While the Tahoe team was busy loading the truck to ship the team's bikes out west, the Vegas and Fletcher teams were riding up in beautiful Cartersville, GA. As I am fortunate enough to have a B (and now, C) bike, I was happily able to join them. The route for the Vegas team was a short 20-mile out-and-back, with a few hills and two rambunctious dogs (I yelled them off). I rode with T, a two-time survivor of Hodgkin Lymphoma: you know, the "good" kind. He had been in remission for 10 years before relapsing last year, and is now waiting for the official all-clear from his doctor. He has an incredible attitude and is just a generally friendly, all-around great guy. I am looking forward to riding with and getting to know him more this season. As we approached the SAG at mile 12, I asked if he wanted to stop. "Not really", and we blew past it.
Everyone looked GREAT on the ride (the six of us who were able to make it, that is). J crushed the route, and sweet M, who may well be my new favorite person, was beside herself at the end. Last week she didn't make it out of the parking lot. She'd brought an old mountain bike, but ended up borrowing a road bike that Coach D had brought for another participant. At the end of that ride, she was glowing, but nothing could top how she felt after this weekend. She had gone out during the week on the borrowed bike a few times, and ended up spec-ing a few bikes at Performance, finding one she liked. She rode the 20 miles with the two coaches and had tears in her eyes at the end as she told me how this was part of a total life change for herself. Every other sentence out of her mouth was "I am just so happy", and she radiated it. M has an amazing attitude and determination, and again, I am looking forward to getting to know her this season, as well.
Seriously, who are these people? How on Earth did we get so lucky that they found us?
Stats (from Strava, because there isn't a computer on the new bike yet):
Maximum speed: 27.3 mph
Average speed: 13.6 mph
Distance: 20.3 mi
Details and map here.