Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just a Quick Note

I rode my bike today. I actually found a reason to ride it. I wanted to ride it yesterday, but resisted. Today, the bike won and I loved it. My new goal is to learn how to ride fast and for a longer period of time. I am going to drop hammers all over this town.

Post-TRAM Reflections

I’m back in DC, and feeling reflective, as usual. I think that I, like Andrea, am in a bit of a post-TRAM funk. I miss being on vacation, of course, but mostly miss my friends and family and the cornfields of Minnesota and my bike and the whole TRAM scene. I figure that a little blog closure might be in order. 

First, I need to say that the best part of this whole TRAM experience has been how great my family has been throughout, and how excited they were. Examples of super-sweet things my parents did for me: they gave me tons of biking tips, found me a tent (which mom practiced setting up and then taught me), mailed me necessary gear like gloves and an air pump, hosted all my friends in their house on TRAM Sunday, and came to visit me on several nights, offering MUCH encouragement. They were simply amazing. My sister was also great, sending me the most stupendous and useful care package of all time, and generally offering her support throughout the process. She’s also expressed interest in getting involved next year—doing rest stop support or something like that. YEAH, sister!! And the greatest part was that my family (especially my mom!), and Jeff’s family, really helped remind me of why we rode TRAM in the first place, and I was thankful to be able to keep that in my mind all week. 

Second, the main reason the week was a total blast was because my riding companions—Andrea, Min, Jeff, and Aunt Donna—and Aunt Diane, our support driver, are some of the most entertaining and wonderful people on the planet. They are also endlessly positive, which is critical. Or, better yet, when they are NOT feeling positive, they are willing to joke good-naturedly about our shared trials and tribulations. Seriously, you guys are the BEST. And I need to give special thanks to Donna and Diane for coming out of TRAM retirement to share many of their lessons learned with us. Donna says we’re veterans now and can do it on our own from now on, but who would ever want to?? My aunties are SO FUN. 

Finally, I am thrilled to report that I’m now officially hooked on biking. I mean it. My bike is in Minnesota waiting to be broken into tiny pieces again and then shipped to me (thanks, Bryan and Dad!!), and I already can’t wait to get it back. I’m starting to look at longer, hillier routes around DC to tackle in upcoming weekends, and wondering if I should try to put skinnier/lighter wheels and tires on my beloved Surly, and looking at stuff online to figure out how I can learn to get better at climbing hills, and trying to find a cycling club around here. And of course I’m already planning for next year’s TRAM—which I signed up for last Thursday night! Watch out, everybody, because I’m going to start recruiting for a team in January. Start tuning up your bikes, people, and definitely invest in some spandex!  

Thanks, everyone, for all your support and encouragement. I could not be happier with my first TRAM. See you in 2010!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home...

But I actually kind of miss the whole TRAM thing. I miss my friends already. I miss the scenery. I miss the burn in my legs and the rubbed raw feeling of certain lady parts. I miss being able to say, "On your left." And I miss the whole feeling of the TRAM community. I will write more about the last week when I get a chance, but for now, just know that I'm getting teary-eyed thinking of the great people I spent the last week with. Steff, Mindy, Jeff, Donna, and Diane: you guys made my week. Thank you for being Super-Friends. By the way, I still haven't had a gin and tonic.

Friday, July 31, 2009

300 Miles Down, 0 to Go

We did it, y'all, we did it.
Exhaustion is setting in, so rather that draft a series of eloquent paragraphs, I think I'll leave you with some context-free quotes from Mindy.  You should be able to get a feel for what kind of day I had.  So in no particular order, here's what I heard from Mindy while out on the road today:
- "My diaper is wet."
- "How many more miles left?"
- "I thought you said there weren't any more hills."
- "Shut your mouth!"
- "Now how many more miles left?"
- "No, I did not just fart!  That was a skunk."
- "Did you forget about me back there, Lance?"
- "This has been pretty awesome."
- "Now how many more miles left?"
- "We did it!"
And before I sign off, I do want to give a special "shout out" to the five amazing women who shared the TRAM experience with me.  Andrea, Diane, Donna, Mindy, and Steff: thanks for letting me join your sorority...and thanks for limiting your conversations about menstrual cycles to just one.  :-)  I know I'll remember this week for the rest of my life.

We Finished!

Here we are post-TRAM!! Jeff and Steff's moms are with us - our inspiration to bike 300 miles!!
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Rest stop 3

Our LAST rest stop!!!
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Last rest stop, last day! 10.7 to go. Happy faces all around.

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