14 February 2012

Love Friends and Bikes

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm taking a moment to appreciate a day focused on Love. And on how the love of anyone and anything seems to multiply and grow turning into unexpected joys. Give a little - get a lot. 

My niece Kristina and I have now made our plans to meet up first in Florence, Italy, and then travel back to Belgium together for the 2012 Paris-Roubaix in April. We are both so excited and will of course be photographing and writing about our adventures as fans at the race. I have made all of our plans to France for the 2012 Tour de France in July, all that remains is some hard training. Tonight I'm having dinner and a Nuggets basketball game with Dash, my old friend I traveled to France with years ago and another friend, it should be fun to talk about past present and future with two friends who enjoy humor, travel, bikes and big mountains. 

Meanwhile Paddy Sweeney has saved me a room at his cycling lodge in the Pyrenees in July, and I am looking forward to seeing his wife Olive and their son Sean again. Two other friends, Courtenay and Tom, whom I met at the 2011 USA Pro Challenge, will also be returning to France for the 2012 Tour de France, there is a good chance we'll meet up on the Col de Peyresourde for one of the stages. I also look forward to meeting Peter Thomson and his lucky clan of cyclists with Thomson Bike Tours during one of his tours to the Tour de France. 

I wish my brother Michael would join us in France but he is so busy traveling (Africa, China, Japan) it is hard for him to squeeze in another trip to ride. I am looking forward to meeting up with Mike N. from Phoenix again this year at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, (I met Mike at the 2011 USA Pro Challenge), we already have plans to stay at his friend Brian's house in Telluride during this years race, before making our way to camp overnight on Independence Pass.

Mike writes every so often to make me laugh and tell me how nice the weather is down in Arizona and how they are in their prime bike racing season this time of year. His writing seems to correspond with our biggest winter snow storms. It always makes me want to load up my car and head south to the warm sunshine. Bicycling.com recently wrote a story about cycling in the Arizona area: A Desert Oasis: Phoenix, AZ. A nice thing to think about when it is a chilly 38°F outside here in Colorado.
The other week Mike N. wrote to tell me that Chad Beyer, who grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and rode for Team BMC last year, was busy winning local races with his new Competitive Cyclist racing team. Along with Laura Somak, another fan who attended the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado last year with Mike, and competed in the same bike event as Beyer did that day. Here is Laura winning her Cat 3/4 womens race during the recent Bike Haus Crit. 
Laura Somak, a cycling fan, winning races in Arizona
I also have an interview to write up with Peter Thomson of Thomson Bike Tours, we had a great conversation recently and I look forward to sharing with you some of his well earned insight about cycling in Europe. There is always more to look forward to and more to learn in this great sport of cycling.  

Happy Valentines Day to everyone, I hope you enjoy your day with those you love. Or if they are far from you - you could opt for sending a nice greeting card - bicycle themed of course.

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.