Today was Lotoja- a section I have ridden a few times. However, today was awesome. Dave (who is on his first year of riding) did incredible once again- he is a natural. I love being able to push through the pain and climb the mountains - it was great to ride up Geneva with Golden and Salt River with Gary. Having someone to push you and coach you along makes all the difference in the world and to see those ahead doing the same made me smile. Mike was honored with the GREEN 51 jersey today and he had the magic as he pedaled along. As we made it to Afton the longest stretch for me starts- it is about 40 miles of headwind in scary conditions however today I beat all my time records due to the strong work-horses up front who blocked the wind. It was all I could do to hold on. There is always someone faster and someone slower....BUT at the end of the day being able to ride your bike is a BLESSING!
I was really nervous to ride Monte Cristo - as I had a horrible experience last year. However, this year things went much better. I was proud to hang with the group until the pitch changed- then I was just happy to see them in my sights. There are some amazing climbers in this group. I thought the top was 24.5 miles...so at 25 miles I was going a little MENTAL....and at this point I lost sight of any fellow riders. As the miles continued and the false summits continued I was just about to stop (and maybe cry a little) when I started to think of Dave Sperry who is still fighting strong and all the other ANGELS I have pulling for me in heaven and at that moment a HUGE STRONG tailwind came in behind me and pushed/carried me for awhile. It made me realize how small I am and how lucky I am to be able to ride with those I love and to ride for those who cannot. My dad was honored with the GREEN 51 jersey today and the magic came through his legs as well. Today was the MOST scared I have been-- we had to ride through cattle being herded up the mountain and the cow pies were not the scary part it was riding through cows that are much LARGER than I who were giving me the evil eye- I was happy to have Dad in front of me and Dave behind me- but WOW my heart got into zone 5 in a hurry due to the fear.
As we got to the back side of Bear Lake the cross winds were killing me and Larry came and gave me the special spot that I rode the rest of the day - as we hit the rollers behind the lake I wasnt sure what Larry was thinking having me up front pulling with him at a crazy pace- it sure caught up to me later- but amazed at how having encouragement from such a good group of riders and those we ride for makes it easy to dig deep and find more to keep pushing. Oh and knowing I have my dads genes in me somewhere sure helps.
The best was Dave ordering chile-verde for dinner and it looked just like the cow pies we were desperately trying to avoid on our bicycles??
There is soo much love and inspiration in this group-it is an honor to be part of it.
Today was a beautiful day. I pushed to my limits again.....but it was incredible. I often remind myself how lucky I am to be alive and to be able to ride with such an amazing group of people and ride for an amazing group of people. Riding with my dad is one of my favorite things in the world to do. Today Brad wore the green jersey and was super fast (I think the one in the jersey has special powers). After two climbs I was feeling good to get up and over Trappers - the encouragement from my fellow riders was inspiring. I was very HAPPY to roll i
Today was the toughest day yet for me - I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and dizzy. We had a great ride out around the lake and up over to Morgan and then I had no more. I got in the truck and rode a few miles outside of Morgan to East Caynon Resort where I got back on the bike to finish the ride. While riding with the most amazing support Cami and Erick we had a great talk about joy and life and survival and the meaning of life (JOY)! And Cami's homemade jam helped get my tummy back under me so I could finish the ride. It was a hot climb up to the top of big mountain with my dad at my side (pushing too) and once we summited it was great to get a big hug from Larry and encouragement from the rest of the group. It was a hot finish and wonderful to be surrounded by such amazing supportive people (both riders and supporters) and then to meet Dave and his wife was incredible. The spark in Dave's eyes and the gratitude made all the pain totally worth it! Dave has the mental attitude that will take him through his journey and we sure hope to see him on a bike soon!
I hope to be a part of this amazing group next year!! Thank you to all - I am incredibly grateful for the love and support I received from soo many over the past 4 days!
Today was really tough - we had a strong headwind the entire day and it was really tough to find a draft. Needless to say by time we started to climb Monte Cristo I was sick to my stomach and exhausted. My amazing DAD stuck by my side and helped push me up some of the hills and talk me out of losing my stomach on the side of the road. When things got really bad for me on a few of the false summits I thought of Dave and what he is fighting and pushed more. Then as it was rough again I thought of what my dad has made it through and I pushed some more. Then Lynn came by giving me a bit more inspiration to keep on pedaling. Then our amazing support drove by encouraging me even more! So with the help and support of soo many I made it through the day!!
Today's message: EVERYONE DESERVES SOMEONE WHO WILL NOT GIVE UP ON THEM AND WHO WILL STAND BY THEIR SIDE AND SUPPORT THEM (even when they say 'just leave me' - thanks DAD)!
Oh and side note: there were NO bikinis spotted anywhere on the route today - we all saw nothing!
We had a rough morning today on the narrow shoulder heading out of Alpine into Afton. A nasty piece of wood put two people on the pavement, two of us into the dirt and sagebrush, and took the derailer clean off my dad's bike. It was enough to rattle us all especially me as I am not much of a mountain biker especially on my Orbea - I went off into the dirt off the road and then into some sagebrush but was able to recover (to my complete shock). We then continued into the wind and up two major climbs. This group of riders and support crew are amazing and supportive. It never ceases to amaze me how the human spirit is able to dig even deeper and pull through with a little nudge of support - we are all capable of more and need to recognize that and push through to our limits. The survival stories and amazing attitudes of those who have battled challenge and who are battling (GO DAVE!!) I am humbled and inspired by them to push through even when the wind is doing her best to break us. A wise man (my dad) pointed out how cycling is a metaphor for life - you get hills, wind, wood, cross winds, downhills, you hit a wall and are sure you have nothing more and yet you push through because if you hang on just long enough the hill will break, a tire to draft will show up, and some words of encouragement from friends will help you through!
I did pull off QUEEN of both the mountains again today and tied with Larry for the Sprint points!
WOW - what can I say the Tetons made for great inspiration to make up for the wind that seemed to be a cross wind all day! Hats off to the most amazing DAD any girl could ever want - that man pulled me all day long and let me ride in his blind spot protecting me from the wind all day long! When I felt like crying (which was a few times) I just dug in and thought of Dave Sperry and the others who are battling cancer and was able to push through - SO BIG THANKS to all of them for their inspiration!
At one of today's summits I finally learned the SECRET to riding and climbing strong!! I would share it but I feel that Larry can share it best so feel free to ask him!
I made it heaven with miss wiggles tonight and am looking forward to another date with her tomorrow night!
To quote Huntsman - You cant define hope it is something that you live!