Archive for 5am wake up ride

The Ghost in the Spokes

Posted in cycling, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2015 by runmyssierun

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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.

The lovers, the dreamers and me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2014 by 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 me later on. I’ve found that sometimes speaking to complete strangers is quite liberating. We can’t judge each other because we’ll never see each other again. It’s pure emotional venting of the soul.

Oh… wait… did I just call myself weak? Fantabulous!

See, I am weak. I am no stronger than anyone else out here. I cry. I sob. I turn red and blotchy and boogers run uncontrollably out of my nose and get rashes on my neck because of emotion. I shake in anger. I can’t speak in clear sentences when I’m flustered. I can’t sleep some nights. I can’t wake up some mornings. I have a tremendous amount of guilt that I must live with every single day. Why did cancer choose those that I loved instead of me? Why do I have to live without them? Why?

Ahhhhh… but remember that promise I made. I’m never going to let you see that side of me. I won’t say that it doesn’t exist because it does. But just as my mom didn’t allow others to see her in pain… I cannot allow you to see me in mine. Well, at least I keep it to an absolute minimum population.

So don’t you call me a fake because I’m smiling in all my photos. And don’t you try to compliment me by saying I’m strong or brave or courageous. I am none of these things.

I am my mother’s daughter.

That is the only label I will never wiggle out of.

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____

The book is on again. But I’m going back to square one. If I’m going to do this… I’m going to do it right. Taking much longer than I expected and it’s much tougher than I predicted. But isn’t that the story of my life? Book galleys to a select trusted few should be ready in about 90 days.

____

As promised, continued media links for Eddie Arguelles

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/utpa-awards-posthumous-degree-to-cyclist-killed-in-edinburg/article_11097946-d8a9-11e3-86ef-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm

http://www.krgv.com/news/bicyclist-struck-in-hit-and-run-receiving-posthumous-degree/

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1044457#.U3ULDvldV8E

http://www.yourvalleyvoice.com/news/ride-of-silence-to-be-held-may-push-for-run/article_ed30afd4-db9c-11e3-82cf-001a4bcf887a.html

https://www.facebook.com/roycantu/media_set?set=a.10203787049420738.1073741834.1354313464&type=1

http://tablet.olivesoftware.com/Olive/Tablet/SanAntonioExpressNews/SharedArticle.aspx?href=SAEN%2F2014%2F05%2F13&id=Ar00108

http://www.krgv.com/news/bond-lowered-for-suspect-in-cyclist-s-death/

and what didn’t make the news… two of the ghost bikes that were to be dedicated at the Ride of Silence have been stolen.

 

Eddie Arguelles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2014 by runmyssierun

There is a serious WRONG in our community. It will either become more acceptable from us and get worse OR our community will rise up and do something about it and minimize it. It’s one or the other. By staying silent and oblivious to the issue makes you part of the problem. Ignorance is no excuse. Our community’s driving behaviors MUST change. Eddie was the biggest cycling safety advocate I knew. But all of his skills and experience was no match for an intoxicated driver. In fact… None of us are a match for an intoxicated driver. Especially if that intoxicated driver is willing to hide the life he took.

Yesterday, I awoke at about 2:30a.m. and could not go back to sleep. I figured I would go a little early to my Thursday morning ride with the 5am Wake Up Riders. I live in McAllen and because I usually have to take the boys to school in the mornings, I take my car with my bike on the rack to the Starbucks in Edinburg (one town away) so that I can return from the ride in time for getting the boys dressed, fed and to school. Lots of the other members ride their bikes to the launch site either because they love to ride and any excuse is good enough, we all live so close by, it’s an easy commute or its a great way to add some more mileage to the morning route.

I arrived at Starbucks at about 4:10 and stayed in the parking lot until the rest of the riders came in.  But I had this ugly feeling. I got out of my car and saw a police car zoom by and went South on Jackson… a couple minutes later.. two more come from another area and go South on 10th… that’s when I knew something awful had happened. But I didn’t know what it was… yet.

The group gathered up right at 5:00 a.m. It was a good sized group, enough for three different groups of speeds and distances. Ramon led us in our safety and grateful prayer and the only thing I remember of it was when he said to keep Eddie Arguelles in our prayers as he was in an accident that morning but didn’t have details.

My head popped up. I knew then something awful had happened to my friend.

Ramon, the fearless leader of the 5am’ers is the type that is super calm, poised and held together in any type of stressful situation so even though he was unusually quiet… he led us all on the ride. But still something told me that he was just as worried as I was.

As usual… I took my place at the back of the pack to check out who was the last rider and who would need that extra help along the way… but something was still telling me that something wasn’t right. At the first light along the course, I had to do anything I could to speed us up and find out what happened to Eddie.

click click

I jumped up to the lead of the group and pulled so that I could increase the pace and speed us up. That worked for a little while but Mel sprinted up to me and told me to slow down the pace because a rider in the back couldn’t keep up. I understood and slowed down the pace… but I was aching so badly to just get back quick.

Once we got to 10th street, most of the gang understands that I do my sprint intervals so I took that opportunity and went as fast as I could. I felt Ronnie behind me so I slowed down a bit to make it seem like this was normal practice and I really wasn’t freaking out… but I was.

When everyone saw that I was sprinting, everyone else followed. We got back to Starbucks pretty fast and gathered around the outside tables and that’s when I saw it…

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Eddie P had posted the above picture with this caption: Eddie Arguelles was hit by a car. Not good cant find him. Pd is out looking for eddie a

What??? What did he mean “can’t find him”???? If he was hit, and his bike was there, why wasn’t he there?

Deep down, I knew what had happened… but I couldn’t think that. Nahhhh. That couldn’t happen.

“Maybe he got hit and is disoriented and walking around.”

“Maybe the person who hit him took him to the hospital.”

“Call the hospitals. Lets find out where he’s at.”

“Call the police departments.”

I called my news media friends to see if anything had come over the wire. Everyone was on alert. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E

I left my cyclists friends that morning with a feeling that was eerily dark. Something very very evil had just happened.

I cannot recount here what happened to Eddie. It is much too disgusting for my heart to bear. I will post links to what the media is announcing though.

Here are a few:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>RT <a href=”https://twitter.com/KRGV_Shelley”>@KRGV_Shelley</a&gt;: Edinburg PD investigating fatal hit-and-run w/bicyclist. 2 in custody, caught dumping body. <a href=”http://t.co/8NWn3qvUut”>pic.twitter.com/8NWn3qvUut</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RGV&amp;src=hash”>#RGV</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/456784399799812099″>April 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

http://www.krgv.com/news/edinburg-police-investigating-hit-and-run

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>RT <a href=”https://twitter.com/KRGV_Shelley”>@KRGV_Shelley</a&gt;: <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Edinburg&amp;src=hash”>#Edinburg</a&gt; PD ID victim of fatal hit &amp; run as 38-year-old <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cyclist&amp;src=hash”>#cyclist</a&gt; Eduardo Aguelles. <a href=”http://t.co/VCSZcsCcvW”>pic.twitter.com/VCSZcsCcvW</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/456791174020624384″>April 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>RT <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv_erica”>@krgv_erica</a&gt;: Nelson Cantu (in black) &amp; Emilio Gomez (in blue) are charged in the death of the cyclist, Eddie… <a href=”http://t.co/kk2fKOwZsb”>http://t.co/kk2fKOwZsb</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RGV&amp;src=hash”>#RGV</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/457246039586910208″>April 18, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Two charged in connection with death of <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Edinburg&amp;src=hash”>#Edinburg</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cyclist&amp;src=hash”>#cyclist</a&gt;, allegedly went to eat after accident <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RGV&amp;src=hash”>#RGV</a&gt; Link: <a href=”http://t.co/EsG7hJvUGr”>http://t.co/EsG7hJvUGr</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/457246423130865664″>April 18, 2014</a></blockquote>
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EDITORIAL: Valley cyclists fatally hit – The Monitor: News.

http://m.themonitor.com/news/local/friends-lament-hit-and-run-that-killed-rd-bicyclist-in/article_72721dd6-c635-11e3-99e6-0017a43b2370.html?mode=jqm

What I WILL do is promise to keep posting the media coverage for my online cycling and triathlon community to witness, swallow and light that fire that DOES SOMETHING ABOUT THIS OUTRAGEOUS SENSELESS COLD ACT.

What I WILL do is tell the story of how Eddie helped me train for the second point of my triple crown without ever riding a road bike before in my life. I will also tell how Eddie helped my hometown create box corners for cyclists and safer designated bike routes all over town and the county. I will also SHOW how Eddie was a great friend and how we always had coffee together after every ride and sometimes even during a ride. I will also tell how Eddie was one of the most experienced cyclists in South Texas, how he was one of the biggest safety advocates in the region regarding cycling, how he loved to bar-b-que, was a hilarious comedian, a brilliant IT nerd, and best of all… a great family man of high morals and ethic.

But that’ll be on my next post. I am way too emotional for that at this moment.

A fellow cyclist, Pete Davila (who gave me permission to repost), posted the following:

Can’t stop thinking about our fellow cyclist who passed away yesterday. Can’t stop thinking of him. your on my constant thoughts. 

I am a cyclist. I get on my bike and go for short rides and long rides out of the Valley and back solo unsupported.. 
” I love distance cycling”.. I do it because it is what I do for exercise, recreation and meditation. like the freedom. I like the rythym. I love everything about it. It’s my Passion… and I’m not the only one who feels the same as I do.. We enjoy everything about it except one thing:
Reckless Motorists.

So ?? what is it about a guy, or gal, on their bike that causes so much aggravation to people who drive cars? Is it because we look different? I wear a helmet. I don’t have a couple of thousand pounds of a metal shell protecting me. I wear tight shorts with padding in the seat. Why? Because it make the activity more comfortable and it’s hard enough to fight through the wind without baggy shorts flapping around. I wear gloves. Ever taken a fall at 20 miles an hour? The first thing that happens is you put your hand out to cushion the impact. Know how long it takes for road rash to heal on the palm of your hand? A long time. And it hurts. I wear sunglasses just like you. You wear them to keep the sun out of your eyes and to look cool. I wear them to keep the sun out of my eyes, to look cool and to keep debris out of my eyes.

The problem is, if I’m not perfect I pay for it with my life. If you aren’t perfect, I pay for it with my life. It doesn’t matter if you are right or I am wrong, or I am right and you are wrong, when it comes to sharing the road, the cyclist always, always, always loses. Always.

And for those drivers who drive by at a reasonable speed and distance, who give a little wave and maybe a little knowing smile: It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.

“THANK YOU,” Believe me, we see and notice everything!!..

 

What you waiting for?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by runmyssierun

Solid week of training! I’m pretty pleased. I think what I’m most impressed with is that this last year, I was blessed enough to be able to focus on my training and not have to go to an office to work. Now that I’ve started working again, albeit the office is still very flexible with me, I was successful in fitting in my workouts, work, meetings, volunteering with the Colonoscopy Assistance Program 5k race, attending my son’s all-city honor band performance and taking my other son to his karate classes. Ok, laundry didn’t get done one day but like my missed workouts… I got it done the next day.

Balance is a tricky talent. But even more important than mastering a balance in your life, the ability to adapt to any situation, obstacle or interference is critical… not only in training … but in life.

That is what my mother taught me.  She was incredible at it.

I attended my second time trial for Team McAllen’s cycling team individual time trial this morning. We’ve been getting a lot of fog lately so for safety reasons, they pushed down the start time to 9:00a.m. The thing about pushing it down into the day is that the wind picks up closer to noon and the wind here in the gulf coast area is a biotch.

My first time trial was a bit scary for me. It was cold, drizzly and new. I wasn’t familiar with the race course and didn’t really know what to expect. This time, there were no excuses. I knew what to do. I knew how to do it. It wasn’t cold. It wasn’t drizzly. But there was wind… and a lot of it. So, ADAPT.

Many of the usual suspects were right there along side me. Mike, a regular 5a.m.’er on Tuesdays and Thursdays with me, had just finished his race and chimed in with his insight. “Start off slow otherwise you’ll lose your oxygen at the turn.” He gave me turn by turn advice that was spot on. This guy knows what he’s doing and I’m so glad he shared it with me!

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Mike Padgett demonstrating his tactic to beating the wind today… Just create an aero bulge to the front and the let nature do the rest…exhale through the back.

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Team McAllen Cycling Individual Time Trials begin

 

I did almost the whole entire TT on my aerobars that Wally got for me. I smirked a little as it dawned on me that it took almost an entire year for me to get used to aerobars!! And I think it was my excitement of me being on my aeros that it wasn’t until after the race that I realized that I had stayed on my big wheel the entire time. I should have shifted more because of the wind. Hindsight is always 20/20. Next time.

Sure enough, Mike’s advice kicked in. Just when I turned the corner to book it… I felt a little like an old school Looney Tunes cartoon. You know that cartoon character that churns his legs so fast that smoke arises… but goes no where? I was pushing so hard on my legs that I promise you, my thighs were on FIRE!!! Terri passes me. Mike Overly passes me. Ugh… I feel myself slump over in defeat. I glanced at my Garmin and see 20mph. Ugh! I don’t know what was going on. I was pushing hard and didn’t seem like I was going fast at all.

“Go Myssie!!! WTH! GOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Don’t you slow down! Don’t you slow down! You can push for this short time. Don’t you dare tell me you can’t! Throw up when you’re done. GGOOOOOOOO!!!! What are you waiting for??? What you waiting for?????” my inner voice was having a Gwen Stefani conniption!

Ok, so I gave it all I had. Front 242 was blaring. (Yes, I broke the rules and wore my earbuds… but it was a controlled closed course so it was safer for me to do it here) I hit it harder than I ever thought I could. And then I scared myself… I actually heard myself grunt. No, I’m serious! I grunted… like a possessed horse or something!!! I was busting a gut to keep up with the two hammerheads that passed me. Oh man hit it hard and I was back up to about a block away when I saw Mike take the corner and go into lightening speed. The volunteer at the corner waved me down and yelled “car back!”. I glanced over my shoulder to see if it was safe enough to take the left turn without getting hit when zoooooommmmm Spish passes me!!! The car slowed enough for me to go but good lord my spirit was crushed. I couldn’t even see Terri anymore, Mike seemed like he was a gazillion miles away and Spish was just about to eat Mike’s tire. I glance down again at my Garmin.

14.

Oh crap. Seriously? The wind took it’s beating on me and it won.

One last right corner… my head is hanging low. I look up and see the crowd and here comes the adrenaline!!! It’s the finish!!! I tuck in and give it my all. BOOM! pump pump pump!!! And then I look up…

Hey… why do they seem to have moved further away from me?????

smh

I cross the finish and go a bit further just to gather my bearings and take a peek at my Garmin and Strava. Pathetic. I realize that my time is unofficial and wrong off the bat because I hit my start time about 15 seconds before the actual start and hit the stop way after I stopped… but still. I had hoped for a much longer margin of difference between my time last month and this month. How could I have done worse than I did last month???

I rode back to the gang with my tail between my legs and disappointment on my face, I’m sure. That’s when Mike Padgett came up to me with a big old fist bump and the news that I had shaved a minute off my time from last month!

So… as I sit here typing away… I am eagerly awaiting the official times to be posted.

A minute… ok, that’s encouraging!

Hindsight visions: 1.) Stop worrying about reaching your goal weight and eat something good those few days before you know you’re going to book it for this long! 2.) Lock up your heart so it doesn’t get broken and drink all that wine before an event like this! 3.) Get a better bike playlist on this phone! 4.) It’s ok for those guys to pass you. They’re rockstars and on a completely different level than I am. But one day… ya, one day… I’ll be there. Until then, just do my best and don’t let their best get me down. 4.) Make arrangements for a babysitter for the kiddos so I can go for coffee and pancakes afterwards. This is a really cool crowd. 5.) Wear a heart monitor and a go pro next time. Let’s do this right.

 

 

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