Friday, March 16, 2012

Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive Update

"10,000 Thanks to AdventureCORPS for Sponsoring the Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive." (Re-post from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Blog)

Last summer and fall, our friend Chris Kostman and AdventureCORPS, Inc. sponsored a matching membership drive in honor of fallen rider Jim Swarzman. Jim, a great friend of LACBC, was killed last Spring while riding his bike in San Diego County with his fiancee and a friend.

For every contribution to made to LACBC during the Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive, whether through membership or donation, AdventureCORPS, a promoter of endurance cycling and running events including the world-famous Furnace Creek 508 and the Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley, promised to match those contributions up to $10,000. Chris spread the word to the athletes who ride in all AdventureCORPS events, including the Death Valley Century and Double Century, the Mount Laguna Bicycle Classic held near San Diego, and Hell's Gate Hundred. Jim was a several-time veteran of AdventureCORPS events and well-known and liked in the ultracycling scene, so his untimely and senseless death really hit home for his fellow endurance riders. Their desire to help keep these types of unnecessary tragedies from happening again, with AdventureCORPS' backing and support, led to the most successful membership drive in LACBC history.

With your help, we were able to raise over $23,000 during the Jim Swarzman Memorial Drive on memberships and donations alone! As promised, Chris Kostman recently presented a check of $10,000 to our Executive Director Jennifer Klausner on top of the $23,000 raised (see below)!

Thank you to Chris and AdventureCORPS for their generosity and support! Thank you to the many of Jim's friends, family, and fellow endurance riders who have contributed! Thank you to all who donated and/or became members during the drive! And thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about making LA County a better, more bike-able place!
A short reply from Chris, pictured above with Jen Klausner of the LACBC: It is an honor to support LACBC's bicycle advocacy efforts in memory of our friend and Furnace Creek 508 veteran Jim Swarzman. Let's never forget Jim, nor stop fighting for safe streets for ALL road users!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Postcard from our AdventureCORPS Ambassador in Italy

Hello Chris,

I attach some picture of the "AdventureCORPS Italy Ambassador" during the last bike ride. Last monday me and Giovanna, my girlfriend, have gone in the south Garda lake area for a ride on the the cycling path Peschiera-Mantova, along the Mincio river. As you can see we don't like only cycling training but also visiting old villages and...tasting italian tortellini with a good glass of wine. And, as you can see, the AdventurCORPS bike shirt fit me perfect!

All the best
Riccardo Oliari

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bill Walton: AdventureCORPS Fan Number One!

Bill Walton: AdventureCORPS Fan Number One!
Bill Walton with his mentor, the legendary John Wooden

Bill Walton (born November 5, 1952), is a retired American basketball player and current television sportscaster. The “Big Red-Head”, as he was called, achieved superstardom playing for John Wooden's powerhouse UCLA Bruins in the early '70s and winning three straight College Player of the Year Awards and went on to have a prominent career in the NBA. Walton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on May 10, 1993 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame that same year. He is the father of current Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton. - Quoted from Bill's bio on Wikipedia

Less known is Bill's passion for bicycling, which dates to his college days at UCLA where he used a bicycle for transporation, in part because it allowed him to get around the campus without getting stopped so many times by fans, and beause he found cycling to be excellent cross-training for basketball. (See his book's Introduction at the bottom of this page.)

Bill first rode with us at the 2005 Fall Death Valley Century. He's been back for the 2006 and 2007 editions since then and we've become friends along the way. His enthusiasm for cycling, and for life itself, is invigorating. Not surprisingly, his wife Lori is also wonderful and one-of-a-kind. She and the wives of three of Bill's riding buddies provided outstanding support along the course in 2007. Since then, the "AdventureCORPS Event Staff" magnetic sign they used has been a permanent fixture on Bill's car in San Diego.

Here's what Bill had to say about his first ride with us, which you can also hear by clicking here:

"Hello, my name is Bill Walton and I'm just calling to thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible Death Valley adventure ride we just did up there last Saturday. I've never had more fun and it was my first time ever to Death Valley. You guys are remarkably professional. It was just such an exhilarating experience for me and I want to thank you for turning me onto one of the greatest spots on earth AND one of the truly fantastic events that I have ever had the privilege of being a participant in. You guys are unbelievable. You have so much to be proud of and I can't wait to start searching your website, adventurecorps.com, for more events in more fantastic, phenomenal places. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It could not have been better. We all had the time of our lives. You guys have a lot to be proud of. Way to go. Congratulations and one more time, thank you, thank you, thank you. We love adventurecorps.com. We love Death Valley. All right, you guys are the greatest. Bye now Thank you so much."

And to that we reply, "Thank You, Bill! It's a pleasure to know you and to have you enjoy our rides!"

Links:

Audio file: Bill's feedback about the 2005 Fall Death Valley Century

• “My bike is my wheelchair, my gym and my church, all in one,” says Bill Walton in a June 5, 2008 article from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

• Bill Walton's Personal Website

• Bill Walton's bio on Wikipedia.com

Bill Walton's Total Book of Bicycling (1984), available used on Amazon.com (Read the Introduction to the book at the bottom of this page.)

• The Bill Walton page on adventurecorps.com
Above: Bill with friends at the 2005 start line
Above: On the road with friends in 2006
Above: En route to Scotty's Castle in 2006

Above: With Jack Lindquist of Team Swarm! at Scotty's Castle in 2006
Above: En route to Scotty's Castle in 2007
Above: Lovely wife Lori (L) with Marty Metcalf, Leah Inniss, and Peggy Mazzella providing outstanding ride support in Death Valley in 2007

Here is the Introduction from Bill's book:

I wasn't surprised when U.S. riders swept half the cycling events at the Los Angeles Olympics and took more medals than anyone else. I had trained with members of the 1980 team in San Diego, and it wasn't easy keeping up with them. Anyone could see the sport here was taking off and I was glad of it, being a lifelong cyclist and enthusiastic member of the so-called "bike boom" of the seventies. Bicycles have been part of my life for a long time.

I was six years old when I rode a bicycle for the first time, and I still remember that experience clearly. The bike belonged to my older brother Bruce, and I'd been watching him ride long enough that I had the idea. As I recall, I just got on, Bruce gave me a push, and I rode it away. I'd been doing it in my imagination for some time, and it came naturally.

We lived on a hill, so I rode down the hill, and then I learned something else about bicycles when I rode back up. It really made an impression on me because it was a whole new way of moving, completely different from walking or running. It was a lot of fun - faster and more exciting, the kind of thing you tend to remember. It gave me a feeling of independence I really liked.

After that I was into bikes. As soon as my folks would allow it, I was riding all over San Diego, back and forth to the beach, everywhere. After a while I couldn’t find bikes to fit, but I always owned one. I rode to get where I wanted to go, but it always felt good. These were one-speed bikes I was riding, your basic bicycle, nothing expensive, and it wasn’t until years later, when I was at UCLA, that I started riding nice ten-speeds. I really appreciated the way this kind of bike responded, and expanded your range. Cycling became my alternate sport, though I didn’t think of it that way. It was a pure pleasure activity, and a healthy and productive one, I might add. Also it was to some extent an escape from the pressures of life. I could work things out on a ride.

My first derailleur bike was a green Bertin, which I bought because it was the tallest bike I could find - about a 25 1/2� frame, I think. It came from Hans Ort’s Westwood bike shop, and they fixed me up with an extra-long seatpost which let me stretch out my lefts for the first time in years. It also gave me a pretty radical position on the bike, since the handlebars were about five inches below the seat. After buying the Bertin, I took to dropping in at Hans’ shop when I had free time, and it was there that I found out about more serious cycling. I went out on rides with the guys who were racing, and through this I learned to respect the sport and the people involved in it. On the bike I was no start, just one of the group.

In college I got in the habit of riding quite frequently, especially in summer. Usually 40-60 mile rides, long enough to loosen up and unwind. I would do that probably four days a week during the summer. A couple of hundred miles a week, probably. I never consciously rode for fitness, but I know now that those rides were very beneficial in a variety of ways. I’m sure they gave me stamina and leg strength without putting stress on my knees and feet, and it never felt like work. It was the kind of activity that settled me down. I’ve always had to respect what a good ride can do for my mood. Going out on a bike is my idea of an excellent way to enjoy a sunny day. Being outside, getting into the movement and joy of the bike - it’s very satisfying to me, that feeling of freedom.

I took advantage of something else about the bicycle then, too: the privacy. There were a lot of basketball fans at UCLA and it could be difficult to cope with this at times. Between playing basketball and attending classes, I needed to get away, so I rode around campus rather walking. On the bike I was a lot less vulnerable, you might say; I was moving too fast for conversation. The bike gave me time by myself to digest the experiences I was having, and this was really important to me.

I finally hammered that poor Bertin to the point where I needed something new, and was lucky enough to meet a British professional rider named Norman Hill. He runs the Vancouver velodrome now, but at the time he was associated with the Falcon team. He arranged for me to get a road and a track bike. These Falcons were a necessity, actually; my size and weight were wrong for any stock bike. The were made of stronger tubing and had less flex; and I could feel the difference, especially when hammering a big gear or climbing hills off the saddle. My first ride with the track bike was a completely new experience, and I found I was still learning a lot about bicycles. These bikes were still a little on the small side, though; manufacturers aren’t geared up for out-size frames, basically. I measure out to a 29 1/2” frame, which creates all sorts of problems for the builder.

I might still be riding those Falcons except for a coincidence that brought me in contact with the 1980 Olympic track team, which moved to San Diego for quite some period of time to be near our velodrome. Harvey Nitz, Eric Heiden Mark Gorski, Brent Emery, John Beckmann, Dave Grylls - I can’t remember all the names - they were at a hotel near my house, and I’d go out with them, riding my Falcons. I learned a lot chasing them down the road, and missed them when they left. At that time, Eddy Borysewicz, the National coach, did me an important favor, by measuring me and arranging for Ted Kirkbride, who also built the American Masi bicycles, to build me a pair of bikes that really fit. Ted sent to England for special heavy tubing normally used on tandem bicycles, then built me both a road and a track bike, and they were just fine. It way my first experience with what it’s like to be on a bicycle that really fits and has good rigidity, and I can vouch for the advantages of this. These aren’t neighborhood bikes though, and I also have a stock Nishiki with butterfly handlebars that I knock around on.

Over the years I’ve thought about what is so different and unique about riding a bicycle. It’s not easy to define; I have to compare it to other things I really like, such as rock music and basketball. A bicycle gives me a special combination of rhythm and speed that is continuously exciting, and it’s different all the time. There’s a freshness to it.

I rely on my bikes for this, and often wished to communicate these feelings, but I never did anything about it until Bjarne Rostaing spoke to me about the possibility of doing a book several years ago. Not a specialist’s book, but an introduction to the bicycle with basic useful information about all aspects of the bicycle and how to enjoy it, rather than just purely mechanical things. It passed from my mind until half a year later, when Bjarne wrote me about the idea. I spoke to some cycling people we knew in common, and I got a positive impression. This is the book we came up with and I think it covers the territory. I could definitely have used a copy back when I was learning things the hard way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Ride of Your Life Virtual Book Visits the AdventureCORPS Blog! Feb 17, 2009

The Ride of Your Life Virtual Book Visits the AdventureCORPS Blog!

A few weeks ago, author and road cyclist David Rowe released a new book called “The Ride of Your Life.” His goal in writing the book, he says, is to help others achieve great things on the bicycle and in life.


With his son Evan, David created Ready to Ride® in 2005 with the same objective. For more than three years now, he’s been helping cyclists who, like himself, do not have a background in road racing, excel at long distance riding events through his blog posts and eBooks, which are available through RoadBikeRider.com

Aside from his avocation for road cycling, David's professional life has centered on a career in magazine publishing and Internet marketing. He has held executive roles in product development and marketing for leading companies in the magazine and Internet industries. For the past nine years, he has been an active participant in the emerging online health and wellness industries as a vice president with WebMD.

David holds a Masters in Business Administration from Portland State University and is a frequent guest lecturer in the Graduate School on topics ranging from Internet marketing to consumer engagement.

We are pleased to welcome David to the AdventureCORPS blog!

Chris Kostman: What was your motivation for writing The Ride of Your Life?

David Rowe: I have been a writer for most of my professional life. I started my career as a newspaper reporter, then progressed to magazine writing and editing. I written scripts for radio, TV, but I’ve never taken on a book-length project, never really thought I had that much to say about any single topic. That changed for me, when I got into ultradistance cycling.

When I made the leap from centuries to brevets, I set my first year goal to ride the Cascade 1200 in Washington. Training for that doubled and tripled my weekly riding time. That surprised me, and just about everyone else involved in my life, who felt they, too, were impacted by the changes. But everyone was supportive; it was part of my 50th birthday plan to drive a serious stake the ground of life.

The problem was, once I completed that ride, brevet riding had gotten deep under my skin, especially the rides of 300K or more. I didn’t want to back-off, but I also knew that I couldn’t go on ignoring important aspects of life that I had put on hold in order to complete the training and the events that year.

I had used something called “The Insight System for Planning” for many years to set goals at work, and to keep work and personal life in balance. I experimented by applying those concepts to endurance cycling, to see if I could integrate it with my career and family goals. It worked in surprising ways, too. I found that the lessons I learned training for long rides, and handling the physical pain and suffering that is so often a part of long distance cycling, helped me to put other challenging aspects of my life into perspective. And, I found that the time I spent alone on the bike helped me to cherish my family and my profession even more.

At the same time, I noticed that others I rode with were pouring far more of their lives into cycling than I did. Some of them have families, young children. Most are married. Most have great jobs. Most were living the kinds of lives that most of the population of this country only sees on TV or in the movies … so much wealth. And yet, these guys were putting it all at risk, over investing, in my opinion.

I thought, maybe, what I’d learned could help others, just as it has helped me. So I sat down to write the book. I thought I’d be done in six months. It took me three years.

Chris: Do you think there are common traits among those who participate in ultra-endurance sports?

David: I think people who participate in endurance cycling have a lot in common. You have to love living in the aerobic zone; that’s an addiction that was vetted long ago. But more important, I believe that people who get involved in ultraendurance cycling love the challenge, and they love the fact that “it’s out there.” Completing an event like a 1200K brevet or an ultra like the Furnace Creek makes you different from the rest of the crowd, and I think everyone who rides these events will have to admit that’s an aspect of participation that they appreciate.

Chris: What motivates you to ride brevets, as opposed to ultracycling events?

David: It’s due in part to the way I came into ultracycling and what was available to me. The popularity of randonneuring in the Pacific Northwest is remarkable. It’s comparable to the popularity of double-centuries in California.

Washington and Oregon have led the nation with respect to total kilometers logged by Randonnerus USA. Between March and September, you could find at least two official brevets each month, often more. The terrain here – the Cascade Range, in particular – lends itself to this form of cycling. Brevets require minimal support, so the clubs can sponsor two or three brevet series, so long as enough riders take their turn volunteering to provide support. The result is that we ride through some of the most out-of-this-world landscapes on the planet, without all the hassle of preparing for an ultra.

I’ve always loved mountaineering, navigating, and wrenching my own bike. Randonneuring brings those all together in one sport. And it’s not officially competitive, or at least that’s what randos say out loud to others. But out there on the road, there are mini-competitions going on throughout the day, especially at the front, where you find the fast guys are often the same guys who show well at the ultra events, like Race Across Oregon, or Furnace Creek.

Chris: I know you’ve written on your Blog that one of the goals on your list is to complete Race Across Oregon (an event which is definitely not a brevet). When are you going to check that one off?

David: I’ve told George Thomas and Terri Gooch that I’ll be riding RAO this year. It wasn’t an easy decision for me. The Davis Bike club is hosting the Goldrush Randonnee in the same time frame, and it’s held just once every four years, so that was a factor to be considered. The cost of RAO would be higher than what I’m used to, due to the need for a follow-van and a support crew.

RAO is competitive. I haven’t raced bicycles; riding has always been a past time for me, though it’s been an increasingly challenging one. I have competed in sports throughout my life, but never on the bike. So that, too, was a hurdle.

I worked through the decision and I’ve been training for RAO since November 2008. Most of that has been a focus on re-habbing chronic knee pain, and strengthening a weak Achilles tendon.

Justin Peschka, who coaches for CTS, has designed my training program and we’ve been working on increasing my rolling speed. It’s been very, very fruitful. He worked with me during the 2008 season, and with his help, I completed the Rocky Mountain 1200 in less than 74 hours. His experience as a rider at Furnace Creek (and crewing RAAM) has given me the confidence to commit to RAO. He’ll be captain of my crew at RAO.

Chris: That's awesome. Justin has actually won Furnace Creek 508 twice in the solo division! So, looking back on the events you have ridden in the past five years are so, which would you say was the ride of your life?

David: Without question, the Cascade 1200K in 2006 was the ride of my life at that point. I was turning 50 years old, and I held up the completion of that ride as a sort of personal yardstick in many ways. Physical fitness, mental toughness, mechanical aptitude, that ride had it all going on for me.

I wrote a 13,000-word, six-part blog post about that ride. It was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more. Looking back on it, knowing that I almost quit, just 110 miles from the finish, is a reminder of the work I needed to do on myself, which could only be done on a ride like that, on an event like that. When I decided that I was going to finish, I had a massive time deficit, and I rode the fastest century of my life to finish just 60 seconds under the time cut-off. Even right now, I cannot possibly put into words how grateful I am to everyone who helped me that day.

Having said that, I have to say that each year, my goal rides become just as important to me as that one was then, because of the process I go through to pick them. In 2007, it was the Portland-to-Glacier 1000K. In 2008, it was the SIR 3 Passes 600K, and the Rocky Mountain 1200K in BC. Each one of those rides was epic, and I’ll never forget them.

I hope that in reading my book, others will find the rides of their lives, too, and when they do, they will finish them, and find meaning in them that transcends the ride.

Chris: Thanks, David, for your comments, and thanks for stopping by AdventureCORPS. I am sure our athletes will benefit from your thoughts, and your book.

If you’d like to learn more about David’s book, The Ride of Your Life, be sure to check it out at RoadBikeRider.com.

You can drop by David’s blog, too, and keep this conversation going. Visit him at http://www.readytoride.biz.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Meeting Dennis Chrisopher, AKA "Dave Stoller" of "Breaking Away"


Caption: The Thrill of a Lifetime: Meeting Dennis Christopher, AKA "Dave Stoller," the star of "Breaking Away"

Location: Competitor Magazine Film Festival, which screened "Breaking Away" as the final feature, on the 30th anniversary of the film's original release in 1979!(January 30, 2009)

Note: I started cycling in 1982 and watched this film on videotape - while eating a whole box of Macaroni and Cheese (and often a pizza, too) - the night before every century, double century, and bike race I entered for several years. To meet "Dave Stoller" after all these years was truly magical. He was extremely personable, signed a photo from the film for me, and seemed genuinely pleased when I told him how much the film affected me and how often I watched it "back in the day" - as well as how much I still appreciate the film on other levels now that I am a bit older. He's a class act and, yes, he says he still has the Masi!

More on Dennis Christopher.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Carpooling and Ride-Sharing to and from Death Valley; Hotel Room Sharing, Too

We encourage carpooling to and from our Spring and Fall Death Valley Century and Double Century events, as well as to and from all our other events, such as the Badwater Ultramarathon, Furnace Creek 508, and CORPScamp. With hundreds of participants coming to Death Valley from 20 or more states and many foreign countries, there must be somebody who lives near you, or along the route you'll be driving, or perhaps someone who just needs a ride to and from the airport in Vegas or LA if they are flying to the event. Share the ride! Save gas! Save money! Save the earth!

Please use this section of the blog to connect with other AdventureCORPS participants, staff, and support members - you can save money, save gas, help to protect the environment, and - hopefully - meet some cool people, too! (You can also use this page to find potential roommates for CORPScamp Death Valley or any of our one-day events in Death Valley.)

(Note: We are provide a service here, allowing people to meet and share rides. We can't and don't guarantee anything about the people you'll meet, so be careful and use your best judgement. Review the Personal Safety Tips that Craigslist uses on their Rideshare page here.)

Click the "Comments" button below and leave your request for a ride, or offer to share your trip or room!
Most importantly, mention the specific event to which you will be traveling AND list a method for contacting you. (If you don't, we will reject your post and it will not be published.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Furnace Creek 508: Looking to Join a Support Crew?


Are you looking to support a solo cyclist or relay team during the toughest 48 hours in sport, Furnace Creek 508? Great! Not only would you be helping somebody complete the race, but you would learn a lot in the in process and also acquire another important component for any future FC 508 application (if it's your goal to compete some day). You can post your availability to do so by making a "comment" below. Please state your name, location, age, cycling background, and any other relevant information about why you'd be a great support crew member for a 508 cyclist or team. Most importantly, list a method for contacting you (email and/or phone). (If you don't, we will reject your post and it will not be published.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Badwater: Looking to Join a Support Crew?

Are you looking to support a runner during the world's toughest foot race, the Badwater Ultramarathon? Great! Not only would you be helping somebody complete the race, but you would learn a lot in the in process and also acquire another important component for any future Badwater application (if it's your goal to compete some day). You can post your availability to do so by making a "comment" below. Please state your name, location, age, running background, and any other relevant information about why you'd be a great support crew member for a Badwater runner. Most importantly, list a method for contacting you. (If you don't, we will reject your post and it will not be published.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barbara Warren: 1943-2008

Above: Barbara and Angelika at the start of the 2001 Race Across America, which they completed as a two-woman relay team. Below: Barbara with her also lovely daughter, at the RAAM start line. Photos by Chris Kostman.
"When you're stuck sitting in a comfort zone, small problems become magnified. Get out of your comfort zone, touch the edge, and you come back with an appreciation for life." - Barbara Warren, 1943-2008
______________________________

ENDURANCE SPORTS LOSE ONE OF LEGENDARY TWINS

Article by Don Norcross, from the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 28, 2008:

Three days after a bike accident left her paralyzed from the neck down, Barbara Warren, one of San Diego's elite age-group triathletes, died Tuesday night in a Santa Barbara hospital.

She was 65.

Warren was competing in the Santa Barbara Triathlon on Saturday when she crashed. Race director Joe Coito said participants told him Warren crashed on a downhill road about halfway into the 34-mile bike portion of the event.

By Tuesday, doctors told family members that Warren's paralysis would be permanent. She was breathing with the aid of a ventilator. According to family members, Warren was conscious and communicated by nodding her head and blinking her eyes.

Warren's twin sister, Angelika Drake, said Warren decided she wanted to be taken off the ventilator and die.

"I talked to her and she nodded over and over and over again. She wanted to leave," Drake said. "No athlete would like to have a life with only their eyes talking."

Tom Warren, Barbara's husband, said he repeatedly asked Barbara what action she wanted to take, as did Barbara's two adult daughters and her doctors.

"She was asked in different ways, different contexts and she was so adamant about it," Tom said. "She had her mind made up."

Barbara Warren raced at the Ford Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii 13 times. She won her age group in 2003 and finished in the top five eight times.

Her athletic realm stretched far beyond the Big Island and triathlon's most famous race. In 2001, Warren and Drake set a two-person age-group record in the Race Across America. Alternating riding bikes, the twins covered 2,983 miles in nine days, 13 hours.

Warren competed in the Marathon des Sables, a seven-day race across the Sahara Desert, and raced a triple Ironman in France, requiring 50 hours to finish a 7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike and 78.6-mile run.

About pushing herself in endurance events, Warren once said, "When you're stuck sitting in a comfort zone, small problems become magnified. Get out of your comfort zone, touch the edge, and you come back with an appreciation for life."

San Diegan Kim Rouse, a longtime runner who took up triathlon six years ago, said more than anything Barbara Warren was a role model.

"When she was doing all these endurance events it was so amazing to me," Rouse said.

Warren led a fascinating life long before she began running, biking and swimming.

Born in Austria, she moved to Florence, Italy, in her late teens to study art. She became a model, appearing in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, according to Drake. She moved to Mexico and acted in films.

"She was mostly a villain," Drake said.

The sisters opened boutiques, plus modeling and ballet schools in Mexico. In San Diego, Warren studied to become a psychologist.

"She did as much as she could all the time," said Tom Warren, winner of the second Ironman Triathlon World Championship. "There were no shortcuts."

Olympic triathlon silver medalist and Ironman Hawaii champion Michellie Jones of Carlsbad remembers Warren for her kindness. Like Warren, Jones is a twin.

"She always asked about my sister," Jones said. "She understood the bond."

Warren passed away with her daughters, Ingrid, 33, and Katrin, 27, standing beside her, touching her head. Drake lay beside her sister when she died.

"My heart and my soul are gone," Drake said. "She was everything in my life."

Services are pending.

Read this article online at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Read the LA Times coverage.

Read about Barbara and Angelika at Competitor.com (you can post comments, too).

Visit The Twin Team website.

Note: Barbara and her sister Angelika competed on a 4x women's team in the 1995 Furnace Creek 508. They both completed the Badwater Ultramarathon in 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1999. I happily crossed paths with them around the globe, at some of my favorite events and places, over the last 20 years. The Twins have been, without fail, a double shot of beauty, energy, elegance, sportwomanship, integrity, grace under pressure, and friendship - every single time I encountered them.

We send our deepest condolences to all of Barbara and Angelika's family.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2008 Major Taylor Statue Unveiling in Worcester, MA

The Major Taylor Association was formed by residents of Worcester, MA who became intrigued with the story of Marshall "Major" Taylor, the 1899 world champion bicycle racer from Worcester who overcame racial prejudice to become the first internationally acclaimed African-American sports star. One of the MTA's main goals was to erect a statue in honor of Taylor.

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and three-time Olympic medalist Edwin Moses were among the featured speakers at the public unveiling of the Major Taylor Statue on Wednesday, May 21, at the Worcester, MA Public Library.

LeMond, who won a world championship in cycling 90 years after Major Taylor did, and Moses, who dominated the 400-meter hurdles in track and field for a decade, were each named "Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year" at the height of their athletic careers in the 1980s. The statue of the "Worcester Whirlwind" created by sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez is Worcester's first monument to an African-American.

That evening, the Clark University History Department and Higgins School of Humanities presented a panel discussion on "Race, Sports, and Major Taylor's Legacy." Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson was moderator for the scholars, historians and authors exploring diversity in sports and society, then and now.

I was extremely pleased and honored to attend the ceremony and all the festivities surrounding the unveiling of the Major Taylor Statue in Worcester, MA. Every moment of this experience was meaningful and inspiring and the memories will last a lifetime. I hope the video, the audio files, and this slideshow help to commemorate a wonderful and historic occasion. (I also took the opportunity to visit the site of Henry David Thoreau's cabin in the woods at nearby Walden Pond.) Full story, slideshow, video, and audio files.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour

Imagine a two-day cycling event which doesn’t allow Lycra, requires no training (but lots of good attitude) and features riders in 1930s era “street” clothing who stop at every single scenic overlook, roadside historical marker, and café they encounter, while riding old British 3-speed bikes. This is the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour and it’s the coolest, most fun, most enjoyable, and perhaps the most thought-provoking bicycle event I’ve ever attended - and now I have attended three years in a row! Report, video, and three slideshows.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2007 Hammer Camp: A Skeptical Cyclist in Tucson

You don’t have to call me a skeptic; I’ve been a member of the Skeptics Society since it was founded by fellow Race Across America competitor Michael Shermer in 1992. Not only that, but I bagged out of the last two week-long cycling camps I attended because they were so poorly organized and populated with people who had zilch to talk about besides, well, cycling. In on case I left after less than 24 hours and in the other I survived 48 hours before I escaped to another hotel and my own itinerary.

So what the heck was I doing on my way to Tucson, en route to the December cycling camp hosted by the cycling food gurus at Hammer Nutrition and based at “The Cycling House?” I guess I was wishing for “third time’s a charm” and not “three strikes, you’re out.” (Not to mention a leg up on the impending holiday food fests.)

Fingers crossed, I exited I-10 in Tucson after a 400-mile cruise from my base camp. Full story.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2007 Ironman Revisited: My Day in the Sun

Aloha! I recently retuned from the Ironman Revisited Triathlon on behalf of Challenged Athletes Foundation. Held Sunday, August 12, it was a remake of the original Ironman on the original route in the original format. Even the legendary Dave Scott, the six-time Ironman champ who first won the race on this very route in 1980, was there. But Ironman Revisited is much more than a race or an exploration of triathlon’s origins, it’s a fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation. I am absolutely thrilled that we raised $27,365 for the cause this year! I also completed the course solo with the help of a tremendous support crew. Full story, slideshow, and video.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

2007 Michael Secrest's 24 Hour World Indoor Track Cycling Record

Michael "Bulldog" Secrest, one of the greatest superheroes of ultracycling, broke the 24-Hour Indoor World Cycling Record Friday-Saturday, June 15-16, 2007. This was his second successful attempt at this record in well under a year. Beginning at 835am on Friday, Secrest circled the amazing indoor velodrome at the ADT Event Center in Carson, CA for 24 hours, covering 535.86 miles (exact distance to be certified soon). Secrest actually broke this same world record in October, 2006 at this same velodrome, when he bettered the 530.41 mile mark set by Rod Evans in Australia in 1994 with a distance of 534.75 miles. He finished that effort knowing he could go further, hence his return to the LA Velodrome. Full story, slideshow, and videos.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

2007 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour

Imagine a two-day cycling event which has no entry fee, doesn’t allow Lycra, requires no training (but lots of good attitude) and features riders in 1930s era “street” clothing who stop at every single scenic overlook, roadside historical marker, and café they encounter, while riding old British 3-speed bikes that are commonly seen offered for a few bucks in garage sales. This is the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour and it’s the coolest, most fun, most enjoyable, and perhaps the most thought-provoking bicycle event I’ve ever attended. Report and three captioned slideshows.