Dedication and determination = survival.

We can survive amazing things. This is what sports/fitness can do for us. It teaches us amazing things.

We train and recover in order for our bodies to adapt. We teach our bodies how to do amazingly hard races and events. We survive because we train ourselves to survive.

It takes dedication of mind and body. Dedication and determination. All things we learn while training for our athletic goals we use throughout all of our daily lives.

It"s easy to want to quit when the going gets tough but we don't. We continue on. We continue on because we train ourselves to do just this. To NOT quit.

In 25 months I survived:

-A truck - bicycle accident
-5 related surgeries (more will eventually come)
-PTSD so severe I was only sleeping an hour a night and lost life’s most precious thing; my perception of who I am, who I had always been, and who I had built my life around being
-Cancer, cancer surgery and the cancer treatment
-A neighborhood mountain fire so disastrous it is called the most expensive disaster in Colorado history.
-An amazing physical and mental comeback in less than a year
- A broken hip while training on my bicycle commuting to work
- and
a flash-flood, through my community, with the velocity and depth not seen since the late 1800s.

I survived! I survived because of what I learned in a lifetime of sport and dedication to athletics and fitness.

PBP and Brevet rides.


I almost changed my objective training macro plan(s), made in early Spring about what Brevets and rides to do to get ready for PBP. Could it be the satisfaction of registering for PBP , last Friday night, took over the carefully laid plans to be conservative with my training and rehab?

Or.. was I getting worried listening to all of the stories of fellow Randonneurs doing multiple 600kms Brevets and 1,000km rides and I felt left out? I want my 1,000km. I do! I want to get the Randonneur 5000 award. I WILL!

It's been a hard road coming back but I am starting to feel stronger on the bike, in the gym, on the floor -doing my exercises. A little bit of progress at a time. Far more slowly than I would like to see or would have expected. The hip is doing better then I had expected but the wrist is not going very well. My back is slowly getting better and the neck seems to be holding up. Knees... not bad. Still, I CAN ride the bike and I am grateful for this. I AM! I just get whiny about it at times. Ahhh, live today, not in the past. Live for who you can be right now-not who you used to be.

We were able to place our entry into Paris Brest Paris (PBP) on Friday night.  I crack jokes that I needed a cue sheet and map just to get through registration. I was impatient, as the site had some glitches and it was not actually my own lack of ciber weaving data entry but the site just needed me to be patient.

If you need a recap of what and how... here you go...

This step has been the long awaited part of the PBP preparation. Registration was a challenge, as you have to have a lot of information included while you register. First you go to one web site to pull your homologation (I think that's the word they use) numbers from the qualifying events. This is actually the second step as we did this back in April for the pre qualifying registration. Remember, we pre-qualifyed by doing several pre qualifying events last year. I crammed those in after the cancer surgery and before the hip surgery. Steve was able to get in one longer Brevet event than I was (more on this later below) but my 600km Brevet event allowed me enough "points" to sigh up early this year. Signing up early allowed for us to give 30 euros and have a place "held" until this week. The intent is that you are going to register for PBP, do the 2011 qualifiers and then fully register.

There is an award called the Randonneur 5000 award. There have only been 26 American women to get this award. I would like to be one of those. You have to start by being (completing) a series of Brevets and this means you have completed what's called a SR series-or Super Randonneur. The Super Randonneur award recognizes those riders who finish an ACP-sanctioned  (Audax Club Parisien -ACP-is the organization from France) brevet series of 200 km, 300 km, 400 km, and 600 km in a calendar year. This is something we have been completing each year since 09. The Randonneur 5000 award is for those riders completing at least 5000 kilometers of brevets (including a Paris-Brest-Paris, a full ACP series of 200 km, 300 km, 400 km, 600 km, and 1000 km brevets, and a Flèche team event) within a four-year period.

All I would have left  for this award is the 1000km brevet, once I have completed PBP. I would have liked to have completed it already but because we don't know what my hip or wrist will do with     such a  great distance, we (Steve and I) have decided to wait until we finish PBP and then set my sights on the 1000km brevet. Maybe even do it in another country.  It gets quite tedious doing this much riding all of the time and with so many official events- to get to PBP-which only happens every 4 years and I want this goal/accomplishment and it has really helped be the carrot for my recovery.

Tedious? Well, I miss my mountain bike and have only been able to ride it a handful of times since the accident. Hope this changes in the next year or so as my hand gets stronger. I love riding and the road bike is providing an outlet to this thing I love. You know, the wind, the smells, the sights.....

Each of these events is to be completed self supported. We load up our bikes to carry almost everything we need. In PBP we will be allowed two drop bags. We'll place extra gear in these and plan on changing out clothes at least 2x during the 1200km of PBP. Oh, we have signed up for the 90 hour category. This means that we will be official finishers of PBP, when we complete it in or under 90 hours. There are two other categories; 84 hours and 80 hours. The risk for choosing these times can be that something goes wrong along the route and you do not make it in under your allotted time-then you are DNF-did not finish. Or DQed-disqualified.

We will start PBP at 6:30 PM(or when ever our wave of riders crosses the start line) on Sunday night, August 21st. We will be done by 90 hours later. Steve and I hope to be able to do this under 80 hours but we have the 90 hours to do it in. There are 5-6000 possible riders from all over the world. 719 from the US.

So I will stick to my original plan. Do the 600km this coming weekend. DOn't try to cram in the 1,000km. Stick to the plan. Stick to the plan........

PBP Dates to Note.

As posted on the SIR and RMCC websites, these are important dates to take notice of:

THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011
Important PBP Dates from Mark Thomas (of SIR)

Mark Thomas reminds us of the following important dates for PBP aspirants.  See lots more info like this on the PBP Wiki.

May 29   
Preregistration for riders who rode a 200km ACP brevet (or longer) in 2010
Starts midnight Paris time, so 3PM on 5/29 for west coast, 6PM on 5/28 for east coast
June 11   
Registration begins (presumably midnight Paris time, so afternoon of 6/10 in US)
Preregistered riders start final registration
Non-preregistered riders may also register if there are quota spaces available (likely)
June 19   
Pre-registered riders lose their priority space if not yet registered
This may free up national quota to allow more non-preregistered riders to register on June 20
July 17   
Registration deadline
Riders who registered without all of their 2011 brevet homologation numbers must provide them by July 17
More registration info at the ACP PBP Registration page.

Riding forward to recover from PTSD and other injuries.

As I begin to realize that my dream of going to PBP is likely going to happen (Steve and I have now qualified), it seems it comes with more emotional and physical work than I thought it would take. Not that I thought it would be easy. No. As a coach I know that the work required to come back after so many injuries and mental stress is not easy. But, I thought once I qualified I would feel more confidence about getting to Paris and riding 1200km in 90 hours or under. Two steps forward, one step back. Guess it's better then two steps forward and two steps back. I just have to get this weight off of my shoulders. The weight of the monkey that seems to be sitting heavy, waiting for me to fail. To not get stronger. To not feel accomplishment. To not feel like I'm moving forward. And yet, I AM moving forward. I just am not the same. Hhhmmm, not the same. Why do I feel compelled to be the same?

I guess the easiest way to heal and move forward is to give up the past. If I really want to start over,  I need to stop the continuous thoughts of "I'm not the same as I was" and " I'm not as fast or as strong as I was". Of course I'm not. I was hit by a truck, I got cancer and I had multiple surgeries to repair the accident damage.  So why do I continue to think I will be what, who, and where I was? Because I am human. I want hope. Hope and determination of that hope is the driver of this cyclist, this athlete, this human. I want what I remember to be me. I felt like I was superhuman. Well, that's what I thought. I never gave any physical endeavor much thought. I just went and did it. And most of the time succeeded quite well. Not like I didn't have to try. Or that is wasn't hard. I pushed myself all of the time. I could always do and be better. The very thing that is driving me to Paris now, is the monkey that sits on my shoulders. To give it up now would be to give up my dreams. If I give up my dreams, I let the accident win. The system wins-not me. Not on my terms. So I continue to pedal. To look forward. To have hope that one day, although not the same as before, that I will be comfortable on my bike. Comfortable with less strength, comfortable being different than I was. Comfortable with the wind in my face and the views from the seat of my bike. I miss that feeling. I miss the parallel to life that riding brought me. The bike moves forward. Life moves forward.

It's hard to leave behind what you know.

A little humbulness goes a long way to get you to PBP.

The last qualifier for Paris Brest Paris--------DONE! Now let the work begin!
 And, oooohhhhhhhhh, was it a painful ride for me. I guess I would say it is kind of bittersweet. I had to work hard for my final PBP qualifier. I would love to say I enjoyed myself throughout the day but it was a very difficult day for me. A little humble pie seemed to be served at every control and every hill we rode up. Most of the hills are between 7 and 11 %. (Garmins have great purpose).

The Black Forest 300KM is one of the most beautiful Brevets. It takes us on rolling roads through horse farms and past huge houses nestled against the foots hills west of Denver, and south down to towns with names you only hear about when there are major snowstorms; Larkspur, Palmer Lake, Black Forest and Elbert. This 300 KM is mainly above 7,000 feet and has just under 10,000 feet of elevation gain. You hope for no rain throughout the day, as it will turn to snow (as we found out last year) but this usually means good stiff headwinds for most of your scenic riding.
 I am so very lucky to have Steve at my side for all of my rides. Mentally I'm not quite ready to ride all of the Brevets on my own and physically not quite ready to pull my own butt around. So many thanks for a loving and strong and patient husband and best friend. I could not and maybe would not be willing to chug along to get my butt to Paris if you were not helping me so much. Not to mention the many friends, like John Lee, who also help me reach my goal of riding in PBP this year.
 A great finish well before dark and a perfect pre-ride. with a good message for the actual day of the Brevet-the dirt road section on Hodgen is short and ridable. Please buy a lot of food at the control in Black Forest. The BBQ and hospitality are awesome and they are looking forward to seeing all of you on Brevet day. Eat eat eat!

A not so pretty photo of me at the finish.  It IS the finish and with all of my whining about how hard it was and what things hurt more than I would have liked...I can still smile. I am now qualified!
The day after: A little humility goes a long way.

Woke up in a not so good mood. Yesterday just didn't go as I would have liked. I didn't feel much joy. Hmmmmm. Then I started to think about everything. Everything about the last 23 months.

I am so very fortunate that I can still ride. I can still go after my dreams. That I can actually see how very hard this is for so many people. That I still have a gift. I still have two legs, two arms, hands, a brain. For goodness sake! It may all be much harder than I ever expected but doesn't that show me how very lucky I was for so long?  I was so able to do so much? That I could do so many things? And now, to still be able to go after my goals/dreams, to be able to look at this all and realize how lucky I was and how lucky I still am. Yup, learning a little humility today.  To be able to look back at what so many people said after the accident, the cancer and the fires. "How lucky you are to be alive!". I couldn't quite get "it". I only saw what I'd lost, not what I still have. Hmmmm, I think I'm beginning to see what I still have. I have a lot. I have love, a life, friends and family. Yup, I DO have a lot. I also have a lot to learn-humility/humbleness.

Qualifying for PBP.

It's the time of year, that comes every  four years in a Randonneurs/Randonneuses life. If you want to make it to PBP you must do your qualifying Brevets.

If you listened to your RBA, you did some of the pre-qualifying Brevets last year and were able to get on a "holding" list. This list allows you to get through your qualifying Brevets, this year, with some calmness and not have to keep your eye and finger on the computer screen's red registration button as the sign up day gets closer and closer. You and 5999 of your best Brevet riding buddies. I was one of the lucky riders.  I was able to get in my 600km Brevet just before taking a 9-10 month break form riding to work out the kinks of several accident related injuries. Doing the 600KM Brevet (ACP, of course) allowed me to pre-register on April 17th. At least I have a little time to finish up my SR series and get my mind and body ready for PBP-a goal of mine for more years than I can remember. The very goal that seems to be helping propel me forward as it is harder and harder to keep rehabbing and riding and working and mentally preparing for PBP.  Like the little engine that could! I can, I will. Well, because to stop now, would seem like quitting. And I am not a quitter. Life, like riding is something we do to get us to the next goal-the next thing. Like a long Brevet or ride, things always change. My hope is that the riding gets easier, more relaxing. Less painful, and becomes what it once was for me, a great way to see life and the world. I think I can, I think I can, I can, I will, because quitting is not my option.

So, making the come back after so many injuries is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I knew physically it would hard but I didn't think it would be such slow progress. I know, I tell my clients and athletes to keep moving forward. To be patient. I can, I will!

So I needed a diversion. A diversion from riding on the roads I know so well. The rides I would time myself on (once a racer-always a racer). So I asked Steve if he'd like to go on a mini vacation to ride somewhere different and do a Brevet qualifier, too.  We began looking for something that would be at a lower elevation than our home town or where we sleep at night. Not hard to do as we live at about 7,000 feet. We also needed some Brevets that had a little less climbing than home. This would give me the best possible riding and success. Wenatchee, here we come.

 We headed for Wenatchee Washington. Land of many many orchards. Here would be a week of rides, social get-togethers and the NW Crank.

When Steve and I started looking around for a Brevet week, or at least the option to do a 400KM and a 600KM Brevet in one week, we jumped at the chance to go and ride with the Seattle International Randonneurs at the NW Crank week of rides. It seemed the perfect way to celebrate our 19th anniversary and test out my riding legs after such a long winter off the bike. It helps that the elevation of the start and finish of these rides is about 6,000 feet lower in elevation than where we lay our heads at night.

Our biggest decision was not who to give the pets to for a week or what to pack for different weather conditions, but was whether we should go buy fenders for our bikes. We know some of the RMCC Brevet riders have fenders on their bikes but Steve and I have declined to add them to our bikes (at least for now). We are very aware that is can be very impolite to ride with people in rain and not have fenders... but decided to trust that we would be treated as inexperienced guests and I can say, we were not disappointed. We were treated like the dry inland riders we are.  Lucky for us (or really our new riding friends) we only encountered a handful of rain drops. I now own a brand new pair of quick release Race Blade fenders. I'll be ready for that rain now!

The Brevets during the NW Crank Week Apples, cherries, and pears. We saw fields of winter wheat brown and done and the new sprouts of the coming summer wheat. We rode along the Columbia River and saw incredible mountain lakes, like Lake Chelan.

Our new friends at SIR (and, of course the promoters of NW Crank) did not disappoint.  We had a wonderful vacation and even more satisfying rides. We made great new life long friends and people we hope to see in Paris or Brest, or along the way.

Steve and I would highly recommend going next year and getting in some early season miles, Brevets, or just great scenic rides. P.S. bring fenders-maybe.

Bonne Route!
Michelle and Steve

February 8th is 50 and one.

Will post a Birthday photo tomorrow. I think.

It snowed on my Birthday this year, like last year. Big difference from last year. Last year I was told I had cancer. This year I am clear.

One year older and one year younger. Live life. Move forward.

I coach because I want to help people find healthier lives. Find meaning in sport. Find ways to limit mistakes and help find more paths to meet their goals. Clarity.

Move forward. Yup, that's why I coach.

New PBP info...and some old.

2011 Paris Brest Paris, here we come!

Thanks to John Lee Ellis, of Rocky Mountain Cycling Club's
Randonneur division...

The Audax Club Parisien has sent this note with a variety of new things for PBP'11.  Some of these have been on their PBP website for some time, but some are new and have yet to appear there. Here is their message verbatim.  Some interesting tidbits!

New in 2011

In 2011, veterans of the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur will discover many new features that should make their ride even more pleasant.

Bike Check and Brevet Card Collection - As in previous editions, the bike check will make sure that your bike is in accordance with the rules and enable you to fix last-minute problems. After the bike check, you will pick up your brevet card as well as the various ordered items (jersey, reflective vest, meals, etc.).

In 2011 we will accomodate those who start at 5:00 a.m. by setting up bike check and brevet card collection for them alone on Sunday morning. This way, they can avoid spending two nights there before the start. All other riders will have their bike check on the day before, Saturday, August 20.

Pre-ride Party - The Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur is a great opportunity to celebrate and to have a good time all together. That's why we invite you to meet on Saturday evening for a party which will end with fireworks around the 'Gymnase des Droits de I'Homme'.

Charity - Since 1991, the Audax Club Parisien donates a part of the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur revenues to charity. This year we chose to help the 'Institut Curie' to fund cancer research. We invite you to join us with your own contribution. You will find several links to the 'Institut Curie' on our website.

Earlier Starting Times - The first riders will start Sunday, August 21 at 4:00 p.m. The last ones are expected to  leave around 8:00 p.m. This should enable you to ride further before your first overnight stop on Monday evening. We hope that this will avoid further overcrowding at the Loudeac control.

Free Starting Times - In addition to the traditional group starts, we will offer free starting times on Sunday evening from 09h00 to 10h00 p.m. and on Monday morning from 5:30 to 8:00 a.m.

No crowds, no stress, you will simply validate your brevet card and cross the starting line, and the randonnee begins. But beware, we can only allow small groups of less than 20 people to start at once, and if there is too much demand we might have to impose restrictions. Of course, you will immediately be riding in the flow of traffic and we urge you to be vigilant from the very beginning.

Simplified Registration - In 2011, the registration process is simplified. We only offer online registration on the PBP website ( with integrated payment. You don't have to send any documents by mail.

Rider Tracking - No more long lines at the controls to validate both brevet card and magnetic badge! We will still use the brevet card to document that you went through the various controls, but your passage will be automatically recorded with a magnetic chip that you carry across a mat on the floor. At the end of your ride, you can keep the chip as memory.

Sleeping Option at Saint Nicolas du Pelem - Starting earlier than in previous editions, you may ride further than Loudeac for your first sleep stop ... if you consider sleeping at all! But the need to sleep can show up all of a sudden. Saint-Nicolas-du-Pelem should allow you to tackle this stage without worries. Located midway between Loudeac and Carhaix, it will offer you an ideal sleeping opportunity if you hesitate to ride all the way to the next control. In addition to many sleeping mats, you will find: showers - restrooms - cold and hot snacks (breakfast) - and a bike mechanic.

Arrival at Brest City Centre - Previous PBP finishers will tell you how strange it is to look forward to Brest for many hours and finally see only a few corners of the city. In 2011, we will make you discover a little more of Brest's assets by inviting you to ride along the port and in the city centre. We would like your arrival in Brest to become one of the greatest memories of your randonnee.

PBP 2011 'High Visibility' Reflective Vest - Since 2007, French law has changed and all riders must wear a high visibility vest during hours of darkness or other low-light conditions. Long before it became compulsory in France, the ACP mandated the wearing of a reflective sash when riding at night. In 2011 , all reflective vests must comply with the safety norm no. EN471. At registration, you can purchase a reflective vest, to ensure that you comply with French traffic law. This vest will be marked with the PBP Randonneur 2011 logo.

Yup, I am still planing to get my SR series done and get into PBP. The road to Paris has been a rocky one. I'm not there yet, but...... here I come for a good try, anyway!

Lost that window of...

 OK- the dogs got their walk but looks like it's another trainer ride for me, today. Just started snowing.

I've been riding my trainer 4-5 times a week for the last couple of weeks.  I've figured out how to pull the small TV from the bedroom into the doorway and watch various shows in the office (also my workout room). Certain training days just keep the watts at 155-160 and keeping the HR moderately low. Other days keeping it a very easy pedal day with the watts around 125 or so. Need to bump up the time to 2 hours/day for at least 3 of the days.

I'm also trying to keep my avg cadence at 84 and above. I'm kind of a masher, so that's not always the easiest thing to do when my legs are tired. Remember-I have a lot of the last 8 months off of the bike from all of my surgeries and the cancer.  It's a slow come-back.

I'm also starting to be consistent in the gym with my rehab and strengthening exercises. That's not going as well but is as important because it will help build back my foundation. Ahhhhh... so much to do, so little time to cram it in.

The first 200 KM will be here before I know it and I want to be ready. First the 200, then the 300 and before I know it I'll have the SR done and send in the paperwork for PBP. But first, I gotta get on that trainer!

Well well well....Happy New year!

It has been a very long time since I have been here. So very sorry but I have been busy challenging myself and getting better. It has been a very long road after being hit.

2011 should be a year for many to inspire for being kinder, better, and more challenged. I am still aiming for PBP and think it is a very good possibility, but will take a lot to get there. It will take more training and strengthening than I have had to do -well, ever. Yes, a challenge.

I want to inspire you to work really hard at your goals. Not only your 2011 goals but your life long goals.

We can do this challenge together. We WILL do this together.

It takes a community of people-good people, to go through life. Find your support groups, your friends, your challenge buddies.

Be well. Let's get started!

Four Mile on Fire September, 2010 Book -go get your copy.

It's that time of year. Here's a way to give back and give to communities in need.

Times are tough for everyone. But they are exceptionally hard for the people and communities that live in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado We (yes, I live in the middle of the fire area) were impacted in more ways than I can explain. This fire change our way of life and will be with us for the rest of our lives.

Four Mile on Fire, September 2010-chronicles the impact and affect on all of our mountain communities- is a wonderful gift, coffee table item, or donation. The book shows how in a horrible disaster, communities and people stick together.

Give a gift with far reaching benefits-"Four Mile on Fire, September 2010"-goes on sale tomorrow in local Boulder stores, coffee shops, book shops. The book describes the incredible impact on the lives of the people that live in the foothills near Boulder.

You can purchase this great book at local book store, coffee shops, and various other places.

...and life does go on.

 Before the fire.
So. What do we do now? 

We learn to love what looks different. To love back what we got (something) from,  for so many many years. 

Last week I met a Tibetan healer. His name is Shree. He is amazing. We had a very long conversation about life. About rebirth and loss. Yes, rebirth. We birth and we die. So does nature. Doesn't matter who or what was the cause of the disaster. Yup, we birth and we die. But we also re-birth and that's what this wonderful world does for us. My, our, woods will rebirth. We will rebuild. We will learn to love the new world before us.
So into the woods I go. To help heal. The earth? I think to heal me, too. I bring water and bits of green from the unburned areas. To feed the ants. The ants are first. Then the insects. Then the little animals. Then the medium animals. Then the bigger animals. Soon we will all have a new place to love. But we have to love it first. To help it heal. To help the rebirth. Yup, that's what I'm going to do.

Today I saw ants. More of them than yesterday. I also saw a Chipmunk. I'm sure he's wondering what the heck happened to all of his food, his grass, and his tree. 

Soon we'll all bring life back into the woods. We'll see it for the change it is. We'll see new beauty. We'll see the beginning of life. 

Yup, we birth and we die.

.....and then the neighborhood burned down.

Well, I thought getting hit by a truck, getting cancer, and my dog getting cancer was about as hard a year as I could have. Nope. We had to be in the middle of the biggest Colorado disaster in history. That just sucks.

What I've learned.

I have choices. We have choices. My life moves forward and I can learn from the bad, just as I would learn from the good, and there has been a lot of bad. But, bad forces us to learn and move forward.

When I got hit I thought everything was OK. It wasn't. I thought I could control how I was. I couldn't.
When I got cancer, I thought I could control how it progressed, or didn't progress. I couldn't. When I started to have the many surgeries, I kept trying to control what I could and could not do. I couldn't. When I lost the thing that was so very important through all of the past year, my surroundings, my "woods", my escape from everything, well, I lost that too. But did I?

I know I have to see my life in a different way, once again. I can and I will. It won't be easy and I have to find new ways to see things. To see my surroundings.

I have my legs, there are some that don't. So far, I'm beating cancer. Many don't. I have my house, many others do not.

Home is where your integrity, heart, and community is.

I know it will never be the same, but once "we/you/I" go through the rabbit hole, 'your' life is never the same. You cannot go back, but you do have the choice to move forward. Choice is something to never take lightly or for granted.

Having self is having choice.

Life is what we bring with us moving forward. At first it is little tiny steps, then bigger ones, and then, moving forward is something that will come naturally (again).

Crying and having emotion is how your brain will process the loss. Loss is a big part of life. Life is feeling and experiencing. What we say/feel is good or bad, is, just either ends of the spectrum.

Remember, the "rabbit hole" does have an end. There is another side. Move forward and you'll reach it.

I intend to reach it. One day this year will be behind me. I will be able to look at the things I learned. I will see the world, my world in a different way.

Grass will replace the trees. Dirt will replace the ash. Change happens and life does go on. I chose life, which means I chose to accept change.

Baby steps. It's all in how ya look at it.

OK it is only an hour and it is on a flat dirt road. But... it is something and I am so happy that I can do this. As of today, I can now go up a slight incline. It wasn't easy. Actually very hard. I spun at about 70 RPMs and had to stop once about half way to rest and eat something b/c my legs were shaky.  Steve was very patient with me and rode my easy recovery (literally) pace. It was awesome and I thought I would not be able to do this ride until next year.  8 miles took 50 minutes. Never thought that would be the case. Oh I am so happy I could do a little jog-if that was in the rehab protocol. Haha.

Alas, it seems, just as I get back on track I have, yet another, surgery planned. But, I knew it was coming. I knew this year would be hard.

I can get through this and I know I can. Lots of counseling and lots of physical therapy but I'm getting there.  Long road ahead.  I can do more than I thought I would be able to. This makes me happier than ever.  Thanks for everyone's support.

and, no. This is not the road I was on-the one in this photo. That's too steep and too rocky. Next year.

More on 1200KM Brevets, PBP and Union des Audax Francais's PBP Audax

This is to inform you that there is another 1200KM event held in France. This event is called the "Union des Audax Francais's PBP Audax".

PBP Audax + PBP Randonneur
The Audax Club Parisien's 1200 km PBP Randonneur is the pinnacle of brevet riding for most of us. The 5300 starters in 2007 became part of PBP history stretching back to the race's beginning in 1891 and the first PBP brevet in 1931.

Unknown to many riders is the Union des Audax Francais's PBP Audax, also held for the first time in 1931. Some more history can be found at but the original form of Audax riding (since 1904 in France) involves groups riding together for the full distance to a set schedule. The now-common randonneur style (free pace between specified maximum and minimum speeds) was only developed in 1921, following a disagreement between the ACP and Henri Desgrange. The original group brevet style is still fairly popular in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and more recently in Sweden and Australia. The USA also held a few UAF brevets about 10 years ago.

Early on, both PBPs took place in the same years. In 1971, eight Frenchmen rode both PBPs in just over a week and the PBP Randonneur interval was subsequently shifted to every four years. PBP Audax is still run every five years and it is only every two decades that both PBPs are held in the same year. The prospect of riding two PBPs in 2011 is an intriguing prospect to some cyclists.

The UAF traditionally limits the number of riders in each peloton to avoid over-stretching facilities, often running each peloton at different dates. Next year, the UAF are currently looking at running one peloton simultaneous with PBP Randonneur (the last week of August) and another in July. Several riders in Australia and the UK are interested in riding both PBP Randonneur and PBP Audax but would prefer to ride PBP Audax in early August, to allow riding both PBPs during the one trip without taking excessive leave.

UAF Cycling President Bruno Danielzik is happy to organise another Audax start but this requires about 50 riders to justify another start date. He has asked me to collect expressions of interest from randonneurs possibly taking part in PBP Audax next year regarding which date they would prefer.

If you are interested in riding PBP Audax next year, please email with your preferences for riding the 2011 PBP Audax during:
A the first week of August
B the second week of August
C a date in July
D simultaneous with PBP Randonneur

A reply as simple as "B, A, C, D" is fine, as is "A".

Food for thought. Hhhhmmm.

40 minutes is 40 minutes.

I had no idea that after my hip surgery I'd be able to do anything. Now, for some, they would be unhappy with how much fitness is lost with months of rehab. Not I. I am so impressed with how my recovery is going that I cannot complain. I am so happy to be on my way to healing that I am taking each and every little milestone as something to be happy about. To cherish.  No, a 40 minute ride is not a 200KM Brevet but it is a start. 40 minutes is 40 minutes.

I can now go to the flat part of a dirt road and ride my mt bike with my family. Something that I value more than most people will ever know. I can see the mountains that I used to ride in. I can feel the mountain air on my face. I can value the little that I have and know it is really a lot that I have.

Life is all what we make of it.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have my moments. Moments when I cry or feel sorry to think I am missing out. But I'm not missing out. I am recovering. I am doing a new job. I am healing. So, for now 40 minutes is 40 minutes and I will take that as if it is 40 hours of riding.

It's all in how you turn the situation around. It takes work but I want to look forward. I don't want to be a bitter person that cannot turn life around. That's what riding and racing taught me. That and living my life.
So even if you are injured-turn it around. Heal and get better...but turn it around and take the little you may think you have and make it a lot.
Happy days at work today. Oh it's good to be back!
Ok, so I'm not riding but I can think about the days when Steve and I rode like crazy fools in the rain-and didn't care because we had our shower caps to keep our heads dry.

I am, however, on the indoor trainer bike for 10-20 minute a day. Not a 200K but it's a start and a start is all you need to move forward. Remember that! Movement, move, forward. It is what makes me happy.

Steve will continue on to ride the rest of the summer. He's aiming at the 1,000Km Brevet. It will place him 2 weeks sooner on the pre-qual list for PBP. Bt we have a pact. We will ge to and finish PBP together. 

Thank you Steve for loving what I love, and loving me! You're the best! I wish you luck with the redt of this summer's rides.

I will be rehabbing the accident injuries. One at a time and will make a come back. Done it before and will do it again.

So! off your butt people and ride, run, climb, move!

Ok, so it's not snowing all starts somewhere, with a choice.

This was taken on my Birthday. Normally just another day and a day usually spent with Steve and the Girls. But this particular Birthday was the day I found out I had cancer.

The day the Endocrinologist I'd seen 4 days before wished he hadn't called me on my Birthday. Good thing was, due to the news I took the day off from work and called Steve and a few friends and started to make some plans. Started thinking.

I took that news, after a few good tears and conversations, to reflect and  realize that my life is very important to me. My goals and plans, and accomplishments are really a huge part of what makes me "tick". Life is, really, very short. If it's a 100 days or a 100 years, it really is short. So, it's important to live your life the way it is important to you. Don't waste it! Simply put, don't wait for someone else to make you happy. Don't sit and wait for others to make your fun. Be honest about what you really want. It is different for most everyone.

For me, one of the most important parts of my life have come from what I've learned from sport (or sports). I define myself as an athlete. I look at a lot of people as athletes- an athlete: a person who participates regularly in a sport. That doesn't mean you have to be professional or a certain level-just that you find enough satisfaction in a sport to do it regularly. To me-that defines fitness. You care enough about yourself to set time a side consistently to work out. Take your dog for a walk, ski, ride a bike, life weights in a gym. yoga, or any other activity in the name of a sport. Ok-golf, too.

So one of the first things I did, after feeling slightly sorry for myself was to take my Girls into the woods and hike. It was there that I looked on my life and smiled. I have lived my life the way I want to. Not always perfect-of course. Not always selflessly, but trying to live it in a way where on the last day of my life I can say that I did and enjoyed the things I set out to accomplish and also have no regrets.

Since that Birthday, I have had surgery to remove the cancerous making Thyroid, and had radioactive treatment and some blood tests. The results are not fully in but I intend to live as much of my life as I always have. Fully. I intend to enjoy my family, my friends, my job (related to sports), and the things I do-both in the past and  the future. I'm not done and I feel this is the key ingredient to maximizing the fun in life. The fun in sport.

Probably wondering why this is coming now-several months  later? Well, I have extra time on my hands to think about my life and make some changes. I just had hip surgery- left over form the accident. Longer story for another time. I can't ride right now-well, OK, I actually can ride for 10 min twice a day on a trainer. That's OK by me-it's something and I have a choice-as we all have choices. Sometimes the choice is ice cream and jellybeans and sometimes it's okra and brussle sprouts. Right now it's the latter. But... it is a choice. I can do with that choice as I want, and I want to get better.
It may be several months before I can hike into the mountains with the dogs and Steve and my friends. It may be months before I can compete in a Brevet put on by RMCC    But I will do these things again and with a new appreciation. I will because when I'm done with the cancer and done with all of the accident related injuries and surgeries, I will have a better understanding of myself. I will look at my new goals with renewed interest because I will have accomplished them with the knowledge I learned from my past accomplishments.
This is what sport can do for you. This is what having been or being an athlete can do for you. It-sport, can teach us to get through life and of life's challenges, like that of a 100 mile running race, a 600KM Brevet, or a climb on a big mountain. Life and sport go together like nothing else I know.