When I was asked to be a group Captain for this year’s Ride of Silence, it took a whole of a quarter of a second to respond with a resounding YES! ABSOLUTELY! YOU BETCHA!!!
While we didn’t have the almost 600 cyclists in attendance like we did last year, the group was large enough to stop traffic all around town and make a very loud statement with our silent ride. We passed by two white ghost bikes. Two that were not on last year’s route. Their families stood on stage and said profound words of wisdom for all of us to reflect upon and in the audience were countless cyclists who were hit by distracted drivers, survived and were ready to mount their bikes once again for this annual display of honor and remembrance.
That white bike you see by the road fastened to a light pole or sign signifies that the life of a cyclist was taken during a bike ride. Many times, if you get the chance to speak to a cyclist, you’ll begin to understand that the bond between the cyclist and their steed is unlike any other relationship between a human and an inanimate object. It is almost like the two become one. Neither can do what they were designed to do without the other. The white bike is a ghost bike waiting patiently for it’s owner to return to it so that they can finish the ride they started.
Weird thing about ghost bikes is that way back before I was even running, I worked at a television station and one of my projects was an awareness campaign with a 15 year old boy, Jake Ramon, who produced an award winning documentary about bicycle safety in the Rio Grande Valley after the tragic loss of Roy Carlson on Trenton road in McAllen. Jake’s mother is a cyclist with Team McAllen. Jake’s father is the big brother of one of my best friends when we were in elementary school. God seemed to have planted the seeds earlier and I just never quite saw the signs to what I was about to embark on.
Prior to becoming a cyclist, I drove my car with my phone texting all the time. I saw the white bikes by the road but never really paid much mind to them.
When you know better, you do better.
And that’s why I’m so vocal. I want all of us to know better so we can be better. And I know I’m not alone in this.
I’ll see you at the Ride of Silence tomorrow.
As we approach this year’s annual Ghost Bike Ride, I wanted to share a bit of the video and articles from last year. What we did then as a community was huge. Awareness campaigns worked. As a result, there were ZERO fatalities this year in the City of McAllen. However, there were still several accidents within the City and fatalities in surrounding cities. We still have much work to do and we MUST do it together.
Originally posted on RunMyssieRun:
A man shared with me not too long ago that after he lost his child to cancer, he also lost his job, his house and his marriage. He used his sons college fund to pay for his daughters treatment and was head first in the quicksand of debt. He stared off into space as if he was reciting a poem that wasn’t authored by him. His voice cracked as he looked up and said “buy hey, I’ve got my health.”
I’ve had some pretty deep conversations lately with strangers. Isn’t that weird? How you can spill your guts to a total stranger easier than you can talk about those same feelings with your best friend? Hmmm you don’t? Well at this moment and with this topic… I did.
Maybe it’s because I’ve spilled my guts before to people who I thought were friends and they used that weak point against…
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I signed up for this book club but it’s also sort of a bible study thingy. The group was assigned to review a Christian oriented book based on the foundation of love and respect as per scripture in the bible. On page 5, I knew I was already sold on the teachings because it had an illustration of the “crazy cycle” and I immediately correlated it with my crazy cycling!!!
And although I’ve already missed the first two meetings and can tell I’ll be missing the third as well, it’s plain as day what the book is trying to tell us about the differences between boys and girls but I can also use it to tell me a bit more about how I view the world and how the world views me and how differently we all see each other.
This was my key vocabulary word for the year.
For Christmas this last year, Santa got me a GoPro. I knew immediately that I was now not only going to be able to share my words with you but also my POV and clarify perception. I was going to attach that camera to my bike, my head, my hands my belly and/or any where I could attach it to so that you – the audience – could witness with your own eyes what I see in my trainings and events. Unfortch, I’ve only had one event this year and haven’t been able to use my GoPro much at all. And even though I’m pretty well known for my selfies, it is rare that I actually take a selfie with just me in it. Most of my “selfies” are with groups of people that I workout with and are posted during or after trainings and events. So naturally, training on my own has been out of most public eye.
Funny how perception works. Because I’m no longer publicly posting my workouts for the world to see, it seems like I’m not working out at all. True, I haven’t participated in events but my workouts have been consistent and tough enough for Dr. Martin to say “You’re pretty banged up now. This is not an injury to take lightly. If you continue this way, you’re likely to end up sitting out for a long period of time.”
Now on my second week with the Martin family chiropractors, I’ve been kneaded, twisted, turned, popped, cracked, ART’d and Graston’d by three of the four Martin family doctors. Never having any experience at a chiropractor’s office (other than a car wreck from about 15 years ago), I was both scared and skeptical. The thought of someone telling me to relax while they yank my head off my shoulders as echoes off crackling bones bounce around inside the confines of my head is not cool. I kept imagining my head being popped off with a snap and then how is my headless self supposed to get to the front office to tend to my co-pay and pick up my son at school afterwards?
I’m trusting that their time line with me is spot on because I’d like to push myself harder. My injury is odd in that I feel fine, stronger than ever, rested, my cardio is okay, and my weight is about 11 pounds heavier than last year but that’s from the kidney infection that I’m fighting already and the additional muscle mass since I had not been doing strength and weight training before. The only time I actually FEEL my injury is when I do that aka ballet turnout. It’s not my hip flexor but my hip rotator that is aggravated. This is frustrating because I FEEL like I can do a good workout but Doc says no running and no strength training until we get the spine aligned properly so it reduces the stretch in my hip and equalizes.
A few days ago, I did a really awesome bike ride on Zwift, my new indoor bike training program. 30 miles at about 20 miles per hour. Two days later, I couldn’t settle into my saddle. My hip felt like it had popped out and did only 16 miles at about 15 miles per hour. What happened from one day to the next?
Doc says that I irritated it and inflamed it too much. I didn’t give it enough rest with my trainings and therapy all week. Well, that’s what I get for feeling better, eh? It’s very frustrating!! But ok, ok… I’ll listen and behave.
I had wanted to do the 100 mile ride this morning for CADD = Cyclists Against Drunk Drivers. I didn’t though. I behaved and I have the big picture in my mind. This was a ride that I really wanted to be a part of. It had meaning. It was our community taking a stand against the all too common bad behavior that had been stealing and hurting the lives of my cycling friends.
The event was organized by Bicycle World and had asked Eddie Arguelles’s wife, Monette, to say a few words. She posted this:
I’m telling you… she’s honestly one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.
The winds were really strong this morning so deep in my heart I know I did the right thing for myself to stay in. Cycling is tough enough at the distance and speed that I wanted to be at now. Add in 20-some mile per hour wind gusts and it can become dangerous, really dangerous for my recovery.. but I really did want to be there even if just in support.
I woke up this morning at 3am with lots on my mind. By 6:30 a.m., I had figured out all the solutions to mankind’s problems. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had my coffee so I forgot all those solutions already. So all I really figured out was my schedule and my list of things to do this week. I know, everybody else meal preps on weekends… I schedule prep. Ya, it’s that crazy.
By chance, the owner of the gym that I had gone to surfing classes at contacted me after reading on an earlier post on facebook that I was hurt. She offered to change me to another class, TRX and Rowing, both classes have upper body focus on strengthening so that I could rest my hip area and not have to give up my workouts. Ever so thankful, I naively jumped head first into TRX and as expected, my weakness was blatantly visible. I was shaking more on those dang ropes than Elvis’ hips in the 1960s! I survived the class blushing, out of breath, exhausted and with noodle arms. I was beyond pathetic. No seriously, I was.
Don’t know what TRX is? Here’s a video of what we did.
So combining the TRX and rowing class with the Surfset..
And my Zwift Cycling… I think I’m doing pretty damn good for being injured.
In fact, I’ve been winning some pretty awesome jerseys on a consistent basis. Not meaning to sound like a braggart about it but just trying to keep myself accountable to my past coaches and teammates that the promise to continue is still alive and well in me and although the thought has entered my head to quit, I’m still here.
On Wednesday, the community will gather again to remember those we’ve lost on two wheels. The annual ghost bike ride will definitely be one that I CANNOT MISS OUT ON.
I apologize if it’s bad to end on such a sour note, but after all the tremendous progress we’ve made as a community towards health and fitness and sharing the road … I was disheartened to learn that Mr. Garza’s case STILL HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED CORRECTLY. Must every horrific cycling death in the Rio Grande Valley need an entourage of concerned cyclists and news reporters to flood the courtrooms to address their cases properly?
Last year, road construction on North 281 prohibited the ghost ride course from including Mr. Garza’s bicycle on the route. this year, we have a similar issue. However, I’d like to ask that prayers be sent to the Garza family as a year has already come and gone and very very few have heard of how Mr. Israel Garza was hit and killed while riding his commuter bike by an intoxicated driver. If you don’t know about this story, maybe we all need to start asking about that white ghost bike on the West side of 281 north of Edinburg by Red Gate. As per my last conversation with the Garza family, the driver still had not even been arraigned.
I have to admit, there’s been times when I blurt out that I hate to run, too. Seriously funny read for me but I know this guys feelings are pretty genuine. I don’t often reblog others stories here but this was too funny not to share. Hope y’all can connect with the feelings and enjoy.
P.S. You don’t have to run. Just go out and get your body to move.
Originally posted on Calling Through The Fog:
People dipped discreetly into boxes of chocolate-covered nuts. There were carpets on the walls. An entire seat just for me. And not the usual rubbish designed for children, made of Marmite-proof, Oros-repellent plastic: this one was upholstered in the kind of plush, red velvet you can only dream of when you’re six. Best of all, we’d come to see Chariots Of Fire, a film about two of my favourite things at the time: chariots and fire.
When we opened on a beach in Scotland, with no sign of burning two-wheelers, I was disappointed. But only for a moment. Soon I was bewitched by the iconic theme, clean as endorphins pulsing through a brain; hypnotised by the white-clad figures skipping through the St Andrews surf.
One of them seemed to be overcome with some sort of rapture, throwing…
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I got a text on my phone over lunch… “call me at your earliest convenience”
Hmmm…. in the business of my business, this means “Call me NOW” in the most polite way possible. So I called immediately. It was from the American Cancer Society office. Miss Lovely advised me that there were some changes in the event, program and promotion of Cattle Baron’s Ball…
She sent this link to me
This is really happening. This is REALLY happening!
For two days now, I’ve been getting the most incredible emails, texts and phone calls from people of decades ago that she helped find jobs when the Levi’s plant closed down when she worked at Texas Employment Commission or from those she helped find financing for their first home that they bought when she was a Realtor or from those she prayed for in their time of need with Catholic Daughters. This is it. This is when it all comes together.
The journey so far has been on a winding caliche unpaved road. I am now at an elevator and all I have to do is push a button. But if I’m not careful, it can also all come crashing down.
I’m so excited and scared at the same time. I hope I get it right for her and for all she hoped for.