If you happened to be in downtown Coeur d’Alene Saturday, you would have had a really hard time getting around due to one successful bike race.
Several cyclists crowded Sherman Avenue Saturday morning to race the Coeur d’Fondo. This year was the first time Coeur d’Alene has hosted a Fondo event.
Organizers say the race turned out above and beyond their expectations as they went over their registration limit. After late registrations the day of the race, approximately 850 riders from all over the United States showed up for the race.
What is a Fondo? It may sound like a car or something you eat but for Coeur d’Alene, its a giant bike race that’s gaining national attention.
On Saturday, September 29, cyclists will fill the streets of downtown Coeur d’Alene for the 1st annual Coeur d’ Fondo. It’s a race where riders can choose from four different courses that range in mileages from 108 miles to a family friendly 15 miles. And at the end riders will be rewarded for the efforts at the the Coeur d’Alene Oktoberfest.
And due to a large spike of interest nationwide, it’s sure to be crowded downtown.
“When we first started out, we thought let’s keep it small. Let’s keep it to 200 to 500 riders,” said race director Issac Mann. “But we got so many entires, we had to stop at 800.”
Mann said the unanticipated spike is due to so much support from the area which led to the word being spread around the United States.
“We have people from Alaska, Georgia, Ohio, Portland and California signing up for this race,” said Mann.
You can see a map of the course and more about the race by going to http://cdagranfondo.com/
It’s hard when a bunch of things happen to you that hinder your ability to do what you enjoy.
At first it was just knee injury that kept me from reaching my goal to race a half marathon. I’ve been training so hard for my first half marathon race. But then my knee started feeling very tender and sore after a 6 mile training run a few months ago. So I had to back off a little bit until my knee healed.
Then I got sick, and had to stop exercising let alone doing anything I enjoy.
I felt defeated. I felt like I could never go outside and enjoy the outdoors again, and I felt horrible.
But then, I got this little guy:
This is Tucker, my new dog that I just got a month ago. And that picture is from his first night with me.
My meeting with him could be described as an answered prayer.
When I started having issues, I started hearing about the benefits of dogs and how they can heal you. Of course, I’ve had dogs all my life, and knew they were smart, but I started finding tons of articles from all kinds of medical sources about how dogs can work wonders for my health.
Then one week, I started my search for the perfect companion. I wanted an Italian Greyhound because they are small and can run. But after a search in every newspaper, every shelter and a lot of websites….I couldn’t find one.
One morning, I prayed asking for a puppy. Then I checked my work e-mail, and voila! Someone found a puppy that they couldn’t keep.
I met Tucker in a radio booth that night, and I fell in love with him. Just the fact that he kept putting his head over my shoulder, and started hugging me in a dog like way had me sold.
Little did I know…Tucker has a gift.
I immediately started taking him everywhere I could and started to get out as much as possible with him. And I started to notice that little 15 pound, 6-month-old puppy could keep up with me. And he is very in tune with how I feel and immediately responds when I’m down.
And this is how he does it:
Everytime me or someone in my family would feel down, Tucker always would come up and give a hug. In fact it’s his specialty.
Then I found out why. A friend of mine was watching Animal Planet one day and discovered what breed my dog is. He’s an Australian Kelpie.
I’ve never heard of a Kelpie, but he’s a dead ringer. Australian Kelpies are a cross between a collie and a dingo and are very popular in Australia as sheep herders. They are incredibly smart, but they are working dogs for a reason…they love to be outside and need as much exercise as possible. And they need to have a job.
For some reason he started healing me just in the fact he was very in tune with everything about me. And combined with the fact that he needs a lot of exercise, he is practically the perfect dog for me.
My healing isn’t done but Tucker makes it a lot better.
So I have him to thank for bringing me outside everyday and helping me improve. And in a way, Tucker is showing me again why I love the outdoors and why life is good.
You may have heard the saying the one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One Spokane designer is using that phrase to make clothes out of reuseable materials.
Rachel Mace is only 22 but she’s getting ready to show her designs in one of the biggest fashion events in the United States, New York’s Fashion Week.
“Fashion Week is the biggest event in fashion in our continent,” said Mace.
Fashion Week is known by designers and fashion enthusiasts everywhere as one of the “must attend” events. In fact big names such as Donna Karan and Chanel show their pieces at this event while stars like Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Heidi Klum attend their shows.
Although Rachel didn’t have any formal training as a designer like others that will be at the event, she said she got her start when someone recognized her talent.
“I went to the store and bought some garbage bags, but when I home and realized I already had some. So I made a skirt out of the new ones,” said Mace.
It was that decision to use reusable materials that helped her get her start.
“A designer named Ronnie Ryno saw a picture of me wearing the skirt on my facebook page. She asked me if I could put 10 pieces show in August,” said Mace.
Although Mace just had the skirt, she decided to make more pieces.
She now has several dresses and items made out of garbage bags, plastic wrap, and pretty much anything that is not fabric. And Mace said that’s the only type of material she likes to use.
“I look at a piece of fabric and I don’t know what to do with it. But paper I know exactly what to do with,” said Mace.
Mace said she also can not have started designing without the help of others. Business and friends have given her all sorts of materials to work with and even help her get the word out. However, she still needs help to get her designs and models to Fashion Week.
On Saturday, September 1, her models and supporters will be having a car wash as part of a fundraiser for her trip. The car wash will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the car wash at Nevada Street and Lyons Avenue.
Mace and her models will be leaving September 13 for New York.
You can learn more about Mace and her designs by clicking here. Or search for her on facebook by searching Totally Trashed Fashion.
You can also donate online by clicking here.
A national non-profit organization is using bike trip across the country to spread the word about affordable housing causes and give young people the chance for a little adventure.
Bike & Build Inc. offers eight cross country biking trips each summer that gives 18 to 25 year old riders the opportunity to experience first hand the affordable housing need in the United States. The riders stop in towns along the route and help with construction of affordable housing units. They also meet with local officials and community members to discuss affordable housing issues.
“I would say, Bike and Build is an incredible opportunity to get young people out to get across the country and get exposed to housing situations,” said rider leader Christopher Clark.
On Wednesday, a group of 30 of the cyclists from Bike & Build rode into Spokane after doing several other trips around the country. They started their trip on June 13 in Providence, Rhode Island and are headed to Seattle.
They’ve done several projects along the way from Iowa, to Ohio to Montana. As Clark said, it’s been more than a trip to help those in need, it has been an adventure.
“I’ve seen a bunch of Americana I’ve never seen before,” said Clark, “I’ve seen the Appalachian Mountains, the rolling hills of Wyoming…there are just so many things I just can’t list them all.”
Clark said their group rides at about a pace of 10 miles per hour. The pace may seem slow to some but for the riders, the pace doesn’t matter.
“It’s not so much a race but more of an adventure,” said Clark.
The group has also completed a few projects in the Inland Northwest. On Tuesday they completed two projects in Coeur D’Alene, all in a period of 8 hours.
“The project is important because a family with a house gives them a greater chance of success,” said Clark.
Although the group’s trip is winding down, they have one last chance to help out all of those affected by a need for housing. The group has received about $150,000 in grants from all over the country and they get to decided which places will benefit from those groups.
The cyclists will make their decision on Wednesday night which organizations will receive money. Clark estimates 5 or 6 organizations including one possibly for Coeur D’Alene.
To track groups progress and read more about Bike and Build click here
(Olympian Oscar Pistorius and a 5 year old girl racing.)
There’s been something in the back of my mind that’s always nagged at me since I was 11.
When I was younger, I watched the 1996 Olympics and always wanted to be an Olympian. Specifically, I wanted to be a swimmer.
I would draw pictures of me swimming with a gold medal around my neck and I would write “I want to be an Olympic swimmer” whenever I had to write what I wanted to be when I grew up for elementary school.
Eventually, I got to be on a swim team for 2 years and I thought “this is my chance!” But slowly, I realized I wasn’t that great of a swimmer. I would get beat by other kids and even my dad and stepmom would talk about how great the other kids were.
I felt crushed. I felt like I was a failure. And ultimately, I gave up on those Olympic dreams.
So here I am, almost 23 and watching the Olympics, wishing I was there with Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps…but I realized something.
If you look at all the Olympic athletes that are highlighted in the games…sure they get accolades for being the “fastest”, “strongest”, and best. But the one thing that stands out more than anything else, is most of those athletes are celebrated because they overcame something.
For some Jamaican and Kenyan runners, they overcame poverty and bad living conditions just so they could come to race. Others like Michael Phelps battled long training hours just for a 1 minute race in the pool. And look at Oscar Pistorius, he had both legs amputated when he was little, and sure he’s fast, but the more amazing thing is he didn’t let that bring him down.
Even though most of the world’s population aren’t Olympic athletes, they should take a note and realize as long as you are overcoming something…YOU ARE GREAT!
For you it might be the fact that you are trying to get in shape… YOU ARE GREAT because you are trying to make yourself better.
You run at a 16 minute per mile pace…YOU ARE GREAT because you are trying your hardest just trying to run for a period of time.
You had both of your legs amputated when you were a child (like the picture above) but you are trying to race!
And even though you weren’t the best swimmer in the bunch…YOU ARE GREAT because you at least tried to accomplish a dream.
So let’s think about redefining the meaning of Greatness. It’s not the fact that you are the best at something (although that is worth celebrating), it’s the fact that you overcame something or are reaching towards a goal that makes you great.