September 24, 2010

Two years of racing bikes, summed up in one photograph.

This picture ran in last week’s Source, local publication printed in Bend, OR. The accompanying article described my friend and teammate, Michelle’s, first impressions of cyclocross. She articulated the frustration she felt while attempting to learn to mount and dismount and, coming from a track-racing background, how strange she found the concept of jumping off and running with her bike.

Two years ago I felt just as frustrated. I wasn’t a cyclist.  I couldn’t figure out how one was to dismount at speed, hurdle over wooden barriers and then, almost magically, jump back on one’s bike. Displayed by Bart Bowen and Ryan Trebon, it looked effortless and easy – when actually attempted, it was a whole other ball game.

Two years ago I was training for the Portland Marathon. I was a runner who thought buying new shoes ever three months was an big investment…. How much things can change in two years.

But, I digress. The point of this story is the photo. A picture of Don Leet and I, racing in Bend’s Thrilla race.

Two years ago, I didn’t know Don. Now a teammate and friend, I can’t imagine not knowing him. Seeing this photo printed, seeing the matching Sunnyside Kits and the look of determination on our faces, knowing the impact Don has made on my life and how, at that moment, we were pushing each other to race better and faster and harder, is a visual reminder of how just how fortunate I am.