Scud Continues To Inspire And Guide Us

I wanted to to share here a post I recently created for the more website. As most everyone knows Scud was instrumental in helping build what is now one of the most well regarded local mountain bike organizations in the country. It amazes me almost daily how Scud continues to guide us and inspire our work. The MORE leadership team recently worked with IMBA (another favorite orginization of Scud’s) during a leadership retreat. The following post shares some of the work that came out of that event and shows yet another example of Scud’s inspiration and motivation.

Introducing The Four Pillars Of MORE

Written By: Jason R. Ashmore
MORE Vice President

Like many in our community, I have found myself thinking about Scud a lot lately. His death left a hole in many hearts, but his life was full of inspiration.  As someone serving in a leadership role on the MORE board I find myself reflecting a great deal on the work Scud did for our community over the years. His influence is resulting in many of us seeking ways to turn this inspiration into positive action and to ultimately embrace the lifestyle Scud exemplified.

The MORE board, in partnership with IMBA, recently traveled to Sedona for a developmental retreat. The idea was to come together as a team with our peers and partners to become better leaders and stewards for MORE. I approached this trip with a great deal of hope and determination, but most importantly, with the goal of following Scud’s example by serving our local riding community. While it sounds like a cliché I do often ask myself “what would Scud do?.”, and by my estimate one could do far worse for a role model than Scud.

As I prepared for the retreat, one of the things I focused on early was to point out to all in attendance that this would be a weekend of hard work, not a vacation. While there certainly would be time for mountain biking and fellowship, work would come first and foremost. I drove that point home to my traveling companions Martin and Ernie when I refused to let them disperse to aisle and window seats of their choosing. Instead I pulled them to the back of that crowded Southwest flight placing a reluctant Martin and his MacBook right in that middle seat, and we got to work.

Initially we set out to work on some basic artwork for an upcoming Scud related project we had been discussing. Ideas and Scud adventure stories flowed between us, and pixels slowly transformed into a shared vision. As we got deeper into exploring what Scud meant to each of us and in particular, to MORE; this project took on a life of it’s own. These ideas continued to flow together becoming icons of the ideals that embodied our friend, and by extension created a vision of the inspiration we’ve been feeling. Below is the end result of several hours of some of the best collaborative work I’ve ever been a part of.

Some of the original inspiration came from the IMBA icons design you often see. Speak, Build, Respect and Ride. While the IMBA icons fit Scud pretty well; they just didn’t hit the mark. After some time we came up with these words and icons to represent his life of service and spirit. Ride, Build, Serveand Mentor. These words and symbols represent what we are now referring to among the board as the four pillars of MORE. Each of these covers a core ideal of the club. These ideals remain as true and relevant today as they did when the club was founded back in 1992.As we chose these words and symbols we also paid a great deal of attention to how they were arranged in the design. Notice how Ride flows into Build to Serve and finally to Mentor. We think this represents the natural journey many of us take within the community. When you think about how people find MORE, it almost always starts with a love of riding our bikes.  It’s always first and foremost among our motivations and it always comes back to the ride at the end of the journey.

As we begin to ride, most of us soon come to love the trails and the community and we naturally transition into building.. It’s important to keep in mind that building here doesn’t’t only mean trails. Building also means building communities and relationships and as everyone knows, Scud excelled at building both!

From Build we move on to Serve, which many people have found to be among the most powerful messages here. What does Serve mean and who are we to Serve? These are very personal questions, with answers unique to each individual.  In a generic sense we begin serving the local riding community, by leading rides, volunteering at events, advocating for more trails and even serving MORE in a leadership role.

Finally, out of service is born the desire to Mentor.  The concept of becoming a Mentor is the idea that resonated most with me as I worked on this message. One of the areas I foremost wanted to capture was the iconic symbolism of Scud in his Superman costume sharing his passion for riding with kids. I still get teary eyed every time I see those photos and at no other time do I feel a greater sense of loss than when I realize my kids won’t get to ride with Superman. Scud was a mentor to not only our local kids, but he also mentored so many of us in the mountain bike community. If you begin speaking to the prominent volunteers in our club you will find nearly all of them were recruited and or touched by Scud in some profound way.

I believe mentoring our kids, getting them on bikes, helping inspire and grow new volunteers, sharing this passion for trails and bikes; all while building up those around us sums up so much of what made Scud special to us.

As I sat staring at these newly created pillars, I began to get a sense something was missing. These were all great examples of how Scud did things and conducted his life but what ties it all together? As I thought on it more the answer came into focus. Above all things; our friend Scud LIVED. Scud had an unmatched passion and exuberance of spirit, which ties back to these pillars and makes us love our sport of mountain biking.

I’d like to challenge you to take some time and reflect on these ideals as shown in this artwork. Think about what each means and how they flow together and can be used to define us as a club and as individuals. The 2014 board has adopted this work as the symbol for all we hope to achieve in the coming years. With spring around the corner, let’s all Ride MORE, Build MORE, Serve MORE, Mentor MORE and most of all LIVE MORE in our own unique ways.

In closing I challenge you to ask yourself; do you Ride, Build, Serve and Mentor to LIVE or do you LIVE because you do these things?

Shown Above the 2014 MORE Board of Directors. We continue to find inspiration
and guidance from our friend Scud.

Upcoming Rides To Honor Scud

Join us for two upcoming rides to honor Scud.

First come out to Fountain Head new years day:

http://www.more-mtb.org/events/scud-memorial-ride

Then join us at Catherine Furnace; a ride that has been an annual scud tradition for many years: http://www.more-mtb.org/events/scuds-catherine-furnace-ride-january-5th

Come celebrate the life and times of Scud as he continues to do what he did best; inspire us to get outside and ride our bikes.

It’s Scott Scudamore Day At Niner Bikes!

If you know Scott you know he’s a big fan of 29ers and in particular Niner Bikes. Well apparently the Niner folks are big fans of Scott too! Check out the Niner Facebook Page today! I continue to be amazed at how many folks Scud touched as an ambassador to our community and this is further proof.

This makes me prouder than ever to ride a Niner bike myself, and I’ll continue to support them even more so to say thanks for supporting our pal Scud.

Thanks Niner! You guys rock welcome to team Scud!

So many ways to support Scud!

First off sorry we haven’t had a update in the past couple weeks. I did go through a couple days ago and update our team Scud page. You guys continue to show a tremendous amount of support. To date the fund is closing in on 75k raised! I’ll be posting up a more detailed thanks etc soon.

In the meantime I wanted to point out that I continue to be impressed at the creative ways you guys are supporting ScudFries. Today my buddy John posted up a MORE jersey on the MORE site, free to anyone who donated to ScudFries. That jersey disappeared quickly! I find it amazing and inspiring that so many are finding their own way to support Scud and Scudfries. People giving away jerseys, organizing rides, selling wrist bands.. The list goes on and on. The most amazing thing is you guys keep delivering!

Thanks to each and everyone of you who continue to give and support Scott!

Riding With Scud At The 2013 Moco Epic™

The always awesome Jim Bole put together the following video to show how many of us were riding the Moco Epic™ with our pal Scud. Notice the smiles on everyones faces when they talk about Scud, that’s just the kinda guy he is. Even a couple hundred miles away he can still make people smile and have fun on our bikes.

On a personal note, Martin and I were all set to ride this with Scud this year as a group. As Martin and this video reminded me we actually did very much ride with Scud that day. WE ride with Scud!

Scud Visit Report: From Lynn Grasso

I was in NJ for a family event and was able to visit Scud the next day, this past Friday, at Kessler West, his new rehab center. It was an amazing day! As Scud said, his “best day yet.” He was able to sleep really well the night before for the first time since being transferred, and so was full of Scud energy—watch out! I got there after his 2-hour physical therapy session, where, as he told me, they put him on the “Frankenstein Table”. This is a table he is strapped to so that he can be fully vertical, stretched out, allowing his body to be in a more natural position, and to strengthen his tolerance. As they told us, they were amazed that he could tolerate such a long time in this position—that no one can on the first day! Of course, I was not surprised!

We chatted for a bit, with Margaret and Scud’s sister Lori, from Niagara Falls. Lori and I got the downlow from the director of therapy, who told us that he’d already heard about and read Scud’s case (of course!), and will be alerting his staff about Scud’s eagerness to get things rolling.

Scud’s treatment plan will be: first, to get as much of his voice back as possible. He will then get a custom power wheelchair which, through voice activation hopefully, he will be able to move himself around, weightshift/recline (which he has to do every 20 minutes to keep his skin integrity), and –the BIG GOAL—go OUTSIDE! Before the power chair can happen, they will work to advance him from his large and cumbersome ventilator system (requires a wall plug), to a more mobile unit that can go in a large backpack on the back of his chair. Then, he’s FREE! Watch out! Another goal is for voice activation to use the Ipad (his personal goal), and to navigate Facebook. He told his therapist, “I’m a Facebook junkie!”

When his trach is adjusted a certain way, he is able to talk! When I heard his voice for the first time, I got weepy! Which was not the first time all day…..both for his talking, and for me getting weepy ☺

His speech therapy session was great. She had him practicing swallowing exercises and voice practice. The swallowing practice is hugely important, since another big goal is to be eating food—as early as next week!

Then we broke out his beloved IPad, and set up a few Pandora stations (Elton John, Billy Joel, Train, Cold Play). Hopefully someday soon, he will be accessing the IPad by himself.

The final, and most wonderful session, was occupational therapy, because I got to see the HUGE gym. Right where he belongs! The rehab center has an adorable yellow lab who hangs out in the therapy gym, and gets brushed and coddled by the many patients. His occupational therapist talked a lot with Scud about his goals, and how the progression must be slow at first to ensure safety with his breathing, heart function, and ability to tolerate being upright without getting orthostatic. Another OT came over to discuss his requests for a more accessible switch unit he can push with his head to call the nurse (Scud currently has ½” range of motion in his neck/head). His OT suggested that he also have a goal of updating his Scudfries.org site BY HIMSELF. He LOVED that idea, and his face lit up, Scud-style.

Also during his OT session, I met his physical therapist, the one who put him on the Frankenstein Table. She has been there for 26 years, is a marathon runner, and used to be the manager of all the therapists at Kessler. She’s super funny, and talked with us for a long time. While we were all talking, Scud said, “If I have any capability to move something, or do something, I’M GONNA DO IT!” He said that a couple times. Shortly after that, Scud introduced me to a young therapist, who he said just started mountain biking. He asked her what kind of bike she had. She said, “A Jensen (she meant Jamis),” to which he replied, “Well, that’s ok”. He told her he has a carbon Niner ☺

The most moving and inspirational moment came during the end of the session, when we were telling them about the army of people down here, and that there has been a lot of fundraising for Scud and his family. He explained that scudfries.org is now a foundation. Scud said, “We’re not sure what the money will be used for yet (for his recovery), but if there is any left over, I’m going to use it to help other people.” Both the OT’s and my eyes filled with tears, as you can imagine…

It was VERY hard to say goodbye to him, after such a full day. It was also hard to say goodbye to Margaret, the strongest woman I know. Margaret is strong, strong, strong. She reads and/or shows him all of the videos that are sent to his phone. She is staying 3 miles away and stays with Scud all day.

I strongly suggest you visit Scud! If you have any worries or stresses, or are frustrated with your training, or your performance in a race, spend a few hours with Scud, and your life will be put back into perspective. Your priorities will be reset. I know this man whom we all adore will be continuing to surprise us, beyond our greatest expectations, with all that he is able to accomplish,

just as he always has.

Lynn Grasso

Scudfries 2.0: Updated & Ready For The Long Haul

As you can see, we have been busy around here at scudfries.org. Mutual Scud pal and long-time personal friend Martin helped to give us a new look, and we are hard at work overhauling the site to make sure that it can continue to serve as the portal for all things related to Scud’s recovery. One new feature here is a chance to share your favorite Scud story. Also, don’t forget about our awesome Flickr pool. And, as many of you have already been doing, please make use of our comments system. Scud has always been a community builder; let’s show him how great he was at it! Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 1.12.26 PM

I just finished a massive update to our amazing donors list, which can now be found under the “Team” link in our redesign. As I have been saying since day one, this community is AMAZING! This list is incredible, and Scud and family have taken notice! They are comforted not just by the financial impact of what we are doing here but also by the way the community has come together to rally behind them.

Thanks to your generous contributions, we have raised about $65k for “Uncle” Scud and family. You all should be incredibly proud of what we have done here. That said, I want to take a moment and hammer home that this effort really is a long-term deal. I’ve joked a few times that this is going to be a whole lot more SM100 than W@W. Well, Scud and his family are in this for the long haul, facing a long and challenging recovery, and the Scud army (as we’re being called) is going to be a huge part of this effort. Our ongoing support is going to make a real difference.

So, does this mean we’re going to keep hitting you up to donate as you can and spread the word? You bet! But beyond that, there are going to be opportunities for all of us to step up, volunteer our time, or just otherwise show our support. This website will be your one-stop shop for finding ways to help our pal Scud. So to all my fellow members of Scud’s army, I say, stay tuned for your future assignments! We have work to do and a long march ahead of us. (But you can bet there’ll be Scudfries waiting at the end!)

Looking Back

Submitted by Jason Ashmore

I realized recently that I’ve been mountain biking for 10 years and it’s become a huge part of who I am.

In looking back, I realize Scud has been a constant positive force in my life since the day I started riding. He has been there as part of so many of my favorite cycling memories. Douthat camping trips, Catherine Furnace Rides, The Tour Of Hope, SM100, Alpine Gran Fondo, our Fruita trip  (below) and many many more.

Martin, Phil, Jason and Scott in Moab.

Martin, Phil, Jason and Scott in Moab.

I still remember the day Scud reached out called me to recruit me as the MORE ride coordinator. I’ve been involved with MORE volunteering behind the scenes ever since.

Scud has always been the type of guy that brings out the best in each of us. I can’t think of a more positive or generous human being than Scud. You simply will not find any individual who has done 1/2 as much for mountain bikers in our area…

Always greeting you with a smile and a handshake; or even a hug when you needed it. His kind words and hot Scudfries helped many a weary rider through a tough day on and even off the bike.

A Message From Jen Rodriguez – Proud Oldest daughter of Scott

Hello All,

Let me introduce myself. I am Jen Rodriguez. Proud Oldest daughter of Scott.
There was a time in my life not too long ago that I truly didn’t understand my dad. I felt that I knew and loved him, his schedule and his passions, but I truly didn’t understand his drive to do so much and fit so many things into his life. Somehow (in my eyes) the more people he fit into his schedule and routine meant less of a connection that he could possibly have had with each. Right? How can you have enough time to really connect on a certain level with so many different people in different walks of life on such a demanding and short time schedule? I would laugh. I would be irritated. I would be frustrated and at times I would be envious. Now, I know I was wrong. After the accident, I am proud. I can’t believe what has happened over the last two weeks. Sure, some would say our family is still in shock. But really I feel as though I am in awe. I know now why my dad stretched himself the way he did. Why he refused to slow down and take it easy. I understand that he only truly was happy when he surrounded himself with amazing, intelligent and inspiring people that pushed him to be the best that he could be.

I have always felt as though my dad is truly special. Now I know how special all of his friends were too!!!
After seeing what you ALL have done over the last 2 weeks with the website, fund raising, the support visits, endless positive energy and prayers and most importantly the recent actions of “The SCUD army” of researchers…I now can truly understand my father. Understanding who and what he stands for has come at a high price. I’m still struggling with that, but not alone.
I am overwhelmed by the amount of energy, time and respect you all have shown my dad and this family. You ALL are amazing individuals and we are so blessed that my dad chose to live his life surrounding himself with people like you.

Things may never be the same for my dad, they may never may be the same for our whole family or yours. But I do know that my dad is blessed to have you all in his corner, fighting for him when he can’t yet for himself. I truly believe he will get there. He will go to a rehab center based on the dedication of all of you who demand the best for him. He will once again surround himself with special individuals who will help achieve his personal goals and he will once again be able to enjoy life to the fullest. He has always taught us many lessons through his actions and lifestyle. I understand now that no matter what has changed for him physically, he will continue to teach us, inspire us, and awe us with his greatness. I understand that as I gaze into his hopeful and sparkling eyes. As I touch his skin that still has warmth and as I listen to his respirator do his breathing that I feel hopeful he will do again on his own someday.

Thank you from the bottom, the middle, and the top of my heart, for all you have put forth to help locate, call, research, interview different Rehabs. I can’t fully explain in words how much it means to me and my family. We can only tell you thank you and express that we all feel like Dad has brought us closer to understanding the gift in life. The gift of friendship and love.

Thank you Kevin, Jason, Leslie, Adam, Christina, my dear love of my life Carl my mom and sister and Scudamore Family. ALL OF YOU who have spent your precious time putting forward my dad’s needs before all else….THANK YOU.
I continue to pray for him and all of you that we gain peace through this tough time. Nobody will ever understand the “why’s” of life’s terrible tragedies…but we can start a new journey together with my dad and create our own answers to the questions that are to come. Things happen for reasons we can’t simply wrap our brains around…but our spirits are forever connected now. That’s a really amazing thing.
God Bless and thank you so much for all your hard work, donations, prayers and dedication.

Love, jen

Want to ride with Scud? Buy the new scudfries fundraiser jersey!

One of the things I have been so amazed and thankful for while working on scudfries.org is the number of people looking for ways to help.  I’ve received so many encouraging e-mails and offers of assistance that it’s really incredible and rewarding beyond words.

One such offer came from Gordon, who works for Starlight Custom Apparel. Gordon is a teammate of Scud’s who races for Blue Ridge Cyclery. Like so many of us, Gordon  counts Scud as a close friend. Gordon was looking for a way to help and offered to design and sell a custom jersey to support the scudfries.org effort.

Now here is the even greater part – this custom jersey is being sold as a fundraiser! Gordon has arranged for $25 of every jersey purchased to come right back here as a donation to Scud’s recovery fund. These jerseys are only $60 plus shipping, and we think you’ll agree that they kick serious ass. I ordered two this morning as soon as Gordon sent me the link (barely beating Kevin to the punch).

SCUD front SCUD back

Many of you have been asking for shirts and/or a jersey to show support, so Kevin and I wasted no time jumping at the chance to work with Gordon on this.  Starlight is selling these on their website for us and they can be purchased here. Our sincere thanks go out to Gordon and Starlight for helping us with this project and helping to support Scud! Let’s ride with Scud!