Turning 67

Riding in Switzerland  

Riding in Switzerland  

Turning 67 does not seem like a momentous milestone but it does seems like a lot of years. I decided I’ll just start from the beginning.  

My first memory was when I was 4 . We were having a picnic on the Banks of the Milk River north of Conrad Montana. This was very close to the spot Lewis and Clarke had their only violent encounter with some Blackfeet Native Americans. I remember snippets of living in Montana, Arkansas, Canada and then California--Snow in Arkansas, big parks in Washington DC, starting school in Lethbridge, Alberta, wonderful times with my aunt and uncle. When we moved to Cupertino we had an empty house as the furniture hadn’t arrived. 

Their is not much to say about my school years. We hiked every weekend it seemed and when I was fourteen I worked with my Dad and earned enough money to buy a Peugeot.

I raced my first bike race when I was 15. A group of us organized it and we challenged the High School cross country team to a race. We just raced on open roads, unfortunately most everyone took a wrong turn. 

Going to  University would be my next adventure. Originally I was headed to University of California, San Diego. However in a moment of clarity I asked myself why would I want to live in Southern California, I switched to Humboldt State in Arcata. 

I can remember the moment I met Kathy as if it was yesterday. She walked in the room where our hiking club met and I was smitten.  

After six years of living in the wet we picked a Bend as our new home. I got a job with the Forest Service, Kathy took about a year and became a piano teacher.  

In 1980 I realized the bureaucracy in the USFS was not for me so I quit and started working at Sunnyside Sports. A few years later after a recession I was the owner.  

Bringing in Susan and Gary as partners in 1995 was a brilliant move. Later bringing in Mike (2008 I think) was my next brilliant move. Susan and Mike then purchased a majority of the store in 2011. 

In terms of bike racing I enjoyed a long an fun career. 50 years of racing. 

The Highlights are simple.  Consistency throughout. A few Oregon State Championships, two medals at  Mountain Bike Worlds in the 35+ category in 1988. 7 medals in Mountain Bike National Championships with one Gold Medal.

Of course still being with Kathy is my biggest pleasure of all.

As I write this I think of all the events I didn’t mention. My friends in Scotland, being the Best Man at Andy Ros’s wedding, meeting Kevin and our nearly 20 year friendship. So many things to fit in 67 years. Yet I still wonder where all of the time has gone. 

I have so many good friends so if you read this and your name isn’t mentioned it’s only because I didn’t want this to go on and on. All of you are important to me. 

Thanks for reading


Don Leet