2016 Tour de Cure Oregon

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.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. Pre-ride for the century course.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. Pre-ride for the century course.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon.  Finish line photos.  4:30pm.  105 miles.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. Finish line photos. 4:30pm. 105 miles.

Meanwhile, Margo joined half of our team on the 30 mile route, and was able to enjoy the finish line festivities.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon.  More photos from the better half of our team, doing the 30 mile course and enjoying the finish party.

2016 Tour de Cure Oregon. More photos from the better half of our team, doing the 30 mile course and enjoying the finish party.

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.

2016 teamnakagawa 2016b teamnakagawa

More photos on Smugmug

2016 Father of the Year Awards Banquet

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.

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More pictures on Smugmug

2015 Wrap – Reflection and Renewal

The Christmas Blog

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

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!

With Love,
Kent (& Margo)

Frozen Falls 2015

Frozen Falls 2015

A Moment in Paradise – 2015 Vacation to Coeur d’Alene

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.

First breakfast with the other guests at the River Cove B&B

First breakfast with the other guests at the River Cove B&B

Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015 Margo visits the moose

Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015
Margo visits the moose

Idaho/Washington state line on the Centennial Trail

Idaho/Washington state line on the Centennial Trail

River Cove B&B

River Cove B&B

River Cove B&B

River Cove B&B

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.

Harrison Trailhead Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes - Harrison to Medimont, 22 mi. Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015

Harrison Trailhead
Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes – Harrison to Medimont, 22 mi.
Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015

Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes - Harrison to Medimont, 22 mi. Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015

Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes – Harrison to Medimont, 22 mi.
Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015

Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes - Harrison to Medimont, 22 mi. Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015

Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes – Harrison to Medimont, 22 mi.
Coeur d’Alene Vacation, August 2015

Photos from the vacation (link here)

Photos of the Trail of the CDA ride (link here)

 

It’s good to be the Queen – Margo’s Surprise.

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

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.

Margo’s arrival Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s arrival
Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s arrival Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s arrival
Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo realizes the moment Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo realizes the moment
Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

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).

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

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.

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

I think Margo had a great time once her brain got over the shock.

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

Margo’s 50th Birthday Party
Golden Valley Restaurant, August 15, 2015

More photos on Smugmug

2015 Tour de Cure Oregon

2015 TeamNakagawa Century crew

2015 TeamNakagawa Century crew

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.

Command Center Tent, where Kent spent most of his day.  HAM radio, Truck Support, Rider Hotline, Motorcycle Support.  It’s the Heartbeat of the ride.

Command Center Tent, where Kent spent most of his day. HAM radio, Truck Support, Rider Hotline, Motorcycle Support. It’s the Heartbeat of the ride.

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.

The 2015 Champions Chairladies-Nancy Haase, Margo Nakagawa, Ginger Buzzell

The 2015 Champions Chairladies-Nancy Haase, Margo Nakagawa, Ginger Buzzell

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.

Chairman Kent gives the safety talk to the first group of riders, to kick off Tour de Cure - Oregon 2015.

Chairman Kent gives the safety talk to the first group of riders, to kick off Tour de Cure – Oregon 2015.

2015 Champions ($1K donors)

2015 Champions ($1K donors)

Hillsboro. The ADA staff, interns, and surviving volunteers share in the end-of-day collapse to the chairs!

Hillsboro.
The ADA staff, interns, and surviving volunteers share in the end-of-day collapse to the chairs!

Record year for Teamnakagawa

Record year for Teamnakagawa

Record year for TeamNakagawa, with six champions.

Record year for TeamNakagawa, with six champions.

2015 TDC road teardown

2015 TDC road teardown

More photos on Smugmug; (setup) (event day)

Restoring your life balance part 2 – July 2015

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.

Kim Meyerson visit to PDX - July 5, 2015 Columbia River Gorge Trip

Kim Meyerson visit to PDX – July 5, 2015
Columbia River Gorge Trip

Kim Meyerson visit to PDX - July 5, 2015 Larch Mountain Lookout, Mt Hood in the background

Kim Meyerson visit to PDX – July 5, 2015
Larch Mountain Lookout, Mt Hood in the background

Kim Meyerson visit to PDX - July 5, 2015 Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Kim Meyerson visit to PDX – July 5, 2015
Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Restoring your balance in life – Chicago, June 2015

In what is now becoming a “regular trip schedule”, I had my June trip to Round Rock, TX.  this is a periodic review of my group’s business.  Over the past two years that I have been heading the group, I’ve started to become comfortable enough on taking care of the “needs” that I have found time to have dinner with colleagues that live in the Austin Area.

Helping Cyndi Johnson (KLA-Tencor) with some bicycle advice.

Helping Cyndi Johnson (KLA-Tencor) with some bicycle advice.

Catching up with John Petersen at the Black Star Co-Op

Catching up with John Petersen at the Black Star Co-Op

Catching up with John Petersen at the Black Star Co-Op

Catching up with John Petersen at the Black Star Co-Op

So for the first time in a while, I added a leg to Chicago, to visit my folks.  It was way overdue.  Possibly 3 years since my last “brief” stay in Chicago.  I almost gave in to the temptation of a “family only” trip, since I was only planning a three day stay.  But instead, I planned one side visit, and accepted a second last-moment side visit.  And it was one of the best decisions I have made in a while.

The first side visit was a planned lunch with Connie Putney.  She was my high school English Literature teacher.  Yes, I’m a geek who keeps up with three of my past teachers – Ruth Montrose (6th grade, by regular mail), Preston Hayes (HS Chemistry) by Facebook, and Connie (by email and Facebook).  After three years of connecting by internet, we finally got together for lunch.  A really fun time continuing on conversations we had had by text, but adding energy that can only happen by direct interaction.  Thus started my first thematic comment “A Lunch Date 30 years in the making”.

Lunch with my high school English teacher, Connie Putney.  We’ve been pen pals for a couple of years since connecting on Facebook.

Lunch with my high school English teacher, Connie Putney. We’ve been pen pals for a couple of years since connecting on Facebook.

The second side visit was unplanned.  I suspected that news of my visit to Chicago would prompt other friends and family to ask if I had the time to visit.  Sure enough, I received a Facebook message from a friend within 15 minutes of landing, asking  if there was the possibility of a coffee meet.  But it was a friend I was not expecting, and one who set the way-back machine even further.  And there was a bond that was unexpectedly broken, but somehow restored when she and I reconnected again over the last few years by FB.  So the unplanned dinner with Cheri McElroy, who goes back to my second or third year of high school, before her family moved from Chicago to San Diego.  We continued to exchange mail for a couple of years, before I headed off to college.  The irony was that she came back to Chicago permanently while I shipped off to the West Coast.  But again, it was a couple of hours where the stories flowed, we caught each other up to the present, and can continue our friendship forward as if the 33 years hadn’t passed us by.

Dinner with a friend that I hadn’t seen since she moved away from high school her second year & my third year (I think).  Cheri McElroy and I also got reconnected by Facebook a couple of years ago.  Irony that she moved back to Chicago about the same time I left :)

Dinner with a friend that I hadn’t seen since she moved away from high school her second year & my third year (I think). Cheri McElroy and I also got reconnected by Facebook a couple of years ago. Irony that she moved back to Chicago about the same time I left :)

The remaining day was the “family visit” evening with the aunts and cousins over for dinner.  My family gatherings tend to be very low key affairs, and some things don’t change.  Just another way to have a “touch point” with the family over the distance between us.

IMG_1443 IMG_1445 IMG_1442It was a brief, but necessary break from the world I have been living for the past several years.  My day job at Toppan.  My leadership role with Tour de Cure / Diabetes Association.  All the Margo health issues.  And it finally reminded me of how little time I have had to smell the roses and take some time for myself, unencumbered by responsibilities and deadlines.  And Connie and Cheri reminded me by their company that I have many special friends who I miss and need to stay connected, at least periodically.

The complete set of photos on Smugmug (link here)

Kent.