This team of eight inspiring women, are moms with professions (including two nurses, a public defender, a fighter pilot and a few small business owners), and are training to set a new RAAM record. However the team's bigger mission is raising money for worthy causes. To learn more about the team, visit www.bikelikeagirl.org and follow them on Facebook. The following post is provided by Bike Like A Girl Team member, Erin Ferner, who is seen sporting a handstand in the opening pic.
It is amazing what can be achieved when you gather a group of like-minded individuals together to push the limits. Death Valley, California: it was here we gathered with our bikes, coming from all different directions to meet and pedal; to climb; and to explore. It was the greatest combination of hard work, rugged scenery and a whole lot of determination all wrapped up in a long, memorable training weekend. For a group of us, this training weekend was preparation for a big adventure that lies ahead this coming June. Our eight women racing team, Bike Like a Girl, will take on Race Across America (RAAM) 2015.
Being on a team requires faith and trust that each team member will put in the work and give their best when the clock starts and the race begins. It also requires the leadership of a knowledgeable coach. A coach who believes in each athlete individually who makes up the team as a whole. We are honored to have Julie Young, of O2 Fitness, guide us as a coach in making our goal a reality in crossing the finish line of RAAM this summer.
Our time spent in Death Valley training as a team with our coach and a fantastic cycling group from Reno was incredible. Every day we were there was filled with time on our bikes fighting the wind, rotating through the pace line, adjusting to the dry climate, and a whole lot of climbing. Each ride brought new challenges. We had a 25 mile climb straight up with a 15-18% grade at times to the top of Dante's Peak. The view was worth every push on the pedals. We fought head wind, dust and more challenging elevation at a ride in Stovepipe Wells where we were, in the end, rewarded with descents that brought butterflies to our stomachs. Every ride brought new momentum and focus to the goal up ahead.
Bike Like a Girl is thankful to have had the opportunity to train surrounded by Coach Julie and the amazing group that provided support and encouragement while we were in Death Valley. In the end, as cyclist all of our desires are really the same- ride in the moment, enjoy who you are with, work hard- on the bike and off, and in the toughest of moments, breathe and be thankful you have the ability to ride and live this amazing life of yours. Ride on, friends, and make the best kind of memories you possibly can on two wheels. We certainly did.
Words from a Racer: Death Valley. I lived out of my comfort zone. I did something new and different and it was really hard but extremely empowering- like the descent after a climb. I bit my lip to stay brave. When you have to climb all the way up from below sea level, everything only goes up from there- heart rate, altitude, views, the fight and determination inside to make it to the top. We had funny tan lines and silly helmet heads. We all fought the wind to pull the pace-line and each other. We were surrounded by 360 degrees of passion- for adventure, cycling and just the pure joy of an epic challenge. There were unspoken moments of understanding each other and why we do what we do. I don't think I'll ever be the same. But I don't think we are supposed to be. Not after something like that.