This year we were fortunate to partner with Jon Marro, a professional artist who has worked with Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz, Tom’s Shoe Company, and more, to create unique, powerful art. For 2020, Jon designed our jersey, cotton t-shirt, technical trucker hat, and cycling sleeves. We had a chance to ask him about working with Tour des Chutes, and what community means to him.
Tour des Chutes (TdC): What interested you initially in this project?

Jon Marro (JM): I have a dear friend who lived in Bend and has participated in this event for many years. Bend is such an incredible town nested in Nature and with many of its residents who live there to be steeped in Nature. I’ve always loved the outdoors, charitable causes – so when those come together and being invited to create a color uniform around it –  was an immediate “YES!”

TdC: Can you tell us about the design – how did you come up with it?

JM: I’m always interested in the inner worlds of every client I collaborate with. I always try to illustrate the “soul” of a project not just the “face” of it. This event I know is a physical journey through the mountains and valleys but also an inner journey to raise awareness for cancer patients. There’s real heart behind it – those suffering, those who have survived and those who have past on. I wanted to create something beautiful and colorful that spoke to the multi-layered landscapes of all those participating in the event. The hopeful horizons, the community, the psychology of cycling and the compassionate cradling of nature.

Jon Marro Swag

TdC: Can you tell us about some of your other work? I know you’ve published some children’s books.

JM: I am a bit of a renaissance man. As an artist and creative director who primarily works in the health and wellness and entertainments worlds. I’ve been blessed to work with clients such as as Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, Maroon 5, Madonna, TOMS Shoes, Whole Foods Market, Cafe Gratitude, MTV, CBS, and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am also an Author, Philosopher, Filmmaker and Mystic who writes and illustrates colorful stories for the creative child within each of us. I love weaving whimsical worlds with love, respect and reverence, and invites everyone to play and participate within them.

TdC: What does community mean to you?

JM: Community is connection embodied. An opportunity to see ourselves in each other, hold space for one another to grow, heal and create the world our hearts know is possible. Or as I like to say: There’s both “you” and “i” in “community.”

 

You can learn more about Jon Marro and his art on his website: https://jonmarro.com/

When you talk about cycling and Central Oregon, Ian Boswell’s name often comes up in the conversation. While his success as a road racing pro and his recent transition to gravel racing is well documented, we had a chance to catch up and hear more about who he is, and why he rides.

Tour des Chutes (TdC): The competitive aspect of cycling aside, what inspires you to get on your bike?

Ian Boswell (IB): I love the freedom that I feel when riding my bike. I initially fell in love with that ability to explore when I would ride around my neighborhood. Then I’d ride around town, then out to places like Prineville, Tumalo, Redmond. It broadened my horizon as to what was out there, both in the world and in my local community. I still love exploring and experiencing my community on my bike. I received a lot of support from riders in Central Oregon growing up and now I really enjoy giving back in similar ways.

TdC: What has been one of the most surprising or fun things about your transition from road racing to gravel?

IB: One of the biggest surprises for me has been finding how much I still love riding my bike. I still approach it from a competitive perspective, and interestingly the postponements this season haven’t discouraged me at all. In fact, the canceled events have helped me realize again just how much I enjoy even a simple 30 to 45 ride after dinner. To get out and feel the wind on my face is a treat. I think that when you are completely focused on training it sometimes makes you take for granted the freedom of just going for a ride.

Having walked away from road racing, I can see how influential a lot of people were as I grew up, and realize how huge the impact can be on someone. Now I have an opportunity and a platform to help kids and young athletes reach their goals.

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TdC: You have recently helped promote and establish the Peacham Fall Fondo, and I know you’ve been involved with TdC in the past, and I’m sure a host of other fundraising rides. What makes these kinds of events important to you, and the cycling community at large?

IB: My wife and I founded Peachem as a way to give back to the community. I came into the first event (the first Peachem was held in 2018) having raced all year, so it was a chance to get out and ride and have actual conversations with people. I found it was really important for me to connect to the community. I think events like this are important for the community because often a competitive event can be discouraging for some people, so creating this non-competitive even helped get rid of that barrier for entry, and engage a strong, non-competitive cycling community.

TdC: A lot of our participants train for TdC to challenge themselves to ride a new distance. What would you say to someone who was training for a ride at a distance they’d never gone before, on a morning when they didn’t feel like riding?

IB: I would say that in all my years of training, I’ve never come back from a bike ride and regretted it. It could be raining and windy, I could have crashed, it doesn’t matter. I always come back in a better mood. I think that cycling gives people the opportunity to challenge themselves, your mind and body are more capable of achieving things that you realize. And that is true of recreational rides and competitive rides.

And the people out there who are facing major challenges in their life, they are a real inspiration. I think of Gary (Bonacker) and all that he’s gone through, and he still gets out to ride.

TdC: I saw the log lean-to shelter you built on Facebook. Is that complete? Did you find it more difficult to remain motivated to do that than to get out and ride in the cold?

IB: I spent so much time riding, and really mastering riding to such a high level, that applying that same kind of focus to other things has been a struggle. It is definitely easier to get out and ride in the cold! At the same time, it has been a positive challenge to be humbled and to learn new things.

TdC: Any Final thoughts?

IB: Embrace the challenge. Every day is an opportunity to pave a new path. Don’t put any mental barriers on what you can accomplish, and what you can achieve.

Many individuals who are diagnosed with cancer must have other medical procedures done prior to being able to begin cancer treatment. Often, these procedures aren’t covered by insurance. Tour des Chutes emergency funds can help bridge this gap, as they did in Kim’s story below:


 

I have so much to be thankful for I scarcely know where to begin.

I was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in April 2019. Before I could even get started with 8 weeks of radiation treatment I was told I had five bad teeth that had to be removed. I do not have insurance so I was pretty freaked out not knowing how I was going to be able to get this dental work done.

But the beautiful angels that work for St. Charles told me about a group called Tour des Chutes, and how they fund programs to help people just like me. I was so overwhelmed when I was told I was going to get that help.

To even know there are caring souls out there who want to help means so much. Well, I had the dental work done and was able to start my treatment two days later.

Last summer is very much a blur to me I was so sick, but I have NEVER forgotten about the kind, loving and caring people who made it possible for me to have my dental work done so that I could receive treatment. I am happy to say I am cancer free or as my doctor prefers to say, in remission, as cancer can come back at any time.

From the depths of my heart and soul I want to say THANK YOU to the magnificent people of TOUR DES CHUTES, for the gift of LIFE.

With sincere thanks,

Kim M.

As a passionate cyclist who has spent the better part of 30 years calling Bend home, I’ve had my fair share of exposure to different riding options in Central Oregon. But to call out my favorites is honestly much more of a challenge than I initially expected when the Tour des Chutes asked me to come up with a list of my favorite rides in the region.

For road rides, however, it’s not hard at all. There are three that stand out to me pretty clearly above the rest. Most of what Bend has to offer for road riding, when compared to so many of the other places I’ve been fortunate enough to ride over the past few years, is far too vanilla for my taste. Yet when I’m away for long enough, even riding some mind blowing climbs on the Front Range or descending a winding, single-lane ribbon of pristine tarmac on some island in the Mediterranean, there are three distinctive Central Oregon road routes that often pop into my head and make me miss home a little more than I already do.

Favorite Routes

The first is the McKenzie Scenic Byway. As a Bend native who graduated from the University of Oregon, I always have to laugh at how every single one of my friends from this side of the Cascades refers to the route that connects these two communities as simply “McKenzie” and all of my friends from the valley refer to that same stretch of road as “242” (its highway number). Despite which name I prefer, those friends from “over there” undoubtedly have the superior approach. Although it makes for a long day, and it’s not as often accessible from the east side, the western slope of that road is really what makes it so special for me. Between the perfect 6-7% gradient, the switchbacks, and the contrast between the lush forest and the arid moonscape up top, the west side of McKenzie Pass leaves the eastern approach in its shadow.

The next is the Crooked River Highway and Prineville Reservoir climb (or “27” to all you valley folks). The twisted, mangled junipers that line this roadway, mixed with the unabated sun exposure and the impressive climb to the top of the canyon past the reservoir makes this distinctive High Desert road ride a classic for many of us. It’s so distinctive, perhaps, that it’s left a brand in my memory — one that calls on my conscience every time I stray too far from home. Even if that 15 miles of seared, straight, pock marked chip seal on the return to Bend is enough to make anyone question their motivations, the undeniable beauty of that Cascade mountain view straight ahead of us the entire time seems to make it all worthwhile.

The third shouldn’t come as any surprise to any of us familiar with this event. One of the crown jewels of this region is Smith Rock State Park. Even though the roads approaching the edge of that park are pretty plain, the view they bring us is perhaps breathtaking for first timers and regulars, alike. The fact that many of us who participate in the Tour des Chutes get to help support cancer care and survivorship in our community and bask in the glory of this great natural formation (and maybe a dozen Joes O’s) at the same time is truly remarkable.

~Dillon Caldwell

I was pretty insulated from cancer for most of my life. My direct experience was minimal; a wife who had melanoma before I knew her a lifetime ago, an uncle I barely knew, a boss from early in my career. “I don’t have much family history” I said to myself, reassuringly.  Forty-nine years spent avoiding the subject even with my cancer survivor-wife. Staying away from a fearful unseen but ever-present abyss I neither understood nor wanted to know much about.

Then I was diagnosed with cancer.

In a few short weeks I went from a lifetime of avoidance to living at the edge of the abyss. Now I was one of THOSE people. You’ve seen us; the ones with no eyebrows who maybe are wearing a scarf or a hat to cover a hairless, chemo-induced head, or someone who’s skin color just doesn’t look quite right. Or maybe we have no visible signs at all, but we silently and anonymously live with and manage our health and cancer, keeping the fear or sadness and illness at bay every day. I was now living out the very fear I had avoided.

What I didn’t know but learned during my cancer treatment was that living at the edge of the abyss didn’t mean I needed to go into it. Bend, Oregon as it turns out, has a thriving, talented cancer care community; passionate and skilled community members – nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, massage therapists, volunteers and counselors – who dedicate some part of their lives to helping the rest of us survive. And it was through my treatment as someone was explaining some of the supportive services I had access to that I was introduced to the Tour des Chutes. I am a cyclist, so I had heard about the Tour but didn’t know about it.  Learning about it would have required me to abandon my cancer avoidance strategy. But now, I was one of THOSE people, and I felt foolish and embarrassed for not having noticed that, in many cases, they were in the fight of their lives.

My caregivers also taught me about my cancer, and what the odds of a successful outcome were.  Cancer makes some of us instant statisticians; learning and memorizing the percentages and the likelihood our treatment will help us go into remission, or be cured, or just buy some time. Others learn to ignore the odds, hoping their case is the exception to the data.  Whatever the situation, all of us develop a deep appreciation for hope.

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(Jim Morris, in blue, has been our morning emcee for the past two TdC events.)

Hope isn’t medicine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t healing. And when I ride the Tour, I am surrounded by the hope and care of thousands of people who are there to support the cause, or a person, or the notion that love makes a difference, even when it comes to treating cancer. Hope in the expressions of love of those who wear “In Memory of…” for those who they have lost.  Hope for recovery and healing, honoring those who are surviving cancer every day. Hope for those who donate goods, money and time to the Tour to create an uplifting, inspiring and fun experience for everyone who rides, runs or walks it.  And most of all the Tour des Chutes reminds us of the hope of connection, that none of us are as alone as we might think.

Practically speaking, the funds raised through the Tour provide cancer patients and their families the with the material support they need to love, care and show-up for one another while bravely moving away from the abyss.

Love is as love does.  Ride.

~Jim Morris, former TdC Board Member and morning emcee for the last few years

I think I know the question you may be asking yourself: Why should I pay $25 to participate in this year’s virtual Tour des Chutes?  A voice over your left shoulder has some persuasive arguments.  You can ride, run, or walk the traditional event courses any day of the week at no charge.  You can finally sleep in on July 11th, the scheduled event day, rather than getting up early to prepare yourself and your gear for a challenging day of exercise.  You can leave it to others in the community to do the heavy lifting for cancer patients and their families.

But another voice over your right shoulder knows that you have never been one to sit on the sidelines.  You are a doer.  You are a fighter.  You are a survivor.  Nothing makes you sleep better at night than knowing that you did your part to help other people in your community.

The coronavirus pandemic will make the 2020 Tour des Chutes different from the event that you have grown to cherish over the years.  But it will not make the event any less meaningful or important.  The reasons for you to participate as a sponsor, rider, runner, or walker are as compelling as they have ever been.  In fact, the need for your involvement may never be greater than it is now.  The beneficiaries of the Tour des Chutes may not only be dealing with the financial and emotional stress of cancer and cancer treatments; they may also be struggling with pandemic-related losses of income, mobility, resources, and support.

For the past 16 years, the Tour des Chutes has provided you with welcome and poignant reminders of how lucky you are to be healthy, happy, and living in Central Oregon.  Do yourself the favor of registering for this year’s updates.  When you head out to log miles for the virtual event, think of the parent whose name was lovingly written on the number badge of your fellow participant.  When you find yourself struggling to climb a hill, think of the child who struggles every day just to survive.  When you finish a hard workout, think of the friend who would give anything to feel the same sense of accomplishment, freedom, exhilaration that you have just experienced.

You may do the 2020 Tour des Chutes virtually.  You may even log some miles by yourself.  But you will not do the event alone.  You will participate as a sponsor, rider, runner, or walker with others and for others.  Your involvement will help people right here in our community, not only by generating revenues for needed treatments and support, but also by setting for your family members, friends, and others an inspiring example of activism and engagement.  You will participate in this year because you can—and because you should.  It’s just who you are.

Some things never change.

Gary Bruce, Tour des Chutes Board Chair

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Tour des Chutes would not be possible without the generous contributions of individuals and businesses who participate in the event. From small donations made at registration all the way up to Title Sponsorships, every dollar counts in helping us achieve our mission to support Central Oregonians with cancer by funding services and initiatives that help them thrive.

Over the past decade, one of our most committed community partners, Roger Worthington and his business, Worthy Brewing, has provided incredible support through sponsorship, opening their doors for our events, and even providing a dynamic and entertaining MC: Roger himself! We had a chance to catch up with Roger and some members of his team to talk about what Tour des Chutes means to Worthy Brewing, and how community action is at the core of what they do.

TdC: “Tell us about your involvement with Tour des Chutes and why it is important to you.”

Roger Worthington: “I’ve been a part of TdC for 10 years. I love supporting initiatives that raise awareness about cancer. What I love about TdC specifically is Gary’s story – and the importance of keeping hope. He’s one of a kind. He’s charming, hilarious, sweet and tough as a ten cent steak! The best part of my summer is the TdC – not only because I love the ride, the solidarity and the hope and help it sends, but also because we get to brew another batch of my favorite summer beer, Gary’s No Quit Wit. The guy’s a beauty and we’re darn lucky to have him around. The TdC focuses on survivorship, and who better portrays this than Gary Bonacker? He is an inspiration, both in surviving cancer and in surviving life. And everyone has a story – this event, this organization, showcases those incredible individuals who exemplify strength, resilience and hope.

“The TdC helps raise dollars and awareness to support cancer patients in our local community and to create a model for survivorship programs. The TdC is put on mostly by volunteers who simply care. Nearly 100% of the proceeds go to local programs to directly benefit cancer patients and survivors. Now that’s worth supporting and celebrating. I love supporting this cause, and I’ve enjoyed watching it grow over the years. It’s become one of the most popular century ride fundraisers in Oregon and I’m looking forward to this year’s event!”

TdC: “Tell us about Worthy Brewing’s history with TdC.”

Worthy Brewing’s Director of F&B, Sarah Coursey: “Worthy’s been a part of TdC since the beginning. Our owner, Roger Worthington, was involved with the event, then when Worthy Brewing was founded in 2013, we became a part of it as well. It’s a huge part of our summer. All of the staff has it on their calendars as an important day – it’s one of those special events that brings the community together to rally behind an important cause. Every year, we brew a special beer, host a packet pick-up party with live music and special gifts for all of the event participants. We love getting the chance to be the place that heightens exposure to such an incredible cause.”

TDC: “What are you looking forward to with this year’s partnership?”

Worthy Brewing’s Director of Marketing, Meghan Hoey: “I can’t wait for this year’s TdC ride. Yes, I’ll be riding the century route with my husband, Shane. Not only is this a worthy cause, it is a partnership that brings people together to do something active and positive for the community. This year, we are supporting TdC on a number of promotions leading up to the event weekend in an effort to raise even more awareness about TdC – especially given its 15th year! In April, we’re co-hosting a charity ride at Cyclebar in the Old Mill, and partnering with local retailers to boost TdC’s visibility in the marketplace. We’re also in planning stages to can ‘Gary’s No Quit Wit’ for the first time to commemorate the 15th year. I’m thrilled to be part of a company that prioritizes its community and donates generously to initiatives benefitting Central Oregon.”

We are so very grateful for all that Worthy Brewing provides our event, and our community on a broad scale. We hope you will join us at the No Quit Wit / Packet Pick Up party on Friday, July 12!

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“I gave him the biggest hug.”

At the inaugural Tour des Chutes 15 years ago, Gary Bonacker found himself embracing a Madras man wearing denim overalls and standing next to a bike that had until that day been stored away in the dusty corner of a barn. The man had just shared the story that had brought him to ride seven miles on a hot, mid-July day. His friend had recently died of prostate cancer, and when he’d heard about a new bike event in Bend he’d dusted off the long unused bike. “He needed to honor his friend in this ride.”

Gary founded Tour des Chutes in 2004 following his own cancer diagnosis, and planned the first ride in 2005. Recounting stories like this one stir something deep in his heart, and it is the sense of community and togetherness that mean so much to him leading up to the 15th annual event.

“I’m fortunate to be where I’m at.”

Two things in particular stand out to Gary when asked how it feels to have reached this milestone with the event. “15 years is a long time – a lot of events haven’t lasted that long. And our community is so giving, from the volunteers to the riders, the sponsors – it blows my mind! I flash back to 2005, and I think, ‘we made $37K.’ We’ve exceeded that by so much. I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Since his initial diagnosis in 2004, Gary has surpassed the timeline given him by doctors by eight years. He attributes this in large part to not just his treatment, but also his friends and family, and the great community that surrounds him.

“Living with cancer is better than dying from cancer.”

Last year Gary got on his bike at Tour des Chutes for the first time in 10 years. He rode the 25 mile route, and said he felt more connected to the other participants under the tent than he had in years. One of the most meaningful aspects of the event to him is the yellow rose that survivors collect when they complete their ride. “The yellow rose – you know what, I have or had cancer. This rose reminds me of what I did, and what I accomplished. I cried when I rode, how amazing this was for me and how it moved me.”

Gary plans to ride the 25 mile route again in 2019. And when he does, he’ll remember his journey, and how he got here. He’ll think of his friend Johanna Olsen, for whom the 5K honors, who used to schedule her chemotherapy appointments at the same time as him so that they could be together. He will feel grateful for all the sponsors, volunteers and donors, who despite a plethora of options for their time and resources choose to support our friends and neighbors with cancer in Central Oregon.

For Gary Bonacker, the 15th anniversary of Tour des Chutes is about gratitude and community.
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My name is Ryan Hart and I am 33 years old. I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) in August of 2008 at the age of 25. It has been nearly eight years since that time, and though many of those years of treatment were depressed and dark, these days I find myself more open to the light and beautiful than I ever was before. Cancer and proximity to death have changed the very fabric of who I am, and I am currently in the process of learning about this new person I have become and his place in the world.

In 2013, I volunteered at the Tour des Chutes with a group of teens from the Boys & Girls Club where I was the Teen Director. A few years earlier, I had acquired an old Schwinn road bike that became my primary source of transportation. Growing up in Central Oregon, I had never thought much of road biking, but I fell in love with the speed and the constant dance with other vehicles. Biking became a part of my therapy, providing a place to work out my energy, to feel strength and courage, and to remind myself of the beauty and health of the world around me while surrounded by so much suffering and pain. Watching the bikers come across the finish line, especially seeing the cancer survivors cross the line and receive their roses, was deeply moving and inspiring to me and awoke in me a hunger to compete myself.

Since that day in 2013, I have lost friends and compatriots to cancer, loved ones to other diseases, and have faced many of the great challenges of my first 33 years of existence. In the last year, my life has changed. Gone is the isolation and illness that defined me for so much of my journey through cancer, and in its place is a new family I could never have wished or hoped for that has reminded me how wonderful it is to be alive and how tenuous that hold can be. Although 2014 and 2015 brought with them new medications that kept me from competing in those years, my hunger has not subsided and I plan on signing up for the 25 mile race this year with an eye to the longer races in years to come.

I had occasion to ask a young gentleman fresh off of a 100 mile bike race if he felt a sense of accomplishment or empowerment from the race he had just completed. “I’m just glad I don’t have to pedal anymore” he replied. I doubt he knew the impact of that statement but it has come to be a guiding principle in my life, reminding me that the accomplishing of our goals for health, for self, for well-being don’t come with fanfare or parades at the end but with sore legs and aching lungs and exhaustion as we stumble across our respective finish lines. In those moments, it is our faith, in gods or philosophy or ourselves, that provide the courage and energy needed to carry on.

In many ways, the Tour des Chutes is a sign that my own pedaling is coming to an end. Cancer is in full retreat and I am stronger every day. I am close to finishing my master’s degree in Behavioral Psychology which I intend to put to use helping other chronically ill patients improve their quality of life and gain mastery over their illness. For the better part of the last decade, I have struggled with depression and despair and pain, as do most cancer patients, often seeing no end in sight. I’m not sure exactly what it is that kept me alive while so many I knew succumbed to their illness, but I feel a great sense of purpose and joy in my life and plan on living well both for my fallen friends and for myself. My education combined with my personal experience puts me in a good position to do just that.

I recently bought a new road bike from Sunnyside Sports, completely ignorant of the fact that Mr. Bonacker was a partial owner. My journey has come back around, full circle, as journeys are wont to do, and I can feel this detour into cancer coming to an end, the larger highways of life again coming into opening before me. Finishing the Tour des Chutes will be the achievement of goals a long time coming, as well as a symbol of the resilience of humanity in the face of grave illness and distress. I think we lionize survivors sometimes, looking only at the gritty endurance and quiet heroism so many of us embody, and not enough at the dark and ugly days of suffering that our resilience is built on. As I ride this summer, I will think of the people I’ve lost, of the hard lessons I’ve had to learn, and of the fact that, no matter how tired I am, I’m damned lucky to be able to pedal at all.

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ME

Tour des Chutes board member and brain tumor survivor, Dillon Caldwell, shared this heartfelt anniversary remembrance with us and we felt the need to pass it on.

A very important anniversary of mine passed last week in quiet. It’s hard to imagine how quickly and how far my life has rebounded in the past two years. In fact, it feels like a distant dream at this point. So usually I just keep my eyes ahead and more or less ignore my past. But how are we to change this broken world, when we so easily forget those things that change our own lives for the better? I can’t just ignore mine.

So to answer this question, I sat down with my good friend Gary Bonacker yesterday to discuss our changing lives and where certain events have left us today. We joked about how his outstanding successes with medical marijuana treatment have turned him into a real-life Benjamin Button. We made plans to ski together next week — something neither of us would have expected to be possible when we met, the both of us in far less fortunate health at the time. And we discussed my racing plans for the upcoming season.

I’m far too hard on myself. I’ve been lamenting that I’m not able to ride my bike enough with all this beautiful snow for about two months now, with no end to this healthy Cascade winter in sight. Sure, I’m doing what I can to build fitness by flogging myself half to death on the turbo trainer and getting out to play in the snow with some pretty great people between sweat-fests. But when I look at my past off season, riding more miles than I could handle in Southern France, I can’t help but think that my competition is doing far more than I am now to prepare for the next race. As a result, I keep telling myself that my season is going to get off to a slow start in comparison with my last.

Well, I’m not sure anyone knows the truth in all that until race season does finally hit later next month. But I’m feeling more optimistic about my training, and my life in general, after a bit of reflection with one of the sagest men who ever did ride this great big sea of sage we call home. Because for all that loose pessimism, I’m reminded of the fires I rode through to get where I am now. I can compare snapshots of training all I want, but what really counts is the resolve that underlies my motivations to toe that next start line in spite of everything that life throws my way.

As Gary and I agreed, no degree of training or racing can much compare to the challenges of a chronic, life altering disease like the one that brought the two of us together. In light of something like that, everything else is just life. That’s the stuff, good or bad, that we fight so hard to hold on to. And regardless of how fast I can pedal a bicycle, I’m so grateful to be where I am today.

Sure, life might leave us hanging every now and then. But shoot. Worst case scenario? Wake up the next morning and try again, over and over until your time is finally up. Just don’t forget all the days that came before. There’s far more good in them, even in the worst of the bunch, than we like to admit. After all, we are nothing more than that which we were on all those yesterdays. Every one of them leaves its mark. Keeping that simple truth in mind helps me to make each tomorrow brighter than the last — even when tomorrow’s very existence is called into question. Because that final tomorrow will come for each and every one of us. So here’s to making the rest of them count.

–Dillon Caldwell

You can read Dillon’s full story in the Bend Bulletin HERE.