A week ago today I arrived in Portsmouth NH to start leader orientation. The four of us — Erin, Sean, Katie and myself — along with Brendan, the program director for Bike & Build did all sorts of fun things like inventory all the contents of our brand new stealth trailer, go over policies, donation magic lots of food, and do a dry run of the wheel dip ride. But most importantly, we paid a visit to ME2SB, who was in Kittery after their first day of riding, and decided to steal their van… In reality we moved it around the corner and left a ransom note on their trailer. But they didn’t see it and ended up calling the police in the am. Sorry guys :)
The wheel dip on Saturday went smoothly minus a brief detour about 10 of the riders took getting to the park. Good start! I had an awesome cheering squad on hand for the wheel dip and it made me feel very loved. I’ll miss everyone back home this summer…
Day one started great with gorgeous roads and fun terrain, but on the first decent hill of the day, while i was slowly making my way up, my chain completely stopped, so my bike stopped. And I toppled over. I was fine but my bike had a broken rear dérailleur hanger. Aka in the van on the first day. Really?!? I mean, I did get to visit a classic NH yard sale with Brendan and Natale, but it wasnt how I imagined my first day. And it was a beastly first day, the hills were intense and neverending. Everyone made it and I was really proud of the entire group, definitely a test mentally and physically. As for me, luckily the local bike shop in Concord took a spare part off a bike they had in stock and Brendan showed me how to fix the hanger (new bike knowledge, boom).
Back on the road today and it was another hilly, but short, day. I rode sweep with Aaron so we held up the rear of the group. It was a slow moving day with all the hills but a gorgeous ride, New England really is awesome. When we got to the church in New London, most of the group was swimming at the Little Lake Sunapee beach, but I opted for snacks and a quick shower before the beach goers got back. We finally got started on painting our trailer and it looks amazing, plus its a lot of fun to paint as a group. Other highlights of the day include our first laundry day and a great group cuddle puddle!
The group is really starting to bond and get along well, it’s awesome to see. Being a leader and in charge is definitely different me. I’m not used to having people ask my permission for things but I think I just need to be confident in my abilities and be consistent, and hopefully people can respect that. After a busy, overwhelming but great first week, I can say I think this summer will be one to remember.
Mother Nature played a cruel trick on us. She gives us a true, two and half week long taste of summer, thereby melting the precious and limited snow that graced our mountains to the north, and now she’s forcing us back into our sleeping bag coats in the last week of March.
It’s just mean. and I’m not happy about it.
To be fair, I did reap some benefits from the super quick summer we just had, and breaking out my staple green dress is just one. I got out on the road for the first time in 2012 and it was on my new bike (which may end up being named Lady Gigante, but we will let that simmer before we eat it up). Last Thursday, the high in Boston was around 85 and that called for some non-cubicle time so I took off the afternoon. Mike and I reacquainted ourselves with our beloved spandex and set off for Arlington.
Riding the Minuteman Bike Path to the end, we took the traditional Quad Cycles route through Bedford, Concord, Acton, and made our way to Fern’s for a quick rest (but mostly to set up dinner plans for that evening at Toro, pimientos de padron, yes please).
Despite some chain issues, the ride was amazing - Lady Gigante is a smooth ride, my knee was feeling strong, and it was the perfect day for a ride.
And now we’re being tortured with 20 degree temps. This is acceptable when I know I can scamper off to the north and ski. When I can’t, I’m just cranky.
Make up your mind Mama.
It’s a leap year so let’s raise some money!
What: Fundraiser & Silent Auction to support Bike & Build
When: Wednesday, February 29 at 6pm
Where: The Globe Bar & Café – the upstairs room (565 Boylston Street in Copley Square)
Recommended Donation: $10 at the door
This summer, I’ll be co-leading a group of 30 young adults as we bike from Portsmouth, NH to Vancouver, BC in the name of affordable housing with the non-profit organization, Bike & Build. Each leader and rider is required to raise $4,500 before the start of the trip. This money goes to local housing organizations along our route, recipients of a Bike & Build grant, projects and people that support B&B, and more. This summer, Bike & Build will raise well over $600,000 for people in need throughout the country.
The proceeds from this fundraiser will all go towards my total for Bike & Build. Items in the silent auction are pretty awesome, much thanks to all the local businesses and friends who have donated. So far the auction includes items from: Harpoon Brewery, SEAC Boston, Aquitane Boston, Ibex, Recycle Studio, Back Bay Bikes, Urban Grape, Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE), Hubway, Landrys Bike Shop, Healthworks Fitness, Quad Cycles, and MORE. Also up for grabs are Red Sox tickets and signed photos of Tim Thomas, Milan Lucic, and Jason Varitek!
The Globe is donating appetizers - chicken tenders, fries, spring rolls, cheese board & others - but a full menu is available with a cash bar.
If you can’t make it on the 29th, but would still like to help out, you can visit my fundraising page.
Hope to see you on the 29th!