Mountain Man

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I met Vern in an office environment.  We were both in the same role, sat close together, and had the habit of arriving early.  Thus, we quickly got to know a little about each other.

Vern was immediately a very interesting person to me.  It quickly became apparent that he was a ‘no nonsense’, get the job done, kind of guy.  I soon learned that Vern had some very interesting life passions.  One of them being to summit mountains on a regular basis. When I first learned of this, I was instantly fascinated.

I have had the amazing opportunity to summit a variety of peaks on my bike.  Vern was a man who summited monstrous beasts by climbing with his hands and feet.  Continue reading “Mountain Man”

Powerful, Intelligent and Strong: Stacey

My secret identity is … yes … I am actually an IT geek.  I know that my writing is all about my bike, my adventures, and my journey.  But, before I started cycling and spending time in the mountains, I was a computer scientist.  This is how I met Stacey.  Stacey is the brilliant leader of the security team at one of the companies that I contracted for.  She was one of my key stakeholders on multiple projects, and thus, I quickly got to know her as an IT professional.  Always strategic, mindful, and very professional, she was one stakeholder that I definitely enjoyed working with.

During our time as work colleagues, I got a glimpse into the many sides of Stacey.  The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.  I quickly came to realize that Stacey is quite the endurance athlete.  I barely had time to train for one sport.  I didn’t know how she balanced a full time professional career, training for three sports, and a family!!!  Yes, it did appear to me that Stacey was some sort of superwoman who did it all.  Yet, when I asked her if she would have time for a coffee as I was wanting to learn more about how she kept her immune system strong, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.

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Continue reading “Powerful, Intelligent and Strong: Stacey”

Fast and Gracious: Mel the Running Rabbit

{Welcome back my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about one the fastest, most dedicated athletes I know.  And, everyone loves her because she exudes positivity, encouragement and support.  If you missed Strength and Spirit, My Warrior Friend be sure to check it out!!!}

The other day, as I finished one of my regular, moderate runs, I glanced at my running watch to see that I had accomplished about 5 km in about 34 minutes.  Not bad, fairly consistent – I was happy with that.  As I uploaded my data, I browsed around on Facebook, and came across Melissa’s results for the 10 km race she had just finished that morning.  She had reached her goal, a personal best, and a time of 39:10 for 10 km!!!  Wow, I thought.  How does she do that?

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Melissa full of winning attitude

I am constantly thinking how does she do that when it comes to Melissa.  It just seems that she is always accomplishing another amazing win!  She has been most known for her running.  She has been competing at many distances for a long time.  Since I have met her, she has continuously expanded her horizons.  She took on the road racing world with a bang.  With only two seasons under her belt, she has already moved up a category and has multiple podium finishes.  She has taken on cross country skiing with zest, and recently entered the world of cross biking.  The whole time, she is chasing down and challenging her equally speedy husband, Reinier, who is clearly the passion of her life.  During a recent foot injury when she could not bike or run, she focused on swimming – something that she knew nothing about.  She simply looks at something, and does it. Continue reading “Fast and Gracious: Mel the Running Rabbit”

Learning to Ride a Road Bike – An Adventure in Hitting the Ground

I have been road cycling for 13 years now.  It has been an incredible journey.  My bike has literally changed my life.

Before I met my bike (my beloved Trek 2000), I was the most unathletic person ever!!!  I wouldn’t have believed for a second that I was one day going to be riding a fast bike on highways and up to the tops of mountains.  I was completely uncomfortable with my physical being, and afraid of adventure.

Right after I married my husband, James, he bought us road bikes.  It had been a passion of his in his younger years, and he was keen to re-immerse himself.  I really had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

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Continue reading “Learning to Ride a Road Bike – An Adventure in Hitting the Ground”

Strength and Spirit: My Warrior Friend

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about the strongest warrior I have ever met.  Every time I spend time with her, I walk away wanting to be better.  If you missed My More Aggressive Twin, or Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong, be sure to check them out!}

I was sitting at my desk, plugging away, when I overheard a conversation at the desk beside me.  This tiny, Asian girl was telling my co-worker that she had to leave early to get home before her husband completely dug up the backyard with some homemade contraption that he was trying to use to dig a hole.  The passion and energy coming out of this little woman was amazing.  The way she described this preposterous scenario was incredibly entertaining.  Her perspective on it was unbelievable.  I felt like this woman had years of wisdom and experience.  I immediately felt like I needed to know this woman.

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Andrea and me at a wedding celebration

The desks were quite open, and thus, it was easy to join in the discussion without intruding.  From that day forward, this tiny woman, Andrea, has been one of the single most influential forces in my life.  There is nothing tiny about her.

 

Andrea and I shared a geeky IT background, and an aptitude for interfacing between the IT techies and the business side of a corporation.  It turned out that we also shared a love for many things including, but not limited to: goat cheese with honey, sparkly wine, soft and fuzzy clothing and blankets that you can’t stop touching and puppies.

Continue reading “Strength and Spirit: My Warrior Friend”

The Influence of Cycling – Jonathan Deguzman

My feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey continues and stays strong.  In my last post, I introduced you to an amazing rider who supported me and helped my confidence to grow, Dehnis B Delacruz.  Today’s post is a follow up to share some of the amazing work that Dehnis is doing in the cycling community.

Take a few minutes and watch the documentary that Dehnis created on an amazing cyclist, Jonathan Deguzman.  I have never met Jonathan, but when I watched this I felt like I knew him.  I was so touched by his genuine responses, and how he conveyed that regardless of the level or ability, we all come to cycling for very similar reasons.  Jonathan was so authentic in his responses, and Dehnis’ work in capturing this was absolutely brilliant.

Thanks to Jonathan for sharing his journey, and to Dehnis for seeing this opportunity and putting in the work to capture it!

 

 

This documentary can also be found here: The Influence of Cycling – Jonathan Deguzman

{If you enjoyed reading this, you can read more posts or follow me at Just a Girl and a Bike}

 

 

A Smooth Riding Companion: Dehnis B DelaCruz

{My feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey continues and stays strong.  Today I introduce you to an amazing rider who supported me and helped my confidence to grow.  If you are curious, be sure to check out this Slowburn post.}

The alarm starting beeping way too early, but out of bed I leaped.  I was pumped.  I had been waiting all week for this.  This morning, I would be joining my beloved Slowburn group once again after many years.

The feat would not be easy.  We would be doing the famous Great Western Loop – A.K.A. GWL.  This ride would see us climb almost 1200 metres and cover nearly 70 km.  The climbing starts almost immediately, and most of it is accomplished in the first 2/3 of the ride.  So,  you literally feel like you are climbing, climbing, climbing…

As the group began to gather, a felt a twinge of excitement edged with a bit of nervousness.  No matter how many rides I completed, I just never knew exactly how I would feel until I started pedaling.  So many things can happen in cycling, so you just never really know what a ride is going to be like.  It seemed like it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t even fathom riding a road bike, never mind take on the ride that I was about to embark on.

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Me, Matt Tabaya to my right, Dennis Caco and James Hiner up front.  Dehnis was behind us, and took this beautiful photo.

 

Continue reading “A Smooth Riding Companion: Dehnis B DelaCruz”