Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tour de Steamboat

As many of you know my grandmother Dalorie "Dal" Finkel passed away this past September after a LONG battle with cancer. Dal was more than a grandmother she was my best friend. 

Since her death I have tried to raise money to help families with cancer patients. In the spring I participated in the Penguin Plunge. My friends and I collected money from sponsors and jumped into the Catamount Country Club freezing cold water to raise money for cancer. 

Our team raised over $2,000 to aid Yampa Valley Medical Center Cancer Services! Raising money for people in need felt so rewarding and made me feel closer to my deceased grandmother. 

This summer when the Tour de Steamboat presented itself I knew it was something I would be interested in but wasn't sure that we would be in town. Last week when I knew that I was going to be in Steamboat I immediately registered. The Tour de Steamboat is  is a century+ non competitive road ride that starts and ends in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO. The initial event was hosted as a race by the legendary frame builder, Kent Eriksen, in the late 1970’s. The event was resurrected in 2004 as a non competitive road ride by Kent’s wife, Katie Lindquist and partner Brad Cusenbary. In 2008, Katie and Brad decided to turn the event into a benefit ride to not only raise money but awareness to the Sunshine Kids Foundation. It is the goal of the Sunshine Kids Organization to provide young cancer patients with opportunities to participate in positive group activities which promote self-esteem, personal accomplishment and just plain old fashioned fun!

The event offers three courses a 26 mile Sidney Peak ride, a 40 mile Stagecoach out-n-back and a 110 classic tour de steamboat. Since I am new to road biking I knew that I could handle the 26 or 40 mile rides, the 40 was full so I registered for the 26 mile ride.

On Friday before the ride Johnny and I attended the Sunshine Kids benefit pasta dinner. (Usually I post pictures of my food but this is about the charity not the AMAZING pasta, salad, garlic bread and brownie dinner). Johnny and I had fun bidding on items at the silent auction. We were outbid on everything except a BAP costume soft-shell jacket, lucky me :) 

On Saturday morning I put on my new Orange Peel jersey and was ready to ride. 

The ride offered an organized mass start at 7:00 am in front of little toots park but riders were welcome to ride the marked course at anytime throughout the day.

I loved the excitement of seeing everyone ready to ride and on their bikes. Partaking in the mass start was great experience for my upcoming sprint tri (in two weeks)!

My bike ride was incredible. I felt at one with myself, nature and my grandmother. I knew she would be proud of me and looking over me as my legs peddled. 

Johnny was very proud of me too, he rewarded with me buckwheat chocolate chip pancakes when I got home. Johnny makes the worlds (BIGGEST) best pancakes!

I took this photo before I added strawberries, peanut butter and blueberry agave syrup (thank you whole foods)!

My incredible ride and delicious breakfast set the tone for a fun filled saturday. Go see Winnie the Pooh, it will make you smile :) 

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