A tale of two bikes… and lots of kids

I waited to write. I don’t know why, telling stories is one of my things.

I’ve told dozens of stories about the kids in TrailsforYouth.Org’s program over and over again and they bring tears to eyes, mostly mine. But I’ve never told the story of TYO and Scud.

I guess I could tell the story about him being president of TYO’s board for years, or his role as superman at our festivals, or how he showed me to run races years ago or to work a grill at our camping trips. Heck he even gave me his grill, but people know these stories, all part of the Scud Lore.

So instead I’ll tell the story of two small blue Cannondales, TYO has had these particular bikes for about 6 years or so. They are still two of our best bikes, great for kids. Hundreds of children have learned to bike safely and race using these bikes, including one of my sons. One of these bikes helped a girl on suicide watch get herself back together, after her mother died. Carolina Rivas became a champion on one of these bikes and her little brother is following in her foot steps on the same bike.

ScudMan!

Scud was an important part of the TYO Family.

We have about 40 bikes in the TYO fleet, but these bikes are special. They stand out, they are a little better than everything else we have, the kids flock to them and they are usually the first ones picked if given the choice. They have been hauled around, ridden hard and dropped more than once, but they are durable, special and loved. They’ve outlasted most of our other bikes and will be around for a long time continuing to make a difference… sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?

That would make sense because about 6 years ago, some guy named Scud won a Cannondale 29er as a prize for some reason or another, and when asked what size he wanted he bargained for two small blue Cannondales in lieu of the 29er for himself. Scud has never ridden either of these bikes yet, but some of him has definitely rubbed off on them and on the hundreds of kids who he continues to help in so many ways.

Thank you for helping give them and TYO a voice.

Pat Childers

The Stories I could tell…

volvo-2

Scud and I have been to many places together, and out of ALL his friends, I’m the one he’s likely spent the most time with.

He held and cradled me early in my life. I was born in 2004, and since then, he’s cared for me meticulously as I aged. He made sure I always had my fluids checked and always performed my scheduled maintenance; sometimes, he also gave me a little extra love and detailed and decorated me with cool cycling stickers.

I, in turn, have been faithful and highly dependable for him (I am after all a Volvo), always there when he needed me. And still here today.

He’s been in me (take your mind out of the gutter please) thousands of times, and together we’ve logged a little over 127,000 miles. We’ve headed north, south, east and west countless of times in search of adventure, and often found it.

I carried his bikes, sometimes three of them, and a kayak on my roof. And, in my spacious trunk I held all his junk 😉

I was with him on September 22nd, and unfortunately, that has been the last time we were together.

I miss him.

I also know that our time together is quickly coming to an end and that soon I’ll have to move on and share the next phase of my life with someone else. It’s my hope that it’s with someone who shares Scott’s and my passion and zeal for adventure.

I want my racks staked with bikes again, I can take 2
I want to to carry Kayaks again, I can take 3!
I want to ferry my new owner to new destinations and share in her (or his) adventures, My engine and underbody have been thoroughly inspected and are good to go.
I want to visit all the trail and lake heads Scott took me to while we were together once again, I have 127,000 miles but have lots to go.

I know Scott wants me to keep going and would prefer that I end up with someone who shares his since for adventure.

Over the course of the last month he’s made sure that I have received all kinds of extra care. I’ve been tuned, detailed, checked and re-checked and i’m ready to make someone else happy.

Could that be you? I sure hope so, because the last thing I want is to be placed on craigs list where some weirdo will take me away and never show me another trailhead; I’d much rather be with someone who knows Scott and understands what I need.

Interested? Then please post a comment below and someone will contact you with the details, including price and my maintenance history, so that you know that when you take me home I’ll give you another 100K+ miles of driving enjoyment.

Choosing Happiness!

 

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Sometimes, I wake up thinking I have been in a three month long dream. Sept changed our lives forever but I still find myself thinking and even saying out loud, “I just can’t believe it”. Those are usually the times when I am in Northern Va attempting to do my normal working mommy routine. Bus stop, errands, work,bus stop, dinner, arrival of daddy, homework, paperwork, war of the showers/bath time, reading and then bed. That’s on the off season of soccer and gymnastics and other after school activities. I love every second of it and know deep in my heart it is what I was made to do. September has changed it all and now I know I was meant for more as well. Bring it on LIFE!!! My Father has done it all plus some. He has been married to Saint Margaret for 41 years, raised his girls with good values, proper amount of work ethic and of course a multitude of FUN time to cap it off. Many of you know him through my childhood, our family, mountain biking, community projects, soccer,softball, biking foundations and racing teams. Some may know him through camping trips, his SCUD fries talent, night rides at Wakefield, beers afterwards. Charlottseville has brought many of you to know him as the one who talks to everybody. That would include LM neighborhood parties, boat rides on the lake, church, rescue squad, swift water rescue, the local Bike shop and many others that I’m not even familiar with. His Facebook addiction alone puts many of you on his life map too! You are all well aware of what kind of guy he is and continues to want to be despite this accident. Someone who is the perfect amount of a “BIG KID”, caring human being, active and generous. He puts his family first and then all of his “good friends”. BTW…that is pretty much everyone. He truly loves all of you and misses seeing everyone’s smiling faces and hugs!

His time at Kessler has had it’s bumpy roads but over all I think he is doing fantastic!!! He looks stronger and more handsome every time I visit. He is learning how to balance the coping skills he needs to live a happy rest of his life at home with the will power , hope and faith that he will grow stronger and regain important functions that will allow him to live an active life. One where he can still participate in the events and activities that he has always had passions for. He is aware it will be a different role for him…but he doesn’t care. He is alive and fighting to stay healthy. He is optimistic that he was placed on this path for a reason. He will never give up and he will never quit being who he is.
When I first read this quote about Life’s Paths, I was struck silent. I couldn’t believe how much it sums up what dad is going through and who dad is, and always has been. I have always known that no matter what, he was a determined man to live the life that he loved. What I hadn’t learned until recently, is just how powerful his heart and soul truly is.

By: Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You can live the life you love-even in the face of the most challenging circumstances. While sometimes it may appear that life throws more obstacles in your path than you can handle, you can always choose to be HAPPY.
YES! You are that powerful.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Dad is very grateful for being at Kessler. He is grateful for making it off that mountain because of his friends and he is most grateful to still be able to live his life of happiness. You may have noticed that he has posted some silly pictures of himself and our family. He is determined that when you see him, you will be happy for him that he lived and not sad for his predicament. He covers his trach not because he is ashamed or embarrassed but because he wants to shelter his friends and family from the harsh reality of his new path in life.
I’m so proud of my dad on so many levels. It is almost impossible to describe what it is like to spend time with him. He works hard at his therapies, demands the best from the aides, loves his nurses and invites everyone into his room to see all his family pictures and banners that you all have sent to him. He is proud of the life he led with all of you and moved by everyone’s prayers and generosity.

My family and I look forward to seeing him on Christmas day where we will fully intend on dressing up in silly hats, eat pudding, ice cream and sherbet and make new Holiday memories. Currently he is spending some very special time with my sister, Krista. She is in the NAVY and will be deployed out the day after Christmas. I do believe that the four of us are closer than ever and are learning how to bond with each other despite living so far away from one another. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers too as she embarks on a deployment that could keep her away from seeing dad for a long time. They are living it up, laughing and working hard before she leaves so that she can hold dear to heart the times spent with dad this week while she is away.

As Christmas slowly creeps closer we are reminded of the true spirit within all of us. Love has taken over the shadow of sadness that tried to keep us down. In spite of hardships and dark times, we hope and pray for you and your families as well. Thank you all so much for everything you have done to show dad your friendship and love. Thank you for the visits, the cards, the gifts, the encouraging messages and your prayers. May God bring you good health and happiness this Holiday season and always.

Merry Christmas!
~Jen “Scudamore” Rodriguez

Water Rescue – Rookie of the year

Scott Scudamore, Rookie of the Year

Scott Scudamore, Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to Scott – the 2013 Lake Monticello Water Rescue Team Rookie of the Year. Scott’s enthusiasm, natural aptitude and passion for learning made him a no brainer for the award. Scott, in absentia, got the only standing ovation of the evening.

We can’t wait to get you home buddy. Your contributions may look different in the future, but we know you will continue to positively impact the team and more importantly the community.

Congrats Rookie!

The Solitude of Cold

When I woke up today (after working all night) at around noon. I thought, “Man, its cold outside!” I’m sitting here thinking that I was too tired and didn’t wanna go out and ride. I then think that Scud probably would call me about now and he’d talk me into going out for a ride. So I load the bike up and head for Pleasant Grove. When I get there I put on my winter shoes, helmet, and gloves and look at the temperature. Its about 30 degrees out. Its not that cold, in fact I’ve ridden in much colder.

We knew that it was going to snow and were looking forward to it.

We knew that it was going to snow and were looking forward to it.

My thoughts begin to go to a very cold day in January. Scud and I decided to go for a ride on Jan. 25 of this year at Pleasant Grove. We knew that it was going to snow and were looking forward to it. That day at ride time, i believe it was around 20 degrees out. I remember eating lunch with Heather and the kids prior to the ride and her telling me I was nuts for going out to ride. (I remember, Margaret saying the same thing to Scud). We ignored them anyway. I don’t remember the exact route that day but I remember it being one of the most memorable rides of the year. When you say to most people that you’re going to ride your bike in 20 degree weather when its snowing, most people give you a strange look. Its hard to motivate yourself in those conditons much less have someone out there, as crazy as you, out there with you. It is a memory and a ride with a very good friend that I will carry with me forever. To add to the craziness, we even went for a run afterwards.

While riding today, I kept thinking about that day, I thought about the cold today and the cold today, I thought about my friend and smiled. I even looked behind me a couple of times expecting to see Scud behind me and smiling. I began missing my friend, missing our conversations as we rode, sharing in the cold and knowing I was sharing that moment with someone and making what ever conditions were present more bearable. The more I rode today, the more I wanted to ride. I didn’t notice the cold after a bit.

Keep fighting, buddy! You are in my thoughts every day and on every single ride I go on. That day in Jan is one of the many fond memories I have of riding with you.

Rich.

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves!!!

Hello! Dad!

The kids are off to school and I am enjoying looking outside the back window to falling leaves everywhere. I think of you all through the day especially as the Holidays come and I am reminded of how many special moments my heart holds created by you and mom in this very house.

There are moments of raking leaves and having to do chores outside to winterize the yard that come to mind. I wasn’t fond of those times then, but I am now. I get to reflect on the life we had here and how much we did growing up. You gave us such a beautiful life, and still do.

I am so blessed to have you as my father. You inspire me in ways that I can’t explain. I take comfort in the change of season, knowing that time doesn’t stand still, but constantly moves and grows in time. I patiently wait as Thanksgiving comes closer on the calendar so that we can be together again as a family. I can’t wait to see your smile, hold your hands, and give you bad haircuts!

The leaves at Kessler are so vibrant and beautiful and are beginning to fall. Change is in the air all around you and us and I can’t help but feel like all of this was meant to be. I hope you are taking some time for your self to go to the day room and really look outside at your beautiful view of Autumn. Take a moment to really ponder your life’s achievements, and feel the love and support from all around the world for this new journey you are on.

We are always with you in spirit, always missing you, and always loving you.

P.S. If it’s crappy weather there… I’m sorry! lol!

Just try to remember all the fun fall days here in Montclair that mom would scream at you to stop watching football, get off the couch and rake leaves! (After your 8am bike ride of course).

Love, jen

Travel Companion

I spent a little time with Jen this morning, she stopped by the house to drop something off and I got to show her some of the pictures I have in my archive of Scott and me in the various trips we’ve taken together over the years; So I figured I’d share some of the highlights of our adventures with you.

Over the years we’ve traveled all over the place – me much less than him – but I managed to either drag  him along on one or two of my trips or he has coerced me (hardly) into heading out on one of his. We’ve been out west and ridden in Colorado and Utah. We’ve headed south to ride epic single track in North Carolina. Most recently we headed north to Vermont to take Ari and Marie to the Little Bellas MTB Camp, and in between we’ve gone on a myriad of “couple of hour” long trips to ride around our region.

Since he moved to Monticello our outings became less frequent, but I still managed to head down there for one reason or another – to either goof around in the lake, build Saint Margaret a step in the front of the house, or to simply ride Walnut Creek.

The trips always revolved around cycling, but it just wasn’t all about that. In Colorado he managed to reconnect with some old friends and introduced me to some new ones. In North Carolina we spent some great times with Tony, Kevin and Christina; We fired of some rounds and ate some amazing pulled pork. In Vermont he dragged me into the Ben & Jerrys Factory (how could I resist) and yet again introduced me to a slew of new friends.

But arguably, the best and most memorable trip I ever went on with Scud was the voyage we took together, along with 9 other friends, to Peru. That trip meant quite a bit to me because after years of telling him about my homeland I finally got to show him first hand where I grew up.

We spent a little time in Lima, then 10 days riding in Cuzco, and another 4 just chilling back in Lima with my family. We literally spent every waking moment together for 15 days and had a blast. We biked and then biked some more; We ate, and then we ate some more, and then we literally soared over Miraflores on my cousin’s Paragliders.

I wrote a blog post on my cycling site detailing the trip, but here are some of the memorable moments from our time down there:

  1. Arriving in Lima and having a driver holding out a board with our names on it. Kim was stoked about it – the trip could have ended for her right there and she would have been happy.
  2. Scott starting to drink Inca Kola and not stopping until we left – he likes it…
  3. Putting together our bikes and heading out to Panchitas for a way to extravagant dinner – despite the fact we were getting picked up at 4:00 am for Olleros.
  4. Riding Olleros and Scott proclaiming it was the best ride ever!
  5. Re-packing the bikes and heading out to Cuzco on Peru Air. I don’t know what Scott said to the counter guy, but we did not get charged for flying our bikes
  6. Arriving in Cuzco and being greeted by a Scottish Guide – Scott was like say what?!? Dougie turned out to be a gem; Scott immediately put him on the spot: “I just rode the best trail ever yesterday; you better have something good for us in store…” Dougie: “Don’t worry mate – we have a wee bit good riding here…”
  7. Riding Maras, Moray and Scott posing with his shirt open – we urged him to please just zip it.
  8. Riding Huchuy Qosqo and Scott proclaiming it was the best ride ever!
  9. Going to Machu Picchu and then walking down to Aguas Calientes (no longer called that BTW) and Scott ordering a Tuna Pizza; I was like: “dude – you’re going to get sick – I can’t imagine that tuna is fresh…” Scott got sick.
  10. Riding in the vomit bus from Ollantaytambo to Urubamba – the short drive took nearly thrice as long for all the vomit stops.
  11. Heading back to Lima and meeting my brother and spending three days in the company of my parents, sister and niece with Uncle Scott and Mikey;
  12. Finally flying over Miraflores on the Paragliders of Aeroxtreme, my cousin’s outfit.

Those two weeks simply flew by – and before we knew it we were on our way home and planning the next adventure.

Scud’s Courage

As Director of Referees for Prince William Soccer, Inc. (PWSI), I saw the team SCUD’S COURAGE warming up to play in their championship game on Saturday. I looked to round up a couple of players for a picture and soon was being photographed with the entire team.

PWSI’s teams are called COURAGE and it was a perfect fit that this team married both the Scud and Courage names. Scott’s grandson, Kyle, plays on this team (pictured back right – next to me, I have my arm over his shoulder). I told him I was going to visit his grandfather on Monday.

Scud's Courage

Scud’s Courage

On Monday (Nov 4) I went to Kessler. Margaret and I spent 10-15 minutes talking before going into see Scott. I learned he had a rough day on Sunday. Spinal cord injuries are complex and recovery is long. One should not picture him feeling great every day eating ice cream and watching TV. His body is still going through hell adjusting to his accident six weeks ago. It has been a roller coaster for him and will probably continue that way for a while.

Scott was in physical therapy, as he is every weekday, so I got to see him in his workout environment. He greeted me with a smile. His voice sounded great! We had just a typical conversation. He wanted to know what I had been up to and I wanted to know how he was doing.

We talked about his rehab and his physical therapist, Barbara, jumped right in with the conversation. When she remarked about his voice he broke out in tune, pretty loudly, “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA LA LA LA” up and down the scale, loud enough that a number of people turned and looked. Well, those people would be other physical therapists.

In this wing of the center were perhaps 30 patients, all working with therapists. And all are in pretty difficult situations. Scott pointed out a young man who was a motorcyclist and mountain biker. From Cumberland, Maryland. They rode many of the same trails.

Scott paused, reflecting, said he was lucky. He pointed out some people worse off than he was and mentioned the third floor was for patients like him — but with brain damage. He stated that he has his complete memory of his entire life.

Barbara moved Scott’s legs. Then she moved his arms. She suspended them midair on ropes and I made some “carnival music” since he looked like her marionette. He laughed. Barb’s ID has a sticker on it – Team SCUD. Another therapist, Rachel, came over, and Scott gave her a sticker. “You are now a member of Team SCUD.” I think he’s determined to make every staffer at Kessler part of Team SCUD.

Scott’s attitude is amazing. Knowing him you know it will get him through anything. But it doesn’t mean it will be easy or without setbacks. As he was telling me about this bicycle he can use at Kessler, Barbara broke the bad news to him. His blood pressure is not yet stable enough to allow him to use the bike. Scott said dejectedly “we chose this facility (in part) to use the bike.” I am thinking that in time his BP will stabilize and they will add this to rehabilitation routine. I know Scott is looking forward to it.

As I was getting ready to leave they had Scott maneuver his wheelchair over to a special rehab bed. Not sure it’s a “puffer” device – Margaret said this unit alone costs $5,000 – but he used his mouth/lips to drive the wheelchair. But it’s still tethered to the ventilator so he can’t go far until he gets a unit mounted on his wheelchair.

We didn’t talk about food but we know from Facebook that Scott recently had Navy bean soup, baked ziti, spinach, peaches and ice cream. So he’s eating some now but I understand still has a feeding tube.

We had a good visit and I look forward to my next visit. As I left he proudly told me that PWSI has approved Kyle’s team to wear those uniforms next season too. I’m happy that throughout the spring soccer season when I’m out on the fields I’ll always be reminded of Scud’s Courage.

Scout Camp Rides with Scud!

There’s nothing better than a mountain bike ride with friends on a crisp Fall afternoon with the backdrop of colorful leaves and beautiful blue skies.

Sunday afternoon’s Scout Camp Ride with Scud was exactly that as 40+ mountain bikers came out to celebrate Fall and help support our friend, Scud. Many know and have known Scud for a very long time while others know only that he was and continues to be instrumental in improving mountain biking for everyone in the NOVA and Richmond regions.

We Ride With Scud

We keep you in our hearts and minds every day and bring you with us on every ride. Just a glance at our Ride With Scud wristbands brings a smile and laugh but more importantly, hope and prayers that your recovery is and will continue to bolster your body and spirit.

Kessler will never be the same… shake them up, challenge them to challenge you!