About 40 miles North of Santa Barbara is a strange little Danish town called Solvang. It’s up in the Santa Ynez Valley, home to a ton of Southern California wineries, and long winding roads perfect for a training ride! So we headed up there bright and early in perfect weather for a 50 mile loop through wine country.
At the first stop, Kalyra Winery, 6 miles in
There were a whole lot of steep hills on this ride, 3200 feet in all:
Madeleine climbing up and up
Stopping for some oranges 26 miles out
We each rode with 20 lbs of Coors Light and Bud Light to weigh us down:
When it’s too gross to drink…
It sure was pretty:
More of them hills
And at the end of it all we got some Danish pastries back in Solvang:
Moments before this we were approached by missionaries, but we were on a mission for pastries
Sometimes going on a 5 hour bike ride can be boring. There’s a lot of under-stimulation that makes room for thinking. Fortunately my friend Rosie sent this over today, so our brains will stay entertained today.
The Live A Big Life Fund was created in the fall of 2012 in memory of Cameron Howe, a young man who passed away at the age of 20. Cameron was a snowboarder, and when he passed his family chose STOKED as an avenue to honor their son.
Cameron’s parents, Jim and Patti, have done a tremendous and admirable act in turning this tragic event into a catalyst to inspire others to live a big life, just like Cameron did. In the words of Cameron’s mother, this is about the Live A Big Life idea that has inspired our bike ride + fundraiser.
There was always something about Cameron that seemed BIG – his intelligence, his curiosity, his passions, his creativity – he even grew to 6’ 3’. He tested every boundary – especially with things physical.
If he had a passion for something, and he had many, he would pursue it with endless energy until he mastered it – and most often he did. Skateboarding, boogie boarding, wake boarding, skim boarding, snowboarding, surfing – you got it – he liked boards. For Cameron, they provided a challenge and a sense of freedom that he always enjoyed, as well as an important life lesson. For Cameron these board sports taught him early in life that ‘when you fall, you need to get right back up’.
Cameron’s commitment to follow his dreams, even amidst hardship is what seemed to so resonate with other people. He lived BIG in his short life, and encouraged others to live big too.
What does it mean to live a BIG life? Well that depends on you. For Cameron it was snowboarding down snow shoots in Patagonia or finding the perfect wave. His memory has challenged many of us to define what it means for us to live big. What it means to stretch our self to try new things, and follow our dreams.
So what a fitting memory and legacy to help others to follow their dream too…