May 14, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 5/14/2014
In less than three weeks, I will embark on a cross country cycling trip with a team of 28 other riders. There's a lot of planning and logistics to coordinate such a huge trip, so today, I'd like to share a bit on how the ride will work.

The Support

Our ride will be self-supported in the sense that there will be no other people outside of the riders that will be there to provide support. We will have two 15-passenger gear vans that will be driven by teammates as we rotate through the responsibilities. The vans will carry all of our gear (1 duffle and 1 backpack per rider), food, water, and bikes/riders when needed. During the day, one van will set up water stops and make sure that the riders have everything they need. The other van will be dropping off the gear at the host and secure food donations. They also chalk the route so that riders won't get lost. The ride is a huge team effort, and when you're not riding, you're helping to take care of those who are.

The Leadership

The leadership team does a lot of work months in advance before the trip to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

1. 2 Ride Directors- keep the team mentality strong, ensure that everyone fulfills there responsibilities, communicates with the Ulman Cancer Fund staff

2. 6 Leg Leaders- two leg leaders per section of the trip will be responsible for determining a safe route. They will also secure hosts and food donations throughout their leg of the trip

3. 1 Service Coordinator- communicates with cancer centers and coordinates service events

4. 1 Public Relations Coordinator- responsible for press releases, create social media presence, and makes our mission more visible to the public

5. 2 Mechanics- helps with bike maintenance and repairs, because obviously that is crucial as we are riding across the country

Food and Lodging

For the entire ride, we will be relying on the communities we travel through to donate food and provide us lodging. In the past, teams have gotten generous donations from fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Subway, Chipotle, etc. and gift cards from grocery stores. Places such as REI and local bike shops might give donations or discounts on gear and nutrition. We'll have to be flexible and not picky about food, and we'll probably eat anything and everything we can get. I'll definitely be hungry!

The places we are staying are usually in churches, gyms, and host families' homes. We might have to stay at camp sites if we are far from civilization, such as cycling through the national parks. Most of the time, we will be sleeping on floors, which is why I'm glad I just bought a sleeping pad!

Staying Connected

Although I'll be on the road, I am still hoping to stay in touch with friends and family, keep this blog up to date, and receive mail along the route. I should be able to get wifi at most host towns, if not at the place we're staying at, then probably at a Starbucks or McDonalds. I'm not sure about cell phone reception in the more rural parts of the route, but I will at least have it for some of the route. Having my smart phone with me will be invaluable because I can look up maps, check important emails, make calls in an emergency, and communicate with the van drivers.

Do you have any other questions about the logistics of my cross country trip?


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