Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The simple kindness of strangers

On Sunday my beautiful bride and I went to dinner at that icon of all foods good, Golden Buffet. While picking and poking my way through the various lines I heard someone say "Is what your shirt says true?" I stopped, but wasn't sure that whoever was asking, was talking to me. So this gentleman approached me and said "Is what your shirt says true?" I wasn't thinking when I put my t-shirt on, but I was wearing my shirt that says "My Son is a Marine." So I turned to the gentleman and said "Yes sir, it is." He then said something like "Tell him 'thank you' from us." 

Well, I had to be straight with him. I said "I can't really do that. He was killed in action two years ago." Of course, he could see my eyes well up a bit. Two years later and I still have difficulty talking about James sometimes. Sorry, I just do. This gentleman went to put his hand on my shoulder and then he just hugged me. He didn't think about what the other people around in this public (very busy) restaurant would think, he didn't know how I would react, he just gave me a hug. Then he said "We are still proud and thankful for him," or something similar. So I replied with a "Thank you".

It was a simple gesture but honestly, that made my week. Thank you, who ever you are.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Answering some questions

I've been getting several questions about what it is we are doing, so I am hoping to answer them here.

"When is your event?"
All the time!  Well, we will be participating in the Cap City Cross series of events. Here's the schedule from the Cap City Cross website:
2010 Cap City Cross Race Series:
10/ 3 -- Big Run Soap Box Hill (southwest Columbus, excellent venue.)
10/17 -- Coffman Park - Dublin
10/31 -- Uncle Steves Halloween Race
11/14 -- Infirmary Mound OVCX
11/28 -- OVCX/Cap City State Champs at John Bryan
12/5 -- Smith Farm
12/12 -- Lobdell!

There's not a specific date for contributors to donate - you can donate at any time. Of course we encourage you to come out and watch the races. As well, at the 12/5 Smith Farm race we will have a table set up so you can hunt us down there! Hunt us down at any of the Cap City events - we'll be wearing the Wounded Warrior Project jerseys.

All that said, do you want to see us finish well? Would you like to see us suffer? Then throw down a challenge! Post a reply here and say "Hey, if you do 3rd or better I'll kick in $X !". Or whatever. Want to challenge us to the overall season finish? Single race? 

Why race cyclocross? Remember when you were 8 or 11 and you'd ride around the neighborhood with your friends on your bikes and then an impromptu race would break out? Cyclocross is sort of the adult excuse to behave the same way. Race hard with your friends, get dirty and have a good time. Besides, it's probably the most spectator-friendly bicycle racing there is. 

Why do this in memory of our son? Because it was him that challenged me to stop talking about it and really do it. Because One of the last things I got to do with James when he was on leave was for the two of us to go for a long, leisurely bike ride. The last father-son time I got to have with him.  And just because.

Why race as a Proud Supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project? They are a well-run organization, with very minimal operating expenses which means that most of your money goes directly to the soldier that needs your help. Because James was fiercely loyal and protective of his friends and fellow soldiers. Because while we can't help James now, we can help those he has served with. 

"What should I do?"
Donate! Or challenge us! Come out and watch at the Cap City Cross races. Race with us, ride with us. Tell us a joke. 

Thank you for the time and your support.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why do we race cyclocross?

Well, here's a decent video that will give you some idea. However, it doesn't capture the crowds. Cyclocross is a very spectator-friendly sport due to the small courses and, well, irreverant revelry to be had.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The first event - the Frankenbike 50!

For our first event, we’ll be attending the Frankenbike 50 on the 5th of September. Now that I say it, it sounds sort of ominous. But, what exactly is the Frankenbike 50? From the Cap City website, “The FrankenBike50 (or FB50) is a bike tour or race depending on who you ask. It's meant to to be a fun test of your overall abilities. It will be about 50% dirt/gravel forest roads, 30% paved road and 20% singletrack. It will have some great climbing, fun downhills and beautiful views of southern Ohio. It will have technical sections, flat boring road sections, long hills, a hike a bike, and it will probably hurt a little.”  What that means is, if you like the idea of an “epic adventure” than this is the ticket. If you think you’d look good in black & white in a Rapha catalog, here’s your in.

Having had the “pleasure” of pre-riding some of the course with Andy and Mason (Cap City Cross organizers) I can tell you that it will be a leg-cramping, lung-burning, lunch-launching good time. That is, if you consider pushing your woefully out-of-shape body to the extreme, then launching said body over the ledge and continuing on anyway despite the fact that your head is spinning so hard you can’t see straight a good time.

Well... I do, so I will. Jovid, well, he’ll ride along and look at me like my tendons have been exchanged for very loose rubber bands and say something like “What’s the matter old man?”  I won't have enough breath to answer "We've got 40 more to go!"

"Whoa, sounds like a great time! Can I join in the frivolity? Where's it at?"
In and around the Scioto Trails State park and forest. About an hour south of Columbus, Ohio.

"Um, yeah, don't think I'm quite in the mood to ride that..."
Not a problem. In that case, we'll do the suffering for you! All you need to do is donate (at any time!) to the Wounded Warrior Project. After all, that's what this is all about.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Riding with my Son: Riding With My Son:Racing bicycles for money with...

Riding with my Son: Riding With My Son:
Racing bicycles for money with...
: "Riding With My Son: Racing bicycles for money with a twist Most people who race bicycles for money are looking to put money in their pocket..."
Riding With My Son:
Racing bicycles for money with a twist

Most people who race bicycles for money are looking to put money in their pocket. The better the finish, the better the pay. A way to earn a living doing something they enjoy, or at least some payoff for all the hard work they’ve put in. But we’ve decided to try a different angle – racing bikes to raise money as proud supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/).

Why and how did we come up with that idea?

The story in brief: On 2-MAY-2008, our son, Lcpl. James Kimple, was killed in action while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. In memory of James, my family and I feel that the best course of action is to honor his commitment to his fellow soldiers.

One of the last memories of my son occurred during several email exchanges while he was deployed in Iraq. I mentioned that I was interested in participating in cyclocross racing. James thought that it was a good idea and encouraged me to do so. Now I feel that it is time for me to hold up my end of the bargain, and Jovid, my younger son, has decided to try his hand at racing bicycles, too.

Which leaves us with racing bicycles and honoring our soldiers. To accomplish our mission, Jovid and I will be teaming up with the Wounded Warrior Project and racing in this year's Cap City Cross series of cyclocross races (http://www.capcitycross.com/). So we call our adventure "Riding with My Son." Our hope is to raise awareness and earn your support for the Wounded Warrior Project. Donations can be made online through our website - http://WWPProudSupporter.kintera.org/jdkimple. Of course, you can track us down at the Cap City races – Jovid and I will be wearing the WWP Proud Supporter jerseys!

Please join Jovid and myself in our efforts to honor James while supporting the Wounded Warrior Project!

Stay tuned, we'll keep you up to date with progress, race results, upcoming schedule, and so on.