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Friday, September 16, 2016

LOTOJA 2016–Volunteering & 1000 miles!


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I began as support crew for my brother in 2005,

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then in 2009 I attempted my first LOTOJA race and now . . . 

now here it is 2016.

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Due to some minor health challenges I have been struggling with and to Superman’s surgery and recovery length we concluded it was best to take the year off so
For the first time in 7 years I opted not to ride this year,


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but volunteered instead. . .
What an amazing experience!

(This is from LOTOJA 2011)

Friday, we assisted with packet pick up getting swag bags with t-shirts, water bottle, cow bell, the famous Great Harvest Bread Coupon, along with all the other coupons, advertisements and of course the Race Bible . . . as cyclists came to check in.

. . . we had fun!



Then for Saturday, we were assigned to help with the Relay transition in Montpelier, ID

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Superman recorded manually, along with another volunteer, every relay cyclist that came crossed through the transition . . .

he said it was a busy job and it was pretty intense when they all came in together


and my job? > > >

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It started out COLD!  it was a whopping 34°f at 8:00 am in Montpelier,
it eventually warmed up later and I shed all this winter gear.
I was assigned directing cyclists and traffic!  

Right in the middle of the intersection coming into Montpelier

I initially had plans for tons of pictures, but it was a busy spot. . . there was no time for leisurely photo shoots while holding a flag, a camera, all while pointing and hollering directions and encouragement to cyclists and support crews as they rounded the corner less than two blocks from support.

the whole scenario proved fatal for picture taking

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Every single cyclist participating in the race went right past where I was standing. . .


I could not have been happier


nor could I have had a better time


I felt the power, the energy, the focus and drive, the triumph, and fatigue,


of each rider that passed by. . .

As I cheered and encouraged each and every group


being there was flat out spectacular, amazing, awesome, incredible, inspiring, educational
the experience in and of itself was one all of it’s own caliber and one I will never forget

Honestly, as soon as they said we would provide traffic/cyclist control I was all over that job, and I did something quite out of character for me, I was quite assertive.  In fact, I snagged a vest, picked up the flag and quite effectively picked my spot on the course. . .

no regrets here. . . period
except perhaps the sunburned face. . .
yup, I didn't even consider sunscreen. . . oops!

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This is a picture from Ultimate Challenge 2015, and is clearly not my hand

. . . mine is old and wrinkly. . . but, the cowbell

. . . well, I think you get the idea

Then we made our way to Jackson and cheered cyclists as they rode,  as I cheered with my cowbell ringing as we drove along the route . . . where support vehicles are not permitted


In Short

. . . It was a spectacular day!


It was fun to see LOTOJA from a completely different perspective, and I have grown to love this event even more.

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. . . But, I would still rather ride my bike


Have I ever told you that I LOVE riding my bike? 


If you didn’t know this before, now you do.

I truly LOVE riding my bike!



Superman put in this observation:
"You get to see the amazing differences in the riders; those who've trained versus those who thought, 'ya! I can do that!  I've ridden my bike around Bear Lake . . . 50 miles . . . so 200 miles . . . ah . . . no sweat!'  ARGGHHHHH . . . then reality hits.  We saw all levels of riders at we went up to Jackson."

It's true, as we drew closer to the front where the stronger riders were approaching Alpine and Hoback Junction the differences were noticeable HUGE between the front and those several miles behind.  As we observed the differences in pedaling consistency and the energy of the cyclists riding, with speed and apparent effort being applied to the bike.  The stronger riders further ahead by 50- 75+ miles in the race were still faster, stronger, and smoother than those 1-3 hours behind them.  We found it interesting and educational.

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On Sunday we attended the awards ceremony. 


I was excited to be there even though I didn’t feel a cyclist or remotely look like a cyclist, 
which I surprisingly felt awkward about.


I’m grateful that my volunteer experience was stellar as it was, because I had imagined since I began this quest. . .

which was: I would ride across the finish line with a big ol smile on my face, loving the feeling of completing this ride 8 consecutive times


. . . that was the way it was going to be the year I was awarded my sprocket,

but it’s obvious that sometimes the visions we make for ourselves don’t necessarily work out the way our hopes and dreams see them. 

However, having the opportunity to volunteer and then be placed where I was helped buffer this disappointment.

. . . next year we will ride,
this year, well my purpose was completely different,
and the logic made sense,
the decision was the right one.


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There they were. . .
and mine was in there somewhere
Aren’t they gorgeous?


I have admired these sprockets for 12 years, and finally one of them had my name on it

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Finally, my LOTOJA 1000 mile sprocket.

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It took seven years to get this baby. . .
I was caught off guard at the emotion that came over me as they handed me my 1000 mile sprocket.


Over the course of the 7 years I logged 20,079 miles in 770.44 hours

. . . that's a Lot of miles on a bike.
That's a lot of time!

. . . last time I checked, I think they either call that crazy, or committed,
I'll let you decide which category it fits into


What's sad is this is comparatively low for the serious cyclists!
 
the trip to Jackson to pick this up at the award ceremony was worth the trip





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Me, feeling awkward and fat, while simultaneously not looking like or feeling like a cyclist :(

. . . but, I am excited, honest!


. . . it was an amazing moment

with this moment, the memory of every ride including both those completed and the 2 DNF's all came flooding to me with perfect clarity.

. . . Memories that in that moment I recognized as those which are unforgettable and irreplaceable

 
Memories that I'll cherish and are mine forever.

 
Recalling of all of the support and encouragement from

family . . . especially my kids . . . friends, and fellow cyclists 

managers, supervisors, co-workers and staff

and without doubt, my Coach

All played an valuable role in my quest

all are all a tender and integral part of the success of this day and efforts that went into receiving this token of accomplishment.






Thank you All!

What next?


Well, Superman suggested the 2000 mile sprocket. . .


so there you have it, he will go for his 1000 while I ride another 1000 miles in the Logan to Jackson bike race known as . . .

LOTOJA


oh yeah, gotta love life!






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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for volunteering, and congratulations on the 1k...only 5 more for your 2k. I hope to see you on course next year!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Stacey! If we cross paths stop and say hello, we love meeting fellow cyclists :)

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