Archive for the ‘Passion’ Category:


Carmel Beach Wave, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Okay, totally corny, but the first time I saw the ocean, I cried.

And I don’t cry.

I was about 11 years old. We had just moved to Seaside from Munich. For whatever strange reason, we landed in NYC and drove across the country. I don’t remember much from the back seat of that Dodge Polara. Just a bunch of cornfields and nothingness and Holiday Inns.

But I do remember very clearly the first time we drove down Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean came into view.

I remember it was sparkly. And it stretched to forever. And it was the most magnificent thing I had ever seen. And when I realized that I was going to be living near it, I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry.

To this day I have no idea where those feelings came from. I don’t believe in past lives or anything, but something inside my little 11 year old soul felt like it was coming home.

September 18th, 2009 / 4 Comments » / by sabine

Not Going Gentle

Morning Ride, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


I have been following Fat Cyclist’s blog for several years now. He has an honest, refreshing, self deprecating and joyful way of writing about his passion for mountain biking that make his blog a fun read.

Almost two year’s ago, his wife’s breast cancer came back.

Elden continued to write, but more and more often, the stories were about his wife’s fight. They were written with the same easy style and candor, except this time the words were not for the love for his bike, but the love for his wife and the concern for his children.

And we knew when he was overwhelmed, frustrated, relieved, and angry.

I screamed “fuck cancer!” with him.

I cried.

I donated.

Somehow, across the country, I and many more like me were touched by Elden’s passion.

Yesterday night, Susan died.

Yesterday night, I giggled like a 6 year old down some sweet illegal singletrack.

Win, Susan.

August 6th, 2009 / 1 Comment » / by sabine

Poppy Dance

Poppy Dance, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Another from the crackberry taken this spring and i am finally getting around to posting it.

This one is my backdrop on the phone. It makes me happy. It also makes me happy to be posting photos again.

Might even revive the old blog and fire up the printer.

I mean, I am feeling a little frisky…

June 23rd, 2009 / 1 Comment » / by sabine


wingsuit base jumping from doubleA on Vimeo.

You must click on this video. The images of these guys, flying next to cliffs is both breathtaking and profound.

I love how people stretch possibilities. I love that there are people creative and brave enough to do this.

I love that its not me.

December 10th, 2008 / 8 Comments » / by sabine

Don’t Look Up

Under the Redwoods, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Haven’t posted in a few days because I have been busy whining about my recovery.

Things were going fine. A little too slow for my liking, but I was mostly coping.

Then I went and picked blackberries.

Picking blackberries in my yard is just about my favorite thing to do. Its calming and its fulfilling and I get to eat sweet blackberries grown without any water or attention or effort on my part.

And the blackberry part was all cool, but after I was done I went in my little garden shed (which since I dont garden I should just call a shed) . The garden shed features a doorway thats about 5’5″ tall. I am 5’7″ tall and sure as shit, I smacked the hell out of my forehead on the way out.

I could hear my doctor’s words ringing in my ears….”just don’t hurt your head again while you heal”.

And of course, I am back to being as dizzy as I was several weeks ago.

Just to make certain I didn’t do anything dangerous to myself, I went to see a neurologist. He gave me lots of tests. It was sort of like a combination of a DUI and a high school equivalency test.

I had to touch my nose, walk in a straight line. I almost launched into that 5-4-3-2-2-3-4-5 thing on the fingers out of habit (you guys who know that know who you are….).

But then the doc asked me to spell “world” backwards.




then I wrote the word with my finger in the air in front of me.

d..l…r…ow !

I have no idea if I got demerits for spelling it in the air, but I was pretty pleased with myself.

Next, the doctor asked me what 17 times 3 was. I totally thought he was kidding…who knows what that is just in their heads? I sure don’t, even without a concussion. Give me a ten-key dammit. Or an excel spreadsheet.

But he was quite serious and he started to look really concerned and worried so I scrambled for an answer. 17……..


17 is a stupid number. 20 is better.

Aha! 20 times 3 equals 60. And 60 minus 9 is

I said this calculation out loud, so I probably got more demerits.

I was worried that I was going to have to do trigonometry or that isoceles triangle theorem thing or something next, but he seemed satisfied.

The final test involved the little mallet and a tuning fork. For real, a tuning fork. He pulled it right out of his little black bag. I had no idea doctors still used tuning forks or little black bags. He bopped me with the mallet and dinged me with the fork. Stuffed it all back into the little black bag, And said my brain seemed fine and that I would just have to be patient and wait for the concussion to heal.

Which could take several months.

Waaaahhhh..months? But what if I get stuck like this? waaaaahh.

Fortunately, I am part of an awesome team of cyclists (who bang their heads a lot it seems!) and I asked them to share their concussion stories…and something about hearing similar stories, just made me feel so much better.

Well, that and Tracie’s yummy peanut butter cupcakes.

August 10th, 2008 / 13 Comments » / by sabine

Air Time

Skyrider, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


I went for a walk yesterday.

It was a little disappointing. It was just a short walk, but I could barely complete it. My hip cramped up (yes, hips can cramp), my ribs all tightened up, and I was out of breath. The worst part was that I could not even take pictures and I looked like a total goober trying to hold up the camera with one hand.

By the time I got back to the car, I was limping and scrunched all sideways and could barely move. And the only pictures I could take were of the ground.

It was pretty pitiful.

Healing is weird like that. The day after the accident, Donna and I were doing laps around the hospital ward. We had boundless energy as we dragged our giant iv poles around and around the halls. Maybe we were doped up on morphine, maybe we were thrilled to be moving and breathing on our own, maybe we weren’t really going as fast as I remember. But it just seems like I haven’t made a lot of progress since that day.


(I totally took a lap on Donna in our IV crit by the way…just sayin…and dont laugh at my bed head)

I am going to try walking again today..maybe just a few feet further, cuz thats what us athletic types do. We can’t sit still and if folks tell us to rest, we do the opposite and if a walk disappoints, we come back the next day and try again.


I’ve totally gotten into the Tour this year. Have no idea if I would have had I not be laid up, but I am glad I gave it a chance. What a show these guys are giving! Love the CSC team tag, and Cadel crying with the lion, and Menchov all emotionless and tenacious, and Christian finding confidence and its still wide open for the top spot.

Good stuff


July 25th, 2008 / 29 Comments » / by sabine

Forest for the Trees

Forest for the Trees, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes (be back soon).


Welcome to my new blog!

Bella babble is gone. Time to seperate myself from so much bellaness. Plus, there was just no place for me on the new Bella site. As it should be.

And, with me laid up on the couch, I had a little time to put together my new personal site. However, I am still feeling the effects of the concussion, so there’s no warranty on this place. It could come crashing down any moment and probably looks terrible in any browser except IE7. I am blaming all my failings right now on the concussion.

When I think back on the crash, the bonk to the head is what keeps me awake at nights. The broken ribs are a real pain, the broken collarbone an expensive annoyance…but a bonk to the head is scary stuff. I wasted too many brain cells in my youth and can’t really afford to lose any more.

I have come to LOVE racing on the track…but have no idea if I will be able to get back into it like before. I feel like a jilted lover. I had no idea the track could do this to me and if I can ever trust again.

Maybe its time for long lovely mountain bike rides. Somehow, the relief to my soul, always comes in the mountains.


In other news, I hope to be offering prints for sale on this site. Look for info on that soon!

Be sure to check out the slideshow on the sidebar over there —> . It contains photos from some of my Flickr contacts and there is some wonderful stuff being created out there.

What else, oh, for you facebookers, there is a feed of facebook status thingies down there. So, thats nice.

Okay, see you out there.

July 21st, 2008 / 17 Comments » / by sabine

Hear me Roar?

Daydream Wanderlust, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Is it possible to feel both chaotic despair and to feel at peace?

Proving your own strength of spirit is a powerful lift. The self doubts aren’t really self doubts. Not when you can climb mountains.

May 18th, 2008 / 5 Comments » / by sabine

Winding down

This is how Michael and I wind down after a night of promotin and announcin and racin.

Just us and the fireplace and some wine and the kitties and listening to some awesome music.

And the comfort of each other.

(after listening a few times, be sure to watch his fret hand and her strumming hand)

And then some more wine.

May 11th, 2008 / 4 Comments » / by sabine

Existst,,,wha huh?

Into the Grassy Sea, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I am having one of those days where i think too much. And maybe blogging will make it stop.

You ever have a moment where you are slapped with such clarity of thought, that it threatens to just make you implode or something?

So, I was walking in to work, when I spotted a little bird gathering up twiggly things for its nest. And I made some kind of comment to the bird about how it looks like were are both going to work. The bird flew off with its twigglies and I opened the door to our offices.

And the receptionist said hello and then BAM it just hit me.

What the F am I doing? What the F are any of us doing? Life is so fleeting and we humans burn it up doing these strange tasks and getting all pent up about minutae of stuff, that when you put it into universal persepctive, is laughably inconsequential.

The little birdy has it easy. Eat to be strong enough to have sex and make nests and feed little birdys. Not that I think we should just hang out and eat and have sex all day….(Do I smell a new religion?).

But we have the amazing power of awareness of our situation (religious beliefs notwithstanding) and what do we do with that awareness? We put staples in papers and file them in drawers and wash our windows and collect little spoons from tourist shops.

It just seems so….flat. And I don’t mean that we should all go out and devote ourselves to some cause, because even that kind of stuff is “meh” in the scope of the universe.

Maybe this is philosophical crap that people without kids engage in. Maybe we are so wired to populate, that when we don’t, some part of our brain is sort of freaked out by our lack of purpose.

Maybe that explains my opossum dream last night.

I dreamt that I rescued this really dirty and ugly (is there any other kind) opossum. And it became all domesticated and a pet like a cat or something. But I was a little embarrased that my cat was a dirty opossum. And then it sort of morphed into a baby, but it was still an opossum. I was trying to convince these other people that it was totally cool to have a dirty opossum instead of a baby, when the opossum peed all over me.

But I am digressing.

And hungry. I think someone brought in bagels.

May 9th, 2008 / 8 Comments » / by sabine

Cool down

Carmel Beach Wave, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Oy…what a weekend.

Seeing Michael in the throes of heat exhaustion was a wee bit scary. He is not allowed to do that ever again.

That was hard.

It also hard to fake your way through a stage race. I mean, faking it in a 15 minute points race is one thing…faking it in multiple days of racing in the heat is another.

I had lots of fun though. Our team really is special. Its not so much the racing as getting together with fun-minded folks and playing like a bunch of silly kids (who drink wine).

Now its Monday and the weather has cooled and already it seems like the weekend was some funny dream or something.


Here’s a little Happy Monday video

April 14th, 2008 / 6 Comments » / by sabine

Waiting Room

Morning Stretch, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I took this photo while I was waiting for my mom to come out of a small operation.

Yeah, I snuck out of the hospital waiting room.

Like she would know.

Actually, I practically fled from the room as soon as they wheeled her into the pre-op. And I hopped on my bike and headed for Carmel.

And I rode around in the sunshine and walked on the beach in my bike shoes. And I took pictures of waves and surfers and golden retrievers. And I made cockamamie daydreaming plans of how to retire at age 50.

And five minutes past the last minute I should have left, I hurried back to the hospital.

I am a total believer that every moment of life must be savored. Even if it means leaving the waiting room.

Today I learned of yet another tragedy in our cycling community. Each one seems to hit me harder than the last. I can’t imagine how those close to the victims feel. My thoughts go out to the friends and family involved.

March 10th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Not April Fool’s

I just got engaged last night.

Don’t know if I will be able to do my usual plethora of Friday blogging…


I’m so lucky.

March 31st, 2006 / 25 Comments » / by sabine