Monday, December 28, 2009


First a disclaimer. I am one of only two, possibly three people who have had season nordic passes at Mt Bachelor every year since the Nordic Area opened all those years ago. I don't even remember what year that was maybe 1976 or so. I have always supported the mountain and have coached up there since 1993 through The MBSEF.
I have also dreamed of skiing closer to town on trails that were not on a mountain but through more rolling terrain. Meissner was the area I dreamed of. Tumalo Langlauf Club helped realize that dream a few years ago when they raised some money and bought a real groomer. Sunnyside Sports from the beginning has supported the grooming at Meissner. We pledged $10,000 the first year they started the grooming. With the purchase of the new groomer we will give more. This year TLC bought another groomer that is bigger and more reliable. They also cut some new trails. I can't even remember the names of all of the new trails but today I skied them for the first time. I was skating today as that is my favorite technique and the conditions were perfect for skating. I only skied new trails and was out for almost 2 hours. It was like being on a ski holiday in Canada or Europe. These trails rock. They are fun (kind of like our mountain bike trails), not too hard but still with some stiff climbs. Mt Bachelor was packed today, and yes the small parking lot at Meissner was pretty full but it was relaxing, only 15 minutes from town and again great skiing.
If you haven't tried the new trails and experience what the new groomer has done stop by the next time you go to skiing. Remember to have a State Snow Park Permit (you can buy one at Sunnyside Sports), and as the sign in the photo says leave a donation. Grooming ski trails is an expensive operation. Take care and enjoy the snow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Cyclocross season is over for me, though the pros are in Europe getting ready for the big event - worlds. I decided I could go out and try the mountain bike. The rides were short but very fun. I went out to Horse Ridge three times. The first day it was close to 55 and quite warm, the next day started out warm but then this cloud came by, the temperature dropped 10 degrees and it started to snow. The next day was probably a perfect ski day but I had arranged to go to Horse Ridge with Serena, Ben and Renee. It turned out to be my favorite condition, two inches of fresh snow on hard dirt. Somewhat slick but extra fun. Except for the cold feet afterwords it was a perfect day.
I had to throw in some photos of some pies Kathy and I made. The one for the Team cyclocross party is my all time favorite. It has the distinctive smoke stacks which was the backdrop of the Nationals race course, you can see the crowd and the racers. Kathy is amazing.
I have also done my share of skiing. A couple of days with Mary and Mike, Serena joined us for one of those days. The skiing has been very good, though last Saturday for the Nancy P's classic race the conditions were horrendous. I like the change of seasons. I like to ski, and do my winter mountain bike rides. This year the mountain bike will even be more fun as I missed the fall season.
I am planning a trip to Mallorca this spring, if you are a reader and are interested please email me at . We will be going in early March.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Interview on Cyclocross

Interview with me on CX Magazine. This interview was done a few days before my race last week. I was quite honored that Jason picked me for this piece along with being interviewed by Heather for the official guide for Cyclo Cross Nationals. I liked the format with the slide show of me doing what I do and a few slides of me racing. The interview took almost two hours but he had to make it a piece that would not just appeal to my Mom and Kathy. I was intrigued by the content. Of all the the questions I answered these were the ones that he thought most interesting.
Mainly, as I said I feel honored that feelings and thought that I have are appealing to others. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed being the centerpiece. I have to admit my ego is well chuffed about being recognized.
Next year I have more goals, one is not to be injured. Two is to get a medal and three is to race two national championships, Canadian (I should be a Canadian citizen by then) and our in town.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Cross Nationals what a 4 days

Well the event we have been waiting for is now over. I remember going to a get together for Tom Vinson (USA cycling event coordinator) about a year ago and now we will wait another year for a repeat. I can't say this years race was what I was expecting, but it was a fantastic experience. From checking out the course with Chad and Renee (the snowy photo), to having Mary and Mike warm up in our tent and us getting to be in the Pit for them, to all of the Sunnyside Team mates hanging around, lending a hand, taking photos, racing, it was just a fantastic experience. I think everyone on the team had good performances and, if they are like me they want to improve. What we can't improve on was Team Spirit, we have that dialed. There was not one other team out there that had the support that we had. I would rather have all that than a medal, though both would not be a bad thing.
Tomorrow is a day to test the back skiing and get off the bike for awhile. I am already looking forward to next years season though. Thanks to everyone for making the last four days so memorable.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was overwhelmed
at the start of my race today. I had messages from friends as far away as Scotland and I would swear half of the crowd was cheering for me. I literally had tears in my eyes at the start line. That was a new experience. One is supposed to be full of adrenaline not tears. My start was OK I was in reach of spot number 5 and I was feeling like I could really handle the snow. Then bam down I went after hitting a rut of solid ice. Whoa I said take it easy. I was holding my own and really starting to reel a couple of riders in (in fact I had just passed my friend Ron) and I was feeling very solid on the corners. My back was holding out and my legs were ok. I was really accelerating out of the corners, trying to be like Ryan Trebon. I had two more in sight and the next one was just around the corner when boom again. I had take a different line down this drop to get by the next rider and I hit another solid ice rut. This time I bent my rear mech (for my brit friends), I got my pit bike but I had lost my momentum. I finished strong but I just didn't have to catch those guys again.
Starting this race was a victory for me. I didn't see the results, but with some luck I may have cracked the top 10. No, riding a trainer will not get you a national championship if that is all you do, but it will allow you to start a race in your hometown in front of a huge crowd and be competitive. This race was one of the best things I have ever done. I didn't take my doctor's advice nor my PT's advice. I knew there was a risk, there is always risk in racing one's bike on solid ice. I will say for who I am and what I do it was way worth it.
Thank you for all your encouragement. I heard every one of you if you were out there cheering, and I thought of my friends in Scotland.
Bike season is over for me for the year. I am already looking forward to next year though.
PS Thanks to Rich Wolf and Linda Topping for the photos.

5 hours and counting

So why do I write this blog anyway? Do I think I know so much that I have to let it out?
I really am not sure. What I do know is I am writing this one for myself. I have decided to race, I have spent some serious time on a trainer this fall and early winter, I have ridden outside 6 times since October 1st. So what exactly do you expect in this race? These are the thoughts that go through me head. So first of all, assuming I am correct and racing will not re injure me, starting this race is a victory for me. 6 weeks ago I was pretty sure I would not race this year. When my leg strength came back and pain went I started to think maybe. When it stayed away and the practice barricades didn't aggravate anything I was pretty sure. Now I am just waiting at home for the big moment. I do think a top 5 is in reach. It will be hard . I will have to have all my skills on top of my game and my legs will have to answer to each call to go.
I will have fun. The course could not be better suited for me. Not many dismounts, slick corners and a couple of drops. I will write the second half of this this afternoon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Sunday December 6th, 67 days after my ruptured disc. Here I am racing my bike again. The morning after and I feel great. Tired legs and sore throat (from shouting all day long). Back feels great and no shooting leg pain.
I am probably not healed 100% and I still plan to be careful but I did have a lot of fun yesterday. Everything from starting conservatively, passing most of my fellow racers ( I started last and finished 5th), passing many of the 100 racers in the younger group in front of me (I just wish they would practice in the mud once in a while) and feeling like I can still ride a bike. That was outdoor ride # 6 since September. It was a chance but one I wanted to take.
After my race I got to watch the rest of my team race and of course the pros. I was in the pit standing next to Chris Horner (he was pitting for his girlfriend) and I got a couple of photos of the pros racing. Ryan Trebon gave it everything he had but ended up third. Veronica is the picture of concentration at the start of the women's A race. I feel very proud to be in the pit for two women ( Serena and Veronica) in the A race and one man (Matt). Those men and women are so fast to even start with them is amazing.
Kathy asked me this morning if I am even more excited about Nationals now. I am not more excited just more confident I can do well. I am not sure how well as one race does not make me ready. I will rest the next few days and start with my head high.
Thanks for reading and thanks to all for all the support I have had.
One more comment. I have never wanted this injury or my blogs about it to me a melodrama. Being injured and recovering is a small thing in our world. It has been fun to do this and share though. I had more fun racing yesterday and was more proud of my 5th place then of many wins I have had. I wouldn't change this fall for another because of all the things I have learned about myself and about the support I have gotten.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Don and bunny hopping

Went out today with Serena on the National's course. I put the photo I promised last time-me smiling. So far so good.
I hope it snows. There is not enough technical stuff the way it is. I like more of a challenge. There are a couple of side hills that would be tough in the snow. That being said it is still a fun course with lots of curbs. I am sure they will do something to mitigate the curbs (I wished they wouldn't), but even if they do it will be faster to bunny hop. I have bunny hopped 16 inches, I can do 12 inches most of the time and I can bunny hop a curb at full speed all day long. Not many 60 year olds can, not many women can. It is fairly easy to learn, but like anything it takes practice. I practice every year and if there is an obstacle in the course I will practice that day to get my timing down.
If you are coming to Bend get your Bunny Hop in order. Take care.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As most of you know I have been recovering from an extruded disc these past two months. It started with a very sore leg that I first noticed when I got off a long flight from France. I hope it ended on November 1st when I quit feeling any pain in my leg.
My recovery started with a visit to my friend Dr Steve Ireland. He did some quick tests, asked some questions and sent me over to the MRI room. Sure enough an extruded disc. I am thinking surgery, he says no. Go get a cortisone epidural shot right to the spot (L-4/5). So then it is to Dr James Nelson. He is another doctor I know as he was in my ski class a few years back. In we go to the procedure room and in goes the needle. WOW! That was very painful. I have to say that James was great. He talked me through the pain, and when it was done I felt a lot better. The pain was pretty much gone but my right leg felt as if the muscle had been removed, back to Steve. Dr Ireland explained to me a nerve will repair its self about 2mm per day. My nerve was from my back to my calf so that is about 200 mm. That would mean 100 days. Ok time to be patient. It is hard to be patient when all year one race was on the top of the list, US Nationals on Dec 10th at 2:15. But patient I was (mostly anyway). I have been on my trainer doing exactly the same workouts I would have doing out of doors. I started on my trainer before I went to any doctor and each time I did a workout I felt better. I could walk around for around 1/2 hour, instead of 2 minutes.
I put Nationals out of my mind and put my mind to healing. I asked Steve to prescribe both acupuncture and Physical Therapy. He told me I would heal anyway but if I wanted to try those he would accommodate me. Thank you Steve.
I then started three days of PT with Tim Evens at Rebound and two days of Acupuncture with Almine Barton every week. I asked Almine about healing and acupuncture. She told me that she had seen statistics that said it would help me heal 65% faster. That would be about right for me. I was thinking three months is how long it would take so this would mean it would take about 2 months.
I have done all the exercises Tim has given me. I have ridden out of doors three time since October 1st. I have had no pain for 24 days. I have decided to take some steps to see if I am ready to race. Steve nor Tim agree with me, but as I said in my last blog I have realized it is my decision.
Today was the first test. I ran over 2 barricades 5 times (10 total) and then I went and rode the Nationals course 5 times. Right now I feel great, tonight when I sleep will tell the tale. That is when I always feel the worst.
I know this is a gamble, but every time I go for a ride it is a gamble. I do jumps, ride some pretty crazy stuff for a 58 year old. I will be extra careful though. I do not like what I have gone through and I really can't afford to do all this therapy again. In my next blog if you see a photo of me riding with a big smile then you will know all has gone well.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


In the photo you can see Mike mounting another tufo cyclocross tubular.  Cross season is hot and heavy at Sunnyside right now. We have three weeks until Nationals. This year is different, most would be done with cross with the finish of the cross crusade but with Nationals it is a different story. We have a race Thanksgiving weekend, then The GP races in Portland the next weekend with Nationals in Bend the 10TH through the 13TH. Mike and I will be gluing many more tyres on in the next three weeks.
So what about me? I was hoping my doctor or my physical therapist would tell me I was 100% and give me the all clear. That is not going to happen. I am the one who will have to decide, I am the one who knows how I feel, the progress I have made and what it means to me.
Right now I feel 98%, I am not sure if I ever feel 100%.
Ok I have been on my trainer keeping in shape, but I haven't been in a race since the beginning of October
If I do race will I be disappointed if I don't go well, will my back withstand a race? Maybe my back is fine. Is sitting harder on me than riding?
I could keep asking all these questions but in the end I will not know, not even if I wait a year. I still have three weeks to decide, and only I can do that.
Thanks for reading, Don

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Friday, November 13, 2009

New fancy phone

I have a new fancy phone, it is Motorola Cliq. This is not a blog about how cool this phone is, it is a blog about the new world we live in. I like to write timely blogs about current events. I am not really into Twitter, nor Facebook. I like to talk (Write in this case too much). I am at work and I have enclosed a photo of Seth, he doesn't really like to have his photo taken, but he managed a smile anyway. I think that is because he likes work. Somehow we manage to have a good time here.
When I was younger we thought it was crazy that Dick Tracy could talk on his watch. Now everyone not only talks but has GPS, camera and I don't even know what else. We have been trying to keep Sunnyside Sport on the cutting edge of keeping our friends informed. It has to do with being real as opposed to Marketing. We do things and I want you to know about it.
There are a couple of examples of what I mean in the National Cyclocross Guide.
One there is a photo of a racer in one of the ads for another bike store, his bike was here at Sunnyside getting worked on.
Another instance of real in the same guide is something I am proud of. There is an article about the Local Racer Spotlight. The local racer was me. There are a lot of locals in town racing their bikes and to pick me I feel is an honor. It is also real. No amount of marketing will buy what that article gives us.
So that is what I am trying to do with my new phone. More blogs and more current information on what we are up to is what my plan is. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mitchell Stevens

I remember the first day Joanne came in to Sunnyside *. She was new to town and was looking for some shoes. She was a bike racer and she was on a Portland team. Mitchell was a baby. She road raced and soon after the first visit joined the Sunnyside Team. Karen and I talked her into coming to a cross race, she was reluctant but because we were her friends she said yes. Was it love at first sight - NOT. She really didn't like cross. That being said Joanne is one tough woman and after a season or two of love/hate, and the realization that she did not do well in the heat (summer road racing), and the persistent pestering of Karen and I (we love cross) Joanne came around. So then we would go to cross races and sometimes Mitchell would show up. It was up to the team to keep an eye on him while his Mom road around in circles in the mud. He would yell and cheer for us all. I used to love him (a 5 year old) shouting out my name.
Last year he decided it would be fun to do some time trialing on the road, and then this fall why not cross.
I have been to only a couple of races this year, none of the ones that Mitchell has gone to. That is what I have missed most about this season, not seeing this young man do what we love to do- cross. When I found out Mitchell won the state championships I can't deny there were tears in my eyes. I was able to help him out once this year at a practice session. I was crippled at the time, but to see the concentration on his face when he was doing what I asked of him was amazing. I hope to help him out more, and to watch many more races. These photos of him are perfect. The pain on his face as he reaches for the win last Saturday and the joy on his face as he gets to stand on the podium, proudly wearing his Sunnyside Jersey. We are his team and have been since the beginning. I am so proud to be his teammate.
*Sunnyside Sports is just Sunnyside to us that hang out there.

Friday, November 6, 2009


As most of you know I have an extruded disc on my L-4. This means I have a lot of pain and weakness in my right leg. Not good for a cross racer. The deal is I don't want to be an ex cross racer I want to race again. I have been going to Rebound Physical Therapy Westside. They have a lot going on there, all of it good as far as I can tell. I have been going there to lift weights etc for about 5 years. There are always friends there and it has always been fun to go there. One of the reasons it has been fun is I have not been injured.
Now that I am injured I thought it might be less fun, but it isn't. Now I am doing these seemingly easy exercises that turn out to be quite hard. Every time I show up Matt Lieto is also there, he doesn't have a traumatic injury like me, he has a nagging injury left over from a bad bike crash. What we both have found out is our injuries come from our bodies not using all of our muscles. It is kind of funny to see two accomplished athletes straining to get our hips to move. There is as much laughter as there is groaning. Tim Evens has been our PT. I first met Tim when he was just out of high school. This was in 1998 and he was a student at COCC. He, like a lot of us, was just getting into cyclo cross. I actually taught him how to mount and dismount. Now 11 years later he is helping me. I love stuff like that. He is really awesome at PT and I can really feel a difference after two weeks.
I have also been getting some acupuncture treatments at Rebound. Almine Barton is the Acupuncturist that works there. She used to work at the Nike Athlete in Portland. She used to work on Nike Sponsored Athletes now she is working on me. Matt is also one of her patients. I get about 30 needles in me each treatment. The needles do not hurt, though I have noticed it is better to lie still once they are placed. Each time I get treated I feel just that much better. I am hoping it will speed up my recovery.
On another note the race guide for Cyclo Cross Nationals is now online, there is a nice article about me in it. Check it out at Visit Bend . You have to scroll down a bit. I am hoping we will have snow like we did in the photo. Take care.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This past weekend I took a trip to Astoria with my team to see some cyclo cross racing. Halloween and cross are great combination. Mud, costumes and feeling of celebration is what prevails in this weekend of fun. From the photos you can see a race face on Gina, but then later we are on the beach dressed as Star Trek characters. Renee is wearing The Science Dress. I guess the characters that wore those dresses were science officers in the show. The cool thing about the fabric the costumes were made off is that it didn't breath and it wasn't waterproof. That must have taken some research. In the photo of me on my bike that was my first outdoor ride since I herniated my disc. I didn't seem to get anywhere though.
I had a great time hanging with the team and cheering them on. I got to watch my group race and cheer on my friends. I won't say I didn't miss being out there, but it was also fun not having any pressure and being able to help with the bikes etc. I have had my best races in Astoria and next year I will be back racing. In the meantime I will continue to ride my trainer and try to stay in shape. Live long and prosper.

Monday, October 26, 2009


For many of us bike racers having our name in Velonews would be the high light of our career. I have been racing for over 30 year and my name was in Velonews once. It was an article about someone who I had helped. It was a nice recognition but deep down it would have been nice to have seen my name tied to a result.
Though I will probably never get my name in Velonews connected to a result I have seen our new kit in Velonews the last two weeks. Serena Bishop, Sunnyside's newest star has been in the top three at the last two Cross Crusade races. She was the winner of last years Cross Crusade women's B division so this year she upgraded to A. Going from B to A is a very difficult transition. Winning to not winning in a word. Serena has not only made the transition but she has done it with a bang. She has been in the top 10 in all of her races (two thirds and two wins). She is also quite humble. If you read my blog you will see her's on my list of blogs I follow, it is titled Bend and Beyond.
There is another reason our kit has been in Velonews. Our new kit looks great. It is the best kit in Oregon (according to Don and isn't that what this blog is all about). Jim, who is in the photo next to me, designed our kit. He put a lot of hours and sweat (and some blood) into our kit. I turned out great. I have my skin suit hanging in my bedroom giving me incentive to heal and get back out on the bike.
On a personal note, I did some intervals yesterday and my right leg felt awesome. So I am headed in the right direction. I will be at next week's Cross Crusade cheering and helping.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Extruded disc or not I can still do intervals on the trainer in the shed. It doesn't sound like much fun but it is. I hate not being active and I feel really blessed that sitting on a bike that doesn't move wont' hurt my back. I tell my self I need to be in shape for Nationals in December, but I am really doing it because I like being in shape, I like the challenge and I like the music I listen to on my Ipod. It is weird having one weak leg though. I don't notice for most of the interval, in fact they feel normal. I like to use a higher gear for part of the interval though. I am still pedaling close to 100 rpm, but then I can tell my right leg is not quite as strong. I wish I could come up with some more really mind twisting new age reason why like to do intervals indoors when the mountain bike trails are at their best and the sun is that fall semi warm disc in the sky, but I can't. I think it is because I just don't like the idea of stopping and it is the best I can do.
I do know I am glad I went to Mallorca this year, did the Scottish mountain bike holiday and even managed a trip to France this Fall. I also know when I get to hit the mountain bike trails I am going to be stoked. Maybe I will see you out there. I put this photo is so you know what I would rather be doing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This last week has been pretty hard for me. After last weeks race (read my last blog), I realized I had something more that a sore leg. I went to see my friend Dr Steve Ireland and he confirmed it. After an MRI, and some more consultation it was discovered I have an extruded disc on my Lumbar #4. The fact that it is extruded and not protruded is somewhat good news as they seem to heal after time. My right leg has been about half to three quarters strength, and when I stand or walk I have sharp pains in my right leg. Riding doesn't hurt but I can't depend on the right leg either.
My cross season could be over for the year. The deal is I am not really worried about that as getting my leg and back sound again. The shot has helped, even after one day the pain has changed from sharp to dull. I am going to get some acupuncture, and physical therapy.
I have had so much support my friends that I realize what a great place I work and live once again.
The ironic thing is I had already registered for Cross Nationals when I found all this out. It turned out it was important to be the highest category racer as that is how they will line us up at the start line. I have always been a category 3 road and cross racer because most of my race time has been a master and in cross I have always raced in my age group. I applied for an upgrade to Cat 1 and received it. So, injured or not and pushing 60 I am now an official Cat 1. Pretty cool I would say.
As I said I can still ride my bike so off to some indoor intervals. They don't hurt and my back doesn't move.

Monday, October 5, 2009


First of all I am not writing here about excuses. Steve Yenne started right in front of me and finished 6th and my fellow 60 year old Ron Strasser Started right next to me and finished 12th. I can keep up with Steve for a while and stay with Ron on a normal day. But I finished 37th. I don't think last year we even had 37 starters, yesterday it was nearly 80, and I passed 43 of them, I just needed to pass 30 more. With the big crowd in our field (again this is my fault as I am the one who introduced the rule to have USA cycling age groups in OBRA) Brad used a lottery system to line up the racers. I drew short straw and was on the last row. Again I was not the only one but I have to say I was unprepared. I was hoping for a call up from last years results (I was 5th overall), but it was not to be. I never really got going. I tried to be aggressive on my passing but I don't like to crash and I am not the best accelerator. I race best from the front. Go hard, fast on the technical and then go faster. In a crowd I can't go fast in the technical and my best tool is lost. I need to work on this if I want to continue to race. The deal is I have never started a cross crusade race when I wasn't on the front row. It was my turn to see how the hundreds of racers come every week to see if they can break into the 60s or 50s, so now I will be trying for the teens or the twenties.
I had a lousy race but a great time. My teamies put in some great performances. Serena 8 in A's, Veronica 13 in A's, Chad a top 10 in the Men's masters B's to name a few. I also missed most of the wet sloppy snow we had in Bend, instead 65 degrees and sun. I will be back, I will be trying harder to move up and get those hard to find points. It will be hard though.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The last two weeks riding in France one gets a feeling of serenity and peace that I don't feel around here. We live in a desert with some weather extremes that makes Bend a great place to live, but we don't have that pastoral feeling that comes with living in an area with green fields, farms and forests everywhere. The farmhouses in France give off an illusion of hundreds of years of tranquil times.
I say illusion because I know from my Dad that his France (World War II) is not the same as the France I just spent a relaxing bike holiday in. He told me once that the first 90 days of his time in France he expected to be killed every minute. It was a brutal time. Not just for our soldiers though. Every town has a monument or a plaque that commemorates "the dead children of the village". Most of the statues have names from both great wars of the 20th Century. The other telling tale that the timeless peace is an illusion are all the towers and fortified castles everywhere. Today they are a remarkable reminder of the past but then they were used and destroyed in the many wars that have plagued Europe since the dawn of time.
I am fortunate to get to enjoy Europe in a time of peace. To ride the quiet small roads of France is something all cyclists should get to do sometime. It is also important to remember that it wasn't always this way. I have been what many would call a pacifist all my life. I was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and I have been against all of the wars since. People have asked me what I would have done during World War II. I cannot answer this question honestly as I was not there. I do know that our country is not at peace now and the lost lives that occur every day in our wars are tragic. Thinking of all the young men killed in this utopia for cyclist called France makes me realize again that our world is very fragile and every life is special. I don't know if there is a lesson to be learned from France and Europe, I don't know if there will ever be an end to war. I do know that while I have time I will spread the word of peace and encourage others to go discover the peaceful, serene qualities of the roads of France.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I am home from France, in some ways it all seems like a dream, but while I was there it was so timeless and real. Not all trips work this way with me. This trip though gave the illusion to me that I would be riding the small country roads of France with my group of 13 friends for the rest of time. I forgot how many days I had been there and didn't know how many were left to go. Numerous stops for cafe, or aperitifs with my friends ended with the last one in the main square of St Cere. That is some of us pictured. One last group dinner and then it was an early morning back to Toulouse with our guide (agent) Michelle, a long flight home, and then a big welcome from my sweetheart, kitties and a house full of tomatoes. It froze last night and Kathy was busy picking as many tomatoes as she could. This is about half of what was left. On the flight to Frankfurt from Toulouse a great view of what I assumed to be Mt Blanc.
Though flying pretty much sucks it is still worth the hassle. Riding country roads in France is something I would recommend to any cycling enthusiast. To be in a country where sharing roads is something that just happens, and where they have not done "curve corrections" on all the roads is a great experience.
Being home is also great. Kathy was at the airport to meet me with her usual beaming smile, and even the kitties gave me a welcome as I walked in the door, though they were disappointed when I plopped in the bed next to Kathy and not them. I still have a few more France experiences I want to blog about so the France theme is not over yet. Thanks for reading and maybe you will be able to join us on a trip in the future.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


France, Why me and why now. I am a pretty lucky person to be France this last 10 days (right now I am watching the World Road Racing Championships on live TV in my hotel room). Over a year ago the big cheeses of Sunnyside decided that it would be a good thing to have semi official Sunnyside Sports europe trips. These trips are low key, no sags, and full of fun. Last March we in Mallorca for a 10 day spring ride and now we are in St Cere in the Dordogne area of France with 13 friends of Sunnyside Sports. We stay in the same hotel every night, do a different ride everyday, and try all the food we can.
Everyone is having a great time (as far as I can tell anyway) and we hope to have more trips in the future. I couldn't be here without the support from home. We have four Sunnyside employees here (me, Barb, Lew and Muffy). That leaves us low at home. We all know they are working hard while we are on the best holiday ever. I think this is important for our store. We have always been more than just a store. We want relationships with our customers that go deep. This is simply because we love cycling and want to express that love with all of our customer friends. So once more thanks to the ones behind that makes this possible.
I have to make a special note to Kathy, my sweetheart for encouraging me to spend 10 days away from home with friends in another country. Maybe next time she will come along.
Take care