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...hold my magnolia(NC/BigHorn)

Cindy Collins
Some days the level of entertainment provided by my fellow endurance
riders is more than I can bear without a mint julip in my hand!  As
Tennesee Williams' Blanche said so eloquently, "I have always relied on
the kindness of strangers."  So, thank you to my defenders:  Drin, John
B., Jackie, Angie, Karen, Kerry, and Sandy B. (if I missed anyone, please
pardon my appalling manners...I've been out of the deep South for too long
and have hung around Yankee riff-raff and various other DIMR and XP trash
for so many years now...I do feel the vapors coming on!)  On a serious
note, Dear Jim H., I do not know where you came up with your conclusions
about me, but they are sadly misplaced.  If you took the time to study my
record, you'd see that while I have won a few rides, I've spent much more
time in the back of the pack.  Also, I was born and raised in South
Louisiana and did my first endurance rides (LD, by the way, and never
considered them endurance) under the eye of Joe Long and Kahlil in
Mississippi and Alabama in 1980.  I also finished a tough 100 miler in
east Texas in 1990 on a wonderful Fadwah daughter from the CA desert.
Sooo, despite some folks tacky assumptions, I do understand mud, heat,
humidity, and bugs.  I just choose not to live with them in my old age.

What some gentlemen seem to miss is that I've never said I was of
Championship caliber...I would not even dream of putting myself on the
same level with the Kathy Arnolds or Valerie Kanavys or Becky Harts or
Dave Nicholsons or Boyd Zontellis, etc..... of our sport.  The point is
that I want the standard for a championship to be that high...I don't want
the AERC to drag the standard down to my level so I can "be a
champion"...what is there to reach for then?  I truly believe that every
time I finish a ride, I have won something priceless, but that doesn't
make me AERC National Championship caliber.

Finally, least someone out there think I am a whimp cause I'm not out
there in the heat and humidity...truly, at this point in my life, I do not
have the funds to attend an Eastern ride.  It is not because I wouldn't
enjoy doing so.  I would love to ride the OD some day and it will probably
happen when finances and the right horse come together for me.  However, I
will defend my honor in saying that I have finished the Big Horn 100 six
times and only once in the top ten.  One of those times, I rode with my
leg in a cast with multiple breaks.  The BH can be 100 degrees or snowing.
The elevation ranges from 4,500 to over 10,000 ft.  It was twice the site
of the ROC and there's a reason for that!  Age has NOTHING to do with
riding tough 100s...Mae Shlagel rode it and finished it in her 70s.  Also,
for the BH supporters and folks who hope to attend...I am working very
hard to GPS the entire course by next July.  I have way points on the last
25 miles, already.   Marking has been a tough issues for us.  White spray
paint and flour have been used, but are really hard to see in the snow!
We also are going to have our base camp back on Shell creek next
year....y'all come.  Thanks, again, for listening.  Cindy

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