgment that I was still “ON” the back. This insanity lasted until the “gift from above”... I was saved by the Rest stop at mile 35!! The second part of the ride my much more manageable. We had Braham (LTF founder and CEO) with us stirring the conversation in the group. After 50+ miles, we were greeted at LTF corporate HQ with great music and refreshments to keep the celebration going. It was amazing to meet so many new people and share such a great ride and memory together.

Of course I did get the guilt trip from Braham (in photo below with Patti and I) regarding my plans to skip the US OPEN in Dallas. Must have been that bear hug/head lock when he said something like “I’m paying, you have to go” … that got me back on board. Indeed it will be a fun trip, and who cares that it's just 5 days before KONA. PARTY ON!! This ride, made complete with all the amazing people, was yet was another reminder to take all of the opportunities and GO for it. More adventures ahead!


Kiersten completed her 2nd Tri on Saturday morning. I couldn't believe she was so fired up to do it, and it was so nice to be able to cheer from the sidelines! After her first track speed session on Wed, and her first XC meet on Friday, she was definitely POOPed Saturday after the tri.

Of course, NO Teenager is too pooped for Back to School shopping! I skipped the mall frenzy and opted for the post Mall of America fashion show.

We enjoyed a great Backyard BBQ at DKT’s Sunday night. It was fun to see everyone, but of course as the crowd thinned, it was time for us to battle on the Guitar.

Post Track workout recovery Float Sunday afternoon: 600 lbs of Epsom salts for the fried legs.

Gunther’s Annual Labor day TRI party. Steve and Helen are so amazing to open their beautiful home to the Tri Geeks. Aside from the frequent parties, they also host weekly OW swim workouts from their dock. Here's Helen driving the escort Pontoon.

Good Bye party for Hector at Brit's Pub. iwilltri will be studying hard at Kellogg for a few years, but plans for a reunion in Australia next September are in the works!

Monday Night Cap…A prefect reunion with buddies. Julie and Erik were back in town and we enjoyed a fun evening catching up.

I'll find more photos later, I'm off to make my favorite Raw Kale Salad (the kids are SO excited-NOT).