Archive for share the road

Our Ride of Silence is becoming louder :)

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2016 by runmyssierun

 

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A couple of years ago, this tiny community was faced with great loss and a huge challenge. I am very proud of the small yet vehemently determined group of cyclists, runners, community leaders, local media and friends/family/concerned citizens that continue to educate our region on the importance of safety on the road. A nation wide Ride of Silence is held every year. However, every day… every single day, every second of the day…

there is a cyclist who wonders if this will the their last ride

there is a widow who remembers

there is a driver who exists with the guilt of regret

there is a white bicycle posted at the spot where it all happened

and there are oblivious riders, drivers, friends and family who will soon encounter the above experiences if we don’t all do our part. Yes, every single one of us – including myself – need to be more careful on the road. We need to put the phone down. We need to make every effort to be seen and to see. We need to delve deeply into the conversation about being responsible drivers and put the drink down, ask for help and realize that there is NO difference between being buzzed and being drunk, that rushing to the grocery store/school/mall/work/yada yada yada is NOT more important than someone else’s. That texting someone back, snap chatting your #POV behind the wheel or liking your BFF’s instagram is NOT more important than someone’s life.

We forget that driving is a privilege. We forget that life is a privilege, as well. Let’s all start to value that privilege again.

I’ll see you all on the ride. #ride4eddie

http://valleycentral.com/news/local/run-ride-and-share-encourages-drivers-to-share-the-road

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https://runmyssierun.com/2014/05/22/ride-of-silence/

https://runmyssierun.com/2015/05/21/the-ride-of-silence-that-spoke-volumes/

https://runmyssierun.com/2014/04/19/eddie-arguelles/

 

 

 

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What’s the right thing to say?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2014 by runmyssierun
Funeral visitation for John Zess will be at Rudy Garza Funeral Home. They are located at 1702 E. Harrison Avenue in Harlingen, TX 78550. Visitation will be on Saturday, September 13 from 12noon – 9pm. A private viewing for the family will be on Friday

Funeral visitation for John Zess will be at Rudy Garza Funeral Home. They are located at 1702 E. Harrison Avenue in Harlingen, TX 78550. Visitation will be on Saturday, September 13 from 12noon – 9pm. A private viewing for the family will be on Friday

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“You’re the first person I thought to call,” he said. (I won’t disclose his name)

I had some serious thought provoking conversations regarding the safety of cyclists in South Texas. A close friend of John Zess called me this morning. Clearly he was having a tough time dealing with the loss of his cycling buddy of many years. He admitted bursting out into a loud cry shortly before he called. He knew I had just recently experienced those exact same feelings not too long ago with Eddie Arguelles’ tragic cycling death.

“People don’t understand until it happens to them,” he said while his normally booming, strong voice cracked with emotion.

And he is so right. People really DON’T understand until it happens to them. Sadly, that means that many more will die on our streets before our community will get it. And then it will take something incredibly awful – I’m talking dreadfully, unspeakable awfulness – to happen to THEM in order for them to change their bad habits.

“What’s the right thing to say?” he asked me. “Do you tell people not to ride in the dark?”

We delved into a conversation that led us further into a confusing mess similar to the chicken and the egg. What do you address first? Who do you address first? What do you tell the other party in the meanwhile?

We have become so fixated on blame that we have become blind to the solution that is actually quite simple. But of course, us humans seem to complicate that solution. What is the solution?

Simple. Follow the law.

If we just didn’t drink all night long during the football game – over the limit of the law = All 50 states have now set .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% can result in a DUI conviction nationwide – then we wouldn’t have drunk drivers hitting cyclists or pedestrians or other cars. Simple, right? Put the drink down. And if you can’t put the drink down… give your keys to someone who didn’t drink (or smoke or snort or dope up)… AT ALL.

Simple, right?

Put the phone down. Simple, right?

Don’t speed. Simple, right?

Pay attention. Simple, right?

But let’s face it… life isn’t that simple. Even if cyclists do EVERYTHING possible to follow the law and EVERYTHING possible to be safe and visible, a black and white law that seems to simply state what should be legal and what should be illegal can be interpreted a completely different way by a good attorney or jury or a judge. And while we’re at it, let’s face it again… the life of the cyclist lost can never truly be given justice nor can a monetary value be given to their worth nor will their loss ever be felt as deeply as it should by that judge nor the person who took it away.

In fact, since you and I are being blunt with each other, let’s talk about the attitudes that we have towards cyclists on the road, cyclists who are hit and cyclists who are killed.

Now, let me be clear about this – THIS IS MY OPINION and it comes from what I have witnessed personally – I love my community and proud of how well it has overcome many of it’s growing pains because we really have grown quickly in a few number of years. The news headlines gets it’s ratings from talking about political leaders abusing power and going to jail but the political leaders that I’ve associated with have actually become a PART of the community and have kicked the ivory tower to the curb, joined its citizens on bike rides or runs and even marathons and have become active in pursuing infrastructure improvements for encouraging physical activity in our community. Our local police have protected my run group along the trail and have stopped alongside the road several times to render aid to a fellow cyclist who didn’t go over the tracks correctly or simply got a flat tire.

My friends, neighbors and friends I have yet to meet have become inspired with our community health kick and have cautiously joined the wave. They watch with wide eyes as people in big trucks or SUVs zoom by cyclists honking, cussing, throwing half empty beer bottles at them and even worse… intentionally swerving their way to knock them down. They see the local news anchors skim through the auto/ped fatality so that we can have time to discuss the NFL game this coming weekend or car that was abandoned in La Joya with the load of pot in the back seat. Everywhere we look, we see validation that the life of a cyclist seems less valuable than that of any other human.

It has become almost a daily ritual that someone tells me that I should not be riding my bike on the road.

“Roads are for cars not bikes.”
“Go ride your bike in a park where you’re supposed to be.”
“Why do you ride on 2nd street when there’s a side walk there?”
“You shouldn’t ride that early in the day. It’s too dark.”
“You shouldn’t ride at night. It’s too dark.”
“You shouldn’t ride in the day. It’s too hot.”
“You shouldn’t ride around Mission Trails. There are too many illegals crossing.”

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So back to our thought provoking conversations…

The following was sent via Facebook private message (I won’t disclose her name)

“Myssie, I saw all you did and you inspired me to get up and do something good, too. I want to become healthy. I’m tired of being fat and not being able to play with my kids. I want to live a long healthy life but what’s the point if I’m supposed to sit here and accept that most likely I’m going to get hit and killed by a drunk driver way before a heart attack has the time to get me?”

What am I supposed to say? What’s the right thing to say?

I want to encourage people to be healthy and have fun doing it and do good for others and continue to push the healthy wave to others…

But what if I encourage someone to go out there and their life is taken away?

What if mine is taken away?

Since the age of six, I’ve had a recurring nightmare about the way I die. Those who are very close to me have heard the story several times. Even my husband knows how serious I am about this dream and will never drive down Hobbs Drive because of it… but I ride by it on my 5am ride. It is by far the biggest fear I have.

I am not going to pretend I have the answer to it all. I’ve even questioned my own sudden desire to go back to running marathons and leaving cycling. I won’t lie and say I’m not scared. But I also cannot, after all I have learned about overcoming fear and challenges these last few years, be bullied by fear to abandon the sport of cycling… a sport that led me to emotional and physical healing. I cannot let go of it.

What’s the right thing to say?

What’s the right thing to do?

Why is this so complicated now? If that answer just popped up in your head right now… do you believe your own answer?

P.S. The Ghost Ride planned for John Zess on Saturday morning at 7:00a.m. has been postponed due to expected thunderstorms on Saturday morning. Please find more details on the rescheduling of the ride on John’s facebook page, Bicycle World’s FB page or Lone Star Pacesetter’s FB page.

More media links on the latest regarding John Zess: http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1095044#.VBJtjvldV8F

We can not let fear deter us from doing the things we love. Cycling is a rather safe activity to partake here in the RGV as hundreds of cyclists were out and about yesterday and every day without incident. Unfortunately, we do have a *BIG* problem with drinking and driving in the area, and this is what is causing the majority, if not all, of the fatalities. I am a big believer that bicycles belong on the road. However, I am also realistic and practical when it comes to finding a solution to a complex problem. That is why we are advocating hard to have a dedicated, separated, region-wide bicycle trail. I am hopeful that this can happen in the next couple of years. ~ Ramon Hermida

Another cyclist hit and run tragedy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2014 by runmyssierun

Just as I was about to get my notes out about the Girl’s Tri in Harlingen yesterday and shout out to the world about my very first and probably only time on the podium’s first place block with a “what a way to celebrate my momma’s birthday!”…

I’m going to save that scheduled post and stay back for a while because of the man that I met yesterday at the Girl’s Tri that was joking about how he should have volunteered to do the body marking instead of helping with the bike course. And then went onto say that all these girl’s tri shorts are way too long!

He had a sense of humor that challenged mine. I liked that. After a few short minutes, he took a double take with me and then said “Hey, you’re the cancer girl, right? We need to talk after this race.”

I then went on to the pool to the athletes orientation meeting… and had a great race (that I’ll post about later)

This morning, I found out that John, the same man I just met yesterday was fatally hit and run while on his 5am ride.

I went to his facebook page to take a closer look. He had posted that he had just recently been diagnosed with colon cancer and was preparing to do a race next weekend for cancer while raising funds and awareness — just like I do.

Now I can’t stop thinking if this was what he wanted to talk to me about.

John Zess… all it took was a minute and a giggle. I’m glad I met you. I wish I had known you longer. I hope that someone else out there knows what you intended to talk to me about so that if there was something you wanted to organize for cancer, I could help. In fact, I sure am tempted to do next weeks race FOR you. I wonder…

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1093399#.VA0K4fldV8E

John Zess Fatally hit and run on September 7, 2014 Harlingen, Texas

John Zess
Fatally hit and run on September 7, 2014
Harlingen, Texas

Ironically, he has posted several times on his facebook page a simple black and white graphic with a saying “Don’t run me over”

Media & news updates:

http://www.kurv.com/local/6371

http://www.krgv.com/news/driver-turns-himself-in-after-allegedly-striking-a-bicyclist/

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1093981

Superstitions and behaviors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2014 by runmyssierun

Right before my races and any tough practices, I blast AC/DC’s Thunderstruck into my ears.

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An odd thing happened recently to me. It was the realization that we all have quirks about us. It is these odd things that push us, that make us who we are, that no one else does BUT you (or just me)…, And it’s accepted by you, (or just me) welcomed by you (or just me) but hardly by anyone else.

I love my music, my workouts, my team mates and my journey and my cause.

I see things and feel things that I know no one else sees or feels. And it’s pointless to try to explain those feelings to people who have not experienced them.

There is an enormous push in media now to spread awareness about bike safety, distracted driving and being aware while running along our local trails. The commercials are fabulous and so are the people behind the campaigns. Unfortunately, like cancer, or the discovery of benefits of health and fitness, unless it happens to you and hits you personally… Few people really care nor want to do something about it.

I miss my momma and Sissy and Donny a lot but today it hit me that I miss how I saw the world when they were here with us.

The world seemed so much kinder when they were here.

Just Du It already!!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2014 by runmyssierun
Me riding my "Mimi" custom Felt bike from Wally's Bike Shop and wearing my sunflower trisuit from http://triflare.com/

Me riding my “Mimi” custom Felt bike from Wally’s Bike Shop and wearing my sunflower trisuit from http://triflare.com/

After last weekend’s disappointing DNF at CapTexTri, I entered the Duathlon last minute with the promise to myself to just finish it.. not for time… not for anyone… not for any cause… not for glory or “I told you so” or “I knew you could do it” or even the whispers of “I knew she wouldn’t beat me.”

I needed to finish this so that I could prove to myself that I was not going to give up. Still sick, I pushed through.

My legs felt heavy during the run. I hadn’t run like I was supposed to so I expected this to hurt… but I didn’t give up. Didn’t stop once. But boy oh boy all that mucus that had accumulated over the last few weeks all of a sudden wanted to come out… and it did!!!

I wore my brand new beautiful Triflare sunflower one piece triathlon suit. I got so many compliments (although I wish I was 20 years younger and had the body of Alex when she wore her Triflare trisuit in Brownsville). I loved it!!! Well, until I tried to figure out how to get OUT of it in a hurry while running straight past T1 and onto the bathrooms while asking the race volunteers to unzip me!!!

What happened in the bathroom is seriously TMI. Don’t even ask. All you need is a good imagination.

I spent a good 10-15 minutes in there.

I walked out and found another fellow runner who was relaying and asked her to zip me back up.

I looked over to transition and saw just three bikes left racked… including mine. “Eh… might as well be the last one out and enjoy this one.”

What????? Is my inner sarcastic voice having a nice day????

Well, alright then! Let’s go have a great time!!!

I gently took Mimi off the bike rack and maneuvered her to the mount line. Stroked her seat, said “You ready Momma? Let’s go!” Jumped on and the fun began!!!

That feeling came back and boy did I need it!

I remember Sissy saying that she wanted me to find a way to deal with stress in a healthy way because she knew things were only going to get harder on me. She was right and I did.

I remember every single person’s advice along the way. I remember every helping hand and loving gesture from supporters, donors, sponsors, coaches, friends and family. Best of all… when I’m riding my Mimi, I forget all the pain, sorrow and anger I hold inside and feel more alive and happy than I’ve ever felt before.

So I understand what Mike Padgett said a few weeks ago about how if he died riding his bike, he’d die happy. As much as it hurt to think that it could happen like that, I understand that feeling. I hope it doesn’t happen like this but if it does… I’ll die happy.

And as promised… the latest from the media regarding Eddie Arguelles

http://www.krgv.com/videos/driver-indicted-in-cyclist-s-death/

 

 

Ride of Silence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by runmyssierun

Hundreds rode in remembrance, honor and solidarity. It was monumental for this community that is just opening it’s eyes to the vast numbers of people who are taking huge strides in managing their own healthy lifestyle. I was in awe… until I rode by Eddie’s ghost bike. I lost it. I completely lost it. Thank you to the unknown rider who stayed by me patting my back until I was able to wipe away the tears.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/ride-of-silence-makes-way-through-mcallen-edinburg-pharr-in/article_54af4c0a-e152-11e3-b3c2-0017a43b2370.html

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/ghost-bikes-to-honor-trio-of-rgv-cyclists-recently-killed/article_e55e3f5c-e07d-11e3-a71e-0017a43b2370.html#.U3y3B9bNc2M.facebook

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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.

 

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