Sunday, August 23, 2015

First Days of School!

It's that time of year - Facebook is exploding with first day of school pictures, Ben is dealing serious cases of the "early" morning grumpies, the girls are carefully picking out outfits, and ever-stable Sam is, well, pretty much the same. It's back to school time!

WanYing is thrilled to be entering 1st grade, Sasha is excited to see her friends again and happy to be in Miss Emme's class again (Walden is a Montessori School so the classes all span 2-3 grades), Ben is Ben, and Sam is starting High School. Oh my goodness!

Yep, you read that last line right, this year Sam goes into high school. Fortunately, Walden is a K-12, so going to high school simply means that he's going to the building next door. But is still sounds like kind of a big deal to me!

Last week they were camping/backpacking to kick off the school year (thank you, hippie school), hence the shoes and pack, so tomorrow marks Sam's first official day of high school. The cliche is true, time goes by way too quickly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spotlight on Team C4C

Check out the C4C Team Spotlight in the August issue of Cycling Utah Magazine!

Team Cycle 4 Cure Rides with Purpose

by Jamie Morningstar

Last month I climbed Squaw Peak on an organized training ride with my club, Team Cycle 4 Cure. It had all the elements of a good club ride: a nice turnout of folks in matching jerseys, a ride leader to help me patch the broken spoke I earned halfway up the mountain, zippity-fast leaders that left me feeling far too slow crawling up those 1,800 vertical feet (we’ll be kind and blame the broken spoke for the slog up the mountain).

But this was a Team Cycle 4 Cure (C4C) ride, which meant it was no ordinary club ride. It’s what was - who was - waiting for us at the top of Squaw Peak that made this and every C4C ride so special. At the top we met two families fighting cancer and one fighting MS. They weren’t there to cheer for us; it was us cheering, climbing, and struggling on their behalf. It’s what makes every ride with Team C4C different - every ride is about carrying somebody along in our hearts as we ride.

Team C4C was formed in 2013 to bring like-minded cyclists together to ride for a purpose. We all love to ride and love to build our own cycling skills and encourage cyclists of all levels to dig deeper. It is a recreational club with thirty members with a wide range of cycling skill and experience. Many members of Team C4C had not participated in any organized riding before joining the team and C4C provides training and opportunities to get stronger, cover more miles, and ride with confidence in a group.

Bike skills are only the beginning of Team C4C’s purpose. Team members participate in fundraising and awareness rides to raise money to fund cures for tough diseases from MS to diabetes to cancer to mental illness. The team has already raised more than $11,000 in the first half of 2015 to support organizations like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Huntsman Cancer Institute, American Diabetes Association, and many others to fund programs and research for those fighting serious illness.

But what really sets Team Cycle 4 Cure apart for its members and beneficiaries is the personal aspect of every ride. Each rider is encouraged to choose a friend or loved one who is struggling with a serious condition and “carry them along” as a symbolic passenger for the ride. This includes sending the recipient photos or memorabilia from the ride, filming short video tributes while riding, or simply just acknowledging in the heart of every rider that each painful or challenging mile pales in comparison to the struggles of loved ones who fight terrible diseases. I speak from experience that I can dig a lot deeper and ride a lot harder when I remember that I’m riding for people who are suffering.

Team member Rob Bateman sums it up like this: “I enjoy riding with a team that wants to make a difference in the lives of others. It impresses me that a group of people at all different levels of ability would start an event with prayer for those who are afflicted and would dedicate their exertions to finding a cure for the illnesses of others. This takes something that we all love to do (cycling) and gives it meaning beyond self.”

It can be easy for to underestimate the impact that Team C4C’s simple encouragements can make in the lives of those we ride for. I wonder, “how much good can my little acts of support do for my friends who are fighting uphill battles against cancer and other serious diseases?”

And then I hear the stories from those whose spirits were lifted and who had a little more energy to fight another day because of the big hearts of Team Cycle 4 Cure. My friend Tom is fighting hard against melanoma and as he was reflecting on Team C4C he shared that “knowing C4C is riding for me is incredible; they have been a huge encouragement through a pretty difficult time. Having a group of people who are thinking about me, praying for me, and standing behind me, provides a huge boost emotionally and that gives me the courage needed to keep my chin up and push on! Team C4C is making a difference.”

And that’s why I Cycle 4 Cure.

If you’re interested in joining, sponsoring, or learning more about Team Cycle 4 Cure, check out our website at or email

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Bicycle Built for Two

Remember yesterday when we said that the always-correct answer to the question, "How many bikes do you need?" is "one more"?

Well, we lied.

It turns out that this week's answer was two more. Or, if you're counting by number of seats, three!

That's right, we took the leap and invested in a tandem!

This being our first tandem, and one is never sure if one's marriage will survive the tandem cycling experience, we started with a used Co-Motion Periscope Torpedo in great condition and we're thrilled with it. We took it out for 30 miles this weekend and had a ton of fun and very few near-death experiences. We'll call it a success.

Tandem cycling definitely makes for some quotable conversations. Here's just a quick taste of all the fun you could be in for if you, too, decide to put your life in the hands of your spouse!

Steve: What the heck are you doing?
Jamie: Oh, yeah, I forgot that if I stop pedaling, you do, too.
(repeat this conversation about 300 times with both of us forgetting repeatedly that our feet move together)

Steve: Wait. If I have to spit, is it going to go on you?
Jamie: Dunno. Only one way to find out!
(never fear, it didn't)

Steve: Coasting. Stopping.
Jamie: Trusting. You know I say that so you don't forget that if you don't balance us I'm going to die.
Steve: Yeah, I got it.

Jamie: Don't forget, I'm the one the cars are going to hit first!

Steve: With you on here, it's like I have a tailwind all the time!

Steve: If you're not nice to me, I'm going to fart.

Overall I have to say that we're a darn good tandem couple and are learning to communicate better and better on the bike. We don't panic unnecessarily and are always ready to laugh at ourselves, both of which I'm thinking are necessary attributes of a tandem pairs. Steve is letting the whole "Captain" thing go to his head a bit, but since he gets hit with bugs in front and I don't as Stoker, I'm calling it an even trade.

The best thing about the Periscope is that it's super duper configurable. It's a little large for me as Captain but doable, and Ben and I had a blast riding 10 miles for snow cones with him as Stoker. He didn't like the lack of control (it's a disconcerting feeling) but we made it there and back safe and sound and had a darn good time.

Sasha's thrilled that she's big enough to ride as Stoker as well, so I see lots of girl rides in our future.

And I'm proud to report that our garage no longer has room for any cars. I believe this is a clear sign that our priorities are in exactly the right place.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The boys take up road biking (?)

The adage rings true: How many bikes do you need? One more!

This week we welcomed a new addition to the fleet - a 650 cc road bike for the boys to share! The boys have expressed interest in road biking (read: are disinterested in riding their mountain bikes long distances - it seems like the obvious interpretation is an interest in road biking) and given their... um... diminutive proportions were not ready for even a small adult frame.

After some research, we decided that a 44 cm frame with 650 cc tires was just the ticket and, fortunately, Felt made a rockin' (and darn good lookin'!) junior bike with the right proportions, aluminum frame, carbon fork, and decent pricepoint. The Felt 95 Jr. was it.

This weekend the boys put about 9 miles each on the bike, so we'll call that a victory. They definitely like the drops and tire size, as evidenced by the background-blurring speed on Friday evening's ride!

And in the ultimate show of confidence, Ben has declared that he's riding the road bike for the Tour de Donut this year. We see a sure-thing podium finish in his future.

Off into the sunset we ride


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