Thank You to My Sponsors

  • Ernie Wilson
  • Frank and Del Bozzini
  • UBS foundation gift match
  • CUA class of 2008
  • UnerArmour
  • Bicycle Madness
  • Tony Ryan
  • Henry Gundling, Sr
  • Pramuk Family
  • Michael and Merit Rome
  • Chris Landis
  • Maria Klassen
  • Paul Bailey
  • Rex Sawyer
  • Walt O'Donnel
  • Stephen Kreider
  • Mary Kongsgaard
  • Mary Gundling
  • Henry Gundling
  • Erin Guerrero
  • Liz Graul
  • Greg Gardner
  • John Forken
  • Tom Carollo
  • Mark Carollo
  • Armin Bondoc
  • Daniel Blum

My Calling Card

My Calling Card
The important facts in a nifty size

Friday, June 27, 2008

A brief recap of pre-ride adventures

Well, I suppose I'm a little late in starting this, but if I had been timely with it the shock would have been too great for those that know me and my habits regarding schedules, so I guess in the end I'm just fulfilling the general expectation. Anyway, I guess I'll start off with recapping about some of my pre-ride expriences that have led me to where I am now and then I will fill you in to date. Let's see, some people may be wondering first of all how I got started on this adventure in the first place. Well it's kind of a funny story. Letty and I were sitting in our friends apartment one evening, must likely enjoying a glass of wine or two, and we started discussing our summer plans. We had known some people that had done a pro-life walk from D.C. to Maine and thought something like that might be a neat way to spend our summer. But then we realized walking has never been a favorite hobby of either of us, and so I suggested bike riding. Totally in jest I suggested that a bike ride across America would be a pretty great time. We laughed it off pretending that we both thought it was crazy. Two days later, I hadn't been able to stop thinking about it and I confessed to Letty in a moment of clarity that kinda actually did wanna bike across the U.S. Her response was, "Thank goodness, because I already found us a program!" It all snowballed from there. We signed up and paid the $150 registration fee during Christmas break of this year totally unaware of what we were really getting ourselves into and suppressing as much as we could the feeling that a large portion of our intelligent/sensible mind had just abandoned us with the words "Ha, good luck, you fools!"

At the time we thought, "Ok, we are pretty likeable and convincing young ladies, $5,500 dollars should be no sweat to fundraise, right?" Ha, boy were we wrong! Turned out to be one of the biggest challenges and simultaneously the mosy frustrating and rewarding experience we've ever had. Our big idea initially was to host bar nights where we would collect cover charges at the door or taka percentage of profits from a night of drink specials in exchange for advertising and guaranteeing a busy night for the bars that committed to help us. Well, since the crowd we advertised to ended up being the same bunch of partying Catholic kids, I guess we queezed our resources dry a little too quickly. The profits just weren't worth the effort we put in for planning and getting crowds out to the bar. In the end our must lucrative form of fundraising was just sitting and talking to people we met randomly in bars, on the street, during errands downtown whatever. People loved hearing about what we were doing and the wanted to hear it from us in person. Many actually thanked us for what we were doing as they slipped us a $20 or $50 because either they had known someone who had died of lung cancer or they had a loved one who suffers from asthma or emphysema. That was the greatest reward for us in the process of fundraising. It was great to know that there were people behind us supporting our cause and who didn't think we were total nut-cases. We got closer and closer to our goals as the deadline for fundraising apporoached and Letty and Catie topped off their goals just days before it was due. I was fortunate to have my mom spot me a large portion of the funds so that I would be abel to participate on the ride, but that means my goal is still not quite met and I will continue to funraise during and after the big ride. If you are reading this and are interested in helping out with a donation you can use the link from this blog to get to my fundraising page. Every little bit counts, so thank you very much!

The process of training for the ride also proved more difficult than we had anticipated. The physical aspect of it wasn't so bad, in fact getting out and cycling when we could was an awesome stress reliever and such a fun way to see the city. Time constraints were our biggest enemy seeing as it was the last semester of our senior year and we had more to do than we could handle in terms of finishing comps, planning for next year, and having out last hurrahs with the friends that have been our life for the past four years. Letty, Catie and I managed a few rides together throughout the semester but didn't get close to serious about it until about April. It was then that a c0-worker from Landis Construction Corp was generous enough to lend me his wife's lovely 2500 Trek to assist me with my training until I was ready to buy my own bicycle. It was a great road bike, SOO light and an easy ride. I loved having it and almost couldn't imagine giving it up for another bike. But don't worry, my heart now belongs to my beautiful Specialized Seqoia Elite, the hottest bike in the whole world :) I got her at City Bike in Washington DC immediately after I'd returned from Belize at the beginning of June and we have formed an inseparable bond since. Unfortunately, I had to let her go for a brief while almost immediately after I got my hand on her as I had to ship it across country to Seattle where we would be starting the ride on June 23rd.

Between the time I left DC and arrived in Seattle to start the ride, I got to spend a couple of weeks back home in Cali with my brother, Paul, and my parents. I had no bike there to train on so I was very lucky to have Napa Valley Bike Tours in Yountville and Calistoga bikes help me out with discounted rentals to keep my legs warm and ready for the big ride. I also got really lucky at this great brand new bike shop on Jefferson in Napa who donated $440 worth of gear wihout a moments hesitation. They were so great to me, I could believe it!

Letty met up with me in Napa and stayed with her boyfriend, Robert, for a couple of days to visit my home town and get a few last minute miles in. We had an awesome ride the day she was there and we left together on Thursday the 19th to head up to Seattle. And so the adventure began!!!