Category: Bike


 

   My first ever double century, only 12 short days after I complete the assault on Mt. Mitchell…

 

The alarm goes off and I roll out of bed really doubting myself and why I agreed to this ride. I mean I had already proven all I had to prove this month… and I slept like crud as I normally do before a big ride. But a commitment is a commitment so my feet hit the floor and I start moving before I have a chance to waiver and change my mind.

 

 I get dropped off, pack my stuff in Carole’s car and we were off, just a touch later than we had planned but that was ok… this was not an “official” ride of any kind so a few min here or there was not going to hurt us or keep us from riding.

 

The humidity was around 97%, the fog was thick in some places but after we said our hellos and got everything together the 4 of us headed on our way.

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It was Carole and Scott with me to do the full double, and Marcus joined us to only ride the first 100 miles. It would be his first century for they year! Later that day he had a date with some chickens that he had to cook for friends and family. It was not until after we got started I realized just how foggy it was. It was kind of cool in some places, made some of the trees almost look like creatures… and don’t laugh at me! You have to occupy yourself when you need to take your mind off exactly how long you’re going to be on your bike.

 

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For the most part in the early morning we had the roads to ourselves that made this small town look a bit like a ghost town… I almost wanted to stop and scavenge for food and resources, but then I came back down to earth… I’m on my bike not in one of my books.

 

 

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As the day went on it showed us just how beautiful the day was going to be, we passed a good deal of farm land and some gently rolling hills. I got to see a lot of cows and some realy beautiful horses as well as a ton of goats. We even fervently road past some dogs that were not so happy to see us.

 

 

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Carole was loving the low wind and the spotty sunshine we had early on… while Marcus… well I am not sure exactly if he was pretending to be an airplane or a big condor… maybe singing that song in his head from that cartoon movie Space Jam…

“ I believe I can Fly… I believe I can touch the sky…”

hahaha and yes I know your cursing me cause now that song is stuck in your head.

 

 

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As for me it was a rough start, my lower back starting hurting early and my left knee was acting up… so I stayed pretty quiet and kept my head in the clouds and my thoughts somewhere else the best I could.

 

 

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Then we came across our first of 2 “closed “ roads… did you know that “detour” and “road closed ahead” signs really mean something much different in the world of cycling? Oh yes… they mean “Cyclocross”, (insert evil laugh here) at least for us.

 

 

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My lower back was really getting the best of me so I got a lesson from Carole about cycling and muscles… evidently your hamstrings are attached to your lower back… well I am sure not directly but in a round about way… anyway… after crossing the “bridge” we stretched the hamstrings and poof my back felt much better… It was like magic… ok ok I am sure like 90% of anyone who is actually reading this is rolling their eyes because they knew this… but I really had no clue. I have never really had back issues… well except for sitting on a really thick wallet and having my doc say, “take that out of your pocket and you will be fine…” and I was, in less than a day. Oh it is the simple things sometimes…  

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Well slowly my knee started to feel a little better even though I was still getting a bit winded going up some of the small rollers. I started to feel like such a wimp with these guys doing most of the work pulling, but I worked in 2-3-4 mile pulls in here and there. I just felt super drained. Maybe my body was still recovering from the shock that Mt. Mitchell put on it.

 

Now we are back at Scott’s for a short break as we say our good buys to Marcus and we fill up water and drinks and get some food in us… 100 down… 100 to go… *sigh*

 

Carole is all changed and looks as fresh as she started, Scott is chipper and in good spirits, and I tell Carole that I am lucky she drove because if I had a vehicle there I would probably be done….

Do you know what she did?? She just smiled… and said… “You don’t think for a min I am going to let you quit do you…?”

hahahaha oh hell not even if I wanted to I guess… so I said with my best brave face. “Hey I never said I was quitting… just that I am lucky you drove so I do not have that option…” *another sigh*

 

Scott said to get lined up for another picture… thumbs up…. and off we go…

 

 

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Well honestly I feel a little better after the food and rest… it is just the three of us now so I am trying not to wimp and pull a little here and there. Well that is when Carole decides to get off the front… I think she likes it up there sometimes.

 

Now after some time passes and we get on in our journey we come across our second “detour” Carole was not so sure about this one but Scott was not even hesitating he went right up to it… Just as Carole says, “I don’t think we can get across this one guys.” I notice this little walkway that I assume the workers use… I point it out and it was quite the trip lol climbing down small dirt and gravel hills with a bike in your hand and cycling shoes on, with bad knees at that, is not fun but it was an adventure hahah… besides we could not let it stop us… and heck it’s my first double century! I might as well make it as interesting as I can right?

 

 

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So I go down first and then turn and get Scott’s bike so no one else has to try and carry their bike while walking down dirt paths… respect for my elders and all.

 

 

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After helping Scott get his bike past me on this narrow walkway I turn to then help Carole who is still not so sure this is a good Idea… so instead of waiting and letting her talk herself out of it, I decided to just take both our bikes across… I mean my family did teach me some manners after all…

 

 

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   With Carole across the walkway we find a few more challenges ahead… but there was no point in putting the bikes down now so I just kept going lol…

 

 

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Finally to the other side I reunite Carole with her bike and I get my bike and finish helping Scott across… he lagged back on the second part because he was having too much fun watching Carole tip toe through the obstacles and me playing the gentleman while he took pictures… With one last picture and the bridge about to be far behind us… we leave our last “detour” literally in the dust.

 

 

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Somewhere on that 65 mile loops I just ran out of mojo… the music did not help and putting my head somewhere else did not help. I just had no energy. I only wanted to lie down on the side of the road and close my eyes and go to sleep. This is a strange toss up… I am feeling like this was tougher than Mitchell at this point.

 

So because I was getting so far behind, Carole had Scott pull over in the shade so I could catch up and she gave me an extra goo that she had… for those that do not know it’s a flavored gel, with caffeine and electrolytes and other good stuff to help you get moving or keep moving.

 

 

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Well we make it back and fill up on drink again and we have someone join us for our last 35 miles… 35 more miles… what??? Oh how I just want to stop and sleep… and eat… and eat… and eat…. The smell of all the people cooking out on that trip was nothing short of torture.

 

Brian was all smiles and telling stories from the race he was just in earlier that day… that was a great distraction for me for a little while. He is a strong rider though and they had to keep reining him in because I was really struggling at this point to keep up.

 

 

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We make one final pit stop and one last group photo of the 3 double century folks…

 

 

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Man we are getting close now… Carole had some Garmin issues after she charged it and was lagging about 2 miles behind everyone else… so here we are behind Scott’s “hood” making some loops as the sun starts to fall. Just trying to make sure everyone gets their miles.

 

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And we are done!!! Cheers!!!

 

 

 

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As we leave Scott and his lovely wife behind I am reassured by one thought I have had in the past… that no one can ever tell me that a bike is not the fountain of youth or even a time machine… I mean look… here we find big Scott… and little Scott… lol (Scott’s grandson… same head shape and everything lol like a mini me of Scott) it’s almost like he has found his youth again… great thing to find in retirement if you ask me.

 

 

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Oh and one last thought… this is mainly for my pack… ya know Goldsboro might just be our Vegas… I mean… I felt beat up… and it’s like we woke up and poof… there was this baby… almost like our own Hangover movie… and I swear we passed some houses that had crystal meth tweekers in them somewhere… I would bet money it… I’m just glad my friends are much better than the ones in the movie… No one lost Me!  

 

 

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    Here is my Garmin Data for the adventure!!! and a Special song that my friend Marcy like to share with us from time to time.

     http://connect.garmin.com/activity/511108552

 

 

 Special thank you to Scott for letting me use some of the pictures he took… to Carole and Scott for being so patient when I was struggling…. To Marcus and David for hanging with us for what time you could… and To Scott’s awesome wife for all the encouragement and hospitality!! All of you guys are awesome!!!

   yours truely…. Dougie Doug Doug

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I have been training for this for the whole year, and now what seems to be in a blink of an eye it’s here. While I was getting ready I was having mixed emotions, I mean am I ready to tackle this challenge? No matter the outcome, part of me wishes I had more time to ride and to lose a bit more weight. If I am honest with myself I do not feel ready for this, I’m antsy and nervous and I really am sure this time I bit off more than I could chew, but there is no backing out now. Patrick and I are packed and the bikes are on the car and we are headed to South Carolina…. ROAD TRIP!!!

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We had a great ride up for the most part… funny thing when you put two men on a trip who are used to driving and finding their own way, I bet it would have been comical to watch us debate routs and why this and why that hahaha! 

 

We got to see some cool stuff on the way, the first night we stayed in Greenville, SC not in Spartanburg because the hotel was over booked. For the most part that was fine I mean they comped the room and were super nice. Our issue was finding good food and beer in the area of our hotel. The staff at the hotel although nice seemed a little clueless, seemed none of them were from the area or just really had no opinion… so we go to the first place we found using our phones and well it was a touch disappointing… waited forever in a place that was not really busy, and then found out that probably 55% of the beer on the menu had been changed or they just no longer carried it… so after trial and error we finally came up with 4 beers (4 oz.) each to try for our sampler… and ummm we really think they got those all mixed up. Yeah we finished what we had and just left.

 

Went to try another place and the line out the door made us not even stop… so once again back to the phone and see what it said… well we found a place pretty close to our hotel, and man was I surprised. It was not at all what I pictured by its name and honestly that place alone might be worth a trip back there someday. If anyone who happens to read this goes to Greenville, SC you have to try Bacon Brothers. The people there are so nice… they grow their own herbs and smoke all their meats on site. It’s an awesome place.

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So we sleep… get up and time to head to Spartanburg… uneventful trip check into the hotel with no issues at all… and then it happens… we get our stuff, head up the elevator step out and start walking to our room and I notice the door is slightly open. I push the door open and pow… “Why… is there a man in my room?” it came out of me before I even had a chance to stop it. He kinda scared the crap out of me… as I walked in he was about to walk out, someone from the hotel fixing something. That became an ongoing joke for the rest of the trip. “Why is there a man in my room… “ lol I told Patrick I would make that the title to my blog when I finally wrote about the trip.

 

The view from the hotel was perfect. We could see where we would be starting the ride in the morning.

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We put our stuff up and got ready to go check in for the ride. We had some time to kill so we went to the lobby of the hotel and got a drink… it was the coolest thing. They had a WII set up on a big screen and also had a pool table down there. So we goofed off for a bit while we waited to go check in.

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I will say that the gathering of vendors was not as big as I expected to be honest, but the people that were there were extremely nice and a pleasure to talk to. We got checked in and I walked around a bit and then it was time for me to leave… I was going to have to spend a good deal of time on the road because I had to drive the car to the camp ground at Marion so we would have a ride back the next day. Then catch a ride on a bus back to the hotel and eat and get settled in.

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The drive to Marion was uneventful I stopped at a little country store for a coke and a snack. I found the campground without too much trouble and got on the bus where we waited for over 30 min past the time it was supposed to leave. But honestly I was just sitting there listening to people talk strategy, what they were eating or going to eat, how hard they would climb, how hard it was last year and how nice the weather was. It went rather quickly, so between Facebook and texts and people talking the wait was not too bad. I slept part of the ride back, it’s a habit I have when I am not driving on long trips, I just pass right out. As a kid I spent a lot of time on buses, you could say that Greyhound was a family business for a long time, and the bus reminded me of those trips.

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Between texts and naps I was back… one more trip inside the convention center because I forgot my water bottles in the car and then I was off to meet Patrick in the hotel for food. They were doing a pasta buffet, yummm.

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The food was good and Patrick was close to being ready for bed… I don’t sleep a lot on a normal day and the night before an event I really have trouble sleeping so I headed down to the bar in the hotel for some last min carbs…

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It’s morning… and the time has come… I felt a little sick… it was just the anticipation of the ride. I really did not think I was ready and already had it in my head that I would stop at Marion if I did not think I could make it. Even as I had that thought I laughed at myself… I knew better… As we left our room to head downstairs with one last, “Why is there a man in my room…” with a nervous laugh we were off…

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Patrick had some last minute mechanicals to work out and I went and found a spot in the line and snapped a few pictures.

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There were a lot of people all bunched together with no real rhyme or reason behind it. Everyone laughing and talking like this was just another Monday afternoon ride.

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5…. 4… 3… 2… 1… and we are off…

 

   Patrick and I got separated early he got in behind some folks who were going just a bit faster than I wanted to start off with. I learned in a previous ride this year, I was not killing myself to keep up early. I needed to save every ounce of energy I could… so after a few miles I could not see him or his group anymore.

 

The roads were like most big rides I have been on good spots and bad spots, so nothing big to note there. But between the sunrise, fields, hills, and the mountains in the distance I was blown away. This if nothing else was going to be a beautiful ride.

 

 

The first bit was a normally hilly ride, lots of rollers, a few nice downhill spots, I felt pretty good. Then out of nowhere there is this climb… Bill’s Hill… holy sweet mother of sprockets… I am not sure if I am glad I forgot it was coming up so I really had no time to think about it… just shift and climb. And honestly about the time I started doubting myself it was over… I was out of breath and I passed a few people cramping up and one even seeming to get sick. But other than being tired I felt ok. Humm… Maybe I can do this…

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I stopped at the next rest stop and talked to a few people who were laughing because if I thought that was tough I was going to get a rude awakening… I had not seen tough yet. *sigh* What did I sign up for? Why? I will never, ever, do this again… my mood was slipping.

 

Ear buds in and music on… I have some go to music and some motivational tracks that I brought with me… I knew ahead of time I would need every trick I could think of. So back on my bike time to go…

Before too much longer as I was getting worn out I notice my mileage and knew that Marion was close… this would be where Patrick and I would meet up and here we would either talk each other into going forward… or just getting in the car lol…

 

Well Patrick was well ahead of me, and smartly he decided to go ahead and not wait too long, he did not want to get stiff and chance getting cramps because he waited too long. I did not blame him at all. So I walked around a little, talked to a few people and read through my texts… My friend Marcy sent some pictures from the people in her office where she works. They were holding up signs for us, telling us we could do it and she was saying we had a village behind us. My friend Shannon was taking time out of her day all the way from Texas to help keep me motivated, as were other friends and family. Carole one of our “Pack” members kept close tabs on us all day as well encouraging us to keep it up… with all of these people behind me… I could not stop now… I have to at least try. But man I was tired. This was the most climbing I have ever done on a bike, and I was about to more than double it.

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Well off to the parkway… The climb to get to the parkway was tough on its own… there were cool tunnels and the view… man the view was beautiful. I had plenty of time to look at it too because I was creeping along between 2.5 and 5 mph in some places, just struggling to keep moving forward. The climb was a bit demoralizing because you’re working so hard and not really getting anywhere. I am not ashamed to admit that I was 240ish lbs when I climbed that mountain on my bike and gravity was not my friend. Down from 274 in January, I was wishing I would have dropped even more at that moment.

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When you’re pushing that hard you really think about anything that will make it better. So back to my music, and back to looking at the view… stopping her and there to take pictures I really was trying to move it the best I could. For the longest time I pictured Patrick already at the top waiting on me, to get a good photo of me coming in or to tell me we were stupid and everything hurts… then around a corner and I see a rest stop… good I really needed more water.

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And to my surprise there was Patrick in a Sag… he had mechanical issues and was done about 5 miles from the top. You could see in his face he was worn out and tired. I wanted to stay and talk and just hash over our day… but I shook that thought off, I did not want to be rude but I really had to get moving I could not sit long, and one of us was going to finish if it killed them… please oh please let’s not let it kill me lol.

 

The switchbacks were brutal… 13% grade in one spot but if you did not hit the road just right then the angle of the road increased that in the turns significantly. Man I just really wanted to stop… this was stupid I kept telling myself… this was not for cancer… or not for MS… I had not involved any charity in this ride like I did so many others in the past… why in the hell was I doing this… oh… this one was mine… for me… to dig deep and do it for myself to prove that I was good enough and that I could do it without any other reason than to challenge me…

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Stopping a few more times here and there to get some awesome pictures and talk to others who were taking breaks. I happened to see some eagles and got pictures of them in a tree… the tunnels of course… but back on my bike…

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Finally to a point where I just did not want to go any further and it had to be close I flagged down a car headed down the mountain… I did not even give the pour guy a chance to ask me what I needed… in a breathless, exasperated voice all I said was… “You got to tell me I am close… please tell me it’s just around the corner… I have to be close…” he said I was, and the lady in the passenger seat in a cheerful voice told me not to give up… and there was a little kid in the back clapping his hands… that was all I needed. Off I went.

 

Around the last few curves and then the end was in sight… my legs were shaking and my back hurt, I could not feel my hands and my shoulders were on fire. But I did it… I did it.

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If you were to ask me at the moment would I ever do it again… I may have taken a swing at you and told you to hush your mouth … but now… Patrick says he has unfinished business with that mountain and well, even though I finished I feel like I do to. I’m not sure what I left up there… but I feel like I need to go back. It was tough to celebrate because my friend did not make it… I felt bad for him because of how bad he wanted it to… maybe that is it… I’m not sure… but I know I will go back… and I will beat that mountain again.

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It was one of the best and worst rides I have ever been on… but looking back it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself in my life.

 

It took me 11 hours and 30 min to complete the ride… with lots and lots of stops, putting my saddle

time at 8 hours and 48 min. My total amount of climbing was over 11 thousand feet… My HR monitor

was acting up so I do not have a true avg for the ride.  Here are a few link to my GPS data for you

stats junkies…

http://www.strava.com/activities/143316080   Strava

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/503221299    Garmin

Mt. Mitchell 2014

I will do a blog about this later… I just wanted to post this for now… thank you for your support.

The explanation…

 

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So first off let me tell you Bruno is doing much better, he ate his food last night as well as drank all of his water and he kept it down!! That is great news! I talked to a Tech this morning and well she seemed really optimistic but in the end it is the docs call to figure out if he can come home or not. So once the doc gets in and has time to look everything over she will make the final call. But we are excited to have him healthy and to have him home!!

So… something that has been on my mind quite a bit and I feel the need to explain. Not that I have to mind you… but I sort of want to. There are several different types of people in this world; it takes all different types to make the world the interesting and diverse place that it is… also we need each type to balance out the others, because if we were to all be the same then the world would be a dull place.

I am and I have tried my best to raise my children to be the kind of person that believes anything is possible. I am and I have tried to raise my children to know that kindness is not so much something you show to family and friends but something really you should show to all living creatures. As a child I was told I was too tenderhearted when it came to animals… I brought home sick creatures of every shape and size. I wish I have a picture of my mom’s face when I walked through the door when I was about 11-12 and I have a black snake curled all the way up my arm and partially around my neck, with its head in my hand. It had been run over by a car and I wanted to help it… lol she about flipped her lid. But being half country girl half city girl she quickly saw it was just a black snake and knew it was not going to hurt me. We did what we could and let it go… Is it silly? Probably… but I have a question… who did it hurt? Who did it hurt to show kindness to a snake… who does it hurt to show kindness to any animal.

I know I know… many people out there in the world think animals are just animals… and I get that and to them they are correct. But only to them… ask a blind man what his dog is worth to him… ask the kids in the hospital who get visited by pets and animals to help comfort them when they are sick what that animal means to them. Ask the grandparent who lost his/her spouse, and whose family no longer visit as much… ask them what that little dog/cat means to them.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not preaching… I am not soap boxing I am just explaining. I am not asking anyone to have passion for animals or anything the way that I do or my family does. And honestly I do not put an animal’s well being over that of my children or my family.

I have been asked from many places why on earth I would ever consider using this much money to make a puppy better… I have heard that I could buy 2-3 puppies for the cost it takes to heal this one, who might not even make it. I have been flat out told it is stupid what I am doing. Or that I could save the money and get another car (because at the moment we have only one). A lot of people just do not understand… and when I decided to take this on, I had decided I would sell whatever I could, or had to, to help make Bruno better.

My daughter seeing the strain it was going to put on us wanted to do something to help. And boy did she ever… and then for every person I knew that told me I was crazy. There were others who not only understood but wanted to help, with kind words, and support of many different kinds.

How much is it worth to, if for only a moment, be your child’s hero… the person that did not say no and did what they could regardless how stupid other people thought it was?

My obligation… Bruno never asked to come home with me… he never asked to get sick… he does not have the ability to make himself better. When my daughter begged me for a puppy and told me it would not cost me anything because she had the cost covered, and she was going to get a job for the other stuff and I would never even know it was there. Well I’m not stupid… I have been around the block once or twice and I knew what would end up happening. But I never could have guessed it was this. While he was not sick in his short time in our home, he quickly won over our hearts, such a little fragile puppy with teeth like razor blades… and who snored… ha-ha yup and even snorted. The stupid little dog was just too cute. My daughter was in love… I was told that we have not had time to even really be attached to it… I am not sure you can put a time frame on something like that, but we were more than attached.

My daughter has been to almost every charity event I have done over the past 8-9 years. She did not work out in the sun all day and help for a t-shirt… or to get free food… she really believes in the things I do. Be it for MS, or Cancer, Or the Human Society… she always wants to help support me. Taking pictures… giving out medals… doing whatever it takes. With her help I have raised a lot of money over the years for a bunch of awesome and well deserving organizations. I have tried to teach her how important it is to not just give money but time. And to help where you can… she has that caring spirit in her.

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So why would I agree to pay a ton of money to heal a sick dog… love… responsibility… because it is the right thing to do. Because of the gifts of family, friends, and strangers… this will not be a burden to our family at all… because of the love everyone has shown us this is one of the best learning experiences I could have ever give my children and anyone around me. Where there is a pure heart, and a will, there is a way.

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Because there are other people like us in this world, later today with tears in my daughters eyes she will see Bruno again, and the vet will tear up and the techs will tear up… but I won’t cause I am a guy and we don’t do that stuff 😉 and her mom will be blubbering like a child lol… and then I guess I will see all of this and my best explanation would be to the question of why would you pay so much to make a puppy better is… how could you not… the vet is going to walk away today and the techs… thinking to themselves as they wipe the tears from their face seeing my daughter and the puppy so happy… “This is why we do this… this makes the bad days better”
Ask anyone in that room what is that feeling worth… it’s priceless.

Would I let my family starve to do this? No… would I get my electric shut off? No… but I knew somehow it would work… and it all has. Thanks to everyone who loves animals the way we do… That bond is priceless.

HOPE FOR BRUNO

Fundraiser link

 

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So as most parents get hit at some point and time, there I was with a child of mine looking up at me begging for yet another animal, “Daddy please… you won’t have to do anything I promise.”

 

There it is… the short term memory promise all parents get from their children… that promise that says “For as long as it is new I will kind of sort of keep my end of the bargain…” that promise that in the deepest of hearts they intend to keep… at least right at that moment.

 

“No… No… No… absolutely not! Not in this life or any other are we going to bring any more animals into this house!”

 

“But… it won’t cost you anything!! I have it all figured out… and… and… and…” There is always another “and”. No matter what you come back with… no matter what logic you throw at them, there is always another “And” or “but”

 

“OK this conversation is over! No! I mean it with ever fiber of my being!! NO! No! No!”

 

And she walks away with the cold shoulder and the look of malice in her eyes… I knew in one form or another that this was far from over…

 

Time passes… room had stayed cleaned… no fighting… had been helping around the house… then the grades came… all “As” and I think 1 “B”… still she had not said a word about the puppy. No begging… no see I told you I could do it… humm… boy oh boy am I a sucker…

 

I talk to her mom and asked… “well what do you think?” just looking at me she knew I had made my mind up and she just shook her head… she knew as bad as it sounds it really did not matter what she thought lol I had made up my mind. But I explain anyway… she had missed a ton of school because of some issues she had with her heart, and even with all that still kept her grades up, had a way to get the dog she wanted without costing me any money… and it was a small dog, not like the monsters we have, so how much could it really eat.

 

So I call her… tell her I am not making any promises but I am headed to the pet shop just to look at this puppy… just to see what I think. She squealed… she knew what that meant… telling me that she was not going to say anything but she had just left there showing it to a friend of hers, that even though she could not get it she was visiting it almost every day.

 

First disaster… I get to the pet shop to see the puppy… and it sold just moments before I arrived. I called my daughter and let her know and at first she did not want to believe it. I felt so guilty for dragging my feet and now the dog was gone. I was on a mission to find her another one now.

 

We had a few leads thanks to the help of Facebook and the internet… and the found another puppy right here close to where we live. Put a deposit on it… she visited it, named it… took pictures of it and the works. This was her deal so I was letting her handle all the talk between her and the breeder… and due to miss communication… and just a mess… the breeder decided to refund the deposit and sell the pup to someone else. Her heart was broken… again…

 

The search continues… finally she found one, but it was far away… doing what she does… she talked to her friends and got a ride to get the pup… this time it was to take him home. She finally got her Boston… she was happy and when she brought him home, instantly everyone fell in love. You just could not but help to smile when you looked at him. The name she picked out was not fitting this one because she could not help but think of the other puppy she was supposed to get… and because of his stance and the way he looked “tuff”… she named him Bruno. And it fit him very well.

 

Kayla is good at research, but like most people gets sometimes too into details and did not look back at the big picture. I must admit I have even learned a good bit myself. She researched everything you would want to know about Boston’s and their breed, but got so caught up in breed specific care that left out “general” puppy care.

 

Neither of us realized how susceptible a puppy was to Parvo until it got its 3rd set of shots. Bruno got his first set, and we were going to get his second set but we were waiting for him to finish his meds for a slight upper respiratory issue he had… Kayla did like any dog owner would. She wanted to take him everywhere, to the park, and to Petsmart, to her friends, and she promised that she would be the one dealing with the puppy so did just that. Not knowing that until he got his 3rd set of shots, every public place he went was very dangerous for him. That Parvo lived everywhere and could live a very long time on its own.

 

Now Bruno just got over some upper respiratory issues, and we were about to schedule his second set of shots, when he started throwing up again, and snotting… we gave it a day or two thinking the other stuff he had came back. Kayla even boiled chicken and rice for him because she read it would be easier for him if he was sick. Well then out of nowhere it hit hard and fast… bloody stool and throw up… smelled funny too. Hitting Google and vet pages it did not take us long to figure he had gotten Parvo somewhere. And in the research I found that it is one of the most expensive things for a Vet to treat, and only has at best a 50-50 chance the dog will live, and the smaller the dog… the worse the chances. My stomach felt sick for him… and for my daughter. She worked so hard, and dealt with so much for this now to happen. And looking at all the info this was going to cost from 1000-2000 bucks. And that was money we just did not have laying around. I just had paid 360.00 to treat the upper respiratory infection. We really did not know what to do. I told her I had 200.00 in the bank we could use to get in and just get to test and make sure what it was, then go from there… maybe we could make payments or do something. I called off work the next day and was waiting outside the vet’s office.

 

It was in fact parvo… and he was getting worse and worse… I was racking my brain trying to figure out the money… I had guns I could get a loan on… and other stuff I really did not need, gold clubs and other stuff I could just sell and get rid of. The low side of the visit was over 900… but the high end was 1220, and that does not include the aftercare. So I gave them the 200 and told them I would get more by the end of the day… and if need be we could take it a day at a time.

 

Well I did something no grown man ever wants to do… I called my father. He is a bit old school and could not figure out why on earth I would put up that kind of money for a puppy we had not had very long… but in the end he said it’s your money… if you are paying me back I will loan it to you but it does not make any sense to me. I felt bad… like I was disappointing him in some way for doing something so foolish in his eyes. But how my daughter felt at this moment was more important… and it will work out, I just needed to keep the faith.

 

Instantly felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders, now all we needed was for Bruno to pull through and I would put in more time at work to pay Kayla’s grandfather (my dad) back. Kayla talked about putting in applications and doing odd jobs to help. She (almost with tears in her eyes) said whatever it took she was going to help me pay it back and be a better daughter. That kind of tugged on my heart strings a bit… as much as I liked little Bruno I was doing this more for her than anything else.

 

Later that night we were talking and joking around, I told her she better start thinking of fundraisers or something… then she talked to people online and came up with a plan that shocked me. It shocked me more than once… First off she did a great job putting it together, secondly the people she knew that were following Bruno on instagram are in line for sainthood… the well wishes and prayers… the love they sent my daughter still touches me. She was so sad and scared, and still is, but with the support everyone has shown her it has made it so much easier for her. Dog lovers really are some of the best people in the world.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/hope-for-bruno/168205 

 

I am not posting this as a way to get people to donate anything, I really wanted to post this to show, what the love a child can have for her pet, and her determination can do. And also to point out that there are really some amazing people out there in this world, ready to stand up and help strangers.

 

Also if you want to follow Bruno and his recovery and life on instagram @SirBrunobt

Crystal Meth Tweekers…

Crystal meth tweekers…

 

 

 Sometimes the smallest things can get you through the dreaded Monday… oh that Monday, the bane of our week’s existence. That day of the week that starts it all over again and has you dreaming about Friday all over again…

 

  Sunday evening I was playing with my newest toy, I had crossed over to the dark side and I bought my first Apple product *insert gasp here*, after going through 3 Zunes that broke and stopped working and then stopped even supporting you except through email, I just had to give up.

 

  So I started my search and purchased an Ipod 5th gen which so far I like… I just need to figure it all out… so I was doing just that and adding music to it when I put my phone on silent because I kept getting facebook updates and I was tired of hearing it make that noise lol… well low and behold I forgot to turn the sound back on before I went to bed. So as it happens early Monday morning my local cycling buddies started an early conversation which I was included in but did not know it because my phone was shushed.

 

  Now let me say, I am a very connected person, like I mean it… mess me and you will be sleeping with the…. Ok ok no not that kind of connected. I mean Facebook, text, email, every sort of messenger you can think of. And unless I am in a meeting or doing something that would otherwise occupy me, I will get back to you fairly quickly. My friends all know this… so after 30 min or so of chatter back and forth and no one had heard from me… well then I became sort of an early morning joke which included this video being posted to my facebook…

 

  We had a really hard ride on Saturday, and most of us vegged out on Sunday and did not move too much. At first I thought I was just being a big baby, cause I had some mechanical issues for a good 2/3rds of the ride, but it seems even our more hard core riders were indeed sore and stiff to so that made me feel a little better… well not that they were hurting but that it was just not me.

  After I got to work and noticed just how quiet my phone had been which was odd, I looked at it and seen that I have a million different missed notifications lol and then I saw the video that was posted hahaha  oh man did that ever make my day.  A few of us laughed and joked about it most of the day, and more than one of us watched it several times just to laugh. And we could not get it out of our head.

  So yeah next time you’re about to fight off the dreaded Monday… just think… it could be worse! You could have been murdered by Crystal Meth Tweekers… hahaha

   Happy Tuesday folks and remember to smile… nothing fights off a bad day like a smile… and for fun just add a twitch, people will steer clear of you all day 🙂

Drive…

Drive: an innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need.

          So I have been told several times in my life that people wish they had half the “Drive” that I do… I have also been complimented using these words: passion, willpower, self-control, self-discipline…. well anyway I think you get the idea.

          See my thoughts on all of that is I just don’t buy into that, at least for myself. I mean people with drive love what they do… people with drive push everything away to get what they need for that goal. Normally when someone is talking about these things to me it is either in regards to my weight loss or my cycling. But I struggle, boy do I struggle every day with what I eat and trying to control how much. Where is the drive in that? it’s not a matter of just wanting to and doing it… I have to fight to tell myself over and over and over not to eat this or eat that. Not to go to places where I do not already know the menu and have a good meal planned. But even then at times I have to pick up lunch for friends or family at places I should not be eating and it is a struggle to not get that French fry to snack on in the truck, or to eat that burger because they taste so good. Where is the drive then? To help curb those thoughts and feelings… I always pictured people with drive as people with tunnel vision or blinders on… the only thing they see is the goal and nothing else bothers them. My blinders are broken… they sometimes magnify the things I should not have and then push the goal farther away or at least make it look farther away or harder than it is… sometimes I fall for it… but mainly I just try to close my eyes and focus. I guess that is where willpower and self-control come in so I can kind of get those two. But it is such a hard fight… a constant struggle every day when it comes to just eating whatever I want because everything sounds soo good. I was cursed with the ability to cook and cook well… and there are few foods I do not like so my taste is as broad as my imagination.

         That brings me to cycling… where to start… I do not love it… for many that will sound odd, but it is what I have chosen as the vehicle to do charity work and get fit. I am limited by my health (knees) so there are few things I can do. I am by nature a pack animal, I love people. All shapes, ages, sizes… cycling feeds into that as well. Actually riding the bike? some days I truly love it… other days I would like to chuck that stupid bike off a bridge. It’s an activity that makes me feel great about myself and then inferior all in the same ride… pushing pushing pushing… It does help work out some aggression in my life with work and home, a place to leave it out on the road… as well as a place to get in great activity that is great for my heart and the rest of my body. So I have been told that someone wished they had the passion for something like I seem to have for cycling… but I think the passion is for the people I have met through cycling… the people I ride for both living and those that have passed. The passion is for the final outcome that I hope and pray becomes a reality.

         I guess I will end this here… my lingering thought is this… I wonder if the people who seem to have drive and passion for those things we see them doing… truly feel that way. Or if maybe they just picked what they could do and stuck with it trying to be the best they could. I wonder if there is even a difference or if that truly is what drive and passion really are. Much like love, not all flowers and rainbows but multifaceted and deeper than it appears. Including the muck and the grime and even the hate for something… just another natural progression…

Smile… even if your passion is not as deep as it seems… maybe it will encourage someone else nonetheless, just be thankful people look close enough to even notice.

Snow Day…

me

 Well yesterday would have been weigh in day except for the fact that the roads here were still super thick with ice and snow. Now many people from up north (I am a person from the North FYI), watch the news about our schools closing and everything shutting down and laugh. Unlike the Northern states snow is not normally an issue for these parts and with that comes inexperience and lack of equipment. So to be safe most things just close down. You tell me who will get blamed if a school decided to push it and a bus load of kids goes into a ditch… the bus drive will be drug tested and his/her life strung up for the world to see… someone on the internet somewhere will wish them a slow and cruel death… an administrator will either have to resign or will be fired… there will be a “FULL SCALE INVESTIGATION” that no one ever hears of again… all of which would have been avoided by a snow day.

 

 Sooo… I said all of that to say I did not weigh in this week… I took a snow day… now as to where I think I am? I think I broke even this week… with all the days I spent in the house with limited activity and unlimited access to my pantry well let’s just say the 3 days inside evened out the 4 days of being good 🙂 so I am back on track today.

 

  I did get in a little physical activity as you can see in the link here…  my daughter was laughing as I attempted to ride my bike for all of 60 second on a ice covered and snow packed street… I almost slipped a few times so I decided to get off. The funny thing is it will be back up to 70 degrees next week.

 

snowbike

  Here are a few pictures of my bike and the snow… and I will include some awesome shots my daughter did of the dogs… she does really well with the camera.

 

louiibud

louiii

budd

loui

buddy

 

 Today I will also put in layaway a camera for my bike I have wanted for a long time!! The Garmin Virb  link to the specs here… I like it better than the Go-Pro so once I get it paid for you can expect a few videos from time to time.

 

  Well there is a lot more on my mind but I think I will end this here… because I can ramble all day about nothing and who really wants to hear all that noise.

 

 

  Smile… a snow day can be Mother Nature’s way of just saying… “Chill out man!”

Coming Down and getting back up…

Today I finally took all my Christmas stuff down, I have been a bit under the weather but the cold Meds had kicked in and I wanted to take advantage of it and get some stuff done. So with a little work I got it all done. My son came by to help me get it all put up in the attic in my garage and with that another Christmas season gone. This is a pretty down time of the year for me… going from all the beautiful lights and garlands all over the house to none… my house is just as full as it was before Christmas I know that, but it just feels empty. On a side note to top it off my work has no holidays at all from here until April… ugh…

Now for the good part of my day, I went out to meet up with some cycling friends and other cyclists in my area. We had a challenge last year where we would ride to a brewery in Alaska… well ok only virtually… we would log our miles and email them in each week so that they could be added to a spread sheet that was sent out to the group. The total miles in the end needed to add up to the distance to the brewery. Having fun hitting virtual mile stones along the way. We really do have a good group of people to cycle with in this area… and not only are they super supportive of most things cycling related, but they are also a great support group for almost anything else as well. Well there were only 3 people that actually hit that mile stone of over 4 thousand miles this year. I myself only logged just over 3,600 it was a bit more than that but I was well off the mark. This year they picked a different route as well as a few different options, the first challenge is the mileage from a local bike shop here in town to a dock in California… that is over 2900 miles which is very doable. To add to that challenge you can then go up the coast to the space needle in Seattle Washington… and if you really want to take the challenge to its limits you can then come back home to NC from there… I have a feeling at least one person in our group will push to do that this year. For me I think I will try the Seattle mile stone. If I can do that I will be more than happy.

I did happen to Join a cycling group that is closer to the mountains though… with the hope that I can get some info on training for a big ride I plan on signing up for in February. The assault on MT. Mitchell, this will single handedly be the toughest one day ride I have ever attempted in my life. I am both excited and scared… but man with the people I have around me here all I need to do is but ask and I will have all the support I need. Now time to just get back on the bike…

I also did weigh in on Friday… it was disgusting and heart breaking. I have never had so much weight on my body. This will be a huge challenge and before myself I have put a soft goal of dropping 40-45 lbs before the Mt. Mitchell ride on May 19th. So well there it is… in the year of no promises I have set quite a few challenges for myself, but I know one thing… weather I complete the ride or drop every single pound, I know I have a good deal of support around me. And that alone makes it all worth it… for a change I am doing this for me, because honestly I am worth it… I am a pretty good person I think and for a change I need to get better for me…. oh and I also have to get off my butt and earn that expensive bike I bought last year as an upgrade lol 🙂

Well folks have a great week and keep warm it’s going to be cold outside.

Smile… it’s one of the most healing things you can do… and you can just hope it catches on

2014 The year of no promises…

I will not promise to be a better person…

I will not promise to lose weight…

I will not promise to change how I interact with my family…

I will not promise to save money…

I will not promise to manage vacation time…

I will not promise…

This year I refuse to make any promises in regards to changing myself… this is not a resolution… this is just a statement. By definition as promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

So let me explain… I am not a wizard, nor am I omnipotent, psychic, a fortune-teller, or a god in any form. I know there are a lot of things in this life that I would “like” to happen and honestly as much as I believe we are the masters of our own fate. I know that little in this life we truly have complete control of other than how we re-act to situations around us. Our feelings and emotions though influenced by others and out surroundings… are still ours and ours alone to control.

I would love to promise to get published, ride seven thousand miles, finish all my cycling goals, lose all the weight and have a 6 pack, get father of the year award, have my personal life work out all of its kinks, give more to those who need, and learn to cook something new. But what if in this blog I promise you all of those things… and tomorrow I get hit by a truck. I know a bit drastic… but a promise is really not good for much.

What I am going to do is quietly work to do all of those things I listed above. I will not make big big goals and put a ton of pressure on myself, I will not twist people’s arms and guilt them into helping me do this or that because it is what “I” want them to do or because “I” need their help. I will share my success with my friends, family and loved ones… and I will not have any defeats… because I will constantly be trying to improve. Minor setbacks maybe… but I have made no promises so I have nothing to apologize for… if I attempt a ride that I am unable to finish, well I have learned from it, a limitation that I can use as a tool to know what I need to work on… it is not a failure in any way. But a chance to learn and grow… if I have a week or two that I gain weight instead of lose I have not promised anyone that I will, because honestly my weight has nothing to do with anyone in this world but me. It’s my weight… my food… my activity… and if I have a bad week or two… then I will know again my limitations. I will not get mad or angry, I will simply move on.

2014 is going to be my year to better myself with less stress… a promise adds stress, it forces you to perform when you just might not want to. In the past I have used it as a tool to “force” myself to do things. And honestly it has worked many many times for me. But in the end when I meet the goal I promised, I slack off and whatever I worked hard to do is quickly undone because after my promised goal I just drift… this time it will be different.

So here is to 2014 and my year of less stress and less promises… I will be healthier and happier… I will accomplish amazing things… and I will uncomplicated the things in my life that make it more complicated. There is nothing and no one in this world you must have to live… no one person or thing you cannot live without… so the people and things you have in your life need to be there for your benefit and theirs. If they are crippling you and not making you better, lose it… if something is costing you more money than you see a benefit… lose it… If a club or organization is no longer fun and you no longer enjoy it quit. You have but one life to live, and I believe we have no set paths… you chose where you go, and there is an unlimited amount of choices. So do what you love and love what you do 😉 (I read that on a coffee cup but it fits).

This is my first blog of 2014… my blog of nothing… and of no promises 🙂

Smile… it relieves stress and makes you feel better… do you really need any other reasons?