The gratitude 100 was one of the coolest endeavors of my life. I gained a far greater appreciation for the work, dedication, and determination of endurance athletes, mad respect to anyone who runs that far, far greater task! Because I am cashed and had a bike under !
The only problem, because of my lack of technology awareness, and preparation (shocking I know), the audio on my videos is virtually “unhearable”. Assuming it is because I was going so unbelievably fast, but really it is just wind and rocky terrain, I have spent many hours using video software to try to remove it and clean it up, to no avail. Kinda frustrated, but not going to let it derail a wonderful experience that was able to raise a bunch of money for a great cause.
So, I decided that for all of you that contributed (and those that didn’t but i recorded a message for anyway) I will send you the personalized video to watch and pull out any words or thoughts you can, but also just write up a message of gratitude, similar to the ones I recorded while riding. I envisioned it going differently and the messages being clear, the best laid plans! I am seeing it at as an opportunity to practice more gratitude and really reflect on all that I have to be grateful for.
If you still want to make a donation you can! I am keeping the donation page open for a few more weeks so please donate, I will still record you a message, just might be in the snow!
The Gratitude 100 Ride
Since this was a ride that I got to make up the course, I had to think wisely about what my approach would be. Wanting to do everything on trails originally, I realized that this was not going to be possible as it was going to get dark and possibly wet, so I made the adult decision to do half aggressive trail riding and half road/rec path riding (you are welcome mom).
The first half of the ride started at my house and took me back into French Gulch, up and over Sally Barber to Boreas Pass (got a high five from Micah who was sleeping in her truck at the trailhead, bad-ass), which I went up and over into Park County and then came back up and over. Getting onto the Firecracker 50 course, my first real mountain bike race is sacred to me. Taking that to a very snowy Little French Trail and turning around, wirepatch, Sally Barber, Turks, Minnie Mine, X10U8, home to let the peanuts gang out.
Then up Gold Run road, Western Sky, Slalom, and just and played around in the Flumes, had to hit Mike’s Trail (‘Cause I’m sittin’ back here sharin’ in the groove), out of the flumes and into town, got to see Jimmy Humphries! Onto lunch, a free meal from Soupz On is always something to be grateful for, but after 50 miles and 5k climbing, I was souper grateful (see what I did there?)!
Already feeling pretty fried, I knew I had to ease my ride a bit for the second 50 or I wouldn’t make it. I headed for the pavement. Down to the High School, up and over Swan Mountain Pass, down some killer downhills, around Lake Dillon. I was pretty much out of water when I hit Frisco, so where else would you go but Backcountry Apothecary! A hydration fill up and high fives from Kim and Bianca and I was on my way!
The sun was starting to get pretty low at around mile 70, I was still in good spirits and kept on pedaling. Back up and over Swan Mountain Pass and around the lake one more time before heading back up the rec path. At mile 98.6 I stopped in at Giampietros and ordered my pizza before heading home and picking up the peanuts gang for the last half mile by the river. Bam. 100 miles of gratitude.
Review of the Gratitude 100
It was funny, I felt like I had everyone of you with me as I rode. While you can’t clearly hear the messages I recorded, I was talking to you. Genuinely laying out my feelings, memories, tears, laughter, smiles, and gratitude. It reminded me that it shouldn’t have to be some big ordeal to tell the people that I love them and grateful for them. I felt like I had you all riding with me, like on an emotional tandem bike, but without the possibility of us killing each other.
This was all motivated by Molly deciding to run 100 miles, and me saying I want to be awesome too and help you train! She suggested I ride 100 miles, and the ride evolved from there. For that encouragement from Molly and her lofty goal I am grateful. The money raised will go the Kailash Home and sending kids to run the Everest Marathon, which is super rad. Those kids are total rock stars and I can’t wait to see pictures!
Maybe it isn’t a 100 miles. Maybe it isn’t running or biking. Maybe it isn’t a fundraiser. Regardless, think big, and be awesome. In March, I would have laughed if you told me I would ride multiple gnarly bike races (Breck Enduro, Firecracker 50, Steamboat Stinger 50, the Grand Traverse) and raised almost $1,500 dollars. Set small goals, realize you are the one putting the boundaries on yourself, and go fucking big.
At the end I was wiped out, knees sounded like someone tap dancing on peanut brittle, saddle sore that probably shouldn’t have any adjectives attached (you are welcome), and was beat. But I felt great. Proud. Empowered. Accomplished. Alive. Grateful.