Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's ON!

LIVESTRONG 2012 is ON!!! 

Well, I raised over $10,000 in 2011 but I've raised the bar and I'm going to raise over $20,000 in 2012. And, I've already started! So, if you would like to help me reach my goal I would really appreciate it and so will the 28 MILLION living with cancer plus their families and friends. Your donation can help so many! It's super simple just click on the link below and it will take you to my donation page! I will ride for your friend, family member or you with your donation! I wish you all a Happy Holiday season and a Happy New Year! 

Friday, November 11, 2011


astonishing, astounding, awesome, awful, eye-opening, fabulous, miraculous, portentous, prodigious, staggering, stunning, stupendous, sublime, surprising, wonderful, wondrousblindsiding, dumbfounding, eye-opening, flabbergasting, jarring, jaw-dropping, jolting, shocking, startling, stunning, stupefying

breathtaking, charged, electric, electrifying, exhilaratinggalvanic, galvanizing, hair-raising, heart-stopping, inspiring, intoxicating, kicky, mind-bending, mind-blowing, mind-boggling, rip-roaring, rousing, stimulating, stirring, thrilling

I bet you can tell how my LIVESTRONG weekend went by just the list of adjectives above and still I don't think they fully describe how I felt at this year's LIVESTRONG Challenge. I have to say I really didn't think last year could have been topped but was I wrong. The only bad part was I had just gotten my braces plus my palate expander and my mouth was so sore. Oh well, I still had an incredible time!

I am still in shock at having raised over $10,000 for LIVESTRONG and qualifying for Ride for the Roses. I know that may not sound like a lot if you are a big time fundraiser. But, I just turned 14 years old and last year I only raised close to a $1,000 so this was BIG for me!! I just can't tell you how PERFECT this weekend was for a boy whose passions are CYCLING and LIVESTRONG. Keep reading and you'll find out why!

First, I need to say "Thank you, thank you, thank you" to everyone who helped me reach my goal!!! I raised $10,112 for LIVESTRONG and I was so excited!! I wanted to give you a glimpse at my AMAZING LIVESTRONG weekend you all helped me be able to experience.

We got to Austin on Thursday night really late and could hardly wait for Friday. Friday started with us going to the Ride for the Roses registration and I got jerseys, posters, jacket, bib numbers and so much more. We met our friends, Brad and Jennifer, I met them on Twitter. It was like we had been friends forever. Next, mom and I checked our bikes in with Fred the head mechanic. Mom needed her fit worked on and he got her all fixed up. Then, he took our bikes to store them where they would be cared for by some top folks. Next, we went down to the LIVESTRONG village at Mellow Johnny’s. Mellow Johnny’s is the bike shop that Lance Armstrong owns! It is such a cool place! It has all kinds of awesome bike stuff and you’ve got to see the 7 Yellow Jerseys hanging on the walls from his Tour de France wins. The village had all kinds of booths to check out. We picked up my dad’s registration stuff and met another friend from Twitter, Mrs. Flanagan. I couldn’t believe it! I even saw my friend, Mr. Hesketh, who checked me in last year and gave me my first LIVESTRONG jersey! It was starting out to be such a great day! I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed! We had to hurry back to the hotel so we could catch the bus for our tour of the LIVESTRONG Headquarters. was full of amazing art, it’s a green building with lots of recycled materials and I loved it! Next, we met Mister Cartoon (Mark Machado) he is a tattoo and graffiti artist and he painted a fantastic mural on the outside wall at headquarters. His work has been used by Nike, Toyota and others. We got to watch him sign his artwork and then he autographed our limited edition posters he designed for the Ride for the Roses participants! Now, it was time to rush back to the hotel and get ready for dinner. The only thing we knew was dinner would be outside and we needed to dress appropriately...really it meant mom shouldn’t wear high heel shoes...LOL!
OCC LIVESTRONG motorcycle-gas tank looks like a TT helmet!

Brad & me in front of Mister Cartoon's mural on the side of LS headquarters
Mister Cartoon & me
We boarded the bus and headed to dinner. I was having a great time with all my new friends and the weekend was just getting started. Chris Brewer, a Sr. Manager for LIVESTRONG, was the host of our bus. He said, “I think I can now tell you that we are headed to LANCE ARMSTRONG’S house for dinner!” I thought my eyes would pop out of my head! I was so shocked! Well, needless to say, it was AWESOME!! I met Chris Horner and Ben King (both are riders on Team Radioshack), my friend Annemieke from the Netherlands, Ryan O’Donoghue my bud at LIVESTRONG plus so many others and OF COURSE...LANCE ARMSTRONG! I just have to say I was shaking all over I was so nervous and excited! Mom took our picture and you can tell I was in shock! This is funny...all I could think to say to him was “you are my hero”! It was the most PERFECT night EVER!!!

Mom, me, Brad & Jennifer in front of Lance Armstrong's

Chris Brewer in LA's LR

LA's backyard

Mrs. Flanagans & me
Chris Horner & me

Ryan O'Donoghue, me & Amy with GOOGLE
Annemieke, Jennifer & mom

 Saturday morning we went on a fun Photo Op ride with Stephanie from Mellow Johnny’s. We saw some really neat areas of Austin, took pictures and learned a little about Austin history. We even saw some protesters! Saturday evening was the Appreciation Dinner and this one my whole family was able to attend. I was really glad to have my mom, dad and Grams with me! This dinner was held outside at LIVESTRONG Headquarters. won’t believe this...Doug Ulman, the CEO of LIVESTRONG, got up to talk. There were about 700 people at this event. Alright, so Mr. Ulman is up on the stage talking about LIVESTRONG and all the programs the money we raised would help fund. Then, he said “there’s one person I really want to recognize tonight...LUKE NEAFUS where are you?” I couldn’t believe it! All of these people were looking at me, he starts talking about my cycling and all my fundraising. He even said I was part of the future of LIVESTRONG! I was shaking all over AGAIN! WOW...I was totally shocked! It was another PERFECT night!
me & dad

family pic

Guess who?

Sunday was the ride and it started with a 4:30 am wake up call! This bus ride was pretty quite! We had breakfast, got our bikes and then got lined up to start the ride. Lance addressed the crowd of over 2300 cyclists. I was ready to get going...I felt charged! It was a very cool morning but as we rode the day became perfect. I rode 45 miles with my friends, Brad, Jennifer, Mike and Stephanie (the lady from Mellow Johnny’s). I challenged everyone to hill sprints all day long! I had so much fun! True joy! This was the longest ride I have ever done but I felt great at the end...I will go further next year for sure! My Grams was waiting at the finish line and it was the PERFECT way to end this journey!


My biggest honor of the whole trip was to ride with the names of many on my back! I rode strong for ALL OF them! I wanted to make them all PROUD! After the ride I posted their names on the LIVESTRONG Tribute Wall! I rode for the following: Poppy, Scott Raffe, Alex Teruki, Mrs. Myers, Janis, Alice, Jeff, Chad Kavanaugh, Andie Ersman, Christopher Parks, Susan Ringer, Ronnie Slawson, Granddad, Charlene Mattingly, Lonnie, Shorty Thurman, David Copeland, Don Cook, Ida Yeager, Grandma Pettit, John M and John Calhoun! I WILL NEVER FORGET the way these Angels, Warriors and Survivors gave me strength!

November is known as MOvember! This is when men start with a clean shaven face and grow a moustache throughout the month to raise awareness and start conversations about men specific cancers. Early detection is key! So, men let’s grow a MO and not be afraid to talk to our dad, our sons, friends and co-workers about prostate and other male cancers. Come on men the test can be as easy as getting some blood drawn and early detection is key! Let’s spread the word!

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and next year...I think I’m going to try and raise $20,000! I’ve set a goal to HELP STOP CANCER! I hope I can count on you next year!


Friday, September 30, 2011



Dear Luke,
Congratulations! You have hit the $10,000 fundraising mark, and we are thrilled to invite you to participate in the 2011 Ride for the Roses Weekend as a White Jersey member. We cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work and we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments.  

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH (a bunch of other cool stuff)

Again, we send our sincere thanks for your support of LIVESTRONG and the global fight against cancer. We are excited to welcome you to Austin and to celebrate your remarkable fundraising accomplishments.

We’ll see you in October!



This email got me thinking about why they hand out Yellow Roses to all the survivors at the end of the LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride. What did the Yellow Rose mean? And, this is what I found:

"The bright, sunny color of yellow roses evokes a feeling of warmth and happiness. The warm feelings associated with the yellow rose are often akin to those shared with a true friend. As such, the yellow rose is an ideal symbol for joy and friendship."

So, it truly is the most appropriate flower to hand those who have survived cancer! I noticed last year that those who had survived truly had an instant connection with each other. They were true friends with stories to tell. They had a joy for life and valued friendships. They appreciated life differently than before and were happy to share their stories with you!

As I ride in this year's LIVESTRONG Challenge I will carry those roses with me (even if it's just a picture on my jersey). I will think of those who have beat this disease and still have stories to share but I will also think of those who were not as lucky. Those people (their families & friends) have stories to tell too. They also have a connection with each other in a different way. And, then, there are those who are still out there FIGHTING to survive the weeds of cancer and become a Yellow Rose! I will be riding for all of these people! I will be riding for the Roses, the Fighters and the Angels!

I can't wait till OCTOBER!!! It's going to be EPIC!



Tribute Wall

Jim Pemberton (my Poppy)-Angel
Scott Raffe-Angel
Mrs. Myers-Rose
Alex TeRuki (coach's father)-Angel
Don Cook-Angel
Christopher Parks-Fighter
Chad Kavanaugh-Rose
Susan Ringer-Angel
Grandma Pettit-Angel
Ronnie Slawson-Angel
Andie Ersman-Rose
Ida Yeager-Angel
John M-Angel
Charlene Mattingly-Angel
Shorty Thurman-Angel
John Calhoun-Angel
Lance Armstrong-Rose
Doug Ulman-Rose
Chris Brewer-Rose

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Races-End of the Year

I finished out my racing season with some good results.

My next to last race was the Team Exfuse 9-11 Circuit Race. The Jr's distance was 28 miles (2 laps) and was out at Lake Stanley Draper. The back part of this course is hilly and the roads are a bit rough but after the last climb is was fast and smooth. I climbed really strong but I still need work on my downhilling skills. I will work on this in the off season, for sure! I had a 2nd place finish. I made some mistakes but I will use these to help me become a better racer.

The last race of the season was the Bison Bicycle Classic Oklahoma State Road Race Championships. There was a larger field in this race and I was feeling really good. I was aiming for my teammate and I to both end up with podium finishes. We had about a 2 mile neutral zone and then the race took off. I stayed with my teammate, Dallas, for a few miles but then began to fade a bit. I had another kid trying to draft off me and I wasn't going to drag him to the finish line. So, I picked up my speed and dropped him. I loved this course and really rode my race. I had max speed of over 34 mph but set an average over 18! My coach and I were pleased with my numbers for this race! The best part is my teammate and I both took podium spots! Dallas took 1st and I took 3rd! I was really proud of my effort!

Luke 3rd, Dallas 1st, Austin 2nd

Teammates/buds wearing some hardware!
Overall, I've had a good year of racing. My results for 2011 are as follows: 16 races, 3-1st place, 3-2nd place, 2-3rd place, 3-4th place, 1-5th place, 1-9th place, 1-11th place, 1-15th place, 1-DNF (crash)

After the crash (didn't take pictures of the worst parts)
 but I did race the next day!

I'm already training for next year! I can't wait!


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Artwork at Denver International
A couple of posts ago I told how my parents gave me a trip to Colorado to go see the USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE! I couldn't believe it! I was going to Colorado to go watch some of the stars of my sport do their thing!
Artwork at Denver International
The morning of our trip started early. Our flight left at 6:00am and we landed in Denver at 6:30. Mom and Dad had asked what I wanted to do on Friday since we were in Denver so early. They gave me many choices but I told them "I thought we were here to watch racing and I want to watch them climb. I want to see their form when they are climbing!" So, we got our rental car and headed to the mountains!
Look closely...SNOW on the Mountains!
I picked our spot on the mountain between Wolcott and Steamboat Springs. It was a great place because we could watch them come around two curves on the climb before they would pass us. I loved all the amateur cyclists, the caravan of team buses, team cars and swag mobiles that came passed us before the pro racers made their way. We met the nicest couple, Joe and Susan and their chocolate lab Cassie.
Here they come and see the BREAK!
When the racers made the first curve a breakaway started to form. It was so awesome! My dad was on one side of the road taking pictures and my mom on the other! They got some great shots of this stage of the race! It was great seeing them riding up that mountain and I had time to study their body position as they were climbing! After they passed us our new friends, Joe and Susan, invited us to come to their house so we could watch the race on Versus! It was great making some new friends and share our love of cycling. Stage winner: Elia Viviani Yellow Jersey winner: Levi Leipheimer
Sergio Henao, Tom Danielson & Tejay Van Gardener in the break

Gesnik, A. Schleck & Leipheimer
Day 2 found us getting up early and heading to Breckenridge. Today we were going to see a finish. So, we had lots of time to spend taking in all the sponsor's booths and checking out the swag! I even got my picture taken with Buzz the Honey Stinger bee! I love their organic chews, waffles and gels...yum! I also met some very interesting spectators! We even ran into some of our riding friends from Oklahoma! It was a great day of racing with a break that had formed with Ivan Basso, Andy Schleck, Laurens Ten Dam and Thomas Peterson. We kept up-to-date on the race with all the mega screens and mom's USA Pro Cycling app.

It looked like Andy Schleck would win this stage and I was so excited but they started playing games and slowed way down. They ended up getting caught with only about 700 meters to go and none of them even placed. The Breckenridge stage was won by Elia Viviani! Andy Schleck was not a happy camper but he was awarded the Most Aggressive rider's jersey! Yellow Jersey: Levi Leipheimer

Here's your winner: ELIA VIVIANI

This should have been the winner: ANDY SCHLECK

Post race interview with Laurens Ten Dam

Well, after this stage we went back to the team buses to see the bikes, riders, etc. This was pretty cool! We saw Cadel Evans, Jens Voigt, Christian Vande Velde all being interviewed. I got to see Andy and Frank's bikes on top of the team car. My mom met a man who was working security for the race. They visited and he told her for us to find him at the start of the final stage and he would get us positioned so I could get lots of autographs from the riders!!! I couldn't believe it! Go Mom!

Cadel Evans--AWESOME!
Day 3: The final stage started in Golden and would end in Denver. We had already decided to take in a start on this day but now we had even more of a reason to be here...AUTOGRAPHS and photos of the riders. We got to the start line super early and got in the best spot! When the riders came to sign in prior to the race they had to walk right past us! I got over 50 autographs on the back of my LIVESTRONG jersey. I was right there with some of my favorite cyclists--Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer (still in yellow), Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, etc. I even got BOB ROLL aka Bobke's autograph! It was a total party atmosphere!

Big GEORGE HINCAPIE signing my jersey!



After the race started we walked down a couple of blocks and could watch them climb Lookout Mountain and then they were going to come back through Golden before they headed into Denver. It was so much fun! When they had all come through Golden we ate lunch and then took a drive up Lookout Mountain so I could see this climb! I sure wished I had a bike and could have tried riding up that mountain. There were lots of amateur cyclists doing just that and it was a great view when we got to the top!

Looking down from Lookout Mountain
On top of Lookout Mt with my family & jersey!

Garmin-Cervelo won the Team Competition and Americans took the top 5 places overall! The crowds at every stage were massive and the riders all talked about how much the crowds rivaled those at the the Tour de France! Stage winner: Daniel Oss (he'd placed 2nd or 3rd in the two previous stages and was a teammate of Elia Viviani)!

Just a taste of the crowds!
Before we left Denver to head back home we drove out to Red Rocks Park and saw some amazing sites! They also have an amphitheatre there...would be a great place to see a concert!

Well, I think this was a pretty amazing way to celebrate my birthday! BIG THANK YOU to my mom and dad for giving me these memories that will last a lifetime! GREAT TRIP!!! I sure hope this race continues every year!

Friday, September 16, 2011


I know I said my next post would be about the USA Pro Cycling Challenge but you gotta check this out first! I was shocked when I saw this on Twitter today! I feel so honored but really I'm just a kid who wants to help others and help STOP CANCER! I just think every little bit will help the 28 MILLION LIVING WITH CANCER! LIVESTRONG!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Is August Already Over??

OK...another month went so fast! I had a great August! Let's see I had a birthday, I had a photo shoot for the Edmond Outlook magazine, I raced and went to THE RACE and continued to raise funds for LIVESTRONG!!!

I had a couple of birthday parties to celebrate me turning 14! The first was my family going to visit my Grams. We had so much fun! The best was our bowling match...I even got a few strikes. No one in my family is a really good bowler which is probably why we had so much fun. I can't remember anyone's scores but I can tell you we did LOTS of laughing! It was cool because they turned off the lights and we all glowed under the black lights!

Me, Grams and Dad (mom's taking the pic)
My second birthday party found my Grandma and Grandpa coming to my house. We went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Red Rock Canyon Grill) and I opened my gift from mom & dad. At first, I thought I just got a t-shirt but under the shirt was the rest of my gift. A TRIP TO GO WATCH THE USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE!!!!! I was totally shocked!

TdF podium pic "Want to see them race? We are going!"
I was chosen to be featured in the September edition of the Edmond Outlook. So, I had to go for my first photo shoot! It was super cool and Marshall (the photographer) was really nice! Take a minute and read it! It won't take long...PROMISE! Check out pages 6 and 35!

I also raced, this month, at the Owasso Criterium and I could really tell I have been training. I got a really good start off the line and lead everyone through the first turn. I can tell I'm getting faster and feel really good on my bike. I took fourth so just out of the money but I did my best and I will just keep working to get even faster! I still got a medal and it was pretty cool. I thought it looked like a Greek fire caldron!

Well, I want to tell you all about my trip to Colorado to watch the race but I think it will be a separate post because I have so much to tell you and some great pictures! I will just tell you this...I got some pretty cool autographs!!!

As for my LIVESTRONG fundraising it has been going really well. I set a goal of $5,000 and I know I am going to go WAY over that amount! I held a LIVESTRONG garage sale one weekend and another weekend I set up a table at Schlegel Bicycles (pro shop)! I also sold several things on Craigslist! I know this is posting in September so I will tell you my current amount is $4,666 but I have sent in some more donations so stay tuned for my new totals! My buddies, Noah and Biju, are helping me by hosting a BBQ/Auction in September! I am getting really stoked! I think I will really blow my initial goal out of the water! STAY TUNED!