Our wonderful friends outdid themselves last night and organized a gathering over at the Luminaries Retreat headquarters to celebrate 5 years of CyclovaXC. Somebody said around 70 people showed up, and it was great to see everyone and share a few laughs. A slide show was going throughout the evening, with pictures from the various events we've done together over the years. Whether we reminisced about century rides, marathons or ski races, one thing was constant: the local adventure community is a group of tremendous people!
It's always too infrequent that we pause and reflect on the things that are important to us, but seeing pictures from the Birkie four or five years ago, the first Sasquatch dash, or our opening day brought back great memories.
In our first year, Emalea Landgraf worked with us. She needed a place to stay and Tommy K had a house to rent, so we worked out a deal where Cyclova contributed to the expense and the Cyclova clubhouse was born. From a purely business standpoint, it was not a sustainable move, but I think the clubhouse days really served to solidify the concept of the sport community we were hoping for.
Throughout the years, staff members of CyclovaXC have moved on to other endeavors and we miss them and their contributions, but are happy for their success. Likewise, various athletes have come and done events with us, left indelible impressions, and then moved on to other interests. In a world where so much of our time is spent staring at impermanent images on flickering handheld screens, it's extremely valuable to share a glance of mutual suffering with a friend in the midst of a century ride.
The looks that say, "I'm miserable...Isn't this great?" stay with me a long time.
Several people last night approached Frank and I and said that the majority of the people who they consider to be close friends were people they met through the Cyclova community. I feel the same way, and it's a wonderful thing. Emalea used to have a handwritten quote from Dave Landgraf hanging in the clubhouse that said, "Exercise is the best cure for what ails us." It's been my experience in life that people who do the type of adventure events that we like to promote are the kind of people who have their lives together. More importantly, I've seen evidence that doing these events is a pathway towards getting your life together. No matter how well things are going, it's amazing how fast your footing can slip out from under you. I take comfort in knowing no matter what happens, I can always get on my bike, or grab my skis, or lace up my shoes and make progress back towards stability and happiness. Now that I'm constantly worrying about my little girls, the security I get from knowing there's a way to build self-esteem and self-worth through being a part of the adventure community is all the more valuable.
We celebrated 5 years of being open as a retail shop yesterday, but Cyclova actually started here as a web page and as a small team of ski racers. If any of you want a little bit of a chuckle, check out the first blog post from 7-31-2009. The days of racing with Riverbrook turned into Beyond Birkie Fever, maybe you'll all find yourselves characters in a CyclovaXC novel someday :)
In the meantime, please keep sending me your stories and your photos to publish here (and I'll put explosions in the background if you ask...or if you don't). Through our community, I've come to learn about so many different events, adventures, and places to go; and the world has gotten larger, more colorful and way more interesting as a result. Thanks everyone, it's been great getting to know you, let's keep going!
Also, before I'm done, each and every one of you is going to visit Machu Picchu. Who is in for the Ushuaia Loppet this year :) Don't think about it too much, just say, "Yes!"
Lastly...let's not wait five years for the next awesome party! Thank you for doing the work to make it happen, another awesome and positive moment shared with great, great friends!
Oh...and Micah...sign up for the Birkie!