Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Great Adventure that was Lake Tahoe

I am back from the great adventure that was the Century ride in Lake Tahoe for about a week now and finally feel ready to write about it! It was a wonderful trip ...I kept saying we should make a movie of this,..,.how often can 17 mostly unrelated people travel well together? But travel well we did...with lots of happiness, and mischief making to boot! We really had a wonderful time together!

We arrived in Tahoe in the pouring rain and it continued to rain and be freezing cold all day Friday and through the night on Saturday. It was 90 degrees in Albuquerque, so I only brought flip flops and cycling real shoes and was freezing off we girls went to buy sneakers and others to buy warm weather gear. We were unsure if it would rain or snow on Sunday or if the ride would be on or cancelled, but we prepared for every option and had fun doing so.I kept saying "So this is why we trained in all that horrible weather every prepare us for this. At least there was a reason!" We had planned to ride 22 miles on Saturday, but had to opt for a bike check with a few turns around the parking lot as it continued to pour down rain and be freezing cold. The LLS did not want us really riding that day due to the possibility of Black Ice! YES! I said black ice! TRUE! So we put in a few laps around the lot! All seemed well except Mike's saddle which was ruined during bike shipment...but he handled it so well...and we women commented that if it had been our saddle we would have been devastated...and thrown a fit! We seem to have an unhealthy relationship with our saddles! LOL.

Saturday night we attended an inspiration dinner and arrived to find a multitude of people lining the stairs up into the ballroom! They were cheering us, high 5ing us and blowing whistles...saying how proud and happy they were that we were raising money for blood cancer research and doing this ride! It was a great surprise and one that took us all by surprise! The speaker was very poignant. He was a survivor who had been through the mill, but had a keen sense of humor that immediately captured our attention! His humor caught us all off guard as he introduced his bone marrow donor and told us he was going to be the best man at his wedding....everyone clapped and gave him a standing ovation.....but the only problem was, he said.....he had no future wife yet... but that you could send female applicants..their name, picture and background check to the LLS in Texas who was screening potential girlfriends for him! LOL.

Saturday night,we ladies, and Tom R. had a sandwich making party and assembly line....we had a blast listening to Christine tell stories about her hunky trainer with the gorgeous eyes...and we watched as she demonstrated her stances as she avoided him looking at her butt...or buttocks as they say in yoga...she is a married woman. after all.........we all roared as she told us one story that was funnier than the next....AND we were all that made it all the funnier!

Sunday morning arrived early and we awoke to find a perfect day to ride 100 miles...upper 40's.dry roads and NO RAIN.,...just balmy weather! We will take that! YEAH! We could not have ordered it any better. The emotion was building in all of us as we dressed and got our food and drink together and ended up outside on the line to start the race. Christine and I teared up as we thought of our mom's and said a prayer for them....and before we knew it...amidst a wash of thousands of cyclists with funny cows and pigs and peaches and tomatoes and YES! our chile guy on our helmets...we were off!

We cycled and cycled and cycled up too many Elena Gallegos' back to back and up ,up, up we went...and we were a happy bunch who greeted each rider with a"Hi where are you from?" We all were social and supportive as we chugged up hill!

At 71 miles my shoulder gave out and I had to abandon the ride, but I knew it was ok, because I had done my best. When I arrived at our designated meeting place, I was greeted by Mike with a "Cece we were waiting for you!" and then we waited for what would have been my riding group and we all crossed the finish line together! It was very powerful that we all finished together as a team...we had certainly bonded even more during this great adventure!

Paulette begged me to wait for her as she hobbled into the hotel after the ride, but we all watched in amazement as she shook her booty during the post ride celebration. When I asked her how she did it she replied "I didn't want my muscles to freeze up!" I am sure they did not. That girl can dance....
.......and so could some of our men. I heard stories....about the men...not Paulette......that I cannot repeat in public....LOL.

As she hobbled in, Paulette told me that she was never going to ride again. I told her to wait a few weeks then get back on the bike. She told me "No never." Mike M. said not to say "no never!" Well, about an hour later.....this was before her dancing, she told me her sissy was so proud of her. Paulette had ridden in honor of her...her sister was so proud and motivated that she and her husband decided to train for Hawaii in 2010. Well, Paulette said, I have to ride with them. "No never" was busted in less than an hour!

On the way home in the plane, the entire plane sang happy birthday to Melissa who was still all shades of red when she got off the plane.....and she was looking at me with those el diablo eyes.....pointing and shaking her little beady finger at me.....just kidding! The birthday singing and red part are true!

We had a great adventure that will always be remembered for its fun and good works and most of all for its test our will and our fortitude and to come out a better person for all the struggles...and still......knowing that this is just a small struggle in comparison to what others go through.