At Tonik we're justifiably proud of how resilient, courageous, and just plain TOUGH our customers are. We love to celebrate this, and we love to share the love. Today we're sharing the story of Lyn Brede.
Lyn has been a Tonik customer since way, way back. She was a guide for a Wine Country bike touring company, a snowboarding addict, and was one of the original riders in the Tour de Tahoe, a beautiful ride around Lake Tahoe that takes place every September.
One year she came across Tonik in our booth at the Tour de Tahoe, and she has been a customer ever since.
In October 2017, Lyn lost everything in the Sonoma County wildfires - her home, as well as a "lifetime of stuff" as she says, including her bike. In 2018, she missed the Tour de Tahoe for the first time in a decade. In 2019, she found a bike on eBay and with friends' gifts of old gear, she crossed the Tour de Tahoe finish line in "too big - too baggy" mountain biking clothes.
Not long after the 2019 Tour de Tahoe, Lyn's life was changed again, forever, when her right leg and ankle were destroyed in a terrible accident. Suddenly, she was no longer Lyn the snowboarder, Lyn the mountain biker, or Lyn the hiker and backpacker. Not even as she says, Lyn who could take out the trash. In short, as she says, she lost her identity.
She spent a year in what she describes as a "pain-filled netherworld" where any griefs that she'd had before paled in comparison. Her ankle joints were replaced with screws, bolts and plates up to her kneecap.
It took Lyn a year to start trying to walk again. She had no leg muscle, and her physical therapist encouraged her to try to get on a bike again. Lyn says, "It was easier than walking, and it began. With first a mile, then two, then five."
Six months later, Lyn can bike 12-15 miles a day, and has gone as far as 20.
Her dream is to get back to ride the Tour de Tahoe, either in 2021 if it happens, or in 2022. We are cheering for her to get there, and we'll be waiting for her to come see us in the Tonik booth for a high five.