You know when you have one of those great days? One where as it’s ending, your heart feels full? Your smile becomes bigger? And your love grows deeper?

I’m pretty sure Kyle had one of those yesterday. And I got to be a big part of it.

We had a really late evening on Saturday after watching my Fighting Sioux win the national ice hockey championships, and then finished with a laugh filled evening at The Comedy Store in La Jolla with friends. He packed the car for racing and we were in bed by 1am for a 5:30am wake up. Ouch.

#bestdayever started with a quick drive  up to Redlands for the amateur crit. I was off first at 8:40 and I stayed with the field for a pack finish. I managed to not crash, which was a bonus, and I also didn’t get hit by the old lady driving the wrong way onto a closed course with many orange baricades. But that’s not why the day was best.

Kyle was off for his race and from the gun I knew he’d win. Sorry for giving it away, but it’s the truth. He saw an earlier podium and noticed they were giving a jersey to the winner. “A jersey’s on the line? I’m definitely going to win.”


His passion for the sport is fun to be around. His belief in himself when others were serious doubters is unrivaled. It’s not a cocky stance, but rather a confidence boosting attitude that actually helps.

For someone to have gone through all he has, and come out on the other side still believing, still beaming? Remarkable. And inspirational.

I’m not sure when I started using self doubt and negativity in my sporting life, but watching and listening to him really reminded me of my same confidence I had growing up. And gives me the drive to train harder and use a positive mental attitude to achieve goals. I can’t count the number of dad speeches that included PMA. Being a teenager and having the support I had was truly a blessing.

I’m thankful to Kyle’s doctors for listening, tinkering, and fixing his pacemaker to let him do what he wants and not be so held back by a device. A device that’s first job is to keep his heart beating. And it’s second job is to keep it beating hard enough to race his bike.

Back in Redlands, Kyle’s clearly having fun with this race. He’s moving through the field well, always in a great position. He looks comfortable and focused. The bell rings for the final lap and the heavens open up. Seriously, it started downpouring for the last lap. I positioned myself near the finish {and close to the live feed of the women’s pro road race; sorry if you were listening in} and tried to protect the camera from the rain. I saw them coming around the final corner and screamed loudly, “Come on Kyle, yeah Kyle! Yeah! Go!!” And watched him come around two guys and get in an actual two up sprint with a guy who’s won the last couple of races. As he passed me, he passed the other guy and crossed the finish line first. I also managed to snap some photos as I was screaming my head off like a crazy person. Multitasking win.

Unfortunately, he’s already getting called a sandbagged and it’s only been a year since his heart stopped for 9 seconds. I know it’s a joke, and words hurt him far less than I, but he’s now put it for his upgrade back to Cat 3 to silence the haters, and hopefully get to race with his other teammates before our departure. He wasn’t always the smartest bike racer but he finally started listening to his wife a couple years ago…wink, wink. You see, being able to read the race, tactics, and pack skills don’t go away. His fitness suffered. His pacemaker wasn’t fit for the job, initially. He didn’t know how it and his body would respond this season. And it’s not all perfect. Boulevard hurt. He DNF’d the Murrietta circuit race. Crit racing is a different animal and race skills sometimes outweigh fitness.

Back to Sunday; Podium presentation. Jersey acquired. Smiles ensued. We drove back to SD for a quick shower and hopped on the tandem for a ride down to Dean’s for the Paris>Roubaix viewing party. Gorgeous house, great food, and in the company of most of our regular teammates watching one of the greatest classic one day bike races in history. #bestdayever

 These long days are sooo nice! We rode back to OB for a lovely sunset viewing from the beach. Grabbed a bottle of cheap champagne and headed over to an old friends’ house for more celebrations. And then the long ride home up the big hill.

 Winning races. Watching bike racing. Tandem riding. Pacific sunsets. Friends. Celebrations. Companionship. Love. #bestdayever for Kyle John.

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  1. julie dunkle
    April 12, 2016

    Love this! So much good all around

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