So like a year ago I set this ridicules goal of riding my bike across America and raising $100,000.00. I didn’t really realize how much a $100,000.00 was until I started helping my parents and team raise it. There have been times that I have thought “what was I thinking” both about the riding and the fundraising. Thankfully my Mom or Dad was always there to remind me that giving up is not an option. Today when I got home from school my parents sat me down and said that all the fundraising our team has done so far has been added up. When they told me we were in the $80,000.00 range I was shocked. Then I thought about all the hard work our whole team has been doing to help me. There is NO WAY I could have done it without their help. I just want to thank them today and let them know I really appreciate them. Thanks guys! We are almost there.
I was just about to head out on one of my training rides when my Dad asked if I would mind doing another interview with Channel 13. They wanted to know how I felt after Floyd made some pretty big claims about Lance doping today. I have to be honest I just wanted to hurry and get my training ride in because I wanted to go to the jumps with my friends before dark, but then I figured it’s probably the right thing to do…answer questions, even though sometimes I’d rather be playing. I have read Lances books and I follow him on twitter so I kind of already have an opinion of the situation but my Mom and Dad said I needed to do my research and form a strong opinion of my own and not one that came from them. I went in the office and started looking up interviews on the topic and I watched and read several. Then I just sat on the bed and really thought about it. If you want to know what I said tune in tonight. I have no idea what the story will end up sharing but I promise to give you the rest of the story in the morning.
P.S. If you go to the News section on this blog all the other news clips from this past week are up.
Today a nice lady named Becky, that I have never met wrote my a note on my blog. She was telling me about her son Ryan. He had a web site so I checked it out and I wanted to share his story with all of the loyal followers who check out my blog daily. Tomorrow when I ride my bike me, my Mom and Dad will be riding for Ryan. So below is part of his story that I copied and pasted. Thank you Becky.
Our Ryan graciously concluded his final set on June 4, 2009. He was our youngest child and only son. He thoroughly loved life, especially TamaleThursdays, but mostly he loved his beautiful Sara.
Ryan received a life-saving transplant when a sudden illness assaulted his heart at age 5, followed by a second transplant at age 14. In light of those two immense gifts, and because of the scarcity of organs, he declined a place on the transplant list when his heart began to fail once more. He believed “it was someone else’s turn.”
So instead of receiving, in death he gave. As an organ and tissue donor, he fulfilled his desire to pay forward the Great Gift of Life. He was 23 years old.
Ryan grew up in California and after graduating from high school in 2004, he attended college in Utah. He married his best friend, Sara, in December 2006. She was the light of his life. After a sudden heart attack in March of 2009, he fought courageously, hoping to return to their life together. The two shared an unselfish love that was an inspiration to us all as we watched them devote their whole heart and energy to the other’s comfort during the heartache of loss and impending parting.
Ryan’s clever wit and off-beat sense of humor brought laughter and eased tension at unexpected moments, even during his suffering. He won the hearts of his caretakers and impressed us all with his incredible graciousness. His music touched our emotions. He was a great friend, a kind brother, a beloved uncle, a devoted husband, and always a son to be proud of.
Our Good-Bye might not have come so soon were it not for the shortage of donor organs. Every year, hundreds of life-saving organs are buried and wasted. If you are so inclined, please go to OrganDonor.GOV and sign up to be a donor, and discuss your desires with your family. We wish you and your loved ones a long and healthy life, but when you are called Home, why not be somebody’s hero?
Sunday morning started early for me, I was up at 6:00am and headed to Nevada City soon after. We went straight to our good friends the Doolittle’s, they live right on the race route. There was a really nice spread of food at their house so we ate and watched all the people arriving and heading down to the start. Katherine Doolittle and Duane Strawser are the main people who set me up for a day of dreams coming true. I knew going into the day that I would be riding in the VIP chase vehicle but I didn’t know for sure I’d meet Lance. I tried not to get my hopes up, I just wanted to be sure to enjoy the adventure no matter what it was. So around 10:00am me and my family started walking around and headed to the riders motor homes. It was amazing to see all the cool bikes and a bunch of riders. At the very top of the hill I could see hundreds, maybe thousands of people crowded around the Radio Shack Motor home. I was totally shocked to see how many people were there just hoping to catch a look at Lance. Me and my Dad headed towards Radio Shacks motor home and just kind of checked out the bikes and looked at Lance’s bike. Still I am in total amazement. I have read 3 books on Lance, I follow him on Twitter, I follow him in races, I could tell you so much about him because he is a Hero to me (along with my Dad). I could just feel this weird excitement being so close to someone who has worked as hard as anyone I have ever heard of, trying to reach a goal. When my Dad and I were looking at everything my Mom got a call for us to RUN to the VIP booth that there might be a slim chance I could meet Lance. So of course me and my family bolt. It was 3 blocks away and there were so many fans it was hard to weave through all the craziness. Once we got to the booth they told us we needed to RUN back up to the Radio Shack bus. This time it was 3 blocks up hill (good thing we are in such good shape). When we got there they took our group straight to the door where the riders exited the bus. Then we waited for a while. It was really hard to see so many fans trying so hard to come up with a story to get closer to Lance. I felt really bad, I mean why was I so lucky? Once Lance came out of the motor home I got shoved straight into him, it was crazy all of a sudden a huge rush of people with cameras all push forward to get a shot of him. My Mom was trying to push her way forward to be with me, luckily she is tough because next thing I know she is right beside me. Lance grabbed my helmet and said “not much room to sign this” and then said “good job on RAAM” (I think, it’s all a blur). On his way out I asked if he would sign my shirt and he said in a super friendly voice “sure”, then as he rode off my Mom yelled “Thanks Lance, we will be cheering the loudest for you today”. After he was gone I felt someone tug on my arm and say “Hey Connor over here” it was a news guy then next thing I know I am totally surrounded by cameras and microphones. Once again my Mom was standing there holding me and helping me to answer a few questions. I couldn’t take long because the AMGEN people were yelling for me to now RUN back down the 3 blocks to get in the chase vehicle. My Dad, Mom and I were quickly shoved in cars and next thing I know I am one of the lead cars going 45 miles an hour down the swervy streets of Nevada city. You would not believe how fast and crazy these riders are. It always felt like we couldn’t go fast enough in the car to get away from them. To look out the back window and see the peloton chasing us was the coolest. Once the route reached El Dorado County we could hear people say “hey that’s Connor” or “go Connor”. So many people on the route knew who I was? It was the weirdest thing ever! Once we got to the tent right in front of the finish line we grabbed some treats from the buffet and watched the circuit finish. To see the guys that crashed on the last lap come across the finish with torn, bloody, gear on was a real trip. Tom Boonen came across seriously looking like someone put him through the cheese grader and he was still riding! What a stud!
After that I rushed home to get ready for a dinner with the riders at their hotel downtown. Radio SHack wasn’t there but plenty of other teams were. It was so cool because it was super chill, no media no cameras (except mine). The riders were in their sweats just eating. I can’t even remember what I ate because I was so happy to just be there. Seriously I am in a room with George Hincapie, Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jen Voigt, Mark Cavendish, Stuart O’Grady, Tom Boonen, and Chris Baldwin (his wife is super nice). These are just some of the guys I talked to. There were so many nice riders in the room and I got so many pictures and autographs it was fantastic!!!! When I went to bed sunday night I couldn’t stop thinking about my day. It still feels like a dream. This morning my parents woke me up and said “channel 3 is wanting to do a live shot with you this morning” so I hurried and got a shower and next thing I know the news crew is in my house? I was really out of it for the interview I don’t think I was awake yet. It was really nice of channel 3 to do the story though because they totally let me and my Mom plug our cause. Hopefully we will get some more donations from it so I can reach the goal I set in October. Most importantly (as my Mom and Dad remind me) I hope it helps people to want to be Organ Donors. Before I sign off and hit the sack I want to say “Hey Lance if you read this thanks for being so cool!”
Pictures and story coming tomorrow, I’m way to tired to tell you everything.
I cant wait to go to the Amgen Tour of California! I will be in the peloton follow vehicle which will be amazing! I might get to meet Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer which would be a dream come true. Tomorrow night me and my dad will even get to go to the VIP dinner, how cool is that? In the follow vehicle we don’t stop for 4 hours, I’m super nervous I’m gonna have to pee. Seriously I’m 12 how the heck am I gonna hold it for 4 hours? Don’t get me wrong I’m excited to be in the car I’m just really nervous. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m gonna say if I meet Lance? He is such a hero. Well I have to hit the sack I have an early morning, oh but before I do I need to send out a quick shout to Katherine Doolittle and my friends at GSDS for helping set up this dream come true. I love you!
P.S. My cousin Trenton is really sick right now and I just want to tell him “I hope you get better soon I miss hangin out with you.” (he is super cool)