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Another Tour de Cure Oregon in the books. Inspire and I finally rode my Century Course after 7 years of running the event. 7:30 ride time, 9 hours real time, 13.9 mph pace.
Meanwhile, Margo joined half of our team on the 30 mile route, and was able to enjoy the finish line festivities.
This year, TeamNakagawa signed up 14 riders and raised over $11,000 for the American Diabetes Association. As of July 31, we are the #2 family team and #4 overall team for Oregon.
More photos on Smugmug
The purpose of this award is to recognize men who have made family a priority while balancing demanding careers and community involvement. Proceeds from the event benefit the American Diabetes Association. Held at center court at the Moda Center, we listened to four inspirational stories about parenting, love, and life balance. And we had really good company all night.
More pictures on Smugmug
The interview: http://hoodtocoastrelay.com/files/pdfs/interview.pdf
Nothing big or exciting at the home of Kent and Margo, other than entertainment provided by Roxie, Luna, and Bailey. Enjoy the photos!
We are in an “El Nino” winter. In practical terms, that only means that weather was not expected to be normal. Not that we really know what normal is anymore. A string of six or eight consecutive record warm months, followed by a single (Nov) chill, has now morphed into what is almost certainly going to be the wettest month in Portland history (in terms of number of days of wet). It’s been raining since Dec 1, doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime before Christmas, and we’re all grumpy. So I decided I needed to think warmer, drier thoughts. Here’s the end of year wrap of Margo and Kent.
I make a calendar with photos at the end of every year, and this year’s calendar title was “Reflection and Renewal”. And they year was set in motion with another rough year for Margo. Another car accident. Another year of physical therapy. Another year of uncontrollable diabetes. Toward the end of the year, it seems that things may be slowly coming back on track. New medication is finally having an effect on the blood sugars. It’s still not stable, but getting a response to the medication is a welcome first step. She’s been successfully losing weight for the past several months. Hopefully, she’ll finally be able to get out of this static funk she’s been trapped in for the past several years, and we’ll be able to share some new stories next year.
Meanwhile, the Two Lives of Kent (Toppan and Tour de Cure) finally caught up to me this year. On the good side, my managerial roles at Toppan continue to expand. First full fiscal year, first completely profitable year registered by my business unit. Hired a new employee from within the company, and showed that it can be done without leaving the raided department “holding the empty bag”. It has had its ups and downs, but overall, it continues to be a good thing, from a job security, personal growth, and professional growth standpoint. Franklin (my boss and Chief Technical Officer) and I are now exploring just how high the corporate development path I want to go.
On the other good side, this year’s Tour de Cure, my second year as Chairman, took place at a new host venue – a park a mile or so away from our long-term stadium venue – due to scheduling conflicts. And it went off with very few hitches, validating all of the logistical pieces that we had developed over the five years at the stadium. And that was in spite of experiencing the first rainy TDC in the 12 years I have been involved in the event! We also had the largest family team (12 riders) and the best donation take (over $10,000), and six $1000+ riders.
But I did say that the Two Lives caught up with me this year. After completing the event in July, Margo and I took a much needed vacation in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for our birthday/anniversary week. And I decided that I had neglected the Third Life of Kent with the juggling act – my physical and mental health. Since the day job takes precedent (until Margo can draw a paycheck again), I decided it was time to pass control of the Tour de Cure to a new leader. I wanted to get back to bicycling for my own benefit, including riding in TDC with my team. I also wanted to free up time to focus on my own wellness, especially after being put on notice that I’m dangerously close to my own diabetes threshold.
Of course, I’m “much too valuable” to be let off the hook that easily. And so the American Diabetes Association made me an offer that I really couldn’t turn down. Starting January 1, I’ll be joining the Community Leadership Board of the Oregon ADA, to continue being an advocate for a cause that affects me every day (Margo), and to stay connected with friends and an activity that has become an important part of my life for over a decade.
The home is still completely owned by the kids (Roxie, Luna, Bailey; Samantha and Maverick). And it’s been an unusual year of photos. Since Margo’s been fairly immobile this year, there aren’t nearly as many of the usual “dogs at park” photos gracing our photo gallery. And it hasn’t been nearly as many “Kent on bicycle” photos either. It’s been a lot more photos of actual people – parties (Margo’s surprise 50th party), vacations (two trips to Idaho), and reunions (Margo and Greg Scott; Kent and Connie Putney, Kent and Kim Meyerson). That’s the “Reflection” part of the calendar – maintaining connections of our past, with the eye firmly on the future. As usual, you can see our life in pictures on Smugmug: http://nakagawa-west.smugmug.com
As always, we hope you have a wonderful year, and look forward to a renewed and happy 2016!
Kent (& Margo)
A full week vacation over our birthday/anniversary week. Home base in Post Falls, Idaho, at the River Cove Bed & Breakfast with Eric and Roz Wurmlinger (hosts). A week of breakfast, bicycling, booze, and other sights in the Lake Coeur d’Alene area. It was a three part week – smoke and haze from the wildfires, then a couple of days of much needed wind and rain, to yield two absolutely gorgeous days.
The highlight and end cap of the vacation week was our first ride on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. On our last day of our vacation, the weather cleared, the smoke washed out, and we got a 22 mile taste of the Trail. It is a fully paved bicycle trail on the historic Silver Valley train route from Plummer to Mullan. We rode the flat section from Harrison to Medimont and back. The pictures do not do justice to the scenery and wildlife we saw.
It started with an idea from Larry Rosenberg in February. If you’re going to pull a surprise 50th birthday party, spring it before Margo’s birthday. Six months later, the surprise is sprung. And there wasn’t a single deception involved. A normal, annual bike event ride (The BBBT) in the morning, shortened to enjoy the company of Robin Mann. Meeting up for lunch with Elena Nilaver to exchange photos from this week’s Champions Party.
The surprise? 21 additional folks from her many circles – the neighborhood (Sandy Bennion), Pilgrim Church (Melissa O’Brien), the Ladies Group (Clare Acker), the Gamers (John Furze, Les Brown, Dean Rifenbery, Nate Sandall, Mike Warner, Matt Riley), the Tour de Cure (Elena Nilaver, Robin Mann, Bill & Nancy Haase).
The bigger surprise – the California friends (Robin, Larry, Sarah Rosenberg, Steve and Julie Fisher).
The biggest surprise – Kent completely broke character by both arranging the whole thing and keeping Margo completely clueless right up to the singing of the crew. Add the outstanding service by the Golden Valley Restaurant staff and the excellent cake from Beaverton Bakery.
I think Margo had a great time once her brain got over the shock.
More photos on Smugmug
The 2015 Tour de Cure was a test of commitment. A welcome overcast and misting turned into steady showers and reports of hail for the intermediate and short distance riders. It put the entire safety and support crew to the test to keep riders safe on slick roads, on course with washed-away chalk markings, vandalized directional signs. Never in the 7 years of my TDC have I seen this kind of wild weather on event day.
In spite of all that, 500 riders and 200+ volunteers made the most of the day. By the time riders returned for lunch, the rain stopped, the food and beer was on, and the smiles were coming across the finish line. Riders loved the new park venue, complemented the full-service support on the road and rest stops. And the endcap of the day – three members of TeamNakagawa completed their first full century ride ever, receiving the applause of most of the volunteer and staff as they crossed the finish line.
It was both a testement to what I helped build over the last seven years as a volunteer, Ride Director, and Chairman, and a great ending to my current high-profile stint with TDC. Next year, I plan to ride in my century course for the first time. After three years away from the riders, I am looking forward to connecting with them directly again.
Continuing my summer of reflection and reconnection. A dear college friend, Kimberly Meyerson, came calling to the Pacific Northwest with a friend and colleague. Last time we spent some time together was 20 years ago, when I was still in northern California. Her free day was her arrival day, July 5th, so we made the most of the time. Margo and I took her on the “nature tour”, showing her the jewel of the area – the Columbia River Gorge. Add lunch and dinner conversations, a visit to Nakagawa West to see the kids. By the time I dropped her off in Salem, the years apart went away.
I think the next time I’m on the east coast on business, I’ll need to take up her invitation to visit her home turf and hospitality. She is a special lady whose friendship I don’t take for granted.