Wednesday, August 18, 2010

He Tries and Why on August 29!

The following is the letter, from my husband Bob of  He is dedicating his Ironman on August 29 to his father, Dr. Ronald Caravona, who has been living with MS for over two decades when he was about Bob's age.  Bob is fundraising in his father's honor for a cure to MS.  Bob wrote "I intend to email family, friends and colleagues. A more difficult task than I realized in creating an email with a photo and hot links...whew, glad that is over! . . .

“An Ironman, Are You Insane?”

This is often is the response I hear when telling someone of my intention to compete in the Louisville Ironman on August 29th. Inspiring me to complete this 140 mile endurance test, consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles of cycling and a 26.2 mile marathon, is my father who lives with M.S.

Swimming, bicycling and running are activities we’ve all enjoyed at some time in our lives but what if something prevented you from doing just one these ever again? In the past, Dad enjoyed doing these simple, leisure activities with his family and friends. Someday, he hopes to do them again.

To bring awareness about M.S. and honor my Father, I am fund-raising on behalf of the National M.S. Society - Kentucky/Southeast Indiana Chapter. I’m asking you to join us on this journey and show your support through a tax deductible donation. Please follow the “Janus Charity Challenge” link to a donation page that honors my father. Donations must be made by August 28th !

You may also visit my personal webpage,, to read about my year-long training effort as well as the virtual Loop Summer Running Series, an original fund-raising activity I created on Runner’s World On-line where runners competed in six races throughout the Summer and email their times to me, thereby competing against each other -- virtually! At , you will also find a “Janus Charity Challenge” button which will lead you to donation site as well.


Mom; Trese, Mike, Lucy and Becky; Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed Halko; Scott and Susan Lowe; Andrew Rusk; Team Pikermi; Thomas Osterbuh; Keeley Brooks; Pikermi 1; Aunt Sandy; Running Loopster; Anonymous – both of you!; Kelli Todd; Kelly Williamson; Grateful Loopster!

In advance, thank you for your support!

Bob Caravona


Depending upon your email service, you may have to open the attached .pdf file for the above picture and obtain the links to the donation website.

If you have questions, call me at 928-814-8XXX or send me an email at .
Please forward this email to family, friends, colleagues or folks who you think may find this interesting.

On Aug. 29th, Race Day, you can track my progress at Also, Karen may be tracking my progress on a TWITTER account!

So. visit the updates!

WEATHER FORECAST: a scorcher with temps mid 90’s – didn’t quite plan for this in my training!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Clips of Faith - Bike-in Movie Date

The Planner Guy and I went to Clips of Faith, a bike-in movie and fundraiser for Flagstaff Biking Organization sponsored by New Belgium Brewing.  Attendees could purchase tokens for tastes of various New Belgium beers, including the new Lips of Faith brews.  The film was a compilation of 20 film shorts about beer, bikes sustainability, simple living and whimsy, shown under the stars at Thorpe Park.

Here Bob and I pedaled in on a frequently used urban trail route through Ponderosa Trails. I wore my favorite Ann Taylor cardigan and a new pair of modern fit straight cut jean from Eddie Bauer, my new favorite jeans.

And Handsome Bob.

Tents for libation and Bigfoot BBQ!

One of our lovely beer mistresses and a Clips of Faith Patron.

Bicyclists with that special fashion je ne sais quoi.  Very Mountain Town Cycle Chic.

And Martin, Flagstaff Bike Czar loved by all volunteering at one of the beer booths.

We found a spot to sit and enjoy pulled chicken BBQ sandwiches and some of the best dill potato salad we've ever tasted.

And Bob, with beer in hand and a mountain  in the foreground.

Shortly before the beginning of the start of the movie, the Clips of Faith logo on the screen.  We found a nice comfy spot to sit near the screen and enjoyed really funny, inspiring, creative shorts.  Regrettably, the warm August day fooled me into forgetting how much the temperature drops when the sun goes down.  Note to self:  carry We neglected pack a blanket and some wool socks to this Friday's Prairie Home Companion show at Pine Mountain Amphitheater.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Bike Guy

Bob put new tires on his Kestrel in preparation of the Louisville Ironman at August 29.  We drove to Landis Bikes in Phoenix to have it shipped to the 'Ville on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grateful for Bikes and the Farmers Market

My cousin Angie came visiting from the Valley this weekend and we took a bike trip downtown to the Flagstaff Community Market.  Oh, the color, the dogs, the activist and the bicyclists!  Is it any wonder why people who pedal love the farmers market?

I met this fashionable lady at the flower stand, first spotting her bike and then her when she stepped over to put her purchases in her basket.  I love her hat and dress.  The statement is pure "I love being a girl!".  (As we all should!)  She rides an old vintage bike of indeterminate maker (I'm sure some reader will be able to identify it) but the owner told me it is a Grateful Dead bike and noted the Dead logos.  Shocking that I should run into a bike riding Deadhead at the Flagstaff Community Market!

Angie was taken with the beetle bike bell . . ;

and the colorful spokes.

Angie is 15 years younger than me.  Years ago when she was a mere 13, all the Voyer cousins were in Mystic, Connecticut for a family reunion and decided to break out from the oldsters and drive to Boston to see John Williams' Farewell July 4 Concert in Fenway Park.  Being from a small Pennsylvania town, my little cousin gasped in admiration at the diversity, literally breathing "Oh, the diversity!".  Not surprisingly she loves downtown Flagstaff and all who can be seen at the Sunday farmers market. 

Angie was also quite taken with Bob's Jet Star.  She and her husband have recently purchased a small house near the light rail station in Glendale.  Doug plans to start biking to work and Angie is now interested in combining rail and biking to get where she wants to go.  Likewise she's looking at possible options for hauling her 18-month-old daughter.  Our Sunday ride was a great opportunity for her to pedal with an experienced bike commuter and get tips on how to be safe on the road and also carrying one's "stuff".  I hope I wasn't too overbearing as an instructor but it was great fun to be showing my cousin what I had learned during the last few years bike commuting.  We stopped by Absolute Bike and looked at several bikes and discussed the pros and cons of each, and I pointed out helpful upgrades like bells, headlights and  bike racks that I can't imagine doing without. 

Above all, when we returned home we logged on to SRAB (Angie already is a regular reader) and I directed her to the links to all the blogs I regularly read and encouraged her to visit them for further ideas about bikes, accessories, riding with kids and road safety.  By the time Angie left for the Valley she said she had a better idea of what she was looking for in a bike and planned to start searching Craig's List for her perfect bike.  I can't wait to see what she ends up with.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Flattery and Motivation and Other Stuff

I received a nice plug earlier this week from Jackie Dishner who authors the blog BIKE With Jackie, a motivational blog that documents Jackie's experiences overcoming life obstacles and discovering opportunities through BIKE.  Jackie defines BIKE as mental and a way of being but first began connecting the dots of positive change while using her bicycle as part of her healing from a life changing event.  I was extremely flattered that Jackie thought my blog might have something worthwhile to offer her readers.  I wonder often if my blog is just an exercise in self-indulgence.  After all, I'm pretty much as much of a mess as the next person.  What could I possibly have to share that is of any real benefit to anyone?  I definitely appreciate reading that what I'm putting out there might be of some value to another person.  One thing that is constantly being reinforced to me from reading other blogs and the commentary is that we're all pretty much made from the same stuff to one degree or another.

Off the Bike, On the Water, and In the Sun

Heavy, persistent monsoon rains have been with us for the last few weeks making our high mountain desert climate seem more like cloudy, wet Pacific Northwest.  As a result, I 've been on the bike a little less, car pooling instead to work with Bob.  Thursday, though, we enjoyed a sunny day and decided to take advantage of the dry, warm conditions and go to Lake Mary where Bob would practice open water swimming for his upcoming Louisville Ironman while I paddle behind him in the kayak.

Bob recently competed in the Mountain Man Sprint Triathlon also held at Lake Mary, where he swam 750 meters.  Open water swims tend to be the most intimidating part of triathlons from what I'm told and Bob felt he needed the extra practice getting comfortable in murky, choppy water. 

We purchased an on sale kayak a few weeks ago at Dick's Sporting Goods so he could push himself a little further with each swim while having the knowledge rescue is close by if he gets in over his head (no pun intended).

Here is Bob at the Mountain Man in his wet suit . . . .

and here he is pre-race, setting up his bike at the staging area.

Bob, post-race with medal . . .

The Kestrel was a big change from his commuter bike, needing considerable adjustment and refinement, especially with respect to the aerobar attachments (the whole system is called a "Profile Cobra Carbon Cockpit").    I won't even get into the issues related the saddle . . . .  Anyway, we're taking the Kestrel to the Valley next weekend to have it disassembled and shipped to the 'Ville and reassembled for the Ironman.  Apparently, triathlons are a high maintenance sport.  Of course, not one to be left out, I've considered purchasing a folding bike to take along with us so that I can easily follow Bob (off course, naturally) and document his challenge.  It's a pretty big deal for him because he is competing in honor of his father, who has Multiple Sclerosis.  Bob fundraising for MS, with a goal of raising $3000.  Here's a link to his fundraising page if you are interested in supporting a cure for MS.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Behind the Curtain

This bicycle was parked in the back room of a local imports store in downtown Flagstaff.  A practical solution to the so-called downtown parking problem.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pedaling Inspiration

My favorite new summer footwear, the Born Galley sandal with 2-inch wedge heel.  I found them on sale in Eddie Bauer.  Extremely comfortable and very stable.  These might be the perfect girly mountain town sandal.  Unfortunately, today's monsoon forecast suggests that "Wellingtons are the more appropriate footwear.