Friday, November 21, 2008

Announcing Team CycleLife 2009 Roster

On the heels of an exciting opening night with our title sponsor, CycleLife USA, we are proud to announce the roster for the Women’s CycleLife Team 2009. Our team goals for next year include helping CAWES, Inc (Capitol Area Women’s Elite Squad) develop into one of the leaders in promoting women’s racing both at the regional and national level. The ten members of the 2009 squad bring a vast collection of experience, talent, strengths, and energy both on and off the bike. We have been spending time together gelling and bonding, and we are excited for the upcoming racing season. Look for us out on the road!

Christina Briseno, Cat 3
Jennifer Cheng, Cat 3
Sonja Evers, Cat 2
Michelle Hart, Cat 2
Leslie Jennings, Cat 1
Diane Miller, Cat 2
Melanie Schwartz, Cat 3
Wendy Ulmer, Cat 2
Sara Zeigler, Cat 3
Robin Zimmerly, Cat 3

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hmmm....gotta love the off season

Unfortunately, I missed the good times at the 'Ranch. For the last month, I traded my bike for a surf board in Itacare, Brazil for some much needed time off between forays in the rainforest following the small arboreal monkey I'm studying for my dissertation. BUT I'm home and really excited to get back on the bike with the members of my growing, amazing team!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Raw Talent - at the Raw Talent Ranch

As I reported on plain-jane-ramblings, the ladies of CycleLife took to the hills of West Virginia as guests of Raw Talent Ranch. RTR, owned by local cycling magnate Jay Moglia, sits at about 2,700 feet right outside of Lost River State Park.

(no this isn't the Barn ... this is just a cool pic taken by Jason Merdhot)

While we were two ladies shy (Sara is in Brazil and Melanie was busy WINNING at the Fairhill CX race - check out,the remaining 4 members conquered the hills of W Va both on bikes and on foot with some help from Erik and a super-cool visit from rockstar and teammate Heidi Woolever (we've missed you!!)

Michelle, in preparation for a Marathon in less than a month, ran 20 miles on Saturday while the rest of us braved an amazingly difficult ascent back up to the Barn after about 3 hours of rolling hills.

(This is the ride profile provided by Leslie's hubby, who likes to play with his bike toys - Thanks, Erik !)

Its amazing - we've all discussed it and we have decided that every time we get to the Barn, its like the rest of the world disappears. Phone reception is spotty out there, TV is there but we never use it, wifi is available but we use it sparingly. We laugh alot, we cook lots of great food, we tease each other about our respective ipod playlists ... its a great time to bond and just "be".

Michelle, registering for the big Marathon, Paul getting directions for the upcoming ride and the rest of us enjoying some coffee and pancakes a la Jason - we'll be ready to roll in no time

Meanwhile, a few of the boys in attendance took a stroll out in the woods with Jay on mountainbikes.

After our respective rides (and Michelle's run), we enjoyed some chili prepared by Robin, a bonfire prepared by Jay, some of the awesome cookies and cupcakes prepared by Audrey and some moonshine - who knows where that came from !! Oh, and since we were celebrating birthdays (Michelle on Friday, Jason on Saturday), we had some brownies and ice cream... not to mention yummy s'mores. We're pretty sure Paul and Michelle got sunburned while trying to roast marshmallows for the group- way to take one for the team !

More pics and some more personal observations from the trip are over on Plain Jane's Ramblings ... suffice it to say, we'll be back soon - the training out there is phenomenal and the accomodations are perfect, but the company you choose to take with you will make the trip even better. Thanks, guys and gals, for a fun weekend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Masters World Cup Racing in Austria

Spent the last week racing for the first time in Europe at the Master's World Cup races in Austria. It's an unbelievable experience - a beautiful area, inspiring people, and 700+ riders from all over the world. The pic on the left is the view from the hotel...

The trip is especially easy if you go with Tracy and Rob Lea who have been organizing groups for years. They take care of everything - accommodations, race registrations, number pick up, food, mechanics - everything. And they manage to get the coolest collection of people you can imagine. Here's a pic of some of this collection hanging out outside our gorgeous hotel...

I was competing in four races: A Master's World Cup (not THE World Cup, but a non-UCI World Cup...whatever that means), The Master's Worlds time trial, THE Master's World Cup, and an Elite UCI race.

The road racers were all held on the same course: a +/- 40K loop with two pretty big climbs and a fast flat finish. A good race for sprinters who can get their arses over the climbs. The only downer is that the women's races are a little short. The 30-40 year old women only did 1 lap for the World Cup races - about 25 miles.

Results & Reports
Race 1: 4th in the first World Cup race! The picture from the awards ceremony says it all. Apparently I was pretty happy.

It came down to a sprint with about 10 riders left after the climbs demolished the field.

Race 2: Unfortunately the TT two days later did not go as well for me. It was a bad dream where everyone is going forward and you are going backwards or stuck in quicksand. I was passed by four riders about 5-10K into the race...seriously. I ended up in last place (as my "friends" helpfully pointed out repeatedly for the rest of the week). But after the race I realized what was had happened - the back brake was flush against the rim. It explained a lot, but the poor showing definitely screwed with the head. Unfortunately The Master's World Cup was the next day...

Race 3: For the Master's World Cup, was feeling a little flat from the TT and it had shaken my confidence. Still I deluded myself that I could pull something off and that the field would ignore me and let me ride away. Didn't happen. The field was larger than the first world cup race, and the Italians showed up in full force. They kept the race under control and if anything moved the field was on top of it. We came to the finish with about 25 riders...and I lost focus and nerve. The Italians strung it out at the front and took 1-2. I got 7th.

Race 4: Finally, Sunday was an 'Elite Women's Open race' on the same course. This time we were doing 2 laps (vs. 1 for the others), and there were new faces since there was no age limit. Lots of younger riders (mostly Austrian) showed up. The pace was harder on the climbs than it had been in the earlier races, but with about 10K to go and 2 riders off the front (one far off who had taken off on the first climb, and one just dangling ahead), the pace inexplicably slowed down. We went from 25 mph to 15. The pace allowed riders who had been dropped to get back on and the Pro men to pass us with less than 5k to go. Chaos! It sorted out and we came into the finish with 20+ riders racing for third.

In the final corners, I thought my chances for a podium finish were blown when a rider bunny hopped the median strip and came crashing through the group. I was gapped from the lead riders, but closed it just in time for the 500K sign. Rested for a second, head down, and went for it from 200K to go. I won the field sprint and got 3rd place overall! All these mid-Atlantic office park crits have honed the sprint skills!

The picture above is the podium from the elite race. The winner apparently just got back from the Olympics where she raced for the Austrian team. I guess I'm just way too cool and couldn't be bothered to take off the shades. amazing event. Highly recommend it. Maybe we can get a team USA together for next year?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bobke and Bob

Nicknames are interesting creatures. Some are bestowed upon us with love and adoration, i.e., waterbug (thanks mom). Others are thrown at us with spit and venom (too many to recount here). And then some attach themselves to us like remora. Remora are those parasitic fish that affix themselves to a host shark or whale, thus earning the name sharksucker or whalesucker.

I think I may have coined a new term for the wheelsuckers out there. Yeah, she's a remora.

Lord knows I sucked the wheel of Christine Wehlburg (nickname~CW) my whole first year as a Cat 4 because
  1. CW was a larger fish than I;
  2. CW was a steadier wheel than I; and
  3. My lofty goal for my first season was to work hard enough to be able to stay with CW.

Out of that host/feeder relationship, I aqcuired the nickname, Periscope.

i.e., when the larger fish has a good 6 inches of height on you as CW does on me when riding, you cannot see the road in front of you, unless you sit up and periscope over. Thus my non-aero bike nickname was born. And true to form, I am taking a peri-view position over Janet Olney above. All clear ahead!
Now last year when I had the privilege of riding for Route 1 Velo, I picked up another nickname. Badger. I think my finishing-face as I won my first Cat 4 race at Tysons explains that moniker.

So where does the nickname Bob come from?
In short, my college field hockey coach also taught kindergarten. Thus she spoke to her collegiate players just as she spoke to her 4-yr olds. One day a teammate noticed that every start list or scrimmage line-up listed me as Robbin-Bobbin. That nickname later shortened to Bobbin and then Bob. Yikes. When lacrosse season hit, it was discovered that I had this uncharacteristic "head bob" thing I did before making a shot on goal. (I called it a fake shot.) Thus, Bob stuck with me throughout my college years.
That's a recent pic of Bobke and Bob in the photo to the right. I asked Bobke to squeeze into a CycleLife vest. He made a comment about his chest being too big.

I found that very funny. Wendy just laughed because we have a cue worked out for that. I tell a joke. She laughs.

Race report? Oh yeah. The ladies of Team CycleLife hung with Bob Roll at the 2nd Annual Tour de Millersburg Stage Race in PA this past weekend. Awesome venue. Incredible town support. Major shout out and thanks to the promoter (Shane in orange on right), the volunteers and citizens of Millersburg, and of course, Bobke.
For more info on the weekend, Wendy has also posted a blog about the racing this past weekend and some of the frustrations that come with this sport we love.
I guess I should add I picked up another nickname during the RR. "Peloton Patrol." Aww yeah. I saw a girl with plenty of gauze wrapped around her elbows trying to sneak up in the gravel and grass beside Beth Mason without giving as much as a "heads up." I let her know that alerting Beth to her presence might be a safer move before spinning out in gravel. Ironic that a rider donning a kit called "Sturdy Girl" is wrapped in gauze--suggesting she is not all that sturdy. Regardless, Beth is a smart and gracious rider and would have moved left a bit, or moved right and closed down the move. Either way, my commentary to the rider was pure self-preservation. I was behind Beth and moves like Sturdy Girl's were more than my comfort-level would allow. I like the skin I have right now. I'd like to keep it. Sturdy Girl that was your first warning. Next race, I'll be issuing tickets.
Peloton Patrol Out. Roger that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lessons in Time Trialing

The district championship TT was held this year at Church Creek - this year's second edition of the classic time trial on a flat, fast and windy course. We had 4 women competing - Leslie and Wendy in the 1/2s and Sara and Mel in the Cat3s - all competitors, all with a chance to do something for the championship. Robin volunteered to be support and resident soigneur.

Traffic heading toward the beach on a warm, summer weekend sucks. Our start times were much later than normal for this race so our travel times were later - instead of watching the sun rise as we crossed the Bay Bridge, we suffered in beach traffic, crawling at a snail's pace toward our destination. Poor Mel arrived about a 1/2 hr before her start time ... nothing like rushing toward the start line to get your heart rate up. Who needs a warm-up, anyway?!?

Have all your equipment together, do not count on equipment to be delivered to you.
Thankfully Robin and Mel did arrive before Wendy's start time - otherwise she was sans disc wheel (thank you, Jason) and aero-helmet (thank you, Robin).

Check the official clock and don't miss your start time. Leslie was strolling around the start area thinking she had another 15m or so ... luckily she rode up to the official's tent and asked for the time ... they politely informed her to GO-NOW since she was about 3mins past her start time.

When you miss your start time, the first half of the TT goes by quickly as you mutter expletives to yourself and push yourself harder than ever. Leslie had her best TT ever on that course and the fastest women's time if you take away the ~3min late start ... congrats on a great ride !

Your bike fit will make a huge difference. Wendy was within 2seconds of the jersey after posting dismal TT results all year. A last-minute bike fit by Josh Frick, Performance Director at CycleLife, made a huge difference in her time and comfort level. Her write up is here. Suffice it to say, she was a happy camper.

Sara learned the same lesson in a different way: by the end of the TT her legs were so sore she could barely pedal and her saddle had violated her in a variety of ways. Sara is going to CycleLife to get her fit done this week after seeing how much of a difference it made for Wendy.

Despite all of these lessons learned, we still claimed 2 silver medals and 2-4th place finishes. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Racing in North Carolina

The Presbyterian Hospital Twilight Crit was the most exciting race of the year with all the strongest professional teams bringing full squads and a number of Olympians to compete for the $15,000+ prize purse. The crit is in downtown Charlotte and the crowds were unbelievable with spectators lining the entire course. The pace was ballistic throughout, with two technical sections that tested the cornering skills and two straightaways which never seemed to allow for recovery.

The field started with 85 riders and was down to less than 30 by the finish. In the last few laps I could hear MABRA people yelling "move up Leslie", "great job CycleLife", etc. Unfortunately I was at my limit just clinging to what was left of the field. But the voices helped ensure I stayed with them in the last few laps when it would have been way easier to just let them go.

Somehow an Aaron's rider got away (Kat Carroll) while Tibco, Cheerwine, Colavita, and Advil chased. The Aaron's rider held on to win with Brooke Miller (Tibco) winning the field sprint for 2nd, and Tina Pic (Colavita) 3rd. I held on by my fingernails to finish 21st.

The best part was that with the generous purse, I earned just enough to pay for the speeding ticket acquired in VA on the way down!

Complete results and a more comprehensive race report are here.

Sunday's Hanes Park Classic was another story. It was hot and everyone was exhausted from the day before. While the course is somewhat hilly and twisty, it wasn't quite as selective and the field stayed mostly together.

With 3 laps to go riders started diving for position and it got dangerous. I was having no part of any crashes and started backing off which turned out to be a good thing. No teams could keep the pace high enough and riders kept trying to get towards the front. With one lap to go the field mushroomed across the road at the start/finish and a huge crash took out about 20 riders. Bodies were everywhere!

After unclipping and stepping over the carnage, I realized the riders ahead of the crash were out of sight. I waivered on whether to keep going but decided to roll around with a Verducci rider just to finish. When we crossed the finish line they were still dealing with the mayhem and a number of riders that weren't in the crash were standing on the sidelines. I thought the race was over, but apparently they neutralized and restarted the field and they still hadn't finished. We watched from the sidelines as Brook Miller (Tibco) ended up beating Tina Pic (Colavita) again in the sprint with Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci) getting 3rd. There were a number of us standing around who thought we had finished, but hadn't realized they had added another lap until the riders in contention came through. I wasn't sticking around to sort it out though. 30th? 40th? 50th? DNF? I'd lived to fight another day and am happy enough with that. Unfortunately Lorena Candrian (HPC) was caught up in the crash and may need a new bike. So if anyone has extras lying around...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

So, the plan going into the Hunny Bop was to get Sara into a break, possibly with me. We're both "breakaway riders" and Sara has been working her tail off for the team, so it was about time we gave her the chance to shine. And shine she did !!

The race started with a full field ... we didnt have the entire HPC squad out there but we had a full Kenda team, Artemis brought out their heavy hitters (except Erin... we neither confirm nor deny that Robin pulled a Tonya Harding on her), C3 brought a couple strongwomen and, of course, Team CycleLife sported a nice squad of 5. The racing was hot and heavy (much like the weather) from the get: attacks went out one after the other while the flat, open course contributed to high speeds and barely any time to drink, eat or call home. Before the race, sponsor Michelle (Teaism) told us she wanted to see us controlling the race. We heart our sponsors, so we obliged.

Pretty early in the race, Kenda sent out a solo attack. Sara and I drifted toward the front as the field chased and when we got to about 20 meters of catching Kenda, I sent Sara off. I knew that if I went with her, the field would chase so she went solo. The field, not realizing that Sara was a time trial specialist, waited to react. Kristy Scheff (HPC) finally jumped and went across clean to Sara and I silently celebrated that Sara would have some help - Sara is a 3 and they were scoring separately so Kristy (Cat1) was a good pairing.

Our plan worked and had a great chance for success. Teams took turns sending one-off attacks throughout the rest of the race - thankfully, no one really organized and Team CycleLife did a phenomenal job (if I do say so myself) of patrolling the front and marking the potentially dangerous riders. Mel did a nice job setting tempo a lot of the time, Leslie went with a few dangerous moves to sit on, Robin stayed in good position and powered her way to win a prime.

Me ? I was glued to Sonja (C3) and Rachel (JuicePlus) because I knew they both had the potential to launch clear ... kudos to both riders as they did not make it easy for me - it was like a full-time job ! I must've been incognito the entire race because the announcers called me every member of my team EXCEPT me ... "there goes Leslie Jennings" ... "Melanie covering Sonja" .... "Robin Zimmerly chasing Rachel". Eh, at least they had the right team !

Team CycleLife kept the field in check and competitors were growing tired with the laps winding down. A 60 min crit for us in that heat seemed like eons ... I dont know how the big-boys did 75 minutes without melting. I have learned to drink during these hot races - if for no other reason than I'd like to avoid falling off my bike with 20 mins to go in a race.

With a few laps to go, Artemis rider Amanda made a hail-mary attempt to bridge up to the break. I think the field was too tired to respond and our general thought was that if we went with her, we'd bring the entire field. If she made it, she made it (and she did) ... if not, it was a valiant attempt. Leslie indicated that she needed me to drive the pace for the last two laps to keep things safe (ie prevent the inevitable mushroom-move as everyone stared at each other). I went to the front and drove it for all I had - it was fun to come across the start/finish to get the bell hearing that I had the entire field strung out. That is always a great feeling ... That and the fact that I know that my girls can close the deal. Amanda did make the bridge and finished 2nd to Kristy, but Sara did a phenomenal job through sheer determination to bring home 3rd overall, 2nd in her category. Leslie took advantage of the fast closing pace and took the field sprint for 2nd in our category, 4th overall. Melanie and Robin were not far behind, both placing in the top 10 overall.

Me ? I crossed the line about 1/2 lap behind the rest of the field, tired, spent and happy to be able to give my all to the team. Nice job, Ladies ... a great day for Team CycleLife and another race in the books.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

CycleLife Brings Home the MABRA Criterium Championship Jersey

A full field at the start of the Hagerstown MABRA Championship Criterium (including pro cyclist Sara Caravella racing for Team TIBCO). The field started fast and never slowed with HPC throwing in attacks and Team Kenda and Team CycleLife countering.

Sara throws an attack mid-race and Jen Cheng notes the cloud of HPC/Altarum gathering behind them...

Robin and Melanie race hard through the first corner, careful not to let anything get away.
Wendy throws another attack.

And then Leslie brings it on home in a field sprint with Sara Caravella. Still nursing battle wounds from Masters Nationals (see left arm) Leslie was able to pick up yet another medal and the MABRA Crit Championship jersey.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Soloing it up in Fitchy

After sitting on the fence for a few weeks, I finally decided to take the trip up to Mass for the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic...and I'm glad. I learned a ton, including:

1. Time trials are the best events EVER

The weekend started with a 10 km stair-stepping TT. Not much to say except it hurt. a lot. I rode in at 20.54, good enough for 4th for the day.

2. It is possible to survive a 50 mph descent. in the rain. in a cat 3/4 field. (And getting a call-up ROCKS)

We woke up to torrential rain and cold temps on day 2...but the officials started the 37 mile road race on time. My 4th from the day before earned me a ticket to the front as they did call-ups for the first 10 spots. I gotta admit, getting a call-up and having everyone think you're a badass (Ha fooled them!) is pretty addicting. We took off down the descent at 45-50 mph...I, of course, had a death grip on my bars and let myself glide immediately to the back in typical Zeigler fashion. Fortunately, it wasn't the type of course that allowed for break-aways, and the field stayed more or less together even through the climbs and QOM sprints. After 3 laps, we headed up the mountain in the final climb of the race. The front group took off, with local superstar Amanda Watson (Artemis) among them. I rode it conservatively, thinking it pitched more aggressively than it did. I know better for next time!!! I slipped to 13th in the GC with a 22nd place in the RR...Amanda jumped up to 10th in the GC. The highlights of the race included: (1) me running over a freshly killed squirrel and having it fly at Amanda behind me. (2) Christina Briseno's (C3) crazy save when a girl tried to squeeze between her and another down the descent. JFC's abounded.

3. Circuit races can hurt.

I'm used to nice, relatively flat circuit races like Carl Dolan and Tysons in these parts. The Fitchburg circuit race on day 3 was anything but flat. A double climb into the finish hurt every single lap of the 11 lap course. I'm talking standing up, easiest gear, throwing my body towards the front of the bike, wheezing type of hurt. Again, not much exciting happened in the was about survival and punching through the turns and hills for most of us. Christine was a rock star and pulled me to the front at one point. I finished with the field for 15th and stayed 13th in the GC.

4. Getting caught after a ballsy flyer and finishing near last is waaaay more fun than riding in with the pack.

By day 4 we were all pretty toasted. The crit on the final day was not terribly technical...though a set of tight turns at the back of the course was a little rough. Everyone was breaking through them, forcing us to sprint out of the corners on every lap. The field stayed together and I knew I didn't have a chance if I just sat in. With 2 laps to go I took off. No one chased me at first...the points leader was a mere 12 seconds off of the GC leader and no one was going to make a move if they didn't. Christine yelled for Amanda to get to the front and slam on her breaks...haha, I'm sure she got some looks for that one! Finally, one of the points leader's teammates reeled me in, and I was caught in the final set of turns. It was so worth it though. I left the race knowing that was everything I had left. I finished 29th on the day, securing my 13th place in the GC. Oh and Sonya Evers (C3) finished 7th in the pro crit!!!!

Fitchburg was an amazing weekend and learning experience. Serious props to my surrogate teammates Amanda Watson, Christine Briseno, and Sonya Evers. It was great to work as teammates with people who are usually my competitors.

WARNING: Violence, Language and Partial Nudity

As promised - here's a look at how tough our girl LJ really is ... despite being bumped and pushed all the way down the finishing stretch, she held her own and STILL managed to grab a silver medal as she was taken out at the line. Watch the video. The pics tell the aftermath. Adjust your volume appropriately - your camera-woman has a well timed expletive as the video ends ...

Note the ice packs being sported on the hip and arm ... Not too many people can pull that off on the podium. Nice work, LJ - heal quickly.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Team CycleLife Takes 3 More Podium Spots

More details and maybe even a video to follow ... but Robin Zimmerly sprinted for a 5th place finish in the women's 30-34 criterium while Wendy Ulmer took the bronze, putting BOTH CycleLife teammates on the same podium ! In the 35-39 field, powerhouse Leslie Jennings took a close 2nd, surviving a dramatic finish line crash. All three competitors were pictured in the local newspaper.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Team CycleLife secures two podiums at Masters Nationals

Day 2, 3, & 4

We know, we've neglected to update our blog. But we've been busy! Suffice to say, we have sufficiently soaked in Louisville, KY and decided that this is a fantastic venue for holding the Masters Nationals Competition.

Thanks to Wendy for securing awesome housing for the week--our own single-family home with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a garden veranda where we chill in the mornings drinking our coffee and reading the local newspaper.

On the days we aren't racing, we're exploring, and of course helping each other apply sunscreen.

In the evenings, we're grilling and chillin. Keith assumed role of grill-master and the ladies made salad, bought the wine, and prepared the fixings. After all was eaten, stories were shared, bellies were full, and the midnight hour was upon us---the ladies went to bed. And the men [Keith Reeder - ABRT/Latitude, Andy Shaw - NCVC, and Rick Norton LSV] did the clean-up. We mention their team affiliations because we are an equal MABRA opportunity household.
You will note that while Andy and Keith are working hard, making strong efforts, and getting closer to the finish--Rick has assumed a draft position if-you-will. He's content to watch the action and when asked whether he was going to "pull through," he explained that he is a finisher. And thus, he did finish the job.

Back to race results. Yes, we're collecting hardware. And there is more racing to come.

For the time trial - Robin secured a podium spot with a 4th place finish at 1:01:22. The bronze place finisher rode in at 1:01:07. The top two competitors were sub-1 hour...thus proving, they are competitors of the highest caliber. Here are a few pictures. Robin gets tested and approved for a morphological exception to the UCI fit rules for her TT position. Robin and Wendy racing the TT. (The photos are blurry because they are going fast!) Robin wearing her medal.

Next hardware - the Women's 35-39 road race - Leslie secures a silver medal! Pictures tell it all. Leslie coming across the line securing her 2nd place spot by several bike lengths. Leslie on the podium. Leslie sporting her bling.

Art felt he needed to carry something a little more "bling" than his badge, so he, too, secured a podium spot with a 4th place finish. And he also tested the medal to make sure it was truly carbon-ti.

More later.....the 40+ boys [Rick, Keith and Andy] race at 10am.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 1: Louisville or Bust (No Robin, you don’t have to choose)

The essentials:

  • 4 cyclists
  • 7 bikes
  • 28 wheels
  • 1 pound of gummy bears
  • 1 pound of sweet tarts
  • 2 gallons of water
  • 2 pounds of bananas
  • Unlimited phone minutes
  • United States Atlas circa 1999
  • Garmin (aka “Jack”)
  • Full bellies (thanks to Pancakes by Jason™)

8:15am – Chef Jason, anticipates the arrival of 4 hungry cyclists. He skips the 7am and begins to prepare coffee and a helluva lot of pancakes.

9:00am – Everything but the kitchen sink outside one car. Within 20 minutes, all is packed and we’re ready…9 hours to go.

9:45am – On the road, Vehicle #1 [Leslie and Wendy] leads the pack. Vehicle #2 [Andy and Robin] scopes out the competition.

10:12am – First bathroom stop. Thanks LJ. Make that 9 hours and 7 minutes.

11:30am – Second bathroom stop. Nothing but high class for bike racers in “Wild and Wonderful Virginia.”
1:00pm – Lunch Stop at Panera – Andy makes tactical error of ordering salad to go…. His car is a stick-shift. Eat fast.

3:45pm – While LJ and Andy fill up the gas guzzlers, Robin and Wendy decide to check out the local movie store. Wendy stopped here. Wait. Where’s Robin going? Oh. Wendy misunderstood.

7:10pm – ARRIVAL !! Andy conveniently learns that his Priceline booking for the Hyatt starts on Sunday. He’s homeless Sat night. After he unloads both cars, the girls finally give in. Yes, you can stay in one of the extra bedrooms—just tonight.

8:10pm – Robin, Andy & Wendy go for a quick spin in Louisville, KY. The route is scenic and reminiscent of River Road in Potomac MD. After an hour, the three return home. Tired. Hungry. Mentally and physically exhausted. But feeling really punchy. Leslie is inside watching TV and chillin’. She sees the three walking into the back yard with gardening tools. Leslie is accustomed to random photo ops, so she (wisely) stays inside.

Stay tuned for more adventures on Day 2…