TNR With Jill

I have still not yet conceived my existence on this planet let alone have the legs to go on a 3000 foot climbing venture on a mountain bike. Still though there was a chance that if I were to go on the weekly Missoula Thursday Night Ride I may have a chance to meet Jill Homer.

Who is this Jill Homer? The NPR Bryant Park Project calls her “Snow Cyclist, Lunatic, Hero”.  To me she caught my eye and heart with the way in which she embraced Alaska and developed into a endurance athlete that helped her win the Tour Divide and endure the 2008 Iditarod Trail Invitational. She is a great adventure writer and has a great eye for photography. Together with all that talent she has a blog that is probably the most read blog in the endurance community. I just love the way she describes coming into work late because of a adventure that was supposed to take a couple hours but ended up 4. I feel a since of kindred spirit.

So I bucked it up and drove my bike out to the Marshall Canyon Road to meet up with the group. As they approached where Aaron and I were waiting the group was so huge I didn’t immediately see Jill. I was pleased to see how many people showed up to ride. Most of the stalwarts were out of town but still a big contingent.

Just as I spotted Lydia and was sizing up her new 29er (a new rig) I saw Jill. “Nice to finally meet you”, I blurted out. This may not have been a good night to show up because my brain is not quite up to par after the 24 Hours of Rapelje. So I blurted out stupid stuff when I got excited.

“And you are …”, Jill inquired.

“Bill Martin”

And that is how I met up with Jill Homer one lazy afternoon during a group ride. Just now I am wishing I had her writing talents so I could of described it better. But still … it was an exciting time for me. From then on it was just like any Thursday Night Ride. Climb, descend, ride some more, go to The Bridge.

It took me a while to ride up to Jill on the big climb to the top of MIT Tower but when I finally did started chatting about this and that. She is so down to earth that her celibertyness went out the window. Sometimes when you just admire someone they become a certain reality in your head until you meet them and they are, surprise, real people. Now she feels more like a new friend then a rock star.

Some of you are going, holy heck, we are not talking about {Insert a celib name here} … I’ll use Lance AStrong. In the endurance and blog world some people just have more substance then Lance AStrong.

In the end we were all at The Bridge, telling stories, enjoying a slice (or couple), and cold beers. Jill witnessed first hand Missoula’s finest treasure. Some urge me to move away from Missoula but I think it just keeps getting better and better.

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