Woke up this morning to much more pleasant temperatures in Wilmington, NC. A balmy 63 degrees. Our dedication circle was a very emotional one for everyone. However, emotions are good and natural. Everyone needs to have a good cry every now and then and honestly it motivated everyone for today’s ride.
Today I was assigned to Leg #1. Our team consisted of some very seasoned cyclists. I was a bit worried when I learned that one of my teammates was an Olympic coaching coordinator for the cycling team. Cindi Hart is one very accomplished lady on a road bike. My other teammates, Chief Master Sergeant Patti Jackson, a former Education and Training Career Field Manager for the Air Force, Dean Hallberg and Keely Ireland.
We got the go ahead from our support crew for the day, Nicole and Sean. We headed out of the hotel parking lot but the support vehicle wasn’t moving. What was going on…what was taking long. Dean rode back to check things out. He returned with the news. Nicole had mistakenly backed our support vehicle into another car. So our day got off to a rocky start. We were on a tight deadline to complete our miles because we had to make a ferry ride out of Carolina Beach. We weren’t going to let the slow start to the day keep us from getting our miles in. Leave it to our Olympic coaching coordinator to help us out with some fabulous tips about how to draft and be more efficient. So what is drafting…
According to Wikipedia: Drafting or slipstreaming is a technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream. Especially when high speeds are involved, as in motor racing and cycling, drafting can significantly reduce the paceline‘s average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead vehicle or object.
So I learned to trust the person in front of me and ride about a foot off the person in front of me. We made some excellent time. It was great to ride from Wilmington thru Cape Fear, Kure Beach and Carolina Beach. The beach houses were beautiful.
Soon after biking through Carolina Beach we ended at the ferry. We all had a blast riding the ferry across as we headed into Charleston, SC. We covered 32 miles.
One the best parts of this trip and perhaps what I have been looking forward to the most was our night we arrived in Charleston, SC. Ulman Cancer Fund awards scholarships to young adults who have been affected by cancer. That evening the entire team gathered at the College of Charleston’s TD Basketball Arena. There we met the swim team and awarded one of their swimmers a college scholarship to help them out with tuition. Her name is Lydia Renn and she is an amazing young lady. We were able to surprise her with our presentation with the help of her mother and her swim coach. She was totally surprised when I read from her application and from a note her mother had written. Giving a $2500.00 check for the Satola Family Scholarship never felt better. Lydia is a true inspiration and we all knew we were going to draw that inspiration from her the next day when we set out on our bikes.