Monday, September 30, 2013

You Get What You Give

After my high from Saturday’s 100 mile ride, I wasn’t sure if the weekend could get better. And, then it did.


Yes I am wearing a t-shirt that shows how much I love Friday Night Lights

I told you last week that my century ride with Venus de Miles was cancelled due to the flood. Instead, Venus connected riders with ways to volunteer and help with the flood relief effort. Some of us were asked to go to a farm near Longmont, along one of my most favorite riding routes. Ironically, this weekend while doing loops for my long ride, I went by this farm many times and noticed the devastation.


In a weird way I felt a connection to this place, probably because I have passed it too many times to count on training runs and rides. I know you all get what I mean – you go by places a million times and briefly take note of them, but at the same time hardly notice…they are just part of your landscape.

When we got there, my friend Michelle and I grabbed masks, shovels, gloves and boots and headed towards a little 1800’s garden house that had not yet been cleaned out.


She and I went about removing 8” of mud from the floor of this structure, uncovering lawnmowers, rototillers etc. We would dump the mud outside the doors and other volunteers put it in wheelbarrows and dumped it. It’s a good thing I am not freaked out by earth worms as big as snakes. And, too bad this was a rest day because it was not a rest day. Shoveling mud was some serious upper body and core crap.

One funny thing we found in the shed – this sign:


There once was a man with a sick head

Who grew tired of bikers peeing in his shed

When he finally caught one

He loaded his gun and now that biker is dead

Like I said, this farm is along a popular cycling route. The story goes that cyclists were stopping and actually coming into the shed and peeing in the fountain the family had in there. Seriously? Who does that? I am not above taking a dump in the bushes on a trail run, but I wouldn’t dream of going into a shed that someone owned. I have standards after all.

And, no the homeowner did not really shoot a cyclist and pour him down the sink. And yes, I did ask them if I could post the sign.

We talked a lot to the homeowners. They have lived there for 8 years and live on about 7 acres. Their house has been totaled – it will take more to rebuild it than to just tear it down. The attitude of the owners, however, was amazing, despite FEMA’s less than stellar response. They said that it has been the generosity of people that has outweighed the trauma of losing so much.

You get what you give is what so many have told them. Apparently these people have been incredibly generous to those around them for years. When it came their turn to need help, the outpouring has been amazing.


Can you find me?


Have you ever done any disaster relief work or had someone do it for you? This was a first for me.

Ever pee/poop on someone’s property (would you admit it?). Believe it or not, I have not intentionally done this. I did poop inside a tree once in a moment of desperation, but I think it was on public property.



  1. I did some flood relief during Nashville's 2010 floor. Ripped our dry wall and hardwood floors. Tough but rewarding work.

  2. My son and I helped clean up a neighborhood after a tornado hit in Gainesville and Dahlonega GA. It is amazing how the devastation and loss of your neighbors brings people together to volunteer. Time heals and you would never know a tornado passed by and uprooted so many lives just a few years ago.

  3. I see you, you're the one crouched down like you're taking a dump on the poor farmer's land... O_o

    What a great idea to volunteer instead of just cancel the race. And kudos to you for being in the thick of it!

    1. Haha! I was really hoping no one would notice what I was doing.

  4. What?! FEMA, less than stellar job?!! Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job!

  5. Amazing! I've never volunteered for something like that. I've only pooped in a toilet even while camping ;)

  6. That's awesome Beth! Can't say that I've knowingly done my business on anyone's private property....although when you're riding out in the country, it's hard to tell if you're on private property or not!

  7. The resiliency of folks is beyond amazing. I too go by that farm all the time, love the way they had fixed it all up and sad to see it this way. So good to see you all helping them on their path to recover. Can't help at the moment but when I have two working arms again, I sure hope to help with whatever options there are come spring.

  8. SUAR, good for you. I went to Mississippi 3 times after Katrina and did a lot of clean up and rebuilding. It was the most gratifying experience of my life.

  9. So glad you volunteered. This is the real spirit of people who love and respect the outdoor.

  10. Helped here in Vermont after Irene nailed us a few years back. flood mud is nasty!


  11. I have never helped with a clean up, but we did have someone live with us until they could find a new place after they lost their house in the Nashville Flood, 2010.

    I have a hard time peeing anywhere but a toilet, can go in a HoneyBucket now, thanks to racing. This past April we did a mud run and our car got stuck in the mud field that was used as a parking lot. We were there for 5 hours waiting to be pulled out and I just couldn't hold it anymore. I jumped out into ankle deep mud and pouring rain to pee behind the tall grass and tree...only to look over when I was done to see the car full of people several yards away. I'm sure my naked butt is somewhere on YouTube now. What a story that carload got to tell.

    I don't hope for a devastating event, but if there is one here again, I hope I will be able to help out.

  12. Where is this farm exactly?... thanks

  13. OMG that sign is hilarious! I have never peed or pooped on someone's my knowledge!! What a great thing you have done. I really need to volunteer!

  14. Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject.