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I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure,but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain

Suffering for Others’ Benefit: RAAM 2018

It’s beyond my scope of understanding, but for some sick reason we mere mortals seem to get some sort of gratification out of watching someone else suffer greatly during insane athletic events. “How can you say that, Tracy?” you may ask with and air of shock and judgement. Please allow me to attempt to answer that.

Perhaps the reason is that we wish we had the gall to tackle some ginormous obstacle that only those who are slightly off their nut will try. Or could it be that we are looking for inspiration to try something huge that we secretly wish we could do, but want to see someone else succeed first? Another option: What if we just need someone to believe in – a human being who is imperfect but has exceptional courage with ample virtuosity?

Whatever the reason for us spectators of others’ greatness is, the bravery and valor one exhibits in the midst of sheer self-inflicted pain and torture does something for us as onlookers. I’m sure a shrink could explain it in greater detail, but let’s move on to this year’s Race Across America biggest hero: Frank Fumich. His story should be told in book form but for your sake and mine, I will have to give the highlights in 650 more words or less, otherwise, you will find something else to do with your time. His short video will also provide enlightenment into his slightly-crazed mind.

I met Frank in RAAM 2015 when I crewed for another racer. Frank stuck out as one unorthodox cyclist with a larger than life personality. As a matter of fact, he’s not even a cyclist, but an extremist. He puts himself through maniacal adventures time after time. While he didn’t finish all 3000+ miles of RAAM in 2015, he rode every single mile this time. He had exactly 12 days (288 hours) to pedal eastward from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. It took him slightly longer than that, so according to RAAM rules, he got a DNF. Those three letters are something no athlete wants to ever see beside their name, but for Frank they don’t mean “Did Not Finish”. They mean “DID NOT FAIL.”

Here is a link to his crossing the Finish Line at the City Docks of Annapolis yesterday evening. You will get a glimpse of his gregarious personality and kindness to others, despite being absolutely exhausted.

His Facebook following swelled by thousands of supporters who cheered him along the arduous route that was littered with exhaustion, pain, the verge of mental breakdowns, extreme weather conditions, a tornado, monsoonal rain, wind and excessive heat. What kept driving him relentlessly forward was his virtuous motive: to help children with cancer stay in touch with their families and friends via webcams in their hospital rooms. HopeCam is the charity that Frank chose to live out his unfinished business with RAAM. What a beautiful partnership: one’s unsuitable desire to use his athletic gifts to bring hope and help to others. Kind of sounds like LIVE IT, doesn’t it?

While the fastest racer finished days before Frank, he comes out as the clear winner in the hearts of thousands of others who have followed his journey. His goal was to raise $30,000 for HopeCam, but I’m thrilled to report that he has more than doubled that with $66,000 collected to date. If you would like to show your appreciation for his big, beautiful heart and dedication to living for others, please click here.

His slogan of “It’s gonna get ugly, but it’s gonna get DONE!” rang true. His top notch crew saw him through a safe passage across 3,062 miles in 12 days with just about 2 hours a day off the bike. At the Finish Line, a prayer of gratitude was offered. Well done, Frank. Keep on living it and inspiring others to do the same.

(L) Frank and crew chief, Lisa (R) Frank with wife, Chelsea and daughters

 

 

Riding the Tail of the Dragon / Cherohala Challenge

At Road Titans 300 last year I met a delightful Brit named Phil through a mutual cycling friend. He spoke to me about coming to take on the Cherohala Challenge in June of 2018. He used many adjectives to describe this event like “very difficult”, “picturesque”, “a tremendous amount of climbing” and so on. He then told me, “You get to climb the Tail of the Dragon!” – an iconic 14-mile road that boasts of 318 curves, a slight gradient of 4-5% that many drivers of motorcycles and sports cars use to test their handling skills. I had heard of that road and knew that I wanted to pay it a visit it one of these days. Last October seems like long ago; to be honest I forgot about Cherohala until last month when he texted me during the Cheaha Challenge weekend. Since I was surrounded by others who have this insane addiction to climbing and are drawn to challenges, I asked those in our Air BnB who would like to go to the Cherohala Challenge. There was much interest but only one other could commit to going with me: the mountain goat, Mike Stratton.

Before I knew it, it was time to load up the car and head north. I tried to find out as much as I could about this ride, but the event website offers little help. Mike found the course on RidewithGPS so we studied it a little and knew that we could plan on 10,000′ climbing and 114 miles of riding. I began to get excited about riding in the mountains again and reconnecting with Phil. He had such a terrific personality and was fun to be around. The witty  rented a 4 BR cabin, so there was plenty of space for the 6 of us. It was a 10 hour trip up, with stops, but a good drive.

Approximately 250 riders showed up for the various distances, but it appeared that well over half were there for the long course. It promised to have beautiful scenery (which it did), loud motorcycles on the Tail of the Dragon (that proved to be true as well), and a goodly amount of climbing prior to the big climb after mile 56 (where we only had about 3,300′ under our belts). It was a clear and perfect morning for riding. Temps in the upper 60’s slowly climbed with us as the hours passed by. There were about half a dozen others that I was looking forward to seeing again from other mountain events, and it was great to catch up with them. One is a current client that I am training for his upcoming trip to the French Alps next month. It was like a mini-reunion!

Mind Over Matter
Our average was 19.8 for the first 2 hours of riding within a nice group when something very strange happened. I felt nauseated, even though I did not feel as if I had cooked the first 38 rolling miles. My entire gut was turning back flips and I began to question whether or not I could finish. My heart rate was in good shape, my legs felt fine and my breathing was manageable. Without getting into detail, I began to wish I could just barf it up and get on with the ride. That never happened. I tried to distract myself by looking at the lakes, rivers and mountains. The wild flowers of pink, purple, white and yellow nodded at me as I passed, as if to encourage me along. I let the group go ahead and pedaled alongside a cold-water creek at a lofty 10.9 mph, just wishing I were done already. I just wanted to be alone in my misery. By now it was mile 50 and a Rest Stop was somewhere in the near future. Just a half mile before the Rest Stop I saw a little country store where Mike and my client were waiting for me. I felt terrible that they paused their ride for me, but grateful at the same time. Just a few minutes and a Dr. Pepper later (to settle the gut), we rolled out. I didn’t want David to wait on me because he had his own training to accomplish, but was thankful for Mike’s cheery disposition and desire to stay with me. He kept saying he didn’t want a bear to eat me on the side of the road. Nice thought.

At the next Rest Stop around mile 70, a volunteer had some Tums and I prayed that would help as I gobbled them down between orange slices. We climbed up and up from there, with a tough 8 miles (and no let up in gradient). I started to ask myself why I kept going. Why not just climb in a SAG and call it a “not my day kind of day”? The temptation to quit was very real; not something I usually contemplate. I knew David (my client) would be watching to see how I fared. I didn’t want to let him down. I also knew that I was financially invested in this weekend and I didn’t go all the way up there to get a DNF. In addition to that I WANTED THAT FINISHER’S MEDAL!

Summit Salvation
Push. Grind. Spin. Stand up. Sit down. Think positive thoughts. Count down the miles to the top: 6-5-4-3-2-1…At last we had reached the top of the mountain there was another Rest Stop. I knew the worst was over and there was a snappy 14 mile descent ahead of us with rollers between there and the Finish Line. At that point I knew I would finish. Perhaps it was psychological, but almost instantly I felt better. It was time to fly down the other side!

That’s exactly what I did with a huge grin on my face for almost the entire rush. Once off the mountain the heat began to become a bother but it didn’t matter – we were close to the finish. Passing by another river I dreamed of how nice it would be to stop and jump in. Perhaps that will be another time – the end mark was just 3 miles away.

Our plan for the ride was to enjoy it and have fun. Despite feeling so sick for over half the ride, it was so worth it to come up and partake in this event. Why? Because of the camaraderie and the route. This ride ranks in the top 3 most beautiful rides I’ve ever done… which says a lot. The others around me – from those I knew from other events and those I met – were top notch in friendliness, support and good sportsmanship. I look forward to returning in 2019. Perhaps I’ll get to meet you there?

 

 

Tips for Surviving Cross Florida – Part 2

Last week I shared ten tips for making your Cross Florida journey more pleasurable – and hopefully a little more fun. Today you will find some more advice and suggestions. Please feel free to leave a comment, as I am sure there many other tips as well. Picking up where I left off last week…

11) Dedicate your effort to a cause or to someone else. This will help take your mind off your own discomfort. I rode for Christian Liddy in 2016, a good riding friend of mine. He was in our group in 2015, and we all just love Chris. In July of 2015 he was involved in a very serious accident (he drove tractor trailers for work) and his life is forever changed. He lost his life nearly a year later after fighting very hard . XFL 2015 was the last time I rode with Chris. By dedicating this ride to him and thinking of what he and his family are going through, it will certainly put the ride in perspective. We will miss Chris greatly again this year. 

12) Get comfortable with the thought that you WILL BE uncomfortable. Some have made the suggestion of changing your shorts at the halfway point. I have tried that and have kept the same ones all ride long. Frankly I couldn’t tell a difference.

13) Have ibuprofen in your SAG vehicle. It’s not uncommon to get a headache or backache on this adventure. Don’t take acetaminophen as it can affect the kidney’s filtration process (which you need to work nicely).

14) Use caution at the mass start. If you don’t like crowds, simply hang back. Clip in just one foot at the mass start until the crowd thins. I’ve seen several folks topple over in the first 100 feet of the ride because of the overcrowded space at the beginning. Remember there are police escorts to control the pace at first, so no need to get all excited. Stay chill!

15) Keep in mind that as we tire, we don’t think as clearly. Watch your own space and keep a look out for others that are failing to hold their line. Encourage others that you see struggling and don’t be afraid to kindly remind someone to hold their line if need be.

16) As you get close to bonking, you will feel great one moment – and it will quickly turn to “Oh no, I think I am going to DIE.” Within minutes you will feel great for a short burst. This will continue if you don’t get some much-needed carbs into your brain. A Coke, a sugary snack or orange will help but make sure you keep your calories going in continually.

You will see lots of these!

17) There are cobblestone roads and roundabouts near Kissimmee; be careful. Some try to go Tour de France on us and bunny hop the curbs to cut off the roundabouts. Show offs. Stick to the road and be safe.

18) Bring a items for showering at the end. Caution: COLD WATER! It will feel good if it’s a hot day, but otherwise, prepare for a chill. Brrrrrrr!

19) Download the map and be familiar with where the SAGs will be. Or perhaps write the mileage on painter’s tape and put it on your top tube for quick reference. It will pull right off when you are done.

20) A proper bike fit ahead of time will help you be more comfortable and help you to avoid overuse / misalignment injuries. Motion Fit is where I had a wonderful experience getting Roxie set up for my flexibility, strength and comfort. Call Kameel today to get your appointment set up while you still have time and tell him Tracy sent you. (407) 614-7703
There you have it – 20 tips to help make your Cross Florida experience a good one. I didn’t touch the logistics of starting in Cocoa and ending in Bayport, so feel free to leave questions or comments about that. That is normally a big challenge, but if you make plans to be with a group it is easier to work out. Register here: https://raceroster.com/events/2018/12817/37th-annual-cross-florida-ride?aff=RLPVM
See you there!
We love the Liddy Family and keep you in our thoughts and prayers. #LiddyStrong

Events Of The Month

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Present owner theme event…

    Fire and great explorer of the truth…

    Blog Posts

    Similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi

    Suffering for Others’ Benefit: RAAM 2018

    It’s beyond my scope of understanding, but for some sick reason we mere mortals seem to get some sort of gratification out of watching someone else suffer greatly during insane athletic events. “How can you say that, Tracy?” you may ask with and air of shock and judgement. Please allow me to attempt to answer that.

    Perhaps the reason is that we wish we had the gall to tackle some ginormous obstacle that only those who are slightly off their nut will try. Or could it be that we are looking for inspiration to try something huge that we secretly wish we could do, but want to see someone else succeed first? Another option: What if we just need someone to believe in – a human being who is imperfect but has exceptional courage with ample virtuosity?

    Whatever the reason for us spectators of others’ greatness is, the bravery and valor one exhibits in the midst of sheer self-inflicted pain and torture does something for us as onlookers. I’m sure a shrink could explain it in greater detail, but let’s move on to this year’s Race Across America biggest hero: Frank Fumich. His story should be told in book form but for your sake and mine, I will have to give the highlights in 650 more words or less, otherwise, you will find something else to do with your time. His short video will also provide enlightenment into his slightly-crazed mind.

    I met Frank in RAAM 2015 when I crewed for another racer. Frank stuck out as one unorthodox cyclist with a larger than life personality. As a matter of fact, he’s not even a cyclist, but an extremist. He puts himself through maniacal adventures time after time. While he didn’t finish all 3000+ miles of RAAM in 2015, he rode every single mile this time. He had exactly 12 days (288 hours) to pedal eastward from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. It took him slightly longer than that, so according to RAAM rules, he got a DNF. Those three letters are something no athlete wants to ever see beside their name, but for Frank they don’t mean “Did Not Finish”. They mean “DID NOT FAIL.”

    Here is a link to his crossing the Finish Line at the City Docks of Annapolis yesterday evening. You will get a glimpse of his gregarious personality and kindness to others, despite being absolutely exhausted.

    His Facebook following swelled by thousands of supporters who cheered him along the arduous route that was littered with exhaustion, pain, the verge of mental breakdowns, extreme weather conditions, a tornado, monsoonal rain, wind and excessive heat. What kept driving him relentlessly forward was his virtuous motive: to help children with cancer stay in touch with their families and friends via webcams in their hospital rooms. HopeCam is the charity that Frank chose to live out his unfinished business with RAAM. What a beautiful partnership: one’s unsuitable desire to use his athletic gifts to bring hope and help to others. Kind of sounds like LIVE IT, doesn’t it?

    While the fastest racer finished days before Frank, he comes out as the clear winner in the hearts of thousands of others who have followed his journey. His goal was to raise $30,000 for HopeCam, but I’m thrilled to report that he has more than doubled that with $66,000 collected to date. If you would like to show your appreciation for his big, beautiful heart and dedication to living for others, please click here.

    His slogan of “It’s gonna get ugly, but it’s gonna get DONE!” rang true. His top notch crew saw him through a safe passage across 3,062 miles in 12 days with just about 2 hours a day off the bike. At the Finish Line, a prayer of gratitude was offered. Well done, Frank. Keep on living it and inspiring others to do the same.

    (L) Frank and crew chief, Lisa (R) Frank with wife, Chelsea and daughters

     

     

    Read More

    Riding the Tail of the Dragon / Cherohala Challenge

    At Road Titans 300 last year I met a delightful Brit named Phil through a mutual cycling friend. He spoke to me about coming to take on the Cherohala Challenge in June of 2018. He used many adjectives to describe this event like “very difficult”, “picturesque”, “a tremendous amount of climbing” and so on. He then told me, “You get to climb the Tail of the Dragon!” – an iconic 14-mile road that boasts of 318 curves, a slight gradient of 4-5% that many drivers of motorcycles and sports cars use to test their handling skills. I had heard of that road and knew that I wanted to pay it a visit it one of these days. Last October seems like long ago; to be honest I forgot about Cherohala until last month when he texted me during the Cheaha Challenge weekend. Since I was surrounded by others who have this insane addiction to climbing and are drawn to challenges, I asked those in our Air BnB who would like to go to the Cherohala Challenge. There was much interest but only one other could commit to going with me: the mountain goat, Mike Stratton.

    Before I knew it, it was time to load up the car and head north. I tried to find out as much as I could about this ride, but the event website offers little help. Mike found the course on RidewithGPS so we studied it a little and knew that we could plan on 10,000′ climbing and 114 miles of riding. I began to get excited about riding in the mountains again and reconnecting with Phil. He had such a terrific personality and was fun to be around. The witty  rented a 4 BR cabin, so there was plenty of space for the 6 of us. It was a 10 hour trip up, with stops, but a good drive.

    Approximately 250 riders showed up for the various distances, but it appeared that well over half were there for the long course. It promised to have beautiful scenery (which it did), loud motorcycles on the Tail of the Dragon (that proved to be true as well), and a goodly amount of climbing prior to the big climb after mile 56 (where we only had about 3,300′ under our belts). It was a clear and perfect morning for riding. Temps in the upper 60’s slowly climbed with us as the hours passed by. There were about half a dozen others that I was looking forward to seeing again from other mountain events, and it was great to catch up with them. One is a current client that I am training for his upcoming trip to the French Alps next month. It was like a mini-reunion!

    Mind Over Matter
    Our average was 19.8 for the first 2 hours of riding within a nice group when something very strange happened. I felt nauseated, even though I did not feel as if I had cooked the first 38 rolling miles. My entire gut was turning back flips and I began to question whether or not I could finish. My heart rate was in good shape, my legs felt fine and my breathing was manageable. Without getting into detail, I began to wish I could just barf it up and get on with the ride. That never happened. I tried to distract myself by looking at the lakes, rivers and mountains. The wild flowers of pink, purple, white and yellow nodded at me as I passed, as if to encourage me along. I let the group go ahead and pedaled alongside a cold-water creek at a lofty 10.9 mph, just wishing I were done already. I just wanted to be alone in my misery. By now it was mile 50 and a Rest Stop was somewhere in the near future. Just a half mile before the Rest Stop I saw a little country store where Mike and my client were waiting for me. I felt terrible that they paused their ride for me, but grateful at the same time. Just a few minutes and a Dr. Pepper later (to settle the gut), we rolled out. I didn’t want David to wait on me because he had his own training to accomplish, but was thankful for Mike’s cheery disposition and desire to stay with me. He kept saying he didn’t want a bear to eat me on the side of the road. Nice thought.

    At the next Rest Stop around mile 70, a volunteer had some Tums and I prayed that would help as I gobbled them down between orange slices. We climbed up and up from there, with a tough 8 miles (and no let up in gradient). I started to ask myself why I kept going. Why not just climb in a SAG and call it a “not my day kind of day”? The temptation to quit was very real; not something I usually contemplate. I knew David (my client) would be watching to see how I fared. I didn’t want to let him down. I also knew that I was financially invested in this weekend and I didn’t go all the way up there to get a DNF. In addition to that I WANTED THAT FINISHER’S MEDAL!

    Summit Salvation
    Push. Grind. Spin. Stand up. Sit down. Think positive thoughts. Count down the miles to the top: 6-5-4-3-2-1…At last we had reached the top of the mountain there was another Rest Stop. I knew the worst was over and there was a snappy 14 mile descent ahead of us with rollers between there and the Finish Line. At that point I knew I would finish. Perhaps it was psychological, but almost instantly I felt better. It was time to fly down the other side!

    That’s exactly what I did with a huge grin on my face for almost the entire rush. Once off the mountain the heat began to become a bother but it didn’t matter – we were close to the finish. Passing by another river I dreamed of how nice it would be to stop and jump in. Perhaps that will be another time – the end mark was just 3 miles away.

    Our plan for the ride was to enjoy it and have fun. Despite feeling so sick for over half the ride, it was so worth it to come up and partake in this event. Why? Because of the camaraderie and the route. This ride ranks in the top 3 most beautiful rides I’ve ever done… which says a lot. The others around me – from those I knew from other events and those I met – were top notch in friendliness, support and good sportsmanship. I look forward to returning in 2019. Perhaps I’ll get to meet you there?

     

     

    Read More

    Tips for Surviving Cross Florida – Part 2

    Last week I shared ten tips for making your Cross Florida journey more pleasurable – and hopefully a little more fun. Today you will find some more advice and suggestions. Please feel free to leave a comment, as I am sure there many other tips as well. Picking up where I left off last week…

    11) Dedicate your effort to a cause or to someone else. This will help take your mind off your own discomfort. I rode for Christian Liddy in 2016, a good riding friend of mine. He was in our group in 2015, and we all just love Chris. In July of 2015 he was involved in a very serious accident (he drove tractor trailers for work) and his life is forever changed. He lost his life nearly a year later after fighting very hard . XFL 2015 was the last time I rode with Chris. By dedicating this ride to him and thinking of what he and his family are going through, it will certainly put the ride in perspective. We will miss Chris greatly again this year. 

    12) Get comfortable with the thought that you WILL BE uncomfortable. Some have made the suggestion of changing your shorts at the halfway point. I have tried that and have kept the same ones all ride long. Frankly I couldn’t tell a difference.

    13) Have ibuprofen in your SAG vehicle. It’s not uncommon to get a headache or backache on this adventure. Don’t take acetaminophen as it can affect the kidney’s filtration process (which you need to work nicely).

    14) Use caution at the mass start. If you don’t like crowds, simply hang back. Clip in just one foot at the mass start until the crowd thins. I’ve seen several folks topple over in the first 100 feet of the ride because of the overcrowded space at the beginning. Remember there are police escorts to control the pace at first, so no need to get all excited. Stay chill!

    15) Keep in mind that as we tire, we don’t think as clearly. Watch your own space and keep a look out for others that are failing to hold their line. Encourage others that you see struggling and don’t be afraid to kindly remind someone to hold their line if need be.

    16) As you get close to bonking, you will feel great one moment – and it will quickly turn to “Oh no, I think I am going to DIE.” Within minutes you will feel great for a short burst. This will continue if you don’t get some much-needed carbs into your brain. A Coke, a sugary snack or orange will help but make sure you keep your calories going in continually.

    You will see lots of these!

    17) There are cobblestone roads and roundabouts near Kissimmee; be careful. Some try to go Tour de France on us and bunny hop the curbs to cut off the roundabouts. Show offs. Stick to the road and be safe.

    18) Bring a items for showering at the end. Caution: COLD WATER! It will feel good if it’s a hot day, but otherwise, prepare for a chill. Brrrrrrr!

    19) Download the map and be familiar with where the SAGs will be. Or perhaps write the mileage on painter’s tape and put it on your top tube for quick reference. It will pull right off when you are done.

    20) A proper bike fit ahead of time will help you be more comfortable and help you to avoid overuse / misalignment injuries. Motion Fit is where I had a wonderful experience getting Roxie set up for my flexibility, strength and comfort. Call Kameel today to get your appointment set up while you still have time and tell him Tracy sent you. (407) 614-7703
    There you have it – 20 tips to help make your Cross Florida experience a good one. I didn’t touch the logistics of starting in Cocoa and ending in Bayport, so feel free to leave questions or comments about that. That is normally a big challenge, but if you make plans to be with a group it is easier to work out. Register here: https://raceroster.com/events/2018/12817/37th-annual-cross-florida-ride?aff=RLPVM
    See you there!
    We love the Liddy Family and keep you in our thoughts and prayers. #LiddyStrong

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