Friday, October 7, 2011

SWOOSH! One week to Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge!

SWOOSH, Daddy!”

I look down to see my three-year old girl tracing the “Nike” swoosh symbol on my cycling shorts with her finger.

It’s early morning, and I’m getting ready to bike to work.  Like every bike day, I wear my LIVESTRONG bike kit and my daughter takes delight in sending me off with her little ‘swoosh’ tradition.  She’s been doing so every day since she started talking a couple of years ago – sounding at first like “Thwooth”, and gradually becoming more recognizable as she’s grown.  My, what wonderful times. 

I reach down and give her a hug and kiss before leaving for work.  Aside from my wife, she’s the most adorable girl I know, and wonderful big sister to her nearly one-year-old brother.  It’s been a busy family year – and I enjoy these moments with her immensely.

It’s a misty morning in Seattle.  On my bike ride to work, I have the luxury of exercise, as well as time for thought and reflection:

Next week I will be landing in Austin, ready to hit tarmac with guns blazing, to participate in the Ride for the Roses weekend.  I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with LIVESTRONG staff and volunteer colleagues that have become my friends through my seven years of involvement with LIVESTRONG – first as a participant, then Mentor, and now as a LIVESTRONG Leader.  Most importantly, I look forward to celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of the past year, and also refocus and get re-energized for the next year of volunteerism for LIVESTRONG.

I also think about how LIVESTRONG has become such an important part of my life.

I think about LIVESTRONG.  While I’m not a ‘survivor’, LIVESTRONG personally afforded me a cathartic and tangible means to cope with the passing of my father – my hero, my mentor, my friend – due to cancer.  During his fight, he didn’t have the means and access to information, support and most importantly, to Hope, which is the core of this organization – and it is this drive for enlightenment to all cancer survivors that has made me champion its cause in my community.

I think about my family.  There is an adage: “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.”  If that is true, I should by all accounts be a seriously GREAT man.  My wife is the pillar of our family, and has supported me through thick and thin.  Each year, during the LIVESTRONG Mentor or Leader application process, I wistfully ask my wife if she is OK with me spending another year of evenings and weekends away from our young and growing family - to organize, lead, attend and volunteer at cause-related events, as well as train for rides.  Without exception or pause, she replies, “I know that this is important to you.  Do it.  We’ll figure it out.” I love her with all my heart, even if she doesn’t understand why I need a few new cycling jerseys every year.

Swoosh!”  I look down while I’m pedaling and smile.  I feel a certain lightness as I speed through the streets.

This year, I especially think about my kids.  Three years ago, the carefree world that my wife and I took for granted came to a wondrous screeching halt with the birth of our daughter, and exploded again with the arrival of our son last October.  We’ve never looked back.  These kids are our world.  Every mushy, drippy, loving bit of it. 

When you become a parent, (much as when you are diagnosed I am told), your mortality hits you like a truck: you gain ‘life perspective’, and time is treasured.  Every moment with your children is precious, and cherished.  You want them to be healthy, and enjoy long, loving, happy lives.  Maybe if I’m lucky, they’ll love me as much as I did my father.  If I’m lucky, selfishly, I’ll have more time on this earth to spend with them, than I did with my father. 

As I think ahead to traveling solo to Austin this year, I know that I will cherish my time you all - my LIVESTRONG family - while keeping my Seattle family in my heart and soul.  During the Challenge ride, I will look down at the “I ride for Dad” decal on the top tube of my bike, and gain strength to go faster and further, knowing he is with me in spirit.

I will especially think of my daughter, who will turn three years old the day I ride in Austin – and know that she will understand that her Dad is doing something special, something right, in this crazy world.

Swoosh, my little girl, and Happy Birthday.  I’m riding for you. 

Daddy loves you.  See you soon.




Wow!  What an incredible weekend it was in Austin, being part of the 'Ride for the Roses' crew (thank you, dear friend, Michael Wolf!), and meeting up with my LIVESTRONG family.

Every trip to Austin has been unique and memorable, and this was without exception.  The RftR Friday dinner was held at Lance's house, in his backyard of all things, which was incredible.  My great friends Michael and AJ from Seattle joined me for the trip, and we explored parts of Austin together.  We rode the LIVESTRONG Challenge ride together (hot and hilly!) culminating with riding next to Chris Horner (Team Radioshack) during the final yards to the finish. 

We met survivors and supporters from all over the country, and enjoyed the time together in such a supportive and inclusive environment.  If you ever have the chance to experience the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin, I encourage you to do so!

But of course, I missed my family greatly during that weekend, and made sure to sing "Happy Birthday" to my little girl during the ride ... and made her a little video of the weekend as a special keepsake.

See you there next year!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



When:  Friday, September 30th, 2011
Time:   11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: Downtown Seattle - Union Street, between 4th Avenue & 5th Avenue.

Please join us for our FIFTH year spinning on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle for LIVESTRONG DAY, supporting LIVESTRONG's mission to raise awareness & support cancer survivorship.  (As a background, LIVESTRONG Day is held each year, worldwide, around October 2nd - the day that Lance Armstrong was first diagnosed with cancer, or as he put it, "The day I started living." See for more information.)

A scene from previous years' Livestrong Day spinning on Seattle's sidewalks!

Smiles on their faces!  It's fun!  Join us!

How can you participate?

Bring your bike, a stationary trainer & your bike clothes to spin with us during an "extended lunch hour".  We will band together to heckle pedestrians (!), hand out wristbands, and raise money and awareness.

or ... simply WEAR YELLOW and join us to support us, make some noise, and have some fun with us as we inject a little fun onto the streets of Seattle!

It's fun! It's memorable! It's a good cause!

Please join us!

(To notify me of your participation, or if you have any questions, you are welcome to email me at



Patrick Chatfield
Seattle Livestrong Leader
Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle

Monday, August 1, 2011

SEATTLE CENTURY - Great team ride for LIVESTRONG in the Northwest!

SEATTLE CENTURY - "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" cyclists ride for a great cause! 

Wow!  What a fun and exhilarating (and exhausting!) ride!  Time flew - and so did we (!) on the great back routes of the Seattle Century ride last Saturday, July 30, 2011!  The weather was perfect, the company was fearless (!), and the ride was well supported and organized!

Long shadows - early morning start

Mike and Patrick at the start: little did they know what hills awaited them ...

AJ: our powerhouse rider.
Calm (and flat) early morning ride along Sammamish River Trail.

Riding with the crew - looking serious ...

Pie Stop: one of the great rest stops.  Others included shortcake, handmade sandwiches ... all good.

Picturesque Rest Stop: eating pie in the middle of a farmer's field/lawn on a warm, sunny day. 
Mountains in the background!

Our fearless "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" Riders before more hills ...

If you do the full Century ride, you stop at Snoqualmie Falls.  Gorgeous.  And a welcome cool mist, too.

Four of us - AJ, Robert, Patrick and Mike - at Snoqualmie Falls.

The Finish: we had a reserved LIVESTRONG Table in the beer garden, complemented with a wonderful salmon and asparagus dinner.  And Dave's Killer Bread, too! Awesome.
 To summarize the day's events, there are a few things that need mentioning:  
  1. THANK YOU! - to our "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" riders. You are putting a name and face to cancer survivorship in Seattle and the Northwest by participating in this ride, as part of our group. LIVESTRONG kicks in when someone is first diagnosed with cancer - and you definitely kicked in and showed the LIVESTRONG spirit before, during and after the ride.  We raised some money that went directly to LIVESTRONG to help those in need of support.  Your camaraderie this year - as friends and fellow riders - is appreciated and I am honored and humbled to be in your company.
  2. THANK YOU - to the Seattle Century and Good Sport Promotion (  You welcomed LIVESTRONG and our riders with open arms and helped us gain visibility through your website, course and finish area.  To Neil and Ayleen - you have been great to work with, and we appreciated all the help and generosity to make our team feel special.  We look forward to supporting you with more team members next year!  Be sure to support this ride and other Good Sport Promotion rides through the summer months!
  3. HOW REWARDING!  I sound like a broken record at times when I reiterate that we ride in support of LIVESTRONG - but on this ride, it totally hit home.  We had many, many people root for us along the route - and had great conversations with people at rest stops and at the finish line about what we are doing, and how to support us.  We talked to cancer survivors, caregivers and those who lost loved ones to this dreaded disease, and let them know of LIVESTRONG's mission and how to contact them for support.  We even had folks come up to us at our finish line dinner table and ask how to join us next year!
  4. WHAT A RIDE!  If you haven't ridden the Seattle Century ( before, please consider doing so next year.  The course is beautiful, the rest stops fabulous, and the finish line festival was top notch.  We stopped at every rest stop and ATE.  We had homemade pie in the middle of a farmer's field.  We had a full-on salmon dinner and beer at the finish! And to top it off, the weather was perfect.  Of course, we were hungry after 5,160 feet of climbing and 100 miles of pedaling- check out the course route and profile here.
It was a fun, thrilling ride - that we're sure to do again next year. 

This is by no means our swansong for 2011!  We intend to keep training and joining rides where we can, with our next main focus on the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin, Texas on the October 15-16 weekend (

Want to join us locally? 
You still can.  Simply join our fundraising team at, then shoot me an email at to let me know that you're interested, either through this year, or with our events/rides for next year.   

Want to support "Ride for LIVESTRONG Seattle"? 
You are always welcome to.  Each of our team has LIVESTRONG Grassroots fundraising accounts, and we welcome your donations which go 100% go to LIVESTRONG (click HERE for our team page) . 

You can also sponsor us as you see fit - for cycling-related incentives, support, promotion, etc. - or let us know if there is a cancer-related event in the Seattle area that you think we could help to complement. Drop me an email at and let's talk!

Thank you again, everyone -


Patrick Chatfield
Seattle Livestrong Leader
Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Hello, fellow ‘Ride for Livestrong Seattle’ cyclists and supporters!

Just THREE days until the Seattle Century this Saturday, July 30th!  My, how time has flown by.  And the weather forecast looks perfect for the ride – sunny and 77 degrees F!

We’re excited to be participating in this ride: raising the flag for Livestrong and showing that Seattle supports cancer survivors and their families!  I want to thank you for your interest and support for our group in its inaugural year, through fundraising and participation in our rides and events.

And keep in mind that it's not to late for you and others can still register for our group (for this ride and future rides and events):

  1. Go to and register as a rider (
    use our Seattle Century discount code - LIVESTRONG23 - which gets you $10 off of the registration fee!)
  2. Register yourself and be part of the "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" team at

  3. Drop me an email at so that I know that you're there! 

Now ... on to business!


Of course, we are supporting Livestrong both through ‘representing’ at various rides and events, but also by fundraising.  Some of you have been fundraising in your online grassroots accounts – thank you for doing so! 

If you haven’t, or are in the process, please consider a push before the event – send an email to your friends, family and colleagues letting them know that you are riding this weekend in support of Livestrong, and send them your grassroots Livestrong Fundraising HQ link (i.e. - or whatever your alias happens to be). It’s amazing what support you’ll get by just letting people know what you’ve been up to.

The Ride

The Seattle Century starts at Magnuson Park.  Here is the general schedule, per the website:

6-9:30am Continental breakfast
6:00am Registration and start line for 100-mile route
8:00am Registration and start line for 50-mile route opens
8:00am 100 mile course start line closes
9:00am 50 mile course start line closes
11:30-1:00pm Finish line music and snacks
1-6:00pm Massage
1-6:00pm Gourmet dinner
Invite your friends and family to join you at the finish line - purchase extra gourmet dinner tickets (includes free beer) in advance or at the event.
5:30pm Course closes
6:00pm Event closes

Our start
On our side, from what I’ve gathered, most of us will be riding the century (100-mile) route.  We are planning on arriving at Magnuson Park at 6:00am for the breakfast and registration, likely on the road around 6:30am-ish.  Please show support for Livestrong and our team by wearing your Livestrong bike jersey and/or shorts!  Look for us in the white, black and yellow bike 'kits'.

Our ride
With the Burke-Gilman detour, hills, rest stops, etc. the 100-mile group should be on the road around 6 hours – and back to the finish area around 1:00pm, barring any unforeseen circumstances (i.e. a triple flat tire, eh, Mike?), which lands us back in time to secure our bikes and enjoy the gourmet dinner, massages, etc.  If you are enjoying the 50-mile route and departing later per Seattle Century’s schedule, don’t despair – enjoy a great ride, and we hope to meet up with you at the finish line celebration!

Our finish
The great news is that we will have a Livestrong table reserved for us at the finish area, where we will be enjoying the gourmet  salmon dinner!  Not sure how large the table is, but please keep an eye on it, sit there, bring your friends/family, and we’ll be sure to catch up there in the afternoon as a ‘meeting point’.  It’s time to celebrate a good ride together – we should be there at least from 1:00 – 3:00pm on Saturday afternoon.

See you on Saturday morning – looking forward to it!


Patrick Chatfield
Seattle Livestrong Leader
Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

STP Complete! We Made It!

Hello, Everyone!


Last weekend we managed the 205-mile Seattle to Portland (STP) ride in two days!  It was great fun for the four of us - (above, from left to right) Patrick, Ron, AJ and Mike - as "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" was well represented in the sea of over 10,000 riders going in the same direction!

Day 1 was approximately 135 miles, with a stopover in Castle Rock, WA, while Day 2 was a 'meager' 70 miles and ended in Portland.  It was a well organized and supported ride, and I can say that we look forward to returning next year!  (No, we're not going to do the STP-PTS ride in one weekend, as some die-hards do in one weekend!)

 AJ (Andrew) 




Surprisingly, it was a 'manageable' ride - with AJ pulling for most of the trip (he's a machine) while the rest of us sat on his coattails ... and with a number of highlights, including:
  1. Incredible weather, including two magnificent sunrises (the first over Lake Washington, with Mount Rainier in the background);
  2. Well-stocked rest stops;
  3. Only one stop for a flat tire (well, one stop with three flat tires, right, Mike?);
  4. Overnight at Castle Rock High School (food, massages, and camping on the gymnasium floor);
  5. Beautiful urban and rural scenery, including 13 miles of covered, forested bike paths, farmland, views of Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, and Magnificent bridge crossings into Oregon and into Portland;
  6. Free chocolate milk(!);
  7. Great times with good friends on the road;
  8. Making it to Portland in one piece;
  9. Napping on the bus ride home; and
  10. Hearing afterward that a 9-year-old completed the ride, too (oh, how humbling).

Next stop: the Seattle Century Ride ( on July 30th (less than three weeks away!).  Please see our first blog posts below about how to register with our exclusive Livestrong discount,  how to join our team (yes, there is still time!), and ride with us during this event!

We continue on to raise awareness for LIVESTRONG ( and their cancer kicking programs and survivor support!  Please join us, train with us, or support us!  Email us at with any questions, or to let us know if you'd like to be part of our group!

Until we meet again,


Livestrong Leader, Seattle
Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ride for Livestrong Seattle: Two Days until the STP (Seattle to Portland) Ride!

Hello, Folks -

Well, it's just TWO days until the start of the 200-mile STP (Seattle to Portland) 2011 Ride ( - and we are banding together, to have a fun ride and raise the LIVESTRONG flag with our unity!

Four of our "Ride for LIVESTRONG Seattle" group - AJ, Mike, Ron (flying in from Nevada) and me (Patrick) will be joining over 10,000 other riders in this classic annual ride.

We will be trekking 135 miles to Castle Rock, WA on Saturday (July 9, 2011), with an 'easy' spin of 65-ish miles on Sunday, to round out the weekend.  None of us have ridden this ride - or this length - before, but I think with good pacing (and perhaps a 60 mile cab ride?) we should be in good shape.  Eat and hydrate will be key for these two days.

Our bikes are shined up, and we're packing - I think the biggest fear so far is getting up early (3:30am-ish) to be set for the 5:15 am two-day start from Seattle. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?

Not sure.  But stay tuned. 

We'll let you know how it goes - but we are all VERY excited to be banding together on this ride, letting the Seattle and Pacific Northwest community know that LIVESTRONG has a presence, and that we are supporting cancer survivorship through our efforts!

Wish us luck - wave to us as we pass - and talk to you soon!


Livestrong Leader, Seattle
Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ride for Livestrong Seattle: We're Training and on our Way!

Hello from the backcountry roads of Seattle!

Last weekend (June 11th, 2011) four of our "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" team - Rob, Michael, AJ and Patrick - got together to stretch our legs, have some fun, and ride the "Flying Wheels Summer Century" in Seattle! 

The weather was perfect for a long training ride - cool/warm (high of 65F), mostly cloudy with a little sun thrown in - and the course was beautiful and challenging.  Anyone would love this ride - for the scenery, camaraderie, and different length options - and it seemed that well over 3,000 people did just that. 

We chose the Century ride length, which presented its own challenges of length and hills, but after 95-ish miles we crossed the finish line mid-afternoon, tired but energized.  We met a few cancer survivors along the way, LIVESTRONG supporters, and talked to folks about our team, and what we were up to.  Heck, we may have even convinced a few to join our team!

After all was said and done, it was a great day and we're happy to continue our training, our outreach to the community, and keep LIVESTRONG prominent and on people's minds during rides and in the community.

Our next big ride will be the STP - Seattle to Portland - ride that includes 200 miles over two days on July 9-10 weekend.  At least four of our "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" team will be riding together.  Hope to see you on that course, whether with us or on the sidelines cheering us on! 

Remember, we do have occassional training rides, so be sure to send me a note at to stay in the loop if you're interested in joining us.

And above all, please support our efforts - as a team member, please fundraise for LIVESTRONG through your grassroots HQ per our initial email.  If you're not on the team and want to support us - whether by donations (tax deductible!), or in kind, please email me at and let's talk!

We appreciate the positive feedback and support from everyone.  Please join us!


Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle
Livestrong Leader, Seattle.

p.s.  Thanks to Mike for taking the photos.  And thanks to AJ for pushing us to do the Century length! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Welcome to Ride for Livestrong Seattle!

Hello, and welcome to our Blog!

We are a group of Seattle-area Livestrong Supporters - volunteers, Livestrong leaders, cyclists, cancer survivors and cancer kickers - who have banded together to create a team, "Ride for Livestrong Seattle", to fundraise, train, ride a few good rides in the Northwest, and most of all, support cancer survivors and their families.

2011 marks the inception of our team, to stir the pot and continue the momentum of Livestrong support that began with the Livestrong Challenge events in Portland in 2005, and ended in Seattle in 2010.  Thousands of cyclists and runners participated in these annual events, and we hope to tap into that passionate support through our involvement with Livestrong on the grassroots level.

What is this all about?  Well, quite simply, we have formed a fundraising 'team' that will be participating in the Seattle Century (see which is one of the most wonderful, well-supported rides in the Pacific Northwest.  We are individually fundraising through the Livestrong Grassroots website, where 100% of funds raised will go directly to Livestrong, and its cancer-kicking programs.

How do I become part of the team?  Is this an exclusive club?  Is everyone a gear-head?  Ummm, no.  All you need is a road bike, and be able to participate in the Seattle Century (50- or 100- mile cycling options), as well as have the conviction to raise a few dollars for Livestrong.

Three simple steps to be part of our team:
  1. Register as a rider for the Seattle Century:   ***JUST ADDED!  Key in code "LIVESTRONG23" and get a $10 discount off of registration! (Thanks to the Seattle Century organizers for their generosity!)***
  2. Register yourself and be part of the "Ride for Livestrong Seattle" team at - while fundraising is not mandated, it is highly encouraged (after all, this is the reason for our team in the first place!).
  3. Drop me an email at and we will send you information about training rides, social events, and specific information about our Team as it develops around the Seattle Century event!
What's in it for Me?  Why should you join us and fundraise? Well, the incentives a three-fold:
  1. Physically, you will be exercising and training for a fun event, improving your health.  We'll even notify you of days/locations that we will be training.  How great is that?
  2. Emotionally, you will be feeling the pride and satisfaction of supporting an incredible organization that provides support to individuals who are in the fight of their lives.  We'll help you with fundraising ideas. You'll also have a lot of fun with us ... we're fun people!
  3. Pragmatically, we are working on creating some cool 'incentives' to provide you a spark to keep you fundraising.  On top of that, all fundraising qualifies you for Ride for the Roses incentives (an incredible Livestrong event weekend in Austin, Texas, in October). Check out: for more information.

Our goal is to provide an inclusive team atmosphere, a supportive team environment around our event, and support for LIVESTRONG.  If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know!

Please join us!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for updates!

Livestrong Leader, Seattle
Team Captain, Ride for Livestrong Seattle