Monday, July 22, 2013


I am home again after three days of 157 miles of bike riding in the Rocky Mountains. I climbed mountain passes I never ever thought I would be able to climb. I rode distances on my bike I never thought my body could endure. The stunning mountains in our backyard became our playground for the last three days. I rode and finished Courage Classic for the first time in my life. It will for sure not be the last ride. I am hooked.

Heather, my dear friend and team captain of our Team Summits for Samantha, has always said that the ride is one of life's defining moments. I couldn't agree more with her. You are part of something so much bigger than yourself. At the same time, you feel your own strength as you are pedaling mile after mile.

Summits for Samantha is a strong team. At every aid station, I just had to look around for our jerseys and decorated helmets, and I felt a belonging as my legs were tired and sore. We all cheered each other on as we were adding miles to our bikes.

I also had my "own" little team of bikers. We all decided to ride the Courage Classic for the first time together. We trained together, and stayed together this weekend. We shared jerseys, butt cream,  jokes and laughter throughout the three days. We had a lot of fun as our bodies got more and more tired.

The one part I hadn't expected was all the yummy food along the way. You eat, and eat, and eat (and drink)! Each aid station had a selection of food and snacks you wouldn't believe finding on the top of the mountain. I had the best bagel with nutella on the top of Freemont Pass! Slices of oranges and gummy bears got me up Vail Pass. This morning we were greeted by fresh smoothies, and a fruit & granola bar in Breckenridge. What more can you ask for?

The best part was to pass the finish line together as a team today. We waited for everyone to make it back to Copper, and we finished together. And that's when the tears came...The realization that you love a hospital. A hospital making my son's life possible. A hospital Jacob can't live without. An overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love. A love for all the nurses and doctors making Children's so much more than a hospital. The love for everyone who rode together and donated to make this a better place.

I only had to look at Heather, and I knew that we both knew. No words were needed. I knew what she meant about the ride being a defining moment in life. It was all in her smiles and tears.

Some photos for you all to enjoy!

Children's President thanking us for riding and raising money for Children's.

Family cheering us on!

Friends enjoying a great party! 

Sarah cheering me on!

Michelle and her daughter Alexis riding in the honor of Aislinn living with a mitochondrial disease.

Relaxing after a strenuous ride.

Finish line!

You can still donate to Summits for Samantha thru end of August. Our goal is to reach $100,000 this year:

Love, Maria.


  1. Such an amazing, awesome accomplishment!!!! Congratulations to all!!

  2. Thank you so much! It was simply amazing!

  3. Congratulations on your ride!! Wonderful photos!!! Linda

  4. Great story and a defining moment of life, I guess! Welcome to long distance cycling, too!