Two Weeks ago Liam and I decided to jump into the Livestrong Challenge in Austin, Texas. The Texas weekend was a perfect way to end our very exciting cycling season for 2009. The Challenge is a fund raising event for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. There are four such events across the country each year. This year the Austin event alone was able to raise more than 4 million dollars for the fight against cancer. Liam was able to raise $1600 in a short period of time thanks to the generosity of his sponsors. Thanks everyone!
The weekend consists of a 5k on Saturday and a bike ride on Sunday. It is a great way to raise money for a really important cause, and to have a great time in the process. I have always been inspired and motivated by the attitude and mindset of the Livestrong community. Cancer survivors, care givers, and support teams are fighters. They are a group of motivated, purpose-driven individuals. It is inspiring to be in the same room with these people, and even better to run a 5k and ride a bike with them!
Liam at Livestrong Foundation headquarters #beatcancer Central
It was the first trip to Austin, Texas for both Liam and I. Austin is a hip town with a vibrant music scene, great restaurants, beautiful surrounding rivers and lakes, and a thriving university and economy. We arrived late afternoon on Friday and our first stop was the Livestrong Foundation headquarters. Here we met Greg Lee who gave us a great tour of the building. Next stop was the Livestrong Village at the Austin Convention Center for packet pick up. After checking out the expo, we rushed over to the center of town to get to Mellow Johnny’s. We got there 5 minutes before they closed. The store had had a record day and everyone was ready to celebrate. Lance Armstrong’s creation in Austin is everything a bike shop should be. As a cyclist you can find just about anything you ever wanted at Mellow Johnny’s including the best bikes, fitting rooms, mechanics, café, great friendly staff, and some pretty cool art work as well!
Liam and Enoc Ishida
Saturday morning we met up with, Enoc Ishida and his family. Enoc lives in Dallas and joined our team by finding us on Twitter @fathersontour. It was a lot of fun to meet his son and wife and run with him during the 5k. He even helped shoot some video! After the run we met up with our fund raising mentor Steve Bartolucci and several members of the Cyclists Combating Cancer team. Liam had a blast meeting Spencer Sartin. Spencer is Liam’s age, is an awesome cyclist, and cancer survivor. Later that night Team CCC invited us to attend the appreciation dinner and there Liam and I met Max Owens, who is also Liam’s age. Max lost his dad to cancer earlier this year. The experience of that dinner and the individuals we met there will be with us for a lifetime!
Sunday morning we headed out to Dripping Springs for the Ride for the Roses. Liam and I rode the 65 mile course. It was a tough, windy day. Liam was having some allergy challenges at the beginning of the ride but managed to push through after the first fifteen miles. I was very proud of him! Out on the course someone said that I was lucky to have a son who shared my love and passion for cycling. I have to agree. I’m a lucky man and father!
Steve Bartolucci, mentor and livestrong champion
Out on the course, we met some great people and were able to get a first hand taste of Texas hospitality. The aid stations were a blast, and Mellow Johnny’s power stop was quite a party! Liam finished the 65 mile ride with a 14.2 MPH rolling average. His strength and endurance never ceases to amaze me. By the time we finished we had the satisfaction of knowing we had met our athletic challenge while helping to support the fight against cancer.
Liam and Spencer Sartin at the Finish
Live strong, Train safe, and Live well!
Bill and Liam