Tuesday, August 23, 2016
It is hard to believe how quickly time passes. They say that time heals all but that is not always true....
25 years ago my younger brother John was involved in an accident that left him a quadriplegic. This destroyed my family both emotionally and financially. Half my life has been filled with guilt, sadness, anger, fear and the ever constant WHY.
I have tried many times to "move on" but I always seem to go back into a mourning cycle. I know it is a personal weakness of mine. They question is how do I overcome it. For 25 years I have failed.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Good Times Gravel Grinding series. What a season it has been for gravel riding. Some of our rides had close to 100 riders. All of them out having a good time riding gravel. I have used these rides to meet new friends and try to recover from my hip injury and gain some fitness. They have been fun but challenging.
The 2016 racing season has officially begun for me. What that means right now is not entirely clear to me. I had plans to race the Forward Motion Hare Scrambles series again this year along with some MTB racing. Round #1 at Milford Lake was packed with full "gates". The course had just as much sand as the classes had sandbaggers. I can not remember a time with the winners from the previous season did not move up. This year no one moved up and several riders moved down making the Veteran Advanced 35+ class full. Maybe it is time to make a 45+ or 50+ Advanced class?
I personally had a very bad race, results wise, but I rode well for my age. Poor start due mostly due to my hip and the lack of power to get a good strong kick to start my bike. I rode as hard as a 50 year old can against all the young Vet Advanced riders but only got a 13 place finish.
Part of my problem on this day was coming to the realization that life goes on sometimes without the ones you love. Christopher has decided he does not want to ride/race with me anymore. Why, I do not know. I got back into riding motorcycles so we could do it together. I may have to rethink things.Kings of the Hill ride hosted by Kevin Nierman and his Dirty Dogs team. Fun route with plenty of variety, tough climbs and of course a head wind coming back into town.
The only good thing on this day was Carolynn and I found a nice restaurant to eat at in Sedalia. Kehde's Barbeque just off the Katy Trail was awesome. If you happen to be in Sedalia, MO stop by and enjoy lunch/dinner. My only suggestion is to share a meal because the serving sizes are very large. I guess I have some big decisions to make. Do I continue on racing Hare Scrambles solo and maybe give another series a try like MORE that has a 45+ class? Will that change anything? Do I see if I can work through these injuries and get back in form so I can race bicycles again? Or is it time to quit racing all together. Maybe take up Masters Swimming or a safer sport. I know I can not run so Triathlons, which I used to really enjoy are out. I do know that not being competitive sucks. I do not like being pack fodder but that is what I have become.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
My life changed forever when my brother John got injured back in the early 90's. You can not even begin to imagine the pain in my heart having to watch him try so hard to gain strength and to live life as a Quad. He lost that battle in 2008. I of course felt loss but part of me was thankful that his misery was over.
My latest injury was something I have been dealing with for over a year. After my knee surgery in April it steadily got worse. I tried to just ride through it like I have always done but I finally went to see a specialist. After a MRI with contrast dye, the problem was found - a Labral Tear and some bone spurs. After a lot of research and talking with my doctor I elected to try PT and limiting my activity - basically no hard impact activities like running and no cyclocross last year either.
The past 2 months I have gone through extensive rehab to see if I can avoid surgery and so far so good. It appears that if I live a moderately active life and avoid strenuous activity I might be able to live a pain free life. That means no more racing, no more standing on the top the podium.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
A couple of months ago I got a email from Col Chuck Remboldt, a Commander at the 190th Air Refueling Wing, asking me if I wanted to go a "Orientation Flight". Lately I have been having trouble with dizziness and I have become extremely claustrophobic so flying is not my favorite thing right now.
After finding out more about the flight I agreed. We would be in a K-135 Stratotanker. It has plenty of open space and we would be able to walk around. The plane above which we flew in was made in 1961. Over 50 years old and still looks and performs great. A testament to the men and women who maintain them.
The final step before our refueling mission aboard our K-135 was our safety debriefing. The Stratotanker does not have those fancy oxygen mask that commercial airlines have so in case of "sudden cabin pressure lose" we would have to put on these fancy oxygen helmets.
On the flight over to meet the B-2 bombers I got to tour around the plane and talk to some other of the civic leaders including Samantha Walker Jones who is the newly elected present of the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club.
The B-2 bombers took off from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. We meet them on the Missouri/Kansas boarder and proceeded west across Kansas on our refueling mission.
Col Chuck Remboldt did a great job of answering all our questions. I do not know what Steve Tilford asked the Colonel but he sure does look passionate answering it.
Art King got to ride with the pilots during our takeoff. Art is a member of the LMBC and the main man behind the Lawrence River Trails.
Each of us got a chance to crawl down with the Boom operator and "help" fuel the B-2's.
Facilities were available. Just flip up the lid and aim well. Two are available so no waiting. When you got to go you got to go....
Here is my little video of the refueling.
Thank you to Col Chuck Remboldt and the men and women at the 190th Air Refueling Wing for this once in a life time opportunity.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
My bedroom door opened near midnight last Friday and the sound awoke me. Through the bright hallway light I see my son walking toward me. He begins to speak and says he has some really bad news to tell me. My first thought was that he had crashed the car. Christopher proceeds to tell me that my older Brother Joey had been killed. His life taken by some drunken scumbag that did not even have a license nor should have even been in this country of ours.
In Loving Memory of
Joey Vaughn Locke
February 23, 1964 - October 9, 2015
Killed. Still hard to grasp what has actually happened. It has been a week since my Brothers murder. In all honesty I expected him to die in some high speed crash but I did not expect him to be killed by some piece of shit illegal immigrant.
Joey was my older brother and was always there for me. I still remember that time while we were hunting on the farm when we were little kids. We were working our way through the woods to another track of land and crossed by a trailer where someone was living. At the time I did not know who it was but it turned out to be my crazy grandmother's sister. I think she was a little mental because she got a gun and started shooting at us. We took off running like a bat out of hell. I heard a few bullets narrowly miss us. I kept stopping to wait for Joey but he kept telling me to keep running. I did not want to leave him. We reached a fence and looked back to see if the crazy lady was still there. We could see her reloading her rifle. Joey grabbed me and tossed me over the fence and told me to run like hell. Luckily the old bitch was a poor shot. I have dozens of more stories. Each one Joey was my protector and was there for me.