Shelby Madden

Exploring my limits with a bike and big (potentially dumb) ideas!

Gearing Up!

Let me preface this post by saying I ripped every single one of these pictures off. Most of them were stolen off of Diane's blog, Duck Off, and I think I got a couple others from Facebook. I'm a thief but I'm an honest thief. I just can't seem to coordinate the camera thing. I think I'm always hanging on for dear life, barely able to slow down for a drink, let alone capture an image. So these picture moments would be left to the photographic memory if not for Diane.

An entire year has already gone by and in just two days we'll be rolling down the coast. I can't imagine the destination beating the experience I've had on the journey but I'm incredibly excited, nonetheless. Collectively, we have raised well over a million dollars for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and my own personal fundraising goal was far surpassed thanks to the help of my friends and family. It really has been a phenomenal experience. So, before I leave, I thought I'd share some of the pictures I hijacked:

Million Dollar Challenge Training
This is a picture from our very first ride together. You can tell by my expression that I'm digging the new guy with the goggles. I KNEW I was going to like that guy.

This is me seeing the SAG princess, Tina, for the first time in months. She works so hard for us and gives up her entire weekend doing it; you just can't help but love her!

Some pictures of our many SAG stops:

Below is Dr. Jeff. He's a dentist and I love going to the dentist so we get along just great. He's responsible for convincing Emilio DeSoto to help me problem solve a bike short issue I was having. I've never been able to find a pair of bike shorts that actually fit me. I've been wearing tri shorts for most of the training rides until we came up with a MUCH needed solution.

Because of my friend Chris' special head gear to keep the sun off of his neck, I spent many a ride with the song, "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger, stuck in my head. And when I was getting dropped it was, "Don't Be Tardy for the Party," probably the most annoying song ever but I can thank Diane for dropping both of those earworms into my head.

There is simply no privacy on these rides!

Here is my buddy Fred sharing his story and the impact CAF has had on his life. Fred is a great guy and an incredible hand cyclist!

Me and David Lee. One of my favorite riding buddies over the past year and a half. We hang out until we get to a descent and then he hits mach-whatever and we don't see him again until the next climb

OH, Lorenzo! This was halfway through an 80 mile day and Lorenzo hears from our seasoned ride leaders that the hot dogs at the Sev are the sole purpose for riding. With the exception of my brother, I don't know anyone who actually eats any of the food cooking at a 7-11, and I swear my brother only does it 'cuz he knows it makes me ill to watch him mow on it. This is Lorenzo finishing off his hot dog. He SO regretted it 5 miles later. We had 35 more to go :)

Twice we were treated to a post-ride brunch at the La Valencia hotel in Del Mar. It was awesome! The grounds were beautiful and the buffet was delicious. These people don't mess around.

Back to Back Century Training Ride
Here we are getting ready to roll out for our back to back century weekend, the last big ride before the BIG ride. We did 210 miles in two days, up to Palos Verdes and back. I barely made it home. For real. Some people felt more assured about the 620 miles after this ride; it made me more nervous. This will be a challenge, no doubt.

I have NO idea what Diane and I are talking about but it appears to be a full body conversation. I'm most amused by Bill Walton sizing me up. He immediately referred to me as one of the CAF "angels." I didn't have the heart...They all find out soon enough.

He did it AGAIN! Here we were, 15 miles away from the end of a 105 mile day in 100 degree heat and Lorenzo sits down to a creamy ice cream bar! To top it off, the last 15 miles involved climbing. I couldn't imagine having a Dove bar in my stomach for that last climb to our hotel but Lorenzo couldn't help himself. At 72, the man is a machine and he never ceases to entertain me.

Jeff Krebs and I after our dinner in Palos Verdes. As one of the top fundraisers, Jeff has raised over $26,000 for CAF. I was trying to capture sweet and innocent in this picture (probably to overcompensate for an inappropriate comment made moments before). I think I just look suspicious.

Rolling out for Day 2. I was REALLY sore and it hurt to walk but I will say, the second we started rolling I felt a million times better. I think I was just meant to ride a bike. Walking is stupid. :)
The tallest dog I've ever gotten to stand next to.

We had a full-service, mobile bike mechanic, Stu, following us around for two days. Not only was he pulling over to cheer us on, he was fixing people up, left and right.

This is our head coach, Pat Jak. (always said as "Peyt Jeyk" in my well rehearsed Kiwi accent. Not because he's a Kiwi but because a name like Pat Jak begs to be said in an accent.) Pat is going the extra mile, cleaning chain grease off my leg because he is planning on riding the last few miles of the back to back with the slow group and will not have me looking like a goober in his presence. Actually, he's one of the nicest guys I know and I think he just couldn't resist out nicing himself.
Tina, not to be outdone, stepped in to fill my water bottle up. They went big on spoiling me at this SAG!

This is what we missed while we were out riding to L.A. I was really bummed as this sign was up for weeks and I thought it sounded like a good time. I was especially curious to see what the Lima Bean Faire had to offer in terms of talent and follies. I can only hope for a second annual.

Vikki and Tina. Without Vikki's coordination of this event and Tina's dedication to the riders, there just wouldn't be the MDC that I have grown to love! These two ladies work so hard for us and have done an incredible job keeping a lot of people happy, riding, and fundraising. Thank you, Vikki and Tina!

And last, but absolutely not least the two best ride leaders in the whole darn lot, Diane and Hooter. They have the patience of saints, the wits of devils, and the wisdom of two people who have done this ride five times. There is NO way I could have completed the training rides without them (nor would I have a single picture to prove that I even did them). I feel exceptionally lucky to have had them pull me and encourage me throughout this journey.
So that's it! If you've made it this far, you probably have voyeuristic tendencies (or you're my parents). Now it's time to go play Frogger on the 101 and meet the riders who have been training in other parts of the U.S. I can't wait to see what those kids bring...we've got Sister Christian to offer in our group!


Anonymous October 14, 2010 at 1:22 PM  


this is Terri (Gilbert) Jordan... your blog is AWESOME... and I loved seeing all the pictures of your journey and getting to listen to your sense of humor through the whole thing. It made me want to take up cycling with you so that I could hang out and have a good laugh with you!

Best wishes in your journey! Safe travels.

Adrianne October 14, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

Best of luck lil' S!! I will be tracking you the whole way via the cheerleader-spectathlete/superior-texting machine/your best friend also known as Phaedra Cote. I know you are a wee bit nervous, and that's great because its our nerves that make this stuff so exciting.

I'll be thinking of you!!!

xoxo -Adrianne

Phaedra Cote October 14, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

Glad to finally have faces to all those folks you're always talking about. I'm so proud of you, I can't even write those words without getting choked up. Damn you. Stop it off!

Shelby Madden, you are my hero. I don't think I'd have the determination, confidence, or willingness to attack mountain-sized goals, without you in my life. You have taught me not to make excuses (because you've got way better ones than me-and you don't even use them!), to be fearless in my quest (whatever it may be), and of course to laugh really hard along the way no matter what. I love you not only because of the person you are, but the way you color the world all around you. I'm just grateful I get to be one of the people who ends up getting colored on.

I can't wait for the updates. Enjoy the ride.


Haley Cooper-Scott October 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

Go Charmin!

You've just finished day one. Can't wait for the update. You're going to love this adventure - I just wish I could come along for (some) of the ride. Tanti abracci.

xo, Smitty

elizabeth October 17, 2010 at 10:55 PM  


You continue to plant seeds in my life. Seeds of courage, strength, perseverance and laughter. You help me focus on potential and gratitude.

I feel like I should pinch myself...we are connected as friends and work together! I know there are many friends of yours out there that would love to see you as often as I get to. I always feel lifted up when I'm with you.

I know you are loving the whole ride experience.
I am so thrilled for you.

thanks for being the real deal.

Laura and company October 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM  

I came here looking for The Blog of the Big Adventure but it wasn't here, so I read this instead. It's so great to see pics of all of the people who populate your life. I wonder if they all know how lucky they are to be characters in your play? I was pretty darn amazed at your accomplishment, friend. Pretty amazed, indeed. Get going on the write-up.

PS Shawn Duchow. That's who eats the food at 7-Eleven, besides your brother.

Anonymous October 26, 2010 at 2:18 PM  


Your Father

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