We are going to AFRICA

Hi! LentineElizabeth (Bud) here - thank you for visiting our funding site, and learning more about our campaign!

In March 2016 we are headed to South Africa to take on one of the most difficult mountain bike 8-day stage races in the world: Absa Cape Epic . We're going to challenge ourselves, and to feel that freedom that conquering something huge on a bike provides but while we're there, we intend to help share how bikes bring a sense of freedom to women, children and families, everywhere.

The first $5,000 that we raise will help us with our journey over to Africa.

The second $5,000 will go directly towards bike donations.

During our stay, we'll be visiting several specific projects microfinance projects that provide bicycles to communities, as a means of connecting them to resources, education, and opportunity. Upon arrival, we intend to deliver a small fleet of bicycles to these projects as a way of giving them a little "bump" in their productivity, extending the power of bicycles just a little bit further. In addition to helping us fund safe ground transportation in country and food, the funds we raise here will go straight towards the building of that bike fleet that we'll deliver personally to the communities that need them most.

You can learn more below about our project, and our vision below!

We really appreciate your time + any donations made! Donations can be made by visiting the following site: https://www.gofundme.com/EpicEveryday

You can track our adventure and our training + planing on our Instagram: @EpicEverday


Bikes make us feel powerful. Because, regardless of what’s going on in our professional or personal worlds, our bicycles remain the place where we make the rules, and where our perceptions of what we can conquer are the only limitations on our ability to achieve. This liberation – to go forth bravely wherever our spirits will carry us - is one that we know bonds us to other women in our cycling communities and beyond; the freedom of spinning on two wheels with wind in our hair is undeniable, whether we’re rolling to the grocery store, or into the mountains to do intervals. And yet we recognize that the way that we’re able to enjoy the freedom of a bicycle is a privileged one; we lie on one end of the cycling spectrum, where riding bikes offer opportunities for adventure and personal success.

On the opposite end of the spectrum lie grassroots efforts to connect less fortunate women with bicycles to empower and inspire them. The Treepreneur programs sponsored by Qhubeka + World Bicycle Relief  are among these efforts in South Africa, and there are countless more here in the United States. For the women involved in these programs, growing trees and trading community services for bicycles offer them the freedom to access better education, eco-commerce, natural resources and reliable transportation that better the lives of themselves and their communities. This is freedom on two wheels, and eventually adventure and personal success as well.

By documenting and illustrating our training, preparation and competitive racing experience for the Absa Cape Epic – one of the world’s most grueling 8-day mountain bike stage races - over broad, yet accessible media channels, we hope to inspire women across the world to do the things they perceive are unachievable. And, by connecting our Cape Epic experience to projects that empower women through bicycles, we hope to illustrate that by being diligent and
dedicated to the mission of bicycles, by enjoying individual freedom bicycles offer, we’re enabled to provide strength and inspiration to women, worldwide. We’re part of something much larger than ourselves. Competing in the Cape Epic is a large mission, but we hope to make it even larger; if freedom is cyclical, we hope to set the wheels turning.

We will be using the money that we raise to pay for additional fees that we encounter (safe transportation, hotel, food, etc). All additional money will be donated to Qhubeka/World Bicycle Relief. One bike costs roughtly $160 USD.

Again, thank you so much for your time and consideration!

Sending Love to you -

Lentine + Bud



If I Were You: My Memories of Ed Chase

First, it is hard to have to gather the words twice in one year for the important men in my life. I never wish this experience of losing two loved ones on my worst enemy. I have learned that my family (of all women essentially now) are stoic, and strong beyond words. 

 If I were you....that my friends is the most famous Ed Chase statement in our family. Ed sure did love to give his opinion - whether it was inquired or not - I loved that about him...matter of fact I loved everything about Ed + the relationship, bond, and love that our family was easily able to share with this 6 foot plus gangly standing, adventure seeking, EuroVan driving, proud mustache owner that he was. 

It has taken me several weeks to muster up the words, shed the tears - and let my strong guard down.

Ed came into our amazing family of 3-hard headed women around 2002. His son Peter and I had quickly become best friends - boyfriend/girlfriend - whatever it is that you call two youngsters obsessed with each other. I remember it clearly - it was dawning upon Thanksgiving (also my mother's birthday), I had invited Peter to dinner, and we felt so bad that Ed would be alone up on the hill. So, our solution: Invite him too! Of course none of us thought anything of this, however, this would lead to the most unconditional love any of us would ever imagine...within an instance my mother, Betsy, and Ed quickly became each others sidekicks - let's be honest, they were perfect for each other. Absolutely-fu**ing-perfect. As their relationship grew, the love they had for each other permeated anyone close to them.

Ed bravely stepped into the Lauder-bunch made up of all women, about 8 of us to be exact, and he came in with open arms. He immediately took Sarah + I in; he was the dad that we yearned to have as a constant in our lives - he was the man that would guide us through thick and thin - he was the man that tossed us on hockey skates + threw a golf club in our hands while calmly saying we would figure it out. He was the instigator of teaching puppy Banxie the sentence "where's Nemo (the cat)?" leading to pure chaos in the house and everyone running everywhere chasing the dog, trying to save the cat - laughing our asses off. He convinced us that clam spaghetti was a meal, and that you didn't have to always hit a driver; a 9 or a 6 iron could easily get the job done - and golf was a game that we needed to learn for the advancement of our adult careers. As I twiddled my way through high school and beyond Ed became my human spellcheck and resume reading extraordinaire; I swear he was the reason that I suddenly went from a C to an A in English.

The Whirling Dervish - that what Ed called me. After googling what a whirling dervish was I realized it was fitting with my personality. Then he just shorten it to: the dervish - it took some growing into, but, I eventually became proud of my nickname. Seldom did he call me just Bud, it was always Miss Bud when I wasn't running around like a tornado trying to pack in far too many activities into one day.
Ed is the unsung hero of the ski industry; or in retrospect is the mayor of the ski world, I guess it depends on whom you ask. Ed...or Sleez as they called him those days - was the magician of ski tuning. Ed guided the Mahre brothers through numerous triumphs in the global ski racing world. But, more importantly Ed was my personal technician - he taught me how to put the absolute perfect tune on my race skis. When Crested Butte Academy was being revamped, there was a gigantic cutting board table being tossed - we quickly acquired it as the perfect tuning bench and then it was appropriately outfitted with the latest + greatest Swix grips and iron. We had a selection of brushes that were foreign to most people, but Ed had mastered their exact purpose. I went from mediocre tunes to the perfect wax and suddenly I had the fastest skis on the hill. He was the wax chemist in my world - he always seemed to get the combination correct - we would always have some crazy mixture that he would pull out of his magic box of wax + tuning equipment; or he would have the right person to call to get what he thought would be the key to competing. When he introduced me to a panzer file I may or may not have gone completely overboard because I was convinced I need to theeeeee sharpest edges...turns out, if you panzer your edges too much you'll need new skis.

Ed tried to teach me how to parallel park in the Euro-van which was rightly named MIGHTY  (and I stubbornly tried to re-dub as the silver bullet that is a story in it's self) - however, now Ed would be glad to know that I no longer hesitate tossing Ingrid into a parallel parking position - but will gladly take a nose in spot (still).  That silly van has so many memories - like when Peter and I would floor-it to see how quickly we could go from 0 to 60, it was surprising quick, probably the fastest van on the market. Prior to moving to Nevada for college Ed offered me MIGHTY - I quickly declined - seriously, what college sorority girl drives a van!?! Instead I went in an outback which ended up blowing its engine in the dorm parking lot. Then about halfway through my college gallivant, I remember calling Ed and telling him how cool it would be to have a van - insert the Ed Chase: I told you so! On May 27th he sent a text that he had donated MIGHTY. I hope that the person that has MIGHTY now is taking care of 'er - is proudly driving 'er around - and you better have a mustache ***damnit!

When we lived in Crested Butte, one of Ed's favorite things to do was skin ski up Crested Butte Mountain in the depths of morning which equally encompassed freezing cold temperatures. Every few days, he would accompany his same group of friend to climb from the base of CBMR to the top of Paradise Bowl + beyond - where I would be for early morning training. The pure amount of excitement and happiness Ed got out of this winter routine cannot be put into words - he lived for these early morning sub-zero mountain explorations. Every time he reached the top of Paradise Bowl, he had his BRIGHT Ed smile - the smile that made you feel content - proud - all around happy - the smile that you couldn't resists but smiling back at. And of course, I was elated because he would watch me power through the start wand, and hustle around the first few gates of the course before sailing off into an abyss - then, he would continue his skin ski to the top of the  mountain.

Ed was my secret keeper; he helped me plan the most surprising trips home, gifts + other little perks. We shared a lot of the same concerns, thoughts and wandering. I fear I will never have someone like this in my life again. Coming home to a house filled full of love, excitement + adventure was the best! Finding a gentlemen like Ed that could put up with three strong-willed chicks firing at him constantly was unimaginable - and he did it with love, contentment + no stress (or at least he didn't show it) :)

Ed had a mean collection of sunglasses. I honestly think that this is one of the major reasons that we bonded. My hunger for fashion, art + creativity and his retro stash of Ran-Bans - let's just say, whenever he would clean out his office and come across a few new pairs of stunna shades I was never upset. I treasure those glasses more than ever - I wear them like I am more beautiful than a Kennedy or M. Monroe. Sunglasses, my love for organizing (...oddly enough) + fashion were never a dull point of our conversations. 

But, the best part of Ed? Like I mentioned earlier: the unconditional love he had for my mother Betsy. I like to think of relationships as puzzle pieces - sometimes they work immediately, sometimes take some forcing - flipping the pieces different directions, and sometimes are just the wrong piece all together. Well, Ed + Betsy were the perfect puzzle piece for each other the moment that they oddly met during our Thanksgiving dinner. I honestly was so angry about this for a while, but then I took a step back and realized my mother's happiness, Ed's happiness and the family feeling that we all finally found because of their bond.This is a love that I hope I am blessed with someday - a connection that I hope I can emulate.

This world is a little bit less exciting now that Ed has departed. However, I think that we can all agree that he is watching us now, with a full-glass of Rex Goliath in hand, laughing at us and secretly sending us "if I were you" messages.

If I could tell Ed anything right now, I would say: Thank you, and I love you to the moon + back.




Your Vacation...


Since I was born, I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in small towns that all happen to seasonally attract tourist.

In the mountains during the winter, we had "texas season" - you guessed it...that is when an influx of Texans come to ski. We would make fun of them, but, then quickly find seasonal friends that would be back year after year, season after season - sigh...highschool.

Now, at the beach we have an array of people that flood the sidewalks and cover every square inch of the beach.

So, where am I going with this? When I was younger, tourism really didn't bother me. Being a youngster we used to just make fun of their Joey skiing styles - but had a strong understanding that these people funded our town, and many of our families. You became appreciative when the Elk Avenue was booming - however - you couldn't wait until there was a break from the mayhem and you didn't have lift lines or a wait to get into the Secret Stash for a slice and the market shelves were filled again.

Now, I am older and I start to noticed the details and actions of those whom are visiting. The rudeness and idiocy that come to the streets. I am not saying that this is all visitors. Again, I still realize that a lot of vacationers keep these small towns alive - and I remain thankful for that. However, when you leave your trash all over our beaches, and set up your umbrella with screaming children included essentially on top of others, you break the rules and mess with the tide pools disrupting the ocean and disrespecting the ecosystem - it is annoying. My inner Eco-friendly hippie cringes when I see people walking away from empty chip bags, cigarette stubs, beer cans and even sand toys. When you jet into parking spots, that you can tell a person is waiting for - that is rude, be kind - slow down. Everyone is equally as important in life, and we are all trying to take care of our personal business. Don't crowd the sidewalks, standing around like cattle - making other people risk their lives by having to walk out onto the busy busy busy PCH to get around you. Treat others how you would want to be treated, especially if they came to your home. 

We don't go to your towns and do this - so why would you come to our town and be so discourteous?


The Prestigious Prestige, Mid-West Edition.

The Prestige: not an event to be toyed with, or confused with the Catalina Wine Mixer. The Prestige is an battle of endurance, of teamwork, of dropping personal pride…of realizing that you may not come out victorious this time, matter of fact – you may not even finish. 

 This was my sixth Rapha endurance event, and in the land of crazy off the rocker endurance bike rides that basically makes me well seasoned. ha! Every event starts the same way - loading up with Pedilyte, over stuffing my stomach on pasta - counting tubes, CO2 cartridges, nail painting, food prepping, and sleep. Prestige days always start absurdly early - and the temperature can make you second guess your apparel choice of the day - light weight jersey? Arm Warmers? Wind Jacket? Vest? Sunscreen? The idea of having to strip down out of my comfy sweats into my kit takes me back to the days of ski racing and early morning -30 degree training. I always spend the first 30-40 miles cussing and wondering why the hell I decided to do something this crazy. 110+ miles and 10K+ of climbing all self supplied, on desolate roads is not something that people commonly list under "For a Good Time...". Then, we hit 50m and my attitude has changed - my legs are loose - I realize that I put myself in this situation and at the end of the day I am going to be extremely pleased with my performance. I mean, what did you do this weekend?

Prepping for a Prestige is most important - from gathering your team of 4 riders and picking out your team jersey to counting and dividing the supplies that need to be carried for a 9-hour day on the bike. 

The Jersey

Rapha Men's Pro Team Jersey
Apparel has become one of the team highlights of participating in these events. Having everyone match, and representing Rapha is huge. Tip to the Babes: Ditch the idea of wearing a women's jersey and go for a Men's jersey because they have adequate pockets for carrying the copious amount of tubes and rice cakes that you will need for the day. Rapha's Pro Team Jersey tends to be a 'go-to' - it comes in fun colors and is lightweight for the ungodly hot days. Oh, and when you are searching through the photos on the display page you get to peer at Peter Kennaugh. And the socks...you cannot forget about the perfect matching socks! The Athletic Community has you covered.

The Nails

Part of our pre-race ritual for the last handful of these events, and meet ups have been to get fancy with nail polish. We try to collectively pick colors that will go hand-in-hand with the kit we are wearing or the pattern that Rapha is leveraging for the event. Trick to having our nails stay b-e-a-utiful throughout changing flats and mechanicals? Seche Vite it is literally the best, hard as rocks, shiney top coat you can possibly wear. Spend the $8, it is worth it....

 The Supplies 

Of course supplies differ for everyone - some people end up carrying entire extra tires, other tape tubes to the bike just so they have enough - pockets always tend to be exploding with Skratch Labs Rice Cakes or lately Cookies. Tires and bike type are always a big debacle leading up to take off - I have found that riding Conti Four-Seasons in either a 25mm or a 28mm are perfect. 2-3 tubes tend to be the best bet. I always have an extra chain link, and a valve extender - you won't believe how many times these have come in handy along with having a small tube of chain lube too. Tip for the Babes: Carry extra single-use chamois cream packets - you can thank me later for this advice.  And, to answer all those looming questions about which bike is the right one to ride - well, I don't own a CX bike so really I only have one option and that is to ride my team bike (which is a Trek Slique with Zipp 303s) and it ALWAYS has been a good choice. So, when it comes to the bike...go with your first instinct. Oh, and if you burn easily...make sure you carry sunscreen!

The Music
Sing-A-Long tunes for your long day
During the LA Prestige in May, our teammate Julie decided on one of the climbs that we need to jam to some music while climbing up a deserted mountainside. This immediately changed our team demeanor and we all got excited - gitty - and relaxed because we were able to breath. Tip to the Babes: When I used to ride horses my instructor would always say "Sing! It helps you breath when you are tense" - from that day forward, I sign. 
Just be sure to keep your phone on airplane mode the entire ride and you should have tunes the entire time! I like using Spotify to make riding lists - however, make sure you have the songs "available offline"  prior to leaving for the race because you never know what the cell reception will be and you might only access to 13 songs for 9 hours....this happened yesterday. ALSO, knock it off with the headphones seriously - it is dangerous! 

The Food

Clearly you want to avoid any sight of potentially bonking on these rides - in order to do that what you have to do is pretty damn simple: eat and stay hydrated. Like I mentioned above - it is never a bad thing if your pockets are exploding with real food. Think about what you will want to consume 70 miles into something like this - 7 GU packs later you are probably going to want something slightly less sugary, and that you can chew on. Skratch Labs rice cakes are great - and so are the cookies. I like using Skratch real foods because you can freestyle with the ingredients - for example our cookies for this race had almond butter, bacon and dark chocolate chips. I know, weird combination but it sure does fill those out of this world cravings you get while on the bike. The night before don't be afraid to carb up - pasta is your friend, a glass or two of wine is okay too. Tip to the Babes: I drink a pedilyte the night before I go to bed and then I drink one before we start the ride in the morning. It may sound silly, but, it helps me (probably more mentally than anything). I never drink soda, but, on these rides I do - the coldness, carbonation and sugar really help. I am a fan of carrying chicken jerky and starbursts too. Making sure you stay hydrated is really the key - Whenever there is a chance to get more water, do it! Even if your bottles are currently full - CHUG THEM and REFILL!  

The Team
2014 Boulder RGR Team

Having a good team is vital. Being a Rapha Ambassador I am lucky because there is a pool of talented women all looking to put together a team for these crazy endurance events. I am even luckier because all the girls that I have had the opportunity to partner with get a long really well. At the end of the day, it is all about communication. Essentially having someone to make the calls on directions, food stops, hydration reminders, etc is important.

Rapha Prestiges are hard. If you are up for a challenge, you sure have found one.


To Europe and Back

With in the last two months I have traveled to Europe and back twice. I have been in three different countries - two of which I had never before visited.

I have become a mile counter: i.e. I am trying to get the best bang for my buck, and earn those miles.

When enduring layovers, I have all the sudden become a white wine drinker. what the....

After my last travel I realized  how much I love packing squares (more to come on this later); meandering through the Duty Free shops, and sitting in the United Club.

So much going on, more of an update coming soon blogworld!




My relationship with Yoga.

About one year ago, I sat in the backyard of a Pacific Palisades mansion, word on the street is that Germany's Next Top Model was filmed there. Is that even a show? Surrounded by my fellow Rapha babes - We sat in three lines of four - all sporting equally as funny cycling tans. A tall-lean dark haired yogi babe stood in-front of us, explaining how excited she was to loosen up our hips. okay...

To clarify, I am flexible - but not that flexible. I don't like being forced to do things - so, when someone is telling me we have a mandatory fun event I immediately say NO. I have had previous encounters with yoga - while in high school - Also mandatory fun. We sat there, trying to keep up with this brunette bombshell as she threw out odd yoga lingo that only two or three of the girls actually understood. I felt defeated, normally I am not bad at anything athletic. We had towels to stand-on, we were on grass that was itchy, I was dreaming of my bike and ready to run into the kitchen and watch the Skratch Labs guys prepare dinner, and lock-eyes with the dreamy sous-chef - whom conveniently fit my 'hot guy, I wanna make out with you list' at the time only to miss out on the opportunity.

Flash forward a year. A text message pops up on my phone from a friend: Hey, do you want to try yoga? I quickly typed no thank you! (thinking in my head 'is she kidding me. What a ridiculous thing to participate in. I don't do yoga. Ew!) But before pressing send, I paused - maybe I do? I ended up agreeing - and essentially waited for her to give me a time and a place. Wednesday - Ritual Yoga. 

This was my first chance to wear my yoga clothes for their actual purpose - however, some may disagree that tights and capris are purely made for the idea of lounging...I am one of those people - I can almost guarantee that my butt looks better as I causally lay across the outside patio in capris, than it goes when I am all sorts of contorted trying to find the balance that I somehow was never blessed with . I found a free mat that I had been given through work, somehow I had also ended up with a Yoga Toes towel which had been repurposed for a bike cover. Clearly, I was super cool and also may avoid any new kid looks because I wouldn't have to inquire about borrowing a mat from the studio receptionist. bam!

We had decided to test out a vinyassa class, neither of us knowing exactly what that meant. We signed up for one week of free classes - if we loved it we could go back, if we hated it well then f*ck it.. back to biking and running. On our way to the studio I read the description of what a Vinyassa class was, it still didn't make any sense (as the classes went on, we found ourself googling other terminology on our way to the studio so we could act like we know what was going on). Let's be real my only hope for this new yoga thing was that I would all the sudden look much more tone and become a part of the yoga-butt club. We made our first mistake: NO SHOES IN THE YOGA STUDIO ROOM! Oppsss, but they are flip-flops?!

Our teacher was a youthful yogi beauty - who seemed like the type that traveled to exotic places becoming one with herself and was probably a vegan - I would have never guessed she was also a wife and month of two who were also teenagers. She spoke in a calming but fast tone - which made me feel comfortable about my decision to come into her packed class of those who spoke that yogi language, and were far more talented and flexible than myself.

A week went by, and then I bought a month pass. I tested out various teachers and types of classes. I found myself in with people who could essentially float, as well as what seemed to be a geriatrics class that I almost feel asleep in. I tested out a number of mats too, and finally settled on a rubber one that I deemed needed to be overnighted for a Friday class. After I was equipped with everything to make me look profession (I always joke about these people on bikes...) I found myself signing up for a 6-month membership - purely because it was a better deal - not because I had become completely infatuated with finding my inner-zen three to four times a week - LIES, all L-I-E-S. I quickly found myself rearranging my work day to attend classes - then also traded in my weekly lunch rides for an afternoon spent in a hot-sweaty yoga room where I would find myself begging the teacher to let me try going inverted.

Work trip season kicked into full affect - that meant that bikes, running and yoga were put on a halt. I would find myself planning my return flights so that I could make a Friday class - I would be sitting around at dinner wishing I was working on my warrior-2 or tree pose.

In a year, my ideology about this funny thing called yoga completely changed. I feel centered, I feel much more knowledgable, I can focus, I feel strong and toned - I walk out feeling confident.

So, my two-cents on yoga? Give it a try. Studios offer new student classes all the time, they will even provide you with a mat! If you are nervous to go alone, grab a friend! Or, click around on the inter web...you'll find plenty of yoga videos on the you tubes. 



2015 Rapha Prestige, City of Angels edition

A word about camaraderie. 

Yesterday marked my fourth Rapha event. Two years ago I had a random invite to come roll with the boys on a half dirt/have paved 110+ course through the Angeles mountains - from there I went to San Fran, and then to my home state of Colorado - finally finding myself rolling similar roads to when my dirt-grinding road biking obsession began in the City of Angels.

Compared to events past the format had a slight change, aside from the name - which was semi confusing if you had previously been to a women's event which used to solely be dubbed "prestige". Now there were teams of 4 instead of six; some teams of just men, and some of just women. No cinematographer, just the extremely talented photographer, not to mention - kindest person on the planet - Kevin Batchelor, hailing from Boulder. We still ate donuts and sipped on espresso. We were greeted by the bright smiling faces of David and Tim from Rapha; who knew it was only a matter of time until our team was spewing with sarcasm and giggles.  Our jerseys were still packed to the brim with rice cakes and Skratch Labs. Per usual my team still had to ask which way we started; as we toyed with the Garmin trying to figure out how it actually would give us directions - we have taken wrong turns out of the start previously. 

This year, the team I had the pleasure of being a part of consisted of the amazing: Abby WatsonJulie Krasniak and Lindsay Knight. We only get to see each other a few times a year, but, we always tend to make the most of our time together - I am so thankful to call these girls my friends. They are a very inspiring & successful group of women, both on and off the bike. 

There were 20 teams that decided to take on, or at least attempt, to take on the first 2015 Rapha Prestige in the States. Mr. Ben Lieberson was the course designer, we knew we were in for a doozy. Water, sugar, salt, chamois cream and sunscreen quickly became your friend that day - and Coke never tasted so good - dreams of ice pops and cold beer would haunt us through the mid-day sun. When we saw the Bike Effect support station and the bright smiles of Steve and Alison - we all cheered.

But, like I said above this is a post about camaraderie. 

I have probably spent more time in the saddle with these three girls that anyone else, we have figured out a special way to communicate while on the bike - whether it is a simple hey dial it down a notch, or the tell tale head shake on a decent motioning: time to haul ass.  
We always start these rides out the same way, we agree that we need to let each other know how we are feeling, we remind each other that it is imperative to eat and drink, and reiterate that this is not a race! I trust these girls - we ride together well. During every event that I have done with these women we are commended for our communication skills - and our agreements of when and where we can separate and where to regroup. Making sure everyone has had there time to recover and are fully stocked with water and snacks at the rest-stops - keeping the conversation and laughing level high, because that is what these are about. We are making memories.
We understand that events like these don't stop until everyone crosses the finish-line - and if someone has an issue, whether it be a mechanical or just needing a rest, we all stop. 
These events are not a race, they are a challenge about how well you get along with others, how you can provide support when your teammates may need it and a true test on your communication. Your bike handling skills are put to the test as you face taxing terrain. 
These events are about cheering people on, making friends and encouraging fellow teams out there who are suffering these daunting courses too. If you consider this a race, fine - you win. Because to tell you the truth, the real victory isn't who gets across the finish first - but it is who can look back and say wow, I had a kick-ass time with some of my friends and that is a day I will never forget.  You realize what you just conquered; something that most people couldn't even fathom taking on. 

With limited setbacks we crossed the line just before sunset. We motored up the steep climb to Zorthian Ranch - happy to know the ride was over - feeling successful for what we had accomplished. Out of the 20 teams there were five teams comprised only of women - out of those same 20 teams, only two of the full women's teams finished the 125 mile course. To those who finished the big loop, I commend you - it was hard. To those who had to turn at the time cut, you're stoked....trust me. Our team was one of the teams that made the long course (our fellow Rapha Women's teammates finished just before us). Over all we unofficially  finished 5th out of 20 teams...not bad. 

I can't wait until we all meet again and ride bikes. 



My Dad: Matthew Giles Reeder

Life: they say it goes by in a flash. 
Well, the flash that I had with my father just wasn't long enough. 
For several years now I have been gearing up for the phone call -
we all knew he was ill. 
That phone call came far too soon.
It has left me emotionless. 

It has been hard for me to sit down and write about him, or really just write in general. I have become a rebel to my nightly journal entry...twenty years from now I will regret that. I have taken on far too much at work, trying to create a distraction from my emotions...that was just dumb. I have tried to distract myself with exercise, only to be sidelined by numerous injuries. 

My amazing stud of a father departed January 29th, 2015. I was boarding a plane to go to the Phoenix Open - I stood there in tears, with absolutely clue what to do. I got on the plane. Then I arrived in Arizona only to soon get back on another plane and to be in the comfort of the bed that I had left 18 hours prior. The hardest phone call ever in the world is to hear that someone dear has passed. For weeks and weeks, I had been working on a letter to my dad - I wanted to tell him how much I loved him, how much I respected him, and how he was so heroic to the ski industry - I wanted to let him know he embarrassed the crap out of me a few times with his unsolicited commentary and opinions of my boyfriends. We had such a special relationship: one that only a daughter and a father can understand. I wanted to tell him how angry he made me sometimes, and the amazing person I have been able to grown into due to these trials and tribulations. I wanted to tell him how much we all loved having Cole around and their true and honest love that permeated anyone within 5 feet of them. I wanted to thank him for putting me on a bike; because I have to admit...lately getting on a bike has been one of the hardest things on earth for me. I miss my dad - days go by that I feel completely emotionless; like today and probably tomorrow and most likely the day after that. 

My dad had been diagnosed a few years prior with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS. Being that hard ass that my father was, he almost wanted to spite the doctors when they said eating would be difficult and he would have to take it easy. I mean, he was planning on having Caribou for dinner on Christmas. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease - there really is no cure, however, there are processes to slow everything down. My dad's process was dark beer and bourbon. 

He called me in June 2012 (I believe) - I was at work. He asked if I had a moment, so I walked into our little kitchen behind my desk area - carelessly saying: what's up? He then told me that he had been diagnosed with ALS and very bluntly told me what this meant: I am going to die. This was followed up by a slew of e-mails, tears, confusion, regret and uncertainty about what laid ahead.

For those of you luck enough to know the amazing Matthew Giles Reeder, you know he was a person of devotion (and no, I am not talking in the religious sense...that would be weird). A true snow god. A man that would get shit done - seriously! He didn't believe in short cuts, you did everything the right way - especially if it was something laboring. And if you couldn't do it the right way - well, step aside because he would do it, and do it correctly. To me, he was my East Coast Cowboy - I can close my eyes and see him wearing his Stetson Hat, with his Dale of Norway sweaters most likely pairs with a pair of pleated khakis or Carharts caked in grease and numbers and notes jotted down in pen from phone calls - his outfit would be perfectly finished off with either tassel loafers, work boots or the ever so great wool socks and Teva sandals combination. He could show you how to easily tie a square knot in a silk scarf; which he claimed were the best thing for staying warm - I have to admit I agree.

My dad's enthusiasm for making snow and riding bikes could possibly be unrivaled. He would always act perturbed when snow making season would start - but - inside he was little a giddy little kid. Making snow, calling the shots, chanting his various radio calls throughout the freezing cold nights was his thing. During the summer months riding a bike was his thing - he was the one that caught my interest in road biking - and the one who took the time to find me a coach, and teach me the exact methodology behind when to kick-it-into-gear on a climb. We would always race up Donner Pass - before he knew it, he was telling me "see ya at the top" and I would crunch down on my gears and go! My cycling always tended to be a large speaking point when asked 'how are the girls doing?' - and he could always answer with 'Lizzie climbed Donner in 19 minutes', etc. 

One of my favorite stories of my dad was when he told me about how picking your nose would make your nostrils big. I am still nervous to this day to pick my nose - because of him I prefer the blowing into a tissue method.

In Aspen, my dad used to drive me to school in the morning in our red Saab - which he insisted if it lived long enough would be mine once I could drive. It was a time without cell phones, so we would actually talk in the car - well, actually we would normally be signing along to ZZ Top or Jimmy Buffet. Cheeseburgers in Paradise...

Although my dad was hard on the outside, made of ice some may deem, he was my dad and I loved him for his strong attitude. I loved his sense of courageousness. He was normally the comforting voice on the other line when my college-sorority girl life seemed to be  in complete dismay - always reassuring me that everything would be okay. When I received the news that my dad had passed, all I could hear in my head was what he had told me many times before: Lizzie, you've got to stop crying - I can't understand what you are saying. Honey, stop crying. 

I got a new job a few weeks ago - as soon as the papers were signed I excitedly grabbed my phone to call my mom, and then...call - well, no one. That was like a punch to the gut - reality has began to set in, there will be no more excited phone calls to dad to tell him about promotions, maybe marriage, hell - potentially even kids. 

In April last year, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend time with my dad during Easter, which had almost become an annual trip since I moved to Southern California. After seeing my dad, I had a feeling this would be the last time we would ski together (although he was skiing up until the very end from what I understand) - as I followed behind him, and his amazing crew of ski buddies I couldn't help but let the tears burst from my eyes and tried to un-fog my goggles - it is hard knowing this could be 'your last'. Although others reassured me we would ski again, deep down I knew this was our last hoorah. He was still on telemark gear - matter of fact, I even saw him whip out a few drop knee turns that day. I have it on video, thankfully.

One of the other amazing moment that came out of this trip was when my dad decided to share his newly approached outlook on life:

Forget about the past, because if you can't you will be bitter. 
I've learned there is nothing you can do about it - so forget about it. 
When those around you are bitter - you learn to grow from it. Chances are that person will hate it. They will hate that you are being positive and not giving in - 
you have shown me you can do this for years now 

Matt wanted to ultimately do two things these last few years - neither of which he was able to achieve, which leaves my heart-aching. For years and years, he had worked on scheming a plan on how to work in the mountains in the winter and live at our family camp in the Adirondacks in the summer. I can see him now, sitting on the front porch overlooking Raven Lake sipping on a Bourbon and water. Every summer he claimed he was ready to make the move, ready to go to his favorite place on earth. Well, that is where he will be forever, up at Camp. 

He was always interested in various modes of transportation - this however caught me for a surprise. The train seemed to be something he grew fond of upon his move to Truckee - since he would drive by the train depot every day. I can't even tell you how many times he suggested the train as my transportation from Southern California to Truckee - I never did it. My dad had come up with a brief list of things we wanted to do, and we sat around one night and he told me about his wishful endeavors. One of those being riding the train - however, it wasn't just a quick ride to Reno or Sacramento - no, he wanted to take it across the United States..to go to Rochester. He told me: All I need is my phone, a computer and a handle of good bourbon. I would sleep through Nevada, be awake through the mountains and sleep again until we reached the Great Lakes. He even knew that trip would take him a total of 44 hours. I wish he would have been able to do that...

The only things that I have of/from my dad is a pair of pearl earrings I received when I turned 16 and a button up Woolrich shirt - which he claims my mother shrunk, but it was also his favorite shirt. The last Christmas we spent together he gifted me a silk scarf, which he quickly tied a square know in - I have it hanging in my closet. I will keep those three things so close to me for the rest of my life - kind of funny you don't think about how precious little gifts like that are when they are originally given to you. 

I just wish I could get one more Matt Reeder hug, one more day of skiing, one more day of biking. I want to tell him I got a new job, that I made the Rapha Ambassador team again, that I started doing yoga, and have become a bourbon drinker. I want to hear his silly little giggle - and see that proud smile on his face. 


***I wanted to leave these words as his actual obituary - because he was far to RAD to be left with such a simple - slightly untrue collection of words. 



Broken Back - Seven Words. 

Current obsession....

Hey ya, I heard you sing the song
we used to endless play
when we were cloud nine
Seven words that made him change his mind
Seven words for you to left him behind
With simple pleasures just to keep him blind
He should think about it, He should think about it,
Hey ya, I heard you sing the song
we used to endless play
when we were cloud nine 
It took a kiss to make it happen,
It took some fun to make it real
After some nights he said "Well listen",
"No feelings, just fun, is that clear?"
Hey ya, I heard you sing the song
we used to endless play
when we were cloud nine
It took a thought to make him weak and
In the morning she used to leave fast
After two weeks he said, "Listen",
"Would you stay here for the breakfast?"
He was cursed, no doubt felt weaker
And couldn't believe it was real
After two months he said "Listen",
"I got to tell you how I feel"
She has waited for this lesson,
And to make her crystal clear
With a smile she said "Well listen"
"No feelings, just fun, is that clear ?"
Hey ya, I heard you sing the song
we used to endless play
when we were cloud nine


It's a new year.

It's 2015. Crazy, huh? The last 9 days have been a whirlwind for me - from a dreamy vacation home to Colorado, back to the realism of work.

So far in 2015, I have skied 2 days. I have ridden my bike 3 days. I've done my laundry once; and gone to the grocery store 6 times.  If I had given a dollar for ever time I have dropped the f-bomb, I would have completely spoiled away my last paycheck, which in reality isn't that much. My caloric intake has been low; however my red wine intake remains the same. I lack in sleep, but have a surprising amount of enthusiasm. Surprisingly, I have only painted my nails twice (soon to be three times). I have spent time reading out-loud about multiverses. I still love Citizen Cope. I can tell you the statistics about the LVPD vs. the NYPD - as well as all the demographics of every small town in-between Orange County and Crested Butte (cell phone service permitting). I have posted to Instagram 8 times. I have eaten one bowl of Cheerios; and two bagels. I have cried 4 times, realizing that my heart aches because of how much I miss Colorado. I have drank almost 18 cans of La Croix Pomplemousse. I have sent 6 thank you cards; and 50 holiday cards. I have realized that I enjoy spending time alone - but cannot wait to have someone to talk to. I am currently reading 4 books: The Devil In The White City, The Confidence Code, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned", and Anonymous Asked: Life Lessons from the Internets Big Sister. I have gone out to coffee three times, twice with Adam and once with my friend Britt.  My computer has crashed 15 times. I have pet 5 dogs. My dreams have been INSANE lately. I have only consumed Chobani Pumpkin Spice yogurt. I have indulged in curry only once.  I have only purchased one pair of shoes; which I technically bought on the last day of December. I have taken zero selfies. I have finally worked up the courage to tell Adam that I love him. I have consumed a lot of bourbon (dad, are you proud?). I have gone to yoga once. But, most importantly I have opened myself up for completely new experiences - I have deemed this the year of luck - I know everything will not be sparkles and unicorns - but - it's about damn time something really good happened.

The Year of Luck.  Somethings gotta' give...

Sending Love from Socal,