Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Long summer

It's been quite a while since I posted something on this blog. Unfortunately it is not because nothing happened. Quite to the contrary, I had a very eventful and exciting summer. I think I simply needed a break and some time away from blogging. Call it a long vacation.

Here is what happened since the end of June and Nationals in Bend. We had our house broken into while we were away and computers stolen, but overall the damage was pretty limited. Some bike stuff was stolen too, don't ask me why. Maybe because it was easy to grab and looked expensive? In any case, the damage was limited and from the looks of it, it appears the thieves were in here for less than 10 minutes. Most of the damage was to the front entryway where they made a mess prying open the door.

Over the summer I coached a group of 18 riders who are raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). I organized several rides in different locations and rode with beginners, intermediates and advanced riders, most of whom were getting ready to ride 72 miles around Tahoe in September. The JDRF ride was part of a larger ride, known as Tour de Tahoe or Big Blue. Not all riders went there and there were others who will ride the Death Valley and Tucson rides later in the year. The Tucson ride is part of the El Tour de Tucson.

In August, I went to Belgium with Alistair and a fellow junior Kyle Torres. We had a great time and did lots of sightseeing, lots of riding and (the kids) lots of racing. For the first time I drove a team car in a large caravan of follow vehicles. It was a very exciting experience that I won't soon forget.

Alistair and Kyle with Team Rosen Meents

Overall the trip was a huge success and it motivated me to try and do it again next year. I think I can offer coaching and trips to Belgium for junior riders of all ages (nieuwelingen: 15-16, juniores: 17-18, and beloften (U23). I am working with some folks in Belgium to get things ready for next summer so if you are interested stay tuned. Hopefully we can offer something special that makes a difference to folks.

Since we got back from Belgium at the end of August I have been taking it easy. I completed the Tahoe ride on September 12, adding an extra 8 miles looping back and forth to make sure people were OK. Overall it was great fun but I think Tahoe would be so much better without all the traffic and the aggressive driving. It is a beautiful place for sure, but much of that beauty is now gone, covered in concrete and hugely oversized mac-mansions.

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