Our wee gaggle of women came together (sans our teammate who resides north of the border) for the first time in a year that stripped away our pre-scheduled hangout time also known as a race season. At the onset of the pandemic, we remained hopeful that some semblance of syncing up to toe the line, put our training to the test and competition would occur. For many of us, the season dictated our personal schedules. We lived, breathed, and embraced the chaos of non-stop travel from coast to coast, structured training loads and the thrill of racing alongside a talented women’s peloton. Alas, it all came to a crashing halt.
Our current reality – one focused on fostering relationships through physical distance – is the complete opposite of our human nature. As a team rooted in deep friendship, we were desperate for an opportunity to connect, to ride, to laugh, to simply be with one another. So, after serious deliberation, candid conversations about risk and exposure, understanding our unique situations, we collectively chose to expand our bubbles for a weekend.
2020. That’s all anyone needs to say and will say for years to come. Each of us has hit the pavement in our own ways. Sometimes we bounced back quickly and brushed the dirt off. Other times, some of us weren’t as lucky – the pain overwhelming, we were broken. As teammates, we voluntarily sign up to sacrifice and support one another in a race scenario; however, when this commitment trickles over into non-bike life, you know you’ve found a special group of people – chosen family. Despite our distance, our equipe was more honest and vulnerable with one another as we confronted our fears and celebrated life’s victories in a whirlwind of a year.
The opportunity to unite in person was a win we all desperately needed. We congregated just outside of Charlotte, NC along Lake Wylie for a weekend of pedaling and belly-laughing. So, was it worth it? In a word, absolutely.
You may be curious about what we learned over a short weekend. It should come as no surprise that we have all forgotten social conventions. Or, maybe we are all that socially awkward pre-pandemic?
Without further adieu, we learned, realized, discovered…
1. We do not build up or break down our 3T steeds as quickly when out of season. Sorry, we’re a bit out of practice.
2. Bring 5,000 tubes with you. Because, if something is going to go wrong, then it’s going to go really wrong.
3. The Exploro can hang just fine with a fleet of Stradas even with 35s. Also read as, I forever and always bring the wrong tool for the job.
4. For the record, I did not create Saturday’s route.
Sorry, not sorry about the dirt.
5. Swisse’s Jellies are always yummy, but more entertaining to consume.
6. Humble Nut Butter’s Tumeric Maple Pecan is the next Pumpkin Spice. Get on our level.
7. Mushrooms make good coffee. Thanks, Om!
8. Lori is always prepared to capture and curate content.
9. Lori makes a better meal than you. Don’t even bother trying.
10. Katie and Leah watched Hocus Pocus for the first. time. ever.
Yes, this is a public shaming.
11. Do not allow Leah to handle lighter fluid. She will try and light a certain team member on fire…that I didn’t go up in flames is a miracle.
12. Emily was not impressed with our fire building skills, but she was consulted.
13. Rachel is ready and willing to bust out the dance moves.
14. Rachel is unwilling to try a second kernel that should have led to handfuls of Corn on the Cob popcorn. If you know, you know. It tastes of nostalgia and burts with a bold, buttery flavor!
15. Katie survives and thrives on sugar. We think the sugar adds to her vibrant storytelling!
16. Also, Katie’s laugh can be heard from miles away.
17. Stef will eat corn kernels straight out of the can.
18. Stef still has more eyeglasses than anyone person.
19. We are only okay at kayaking.
20. Human interaction is vital to our existence. Make time and take the time to be with your people – phone, Zoom or safely, socially distant.
A love of sipping around on bikes may have brought us together, but our friendship binds us. The future of racing is still in limbo, but you know what’s not? Community.
Now, call up your quaranteam and go set out for a two-wheeled adventure.