New Love Life

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

WOW, Life Changing Events

As I look back on the last few months I can hardly believe what has just occurred in my life. Even now it doesn't seem real at times. It seems fitting to add this to my EXCESS is NECESSARY blog. I met and married an incredible man in 10 weeks. I will relate the events as I remember them from emails and such.

It was the end of September or maybe the first part of October, I was changing a flat tire and a customer who had been helped by one of the other employees was staring at me. I looked up and told him that he could come back in February for 1/2 price on a tune-up. He left and I didn't think about him again until I was reminded about the incident later on. A few weeks later one of the younger employees approached me with trepidation and asked if I'd be interested in going out with a customer that had noticed me. I asked Trace several questions about this customer, did he have children?, what did he look like?, etc. I didn't remember him at the time. Trace had an answer for all my questions. He and Todd had talked at length. After the last horrible set up I wasn't sure I wanted to but, I finally agreed to allow Trace to tell Todd he could contact me. You can't have too many friends, right? Todd called the store on Friday October 11th in the late afternoon or evening. We were busy but I gave him my email address and didn't really have much hope of anything working out. The following is the email Todd sent to me later that day.

On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM, Todd Dornberger wrote:

Hi Joni,
It was nice to talk with you today. I really appreciate you giving me your info, and look forward to talking with and hopefully meeting you soon.
My name is Todd Dornberger and I'm 49 years old (50 in February) I'm short (5'6) about 170 lbs and in pretty good shape for an old guy.
I'm divorced (final last May, but living in separate states for the previous 2 years) Also, I don't have any kids.
I like to ride my 6-speed beach cruiser and hike, etc. I am pretty educated (AA, BA, MS) and am a stock broker with Fidelity investments.
I'm originally from San Diego, California and Love living here in Utah (though I'm not LDS which I hope isn't an issue-I'm actually Catholic,
but not active for many years) I do attend a local Christian Church periodically (Calvary Chapel) Anyhow, here is a picture of me about 1 year ago,
though I look basically the same now. I will call you here in a few minutes. Hope you're not disappointed. -Todd-

Hi Again Joni, It was really nice to talk with you tonight and get to know you a little better.
I'm very much looking forward to talking with you more soon and getting to spend time with you next Saturday.
I will call you again in a day or 2 to see how you're doing. See You Soon:}

We discussed going out to eat possibly next saturday but Todd stopped by the shop the next day and I agreed to get something to eat as I was starving.
Saturday, October 12 First date to Magelby's Fresh. He was a real gentleman, opened doors, helped with my jacket, held my seat, etc. It's been a long time since I had been treated like a woman. We had a nice conversation and talked about a lot of different things including whether I'd marry a non-LDS man. In the car on the way home I knew he wanted to kiss me as he was very affectionate, including kissing my hands and neck. I felt a bit uncomfortable and just didn't know what he expected as he had such a different background from myself. I was very much intrigued with him but wasn't sure I could date him. I decided to send the following email so he would know where I was coming from.

October 13, 2013
Todd, I think you are a great guy. However, I want to be honest with you, I'm having really mixed feelings about our association.
I'm sorry to send this in an email but not quite sure how to bring this up in our verbal conversation.
I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable with all the compliments. I also get the impression that you want a much more intimate relationship than I can give you.
For me, anything more than friendly hand holding and a simple non-passionate good night kiss is reserved for marriage.
I can't continue in a relationship where I'm uncomfortable, wondering what you may expect from me.
I'm looking for a relationship with someone who can support and join with me in my religious activities.
I don't know that we have enough in common to make a relationship work.
I'm flattered by the attention and enjoyed the time we spent together.
Thank you, Joni

Because he doesn't get email at work, I didn't know when he would actually read it. He called or texted me on Monday which is my wedding anniversary, he kept texting me and I asked in a text if he'd gotten my email. I finally told him that it was my anniversary and I was at the cemetary. He sent the following email.

10.14.2013 8:57PM
Dear Joni, I must preface this by stating that I'm very sorry about my timing today.
I had no idea about what was going on and would not have have sent the texts I did had I known-my timing could not have been more awful.
My heart breaks for you over your loss, I've had my share in this life and do understand to a point.
Also, I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable in any way and won't do so again.
I hope we can talk about all of this a little bit in order to sort it out if the chance arises.
Please know that you can talk with me about anything and feel comfortable in doing so (if you wish too)
I am at Starbucks now and they are getting ready to close, so I'll end by stating that I respect your stance and will conduct myself accordingly in any future interactions. Hope we can talk about matters at some point, and I'd very much enjoy seeing you/doing things as friends. Best -Todd-

On Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 9:31 AM, Joni Andrews wrote:
Todd, Thank you, you are so sweet. Your response made me cry, happy tears. I really hoped you would understand.
Your friendship means a lot to me. I would like to continue getting to know you.
I'd love to talk with you this evening, 8:30ish would work well for me.
Friends, Joni

We talked that evening around 8:30 and worked things out. We decided to go to dinner and a movie and I thought things were cool until he suggested an R-Rated movie. I knew it was going to be an on-going struggle to maintain my values church standards.

Hi Joni, How are you? It was fun texting with you tonight while things were so slow at work.
Yes, they have our personal e-mail accounts, Twitter, Facebook, etc. blocked on our work computer firewalls.
My phone is my deal though, and while they prefer we don't have them out on the Brokerage floor, everyone does it anyways!
The big thing is not to be taking pictures.
Thank you for finding us an alternate movie. The one you picked was actually the one I initially thought of, though decided on "Rush"
because the story seemed cool: car racing for the guys and a romantic sub-plot for the ladies.
Anyhow, I honestly didn't know or consider the rating on it and will in the future.
We have a 7 pm reservation for Chef's Table on Saturday and I am so excited to go-I'll pick you up about 6:30.
I checked out the menu and already know what I am having! Here is the link to it for you:
As a former Chef I'm well aware that this will be a great fine dining experience, quite possibly the best in Utah.
I am so happy to share it with such a fine and classy lady:} and can hardly wait until Saturday.
Talk With You Real Soon, -Todd-

Dinner was fabulous and the movie was excellent. Todd was going to take me home but I suggested we go up South Fork? Don't ask me why? We almost ran out of gas and I knew it was a bit risky once we got up the canyon in the dark. He was a true gentleman and we didn't stay long.
I had him come to the house on Sunday and meet my chilren and grandkids.

Todd sent me a text and told me he was starting the missionary disscussions. From here things escalated so quickly it is rally a big blur.

Things I have observed and love about you: You are kind, grateful, appreciative, determined,
fiercely loyal, generous, affectionate, sweet, gentle, tender, loving, willing to express your feelings,
self motivated, happy, not afraid to be silly or a little goofy, smart, genuine, frugal, a true gentleman,
helpful, should I keep going? I love you.

Things that concern me:
We have very little in common, other than we are both single, lonely people who are extremely attracted to each other.
I don’t think that is enough to create a strong marriage.
The only thing we ever seem to talk about is how much we are attracted to each other and how strong the attraction
and affection for each other is growing. You seem to have me on a pedestal, but I’m far from this perfect person you seem to think I am,
I don’t know how you will react when I finally do something that you disagree with, which I’m sure I will. It’s bound to happen at some point.
We have known each other for less than a month and have been on our best behavior so to speak.
We haven’t had enough time to see how the other will react in different situations and under stress.
I feel you have very strong feelings and form opinions very quickly. You asked me a few nights ago what had changed in
regards to my wanting to get married right away. A wakeup call if you will, happened a few nights ago.
I kind of flippantly made a statement that you so strongly reacted to, it startled me.
Your entire demeanor changed. I hadn’t seen that side of you before and I have to wonder what else I don’t know about you.
We simply haven’t known each other long enough. If you should choose not to join the church or take up cycling, what will we have in common?
My entire life revolves around my church activities, family, and cycling.
It seems to me your new career path will simply take you away from me for extended periods of time.
Your life is changing a lot right now and it feels like I’m simply waiting for you to change.
I don’t know that, that is fair. I know I love you and want to be with you, I just want you to be happy.
You have brought so much joy and happiness into my life. This past month with you has meant so much to me.
It has given me a new lease on life. The last two years have been very difficult and I was becoming more and more discouraged about what life held for me.
I want you to know how much your love means to me and that I truly do love you and want to be a part of your life. Joni

Todd was baptized on December 7th by his friend Jake Harris who's house we had been receiving the missionary discussions.
We were married on December 19th

Friday, October 18, 2013

Road Respect 2012

Sunday -  June 3rd
Sitting in a hotel room in Beaver, Ut. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow 120 miles to St. George.
I'm hoping for a tailwind. This is when I really miss having a spouse, life can get pretty lonely.


I do professional bike fitting at Mad Dog Cycles. It is something that I really enjoy doing. I appreciate when people are willing to pay me for my knowlege and skill and understand the benefits from having a professional fit. It kind of iritates me when people want me to do it for free. I sometimes surprise myself when I willing give the service away. About a week before LOTOJA I had a customer (Kevin Kuhni) come in who was aware of who I am and my experience with LOTOJA. We were talking about the event and he was saying he knew someone who had gotten a fit from me, he said he really should get one too as he had a really bad problem with his knees after the last LOTOJA. Making changes to a bike so close to an event, especially one of 200+ miles is not usually a good thing. I was really concerned that he would hurt himself pretty badly and told him to go get his bike and come in as we weren't very busy. I think I moved his seat down and adjusted the fore/aft position. I don't remember the exact changes that were made since I didn't record the fit as he wasn't paying. I was hesitant to make the changes so close to the event and worried about him. Today, while helping another customer, I heard someone tell one of the other employees he was waiting to talk to me. When I finished helping the customer he came to the desk and thanked me for helping him. He'd had no pain while riding and was so grateful. He was almost in tears as he spoke about how grateful he was. He had come in just to talk to me and let me know. It was really quite nice.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Alpine Loop Preseason Ride

Yesterday was a great day, we (Clyde, Kelton, Brittany, Verl, myself and a couple of other guys that Brittany knows) road over the Alpine loop. We like to ride it a few times before they open it to cars each year. It is always an adventure as you don't know what you'll find on the road. This was no exception.
It was only about 39 degrees when I left home at 7:30 AM. Which means it was below freezing up on top and in the shady cooler areas even colder. We went up the American Fork side. Besides my cycling shorts and jersey I was wearing; a balaclava, arm warmers, jacket, leg warmers, glove liners, wind proof outer gloves, and toe warmers. I carried a pair of fingerless gloves in my pocket.
On the way up we had to carry our bikes over snow fields covering the road a few times but that just added to the adventure. After the third time my cleats were so filled in with ice that I couldn't clip back into my bike. Brittany, my niece and I sat on the road and used plastic tire levers to scrape the ice out of our cleats. It took us about 10 minutes. On the way down we encountered snow on the road in a couple of places but we were able to ride through them. There is always a lot more debris from trees on the Sundance side. We had to get off our bikes once because of a huge tree laying across the road, the other branches and limbs we were able to ride around. Plus side, we didn't get too cold since all the debris kept our speed down. Once we got passed the gated area and back onto the open road with speeds of 30+ my hands were so cold I could hardly feel my fingers. Brittany and her friends took the trail from Vivian Park back and Clyde, Kelton, and I stayed on the road.

We timed things just right and met up with the Provo mayor at 11:00 at the mouth of the canyon. They were having a grand reopening of the Provo river trail going under I15. It was maybe a three mile ride. I really hate the trail going that direction, even with the new changes. We also met up with Connie, Clyde's wife for the event. Somewhere we lost Kelton, I think he turned back and went home at 8th north. We were all wearing our Road Respect jerseys and showed them off when we stopped for the mayor's speech.

After the celebration Clyde, Connie, and I road back out to American Fork via Geneva road. we were going to go to Saratoga Springs but with all the construction detours I had all the miles I wanted and it was getting late so I headed back home over the Pleasant Grove over pass and back down State Street. Just before getting back out onto State Street I had to shed the rest of my cold weather gear. So I looked like a big blimp carrying all that gear shoved in my pockets. I arrived home just before 2:00 PM tired and starving with 72 miles for the day.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I wrote this commentary about my 2005 LOTOJA experience shortly after the ride. You may wonder why I'm posting this almost seven years later.
  • I never had a blog before now and it seems like an appropriate place and time.
  • It also seems to be an excessive thing to do but I can't seem to stop myself from signing up as each new year rolls around. People, including myself, wonder about my sanity and why I would ever want to put myself through this kind of event. Especially more than once.
  • Believe it or not I have completed LOTOJA four additional times since the 2005 LOTOJA experience and plan to ride it again this year and next to get my 2000 mile award, ten years. 
  • Nothing makes you feel more alive than being nearly dead.
LOTOJA 2005 was year number four, interesting to say the least. Our group left at . It was a cool morning and I started out with arm and leg warmers and a light jacket with my shorts and jersey. I also had on a pair of full fingered gloves under my fingerless ones.
When we got to Preston it was still cool and it looked like it could rain. I asked my daughter to get my booties for my toes but I turned down the balaclava and winter gloves. As we turned the corner leaving Preston it started to rain and I immediately regretted not taking the warmer gloves and balaclava as we would not see our support vehicles for another 48 miles. The support vehicles were sent another direction because the road we were on was closed to cars for our safety. 
The climb up Strawberry Canyon is a tough climb (about 3000 ft.) I kept somewhat warm because I was working hard. Earlier groups had seen snow at the top, there was evidence on the sides of the road but we only had rain by the time we got there. At the top I had to stop and wait in line for the port-a-potty. That's when I got cold. I knew we still had about 2 miles to the summit so I could warm back up before the descent. I stayed warm enough but the last couple of miles down were getting cold. Going 40-50 mph, being soaking wet, and the temperature around 35-40 degrees tends to give you a bit of a chill. There were ambulances at the bottom of the descent picking up riders. Clyde and I made it into Montpelier ok. We were told there was snow ahead so I changed into dry clothes, putting on tights, a long sleeved jersey, a dry jacket, rain pants, warm gloves etc.
As we turned the corner to head up to Geneva Summit the sun was out and we were so hot we thought we were going to die. We had to stop and remove all the warm clothes we had just put on for the climb.
At the top of Salt River Pass I asked the man running the neutral feed zone what the weather was like ahead. He said he thought it was nicer the further north you went. Once again, as we got around the corner it started to sprinkle.
When we got into Afton, Wyoming our friend Roy, drove up in a car and said he had had to stop and get warm in an ambulance. When he got to Montpelier, he was told the race was over and not to go on. If you wanted to go on you were on your own. So he stopped. He tried to get Clyde and I to stop.
We kept going and then it started raining a little harder but not too bad. When we got to Alpine, Clyde stopped because of a flat tire and sort of lost interest in continuing.
Clyde gave me his nice new Gortex (sp?) jacket to wear and I started up Snake River Canyon. Only 47 miles to go!
It was getting darker and darker and I was using my headlight that works great in town to be seen but with no street lights I couldn't see. I had to have them follow with the car until we got to Hoback Junction. Clyde put his nice powerful headlight on the bike and I started off again. I had a light and warm clothes on and I was doing ok even with the steady rain. Needless to say there was almost nobody else on the road. Most of the day I had ridden alone, Clyde was behind me on the climbs.
It was about when I pulled into Jackson Hole. I decided the ride was Logan to Jackson and I didn't need to go the extra 12 miles into Teton Village, where the finish line was, when there wouldn't be anybody there anyway (since the race had been stopped).
I felt pretty good about my 191 miles in 12 hours and 20 minutes of riding time until Monday morning when I looked at the race results. I was shocked to see a time of 16 hours for a man that had started an hour before me. That meant the finish line had still been open and I didn't get a time because I stopped.
I was so mad at myself and really had a rough couple of days trying to get over it. I couldn't think about anything else except trying to figure out why I had talked myself into quitting.

Moral of the story -  "It isn’t over until you cross the finish line, even if nobody is there to see it!"

Hopefully next year will be better.

After a few weeks I can almost think about doing another one. This one was so tough. My right knee hurt the last 70 miles and both knees are still giving me a tough time. I think it must be the new pedals? or the almost 13 hours of climbing? It took my stomach a couple of days to start feeling normal again. I usually bounce right back by Monday but this year was an incredibly difficult race.


Sunday, April 8, 2012


Easter Sunday is a day that screams, "Excess is Necessary."

I'm so grateful to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for his attoning sacrifice which makes this earth life worth living. His sacrifice makes it possible for me to repent and keep going when I mess up. I know it isn't the end of the world, just a small bump in the road to get over and learn from.
I'm grateful for the resurrection and the opportunity to be with my loved ones that have passed on. Mainly my sweet companion whom I miss terribly. It is a remarkable gift to be able to live again with family and have these same associations continue forever.

So, on the Easter Sunday my heart is full of thanksgiving and gratitude to my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ for knowing that "Excess was Necessary" and being willing to follow through and complete the attonement which was only possible for Jesus to complete.

Thank you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Testa Training

Can't believe winter is over and spring is here.
Thursday March 29th 2012 marked 21 weeks of twice a week 90 minute Max Testa workouts. I have been going into the shop between 6:30AM and 7:00AM to do these training sessions since the first week of November 2011. There have been a few customers doing them with me but in the beginning it was just me by myself each morning. 

Now I'll be riding outdoors in the morning and getting my training miles in. Today was a hard day. Did 50 miles to Walsburg and back but the headwinds were awful and I was by myself. There is way too much of that for my liking.

Wow, I'm not sure I have another LOTOJA in me.