This past weekend I travelled to Philadelphia to guest ride for Team Colleen p/b Summit Velo in the UCI 1.1 Liberty Classic. Team Colleen is a non-profit Tucson, Arizona based team that raises money to support cyclists dealing with cancer. Through their ‘domestiques’ program, they help cancer victims achieve their cycling goals and fight back against cancer. Colleen was a cat 2 cyclist who continued riding during her treatment and, with the support of her husband and friends, created this amazing foundation to help others battle cancer and find joy through cycling at the same time. Sadly Colleen died in October 2009, but she left a legacy in Team Colleen that, with continued public support, will continue to grow and help others. It was incredibly inspiring and motivating to be involved with Team Colleen. Her husband, parents and friends all flew in to Philadelphia to be involved in the bike race and help raise the profile of the domestiques program. Team Colleen was also joined by one of the worlds greatest female cyclists, Jeannie Longo. Jeannie is a legend in women’s cycling, being the most decorated female cyclist ever. It was amazing to meet her and race on the same team as her.
As for the race, it was the cherry on top of an already fantastic weekend. It was smoking hot and muggy, which for me was shocking as I had spent the previous weekend racing in the rain and becoming moderately hypothermic. The wind, heat, humidity, and of course, the Manayunk wall, all played their roles in breaking up the peloton. Jeannie tried a breakaway on the last lap of Lemon Hill, but HTC-Columbia and Team Peanut Butter wanted a bunch sprint so pulled it back in. I was with the main group until the last time up Manayunk, where I couldn’t close a gap that was formed ahead of me and so finished the race in the third pack back in 53rd place. All in all, it was a really fun race, and I give a shout out to my guardian angel who, yet again, helped me narrowly escape from a nasty crash that occurred right in front of me and saw girls sliding all across the road…so far this season (knock on wood) I have only crashed once and have escaped at least 5 very very close and painful looking crashes.
If anyone is reading this, please check out: http://www.teamcolleen.org/ and read about the amazing work George Varhola is doing through Team Colleen. And even better, donate, because Cancer sucks!!
The weekend earlier, I raced the Provincials in BC. You can find acticles about them here: