October 9, 2014

We've Moved

Come visit us at our new and improved website at www.serenabishopgordon.com.
We look forward to seeing you there.

September 25, 2014

Kathy, this one is for you.

Each Wednesday night in September, the cycling community of Bend grabs their bikes and heads down to the Athletic Club where we ride around in dusty circles, enjoy a fair amount of good-natured heckling, and bury ourselves in some early season cross racing.

Last night was race #4 for of the Thrilla series and it was quite unique – it rained. I overheard Kevin say, just before the race began, that this was the first time in 10 years that it has rained for a Thrilla.

Racing in the rain is special for so many reasons, but the one that stands out for me is the display of passion each racer exudes as they pedal their bike through the rain, sand, and mud – and for what? 

Why do we do this?

Why don’t we stay home with a good book and some comfort food and watch the rain fall from the coziness of our well-heated homes?

Why get covered in wet sand, just to go home and cover the entire house with this sand?

 Because we love to race bikes. PERIOD.

At some point in last night’s race, I passed a woman full of passion and strength and determination. I saw her a few turns ahead and smiled to see her racing in the rain. As I went to make the pass, I gave a few encouraging words and she said to me, “You are my inspiration.”

These words caught me off guard. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and knew at the moment why I race.

It is for reasons greater than local glory, and greater than the goal of some higher level of accomplishment. Is for a reason greater than myself. It is about the community, and being a part of this community, and offering something to the others who share this space. At that moment, when Kathy spoke those words, with heaving lungs and beating heart, that I was reminded why I started this whole silly thing called bike racing. Because there is something special shared among those who toe the line, those who head out in the cold and the rain and dark.

It is something that no words, at least not mine, can do justice. It is something deep within that rises to the surface at the most improbable moments, taking us over our edge, pushing us further and faster and harder. And this something is beautiful. Awesome. Strong. Unstoppable.

Kathy, you've got this something. I am so proud of you.

September 16, 2014

Fortitude Wanted: Inquire Within.

Our mailbox isn’t too full these days. We don’t get much junk mail, we pay our bills online, I subscribe to just one magazine.  But we do get a catalog from time to time.  Most of them are full of beautiful pictures of far away places, smiling faces, and outdoor apparel. They all attempt to be profound, new, exciting. Few are.

Today, one such catalog succeeded in their quest to inspire; not through an image of a soaring vista or a beautiful person, but through the written word. 

In the pursuit to create not a sale, but an admirer, Ibex was spot on.

It started here:
Make it with intention. Make it Better.

What a simple, yet incredibly compelling way to live.
Live with intention. Live Better.

The inspiration continued as a fingered through the next few pages.


I am a Shackleton junkie. I continue reading.

Today, when you read the advertisement the Ernest Shackleton posted searching for men to join him on his arctic expedition, it reads like satire:

MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.

It could easily be that start of some arctic expedition buddy movie, a slapstick romp through glacial isolation, hunger and absurdity.  But it wasn’t. It was real. We take inspiration from that journey precisely because it was so completely forthright.

To be up front with a passion for adventure, to be at ease with the uncertainty of an unknown journey is an intentional and vibrant way to live. Today, life is hard to make simple, to make intentional.  Today, Shackleton’s advertisement is too long event to be tweeted out. You have to cut off the part about honor and recognition to get down to 140 characters. Today, people don’t have time to read the want ads in search of a sharp call to live with purpose. Yet the journey is still there.  Success still isn’t guaranteed and while there aren’t pop-up ads beckoning for a meaningful life, choosing to organize the years around outdoor adventure does still mean rewards aplenty. The soul of Shackleton’s ad lives on every time we look at an unknown journey, at the risks of an outdoor challenge and say, without hesitation, “Yeah. That looks good. Sign me up.”

How true. How real.

Mary Oliver asked, “ What do you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?”

A big question, one loaded with expectation and wonder. A question I cannot answer fully on this day, but one I am working toward answering each and every day of my life.

It is my objective to live with intention. To pursue my goals and dreams wholeheartedly, to follow the advice John Steinbeck so eloquently shared, “You can only fight fate so far and when you give in you are strong because all your force flows in one direction.” 

I sure hope he is right.

For the last six months this has been the wall next to my bed. I see it each and every day. I think tomorrow I will take just a moment longer to read the words a second time.

September 5, 2014

The Official Blitz to the Barrel

Photo: Brian Nelson
I think this image says it all.  PURE AWESOME!

The Blitz to the Barrel did it again and took the title of BEST RACE OF THE YEAR!

Erik and his All Access Crew blew every expectation out of the water.

"Everything is so PRO" I heard one of the racers say as we headed up to the Wanoga Trailhead. "We even have our names on our race plates."  Even the smallest details were dialed.

Photo: lasala images
After a rocky start, I battled back to finish 3rd and held my own when it came time to chug the beer.

And to cap off an awesome event, I stood on the podium with some amazing women. I was so honored to race well, at home, with these fine ladies.

Big thanks to Erik, Kyeli, the Eastland Clan, the All Access Crew, 10 Barrel, and our amazing community! 

There is no better place to live, race and train!

September 3, 2014

Bend Global Solidarity Ride

On Saturday, a group gathered in Bend, joining together for the Global Solidarity Ride.  This was just one of many events being held around the world on August 30th, showing the women of Afghanistan that they are not alone in their revolutionary actions.

Local photographer, Dave Adams captured the day wonderfully; please check out his gallery of images here

Learn more about the Afghan National Cycling Team here.

Donate to the cause here.

Big thanks to LIV, CLIF Bar, and Backporch Coffee Roasters for making this event possible!

And of course, and huge bear hug and thank you to Karsten and Jeremy for keeping us fueled and smiling!  #nextlevel

August 6, 2014

Bend Global Solidarity Ride

The brave women of the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team have a mission: to break through the gender barriers that exist in their country and around the world by riding their bikes. 

Liv supports the team's efforts and is proud to be part of an upcoming event called the Global Solidarity Ride. Scheduled to take place on August 30, all around the world, this is a way for us all to show the women of Afghanistan that they are not alone in their revolutionary actions.

We will meet at Backporch Coffee Roasters, in the Century Center, at 9am, and depart at 9:30am. We will be doing the Twin Bridges loop (with shorter options available of course).

I will provide maps, motivation, CLIF Bar nutrition, and CamelBak Podium Bottles. And rumor has it, there will be a bacon hand-up along the way.

Please click here to preview the route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/5612391 

June 12, 2014

The Official, Unofficial Blitz to the Barrel

Photo: Bill Warburton

The last month has felt just like this image. A blur of color and light and speed.

I have been racing in Oregon, training, working, camping with friends, and getting ready for some National level races in late June and July - and I have been looking forward to the Blitz to the Barrel - an amazing event put on by Erik and the All Access Team!

A forest fire started last weekend, dangerously close to Bend, and resulted in forced trail closures, thus the postponement of the Blitz. We are fortunate that the winds were on our side and for the incredible work of so many hardworking firefighters.  The fire is now under control and most of the trails have reopened.

While the official Blitz wasn't held, we did hold the official, unofficial Blitz on Wednesday and raised a glass (of a classy can of Rainier) to Erik and all the sponsors of the B2B. It was a great night full of smiles, laughter, beer, and riding bikes.

An all star crew!