Anne-Marije Rook has been writing some fantastic profiles of some inspiring people who are riding in the STP this year. In the end, this is what biking is all about: Making your life stronger and happier.
Click the headlines to read the full stories:
Jodi Monroe, 47, currently spends five days out of the week at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance receiving radiation to treat “mean nasty breast cancer”.
“But the doctors are giving me the weekend off to ride the STP!” said Jodi, full of enthusiasm. “As long as I am back for radiation on Monday morning, I’ll be OK.”
Jodi was out on an Independence Day ride when she found the lump, and was diagnosed with invasive stage three breast cancer in October 2011. A mastectomy followed in November, and when chemotherapy started in December, she decided she wasn’t going to let it affect her day-to-day life.
Having completed two STPs in the past, Jodi decided to (literally) pedal through the five harsh months of chemo.
“I wasn’t going to let it change my ways,” said Jodi. “I decided just to be me and be real about what is happening to me. I don’t have time to have breast cancer because I’m too busy being a wife, mom, professional and a friend. Nonetheless, I decided to embrace my treatment so that I can hopefully be cured and help others. I am tackling my cancer like a business deal. I have a plan and am executing it with the best care and cure rates at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.”
For Kim Thornadtsson and Don Ligocki, this year’s STP will be extra special. Not only will it be their tenth Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic in a row, they are also getting married!
“Neither one of us had done any biking events back then, we just rode whenever and wherever we could,” said Kim, a long-time Cascade member. “Some friends told us about STP and we did our first one in 2002, and have made this our annual weekend get-away ever since. It’s the highlight of the year.”
The 2012 STP may very well become the highlight of their lives as they are briefly stopping in Chehalis to be married by Pastor Randy Faro at St. John’s Church over lunch time.
Seventeen-year-old Rafael will be one of the 38 Major Taylor kids riding this year’s Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.
Rafael joined the Major Taylor program when he was a freshman in high school, and has been a committed member for the past three years.
Rafael has cerebral palsy and the STP seemed an impossible event for him but thanks to Outdoors for All, Rafael will be able to ride the event on a special tandem.
For Ben Talbert and his family, the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic has already changed their lives.
A middle school principal, Ben started cycling a year ago to set an example for his students. After budget constraints forced the school to cut some transportation runs, he decided to start riding his bike to the school to show students and parents that it was doable.
“My argument was that if I could do it –as fat as I was– they could do it,” said Ben.
Riding to school instantly became a daily habit, and Ben was soon biking to all his other usual activities such meetings, church, and errands as well.