Monday, June 29, 2009

it is about you!

You make a difference without knowing it. Someone seeing a yellow wristband on your arm or wearing a Livestrong Tshirt or a pink ribbon, you're helping someone on their path to know they are not alone. We are not alone! We're all affected by cancer!

This is Patrick Dempsey, he is doing a 100 mile fundraising ride to help with the cancer clinic he is opening in honor of his mother who is battling cancer.

It is about us!
\/ Look \/
***For bicycle fun!
Tonight at The Transportation Museum The Carless Brit Museum grand opening. Also included is a 100 year history of bicycles and a tribute to Roanokes Blue Ridge Bicycle Club's founder Artie Levien. 6-8 all free tonight!

July 11
Car Wash!
We're washing away cancer 11-3 at Haverty's Valley View! All money goes to The Lance Armstrong Foundation.

who is it about

Cancer affects all of us! It is all around us, whether we realize it or not, but we can make a difference! We are doing it, but we cannot stop now.
How do you want to make a difference??

Make a difference!

the parkway!

I grew up in Salem, VA, with the beautiful colors of fall, bright blooming rainbows during the spring and watching the clouds roll across the valley below, as we cruised along the parkway as a child. I remember being piled into the faux wood paneled station wagon with my younger sister, as we ventured up the mountain for hours of viewing from inside the car. Being scared and shifting from one side of the car to the other side of the car as the expansive view changed around the corners showing what appeared to be a steep drop. Like we often do, I lost the appreciation of the mountains as a teenager.
I gained some appreciation when I traveled to Nebraska in the tenth grade to visit a pen pal over the Christmas break from school. It just did not seem right to be able to see the yellow house two miles away, without a bend or rise in the road. I was happy to see mountains again on the return trip home. It was not until I was in my mid-twenties that I began to truly see the mountains. I started to see the subtle changes of green colors on the trees as everything begins to bud in the spring. The painted canvas of reds, yellows, and oranges in the fall, all of a sudden had a different view.
Riding my bicycle helped to bring the mountains even closer. I remembered thinking back as a kid to our rides on the parkway, to watching the people on bicycles riding along. My Dad would talk to my Mom and with us about the cyclists, about the climb they had in front of them or some snip-it of cycling trivia. I would sit and think about the rides my Dad and I took. How we would ride for hours and hours together on our bicycles. We’d pull into the house smelling of sweat and fresh air, but a real sense of joy and accomplishment. I can remember making the comparison of cyclists on the parkway as being serious. In my youthful head, I probably thought they were professional cyclists.
Those memories came flooding back a few weeks ago in early June when I took my first ride on the parkway with a few great friends. One was guiding us along the way and talking us through. I went really slow, because I was uncertain of “the climb ahead of me”. Though it was only a steady gradual climb, not steep at all, but I wanted to have some reserve, just in case. I have experienced all to well that the terrain in a car and on a bicycle end up being completely different. It was a short ride, from our home in Old Southwest Roanoke to Vinton on the parkway and home, just over 22 miles, it was a nice gentle ride. The best way I have ever traveled on the parkway!
This past weekend we took to the parkway again, I held nothing back as a few of us ventured out again. After climbing up Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain to enter the parkway, I glided joyously along the road. I was smiling, soaking in the sun and feeling the cool breeze sliding across my face and jersey. It was an amazing feeling, a freedom I may have never felt before. Almost of flying without wings, of zipping through the air listening to the birds all around, seeing turkeys, horses and deer, fields of grass soon to be food and soaking in all that I could and not being trapped in the car. We road past the Vinton exit this time and went toward the next exit. We were on and adventure!
Pulling off the parkway for further rations for our return trip home, we decided to take to the rural roads and return through town. After winding our way home, just shy of 43 miles and having climbed 1572 feet, we dismounted from our bicycles. An amazing sense of accomplishment, of pride, of knowing how those “serious cyclists” felt from my childhood memories.
The Livestrong Challenge I am doing in August, is 45 miles, with an elevation of 1615 feet, you can look at the map in an earlier post or on the blog homepage. I know now I am going to be just fine on the ride, but one thing more happened. I realized on that ride I had been nose to the handle bar, sights pointing to the ride in August. I have forgotten to have fun and enjoy the ride, I think that is what happened when we crossed the exit we were going to take, I did not want it to end and they were willing to carry onward. I was with Tammy and Casey and it was a beautiful morning.
I think the little kid in me woke up that morning. Something else woke up inside me, I realized more than ever, that the Livestrong Challenge ride has given me so much and it is defiantly “More Than A Ride”. I have learned it has encouraged many people to buy bikes, that I know of four people have new shiny road bikes. People have told me that they have felt inspired, what they have done with that I do not know. I have also seen how people honor their loved ones on the fundraising honor roll on my fundraising webpage This Livestrong Challenge is making a difference in a world sadly full with cancer.
I have also learned more than ever the value of teamwork and that we are never alone. So if you are battling cancer, a loved one or friend is battling cancer or however cancer has impacted your life, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We are all part of the Livestrong Army and we are making a difference!

We are changing the world one revolution at a time!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The ride will go on!

Although my uncle is not currently fighting cancer, Lorax's cyst has been removed and is doing well with her acupuncture treatment and Dad's PET scan shows no tumors, don't think I'm stopping now! Yes! My Dad's PET scan shows no tumors, his next step is going to the endoscopic doctor, though he was so excited he couldn't tell me why.

YES I a still going to complete a 45 mile Livestrong Challenge ride in Philadelphia!!! Yes, the final thing that happened to push me out on my bike and to start raising money for The Lance Armstrong Foundation is my Dad's diagnosis of cancer. BUT! There are many other Dad's out there, Mom's, Uncle's, Aunt's, grandma's, grandpa's, cousins, nieces, nephews, children, pets and may other loved ones still fighting for their life.

1 in 3 people will hear the diagnosis of cancer in their lifetime and I'm doing what I can to help stop this TERRIBLE disease! Help me to allow others to recieve good news about their cancer or the cancer a loved one has been fighting. To get beneficial information about treatment options and know what to do when they are free from cancer.

Break the cycle!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cancer Angels Part 3

Angels are all around us, day in and day out we angels helping us throughout our day. We might feel a gentle breeze brush by our cheek or smell of a flower as you walk by gardens that nobody else smells. Those are angels letting you know you are safe, you are being taken care of and that they are right beside you.

For cancer angels, many are more physical. They are the loving wife that sits through all the appointments with you. Taking detailed notes of the treatments ahead, of the next battery of tests. They stay up to make sure you're still breathing when you're really sick.

I've seen cancer angels in a mother and father holding their childs head so they can try to eat. Or holding their hand as they cry not understanding when their hair starts to fall out.

I've seen cancer angels stand quietly in the checkout line with a newly shaved head, hidden under a hat with a pink ribbon on the front. Standing strong, courageous and happy to just be.

The cancer angel with the selfless act of allowing a loving family to adopt her young child. Because they have reached a point where you cannot take care of them and will soon not be an earth bound angel.

Cancer angels are all around us. We have to stop and listen to what they have to tell us. I do not mean to talk to them, but to listen by watching. They teach us grace, humility, courage, and so much more. They have looked at life and at their life and at the life of their loved ones, to realize that there is more to life than we allow ourselves to experience.

Remember to enjoy life while you can, because when you cannot you will wish that you had. Experience your dreams before it is to late and live without regret.

Listen to an angel!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

gear - The Jersey

Through three weeks in July you see streaks of bright colors flying by on fine tuned pieces of machinery. I mean the bicycles, though their operators are as well.
They are sporting their team sponsors in various colors and designs. Some are memorable while others fall to the wayside. These flashy jerseys, are more than sponsor advertisements, they are multi-functional.

1. They are made of various materials that help to pull moisture away from the body. That can help the rider keep better maintenance of their temperature. Until the 1970s the main material of choice was wool. Although it has come a long way since, at that time when the jersey got wet it got heavy and smelly. One of my jerseys is a wool jersey by, Earth Wind and Rider wool jersey, it doesn't feel hot, heavy and I haven't felt like I smelled like a wet sheep yet.

2. Most jerseys are ride ready. What does that mean? It means that when you lean over to the handle bars that your sleeves do not roll over and bunch up around your neck. Many have a slightly higher neck to protect from sun. It also means that the back is a little longer and when you bend over you limit the opportunity to burn your lower back cause your shirt is now bunched up around your neck and the sleeves have rolled over your shoulders. And you reduce the chance of showing off a little plumber crack, though I guess in this case it would become cyclist crack.

3. Like a backward kangaroo they come often with three handy pouches in the back. In early photos of The Tour de France you see them toting glass bottles in their pouches. These days cyclist out for a long ride might be storing snacks for the road, protien or carb bars gel pouches, sleeves (when the weather is cooler) and a host of other items.

4. For cyclist trying to improve their speed, a jersey can help where a basic Tshirt might get in the way. Most jerseys fit close to the body, reducing wind drag and helping their aerodynaics.

5. You can bling out your ride with a flashy jersey or a modest jersey, but either way you can add personality.
6. For women out there Terry (they also have a few plus sizes) has a great line of fashionable clothes for women. If you're like me and a little more on the full figured or curvy side Jenonia has a nice line of plus size active wear. Or of you want to show a little more personality, Primal Wear has something that might strike your fancy. Various styles and materials from modern to retro and wool to lycra and small zipprs to full length zippers. Trust me there is something for everyone.

Though a jersey may not be something you have ever thought of, I hope you don't discount the functionality of a jersey.

Hopping along!
July 11, 11-3
Havery's Valley View

Monday, June 22, 2009


I am pleased to report that I am out of a sling and feeling pretty good after my collar bone popped out. Repeatedly in one week. Crazy thing to happen! Though I was able to ride and work, it was to be in a sling whenever not doing either of those or sleeping.

So I was happy to advance from short rides to a long ride yesterday. Cruizing along on a 40 mile ride, enjoying a perfect morning. Then at mile 25, BAM! I had a bug hit my leg, which I thought would bounce off and keep moving, that happens. But NOOOOOOOooooo it decided to bite me. As I yelped like a dog, who just had their tail stepped on, I tried to knock it off my leg, but it was latched on like a tick. So I am slowing down, avoiding a wall, clipping out, smacking at a bee and some how popped my tire all at the same time. It takes talent, I cannot teach such things, they come natural. So our ride stopped, for me at least, Tammy rode home to get the car as I went to a pick up point, with my leg turning red and hurting. It is better, but my tire needs a tube.

This is where I begin to plug our favorite bike shop! :0) I like to show loyalty to places where I shop, brands that I buy and so on. Generally there is a reason. This reason is the guys at Just The Right Gear are always nice and helpful. They have stood there answering our endless line of questions, helped us pick out Tammy's bike (Cannondale Synapse), we got our Giro Xen helmets there a few years back and many other odds and ends. They sell Cannondale bikes, Kona bikes, Litespeed, all sorts of gear, components, do repairs and so on. You can even get some Livestrong bike shorts there.

They have a Facebook group and a website too. If you are traveling from Downtown Roanoke on I81, take the first Salem exit and keep to your left. Take a left at the light onto 419, then right at the next night onto 311, driving toward 311. If you have driven a mile, you've gone to far, they are on the right hand side, almost seeming tucked back.

So I am off to get a new tube for the already popped tire and replacement tubes for our bikes and an on the road pump, so next time a blow-out happens we can keep on riding. Though if a rabid yellow jacket attacks again, we will listen to the universe and assume that it is time to get off the bike for that day.

Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

good luck!

I am wishing everyone participatng in the Livestrong Challenge events this weekend in Seattle good luck!!!

You still have time to get in on the action for Philly in August or Aistin in October! There are 5K walks and runs. Bike rides at 20, 45, 70 and 100. Something for everyone!!! If you can't find an event that fits your personality, but still want to do something, then you can donate,

Stop cancer now!

Friday, June 19, 2009

good karma, good cake & healing

Good Karma Healing!
Tomorrow from 12 - 2
At The Lifestream Center
2001 Windsor Avenue
Small workshop about chakras, with chakra balancing and healing Reiki energy.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake (cause it is summery and has yellow rings like the Livestrong Wristbands) made by The Dessert Divas as refreshment!!! You enjoyed some of their tasty treats at the bake sale. :o)

50% of all monies goes to The Lance Armstrong Foundation to help fight cancer!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Happy healing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

it is a car wash!

The almost last fundraiser for the 2009 Livestrong Challenge season. July 11, 11-3 at Haverty's Valley View. I have put a flyer up on the blog for that fundraiser, along with the fundraiser this weekend and also have posted an image of the bib that I will wear the day of the ride. I chose to ride in honor of my family members that are still living with cancer or have survived cancer. I just do not have enough real estate on my body to ride for everyone who has touched my life and lived with cancer or have been taken by cancer.

The 45 mile ride is just shy of 60 days away. Minus a small problem with my collar bone popping out, I am ready to go! The collar bone is being treated by my chiropractor and acupuncturist and I plan to be 100% next week. :0) I can still ride, but uncomfortable pretty much the rest of the time.

This is one of those times where I have had to be reminded why I am riding and to keep pushing myself through, but to remember not to push to hard. Crazy balancing act.

I keep hearing people say I am to old or I'm this or I'm that... I don't believe in that. You're never to old or whatever. You just may not be able to do what you once did, but you can get out there and start. Don't sell yourself short, because of a social image you have. I've read about a gentleman for his 65th birthday decided to run the Chicago marathon, he has since inspired his daughter and helped train many others. Or the 80 year old who competes in marathons. Or how about the gentleman that pushes his son in a wheel chair through marthons and triathlons???

One thing I have learned through all of this, is that we put our own limitations on ourself. Yea, I have a few more curves at 36 than I had at 16, I recover a little more slow, but I'm still getting out there and trying. That is all you have to do is try, just see what you can do. If you make it down your drive way, WAY TO GO! If you make it past that, you're doing remarkable. Just do it!

If you want someone to ride with, then let me know, I love to ride and can ride almost any speed. Hey before you know it, you'll be doing things you never thought possible. I know I have.

Keep on turning,

Monday, June 15, 2009

picking a challenge event

People do a Livestrong Challenge for many reasons and ride in honor of people or in memory of people. Here is a video from The Lance Armstrong collection of Livestrong, take a minute and see how cancer has affected peoples lives.

Help keep this fight so we can live in a world free of cancer:

Thank you for all of your support!

I know I can

Now I know I can! :0) Make it 45 miles on my bike that is. :0) The total elevation that I will climb in August will be more than the elevation that I climbed on Saturday, but I know I can make it 45 miles. Which is a relief!

Saturday, June 13, Tammy (on her spiff new road bike from the last time), Casey (also a new roadie) and myself all (Jessee was also on her new road bike and Elizabeth went along too, for 34 miles) went to Blacksburg again to ride the Huckleberry, for four laps. We did 46.08 miles in 3:32:25, which is respectable. Casey finished first ahead of us, someone did not fuel along the way properly and bonked so finishing was a struggle and it was not me. I was hoping not to have to say "I told you so", so I searched for a nice way to put it. Haha! It is easy to do, feel ok and as though you have more to give and not fuel. Heck, it is easy, even elite athletes misjudge. It is a tough task to accomplish, especially for me cause I want to feul, but I am also trying to reduce the weight that I am carrying around, so I have to be careful what I eat while riding. If you are having trouble on long rides, talk to a friend who does a lot of riding or with your physician. Proper feuling, including hydration can make a huge difference in a long ride or a lot of climbing.

As part of my regular training, we have started climbing on our bikes up Mill Mountain every week. It is a good steady climb with some steap parts. There is an old road that is much steaper, I want to make it up the new road a few times without stopping first. This week we did not ride up Mill Mountain, because we were going to ride 46.08 miles. So I figure if the riding continues and keep climbing up Mill Mountain, by August, 45 miles will be an achievable task and before they cut off the course. When I signed up, 45 miles seemed like a distant goal. I was going to be happy if I was 75% of the way there before the ride. :0) I am ahead of my fitness goal for the ride.

I have posted the course description and I am excited to show you the course map, with elevation and water stations.

Saddle up!

Friday, June 12, 2009

saddle wisdom part 2

Here are a few things I've learned recently with my time on a saddle. Hopefully it will help you on your rides.

1. A car door with an occupant not noticing you on a bike can be a dangerous obtsacle.

2. Long distances might call for skin protection in the saddle area. Even with padded shorts, friction occurs. Body butt'r or bag balm come recommended. Nozema was mentioned, but I'm not sold on that yet.

3. If you're on road bike, watch out for railroad tracks or road grates with wide slits. Your tires are narrow and can get stuck and hitting the tracks just right can pop a tire or knock you off your bike.

4. Friends. Find a group to ride with. They help keep you accountable when you're not feeling the ride. They can also encourage you along the way in all sorts of ways.

5. Talk to your physician if your having any unusual problems. Such as continued fatigue, slow recovery or any other things that can cause you long term damage.

Go out and ride and have fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

forward moving

"One who does not look ahead, remains behind."
~Brazilian Proverb

One thing I am doing on a regular basis is looking forward. Looking forward on the bike for any obstacles to avoid, looking forward as I work to improve my health, looking forward to fundraisers to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, looking forward to the 45 mile Livestrong Challenge ride in August and looking forward to a world free from the devastating disease of cancer.

Cancer is a terrible disease and we have the power to stop it, but action needs to be taken.
Write letters:
Lobby your Congressperson for more funding for cancer research for vaccines, more humane chemo drugs and whatever way you feel they can help end the 1500 deaths per day that will occur from cancer.
Donate online:
Good Karma Healing
June 20, 12-2 at Lifestream Center $20
50% goes to The Lance Armstrong Foundation
Get your car washed:
July 11, 11-3 at Haverty's Valley View
All monies go to The Lance Armstrong Foundation

Looking forward to a cancer free world!

Monday, June 8, 2009

75 days left

WOW! It is amazing how time flies when you're having fun.
Here is a quick update. Been a little busy after Lorax had her cancerous cyst removed and getting her squared around.

I have been able to do amazing things in this short about of time and have a wonderful group of people supporting me and riding with me. It is great! We have now completed three successful rides up Mill Mountain, our first Parkway ride and rode for 31 miles without more than a few minute break to stretch or fill up water bottles. This weekend we are shooting for four laps on the Huckleberry, which would put our total miles to 46.1. Since the last time we rode, Tammy has bought a road bike and two of our other friends have bought road bikes, one is renting one for the day. It is going to be another fabulous experience.

The gym thing is not as often as I am trying to get in more miles on the bicycle. Though we plan to pick that back up this week two days during the week to continue with some strength training.

Have you checked out the honor roll yet on my Livestrong Challenge fundraising page? The site is,, you can add your name really easily. :0) More money in checks and cash to be sent.

This has been a wonderful experience and looking forward to the next 75 days. I am glad to be sharing this with you and you take time to read these updates.

Stay tuned for more exciting news, updates, rides and fundraisers!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

children and cancer

As you've already read I do not know life without cancer being in it. Sadly, but true. Fortunately I am 36 and have never had it in my body, tho many others around me have. Many are not even adults.

Today after noon, Skylar (cancer angels part 2) lost her battle with cancer. Her body got to tired to continue to fight the fight. No matter how ready you are for your loved one to be out of pain and discomfort, you are truely never ready for that next day when you will not be able to smell their smell, hold them or hear them. So remember to give blessings to the families of people with cancer. My love and prayers go out to the soul of Skylar being lifted heavenly and to her family who has shown unending love.

Another young one is fighting for his life. I do not know him, but someone at my vet does. So I'm passing along their story.

Here is the flyer as they have it:
Pack the Park-June 17th
Help us pack the park June 17 to benefit Dylan Smith (AKA Dill Pickles). Dylan us a brave 6 year old that is currently battling and winning the fight against medulloblastoma (brain cancer). He has endured numerous medical procedures over the last 6 months and has more treatments to go. We are trying to help the family with medical expenses and greatly appreciate any and all support and wishes given.
Thank you The Dylanators

For tickets you can call Monica Farris 389-2113 or go to Vinton Vet and see Lauren or Meghan.

If you buy a ticket from one of them it is $5 and $3 goes to Dylan's family. If you wait til the day of the game it will be $7 and 50 cents goes to the family. **In short you can save $2 and they get $2.50 more. So make that call.

****Really neat thing, it will be his birthday that night and he plans to attend!!!!

Keep up the fight!

Monday, June 1, 2009

another name on the bib

Though we have a lot to celebrate on the bike. We still have times of struggle, both on & off. We had our first ever bicycle ride on the Parkway. We climbed Mill Mountain, I didn't freakout and feel I needed to stop part of the way up. This time I went all the way and kept going all the way to Vinton. Again with many thanks to Lisa and her wonderful coaching and cheering all along the way. Casey & Min joined us too, it was a nice group.

Lisa must've realized what she was doing, when she helped me through the heaviness in my heart. I was having a tough slow climb up Mill Mountain, a lump in my throat and I wanted to turn around and go home. I was having a moment of feeling defeated. The rain kept us off our bike all week & randomness kept us from the gym. So Tammy and I didn't feel as prepared. Not to mention the day before we found out that Lorax our 16 year old poodle was diagnosed with cancer, when we took her in to have a growth on her lip looked at. She had surgery today and all of the cyst was taken off. Given her age, we opted not to treat her cancer with chemo and/or radiation, but we are addimg to our regular vet by taking her to acupuncture to keep her comfortable. That starts next Thursday.

Lisa talked me through my visible struggle and helped me to realize that I was honoring her playful side by going out and playing outside on our bike. I talked about her playing soccer, by dodging a slightly smaller than regulation ball between her front paws. She won second place at a talent show once with such fantastic talent! :o) I ls have to brag she once won a pet costume contest. :o) She has oozing personality. Then another friend, Wanda, helped me again to realize that Lorax and my love for her will keep me strong on the bike when my dedication may waiver. Thank you to, two wonderful women that reminded me that life is pecious and deserves to be celebrated and appreciated when we have it!

So I add a 3rd name to my bib of the people I am riding in honor of, because all three have given me so much. I ride with in honor of their courage, their love of life and unique qualities. In August I chose to ride with those in my family still living with or surviving cancer; Dad, Jime' and Lorax will be proudly worn all 45 miles through the streets of Philadelphia, PA.

Don't forget to enjoy this moment!