I would walk....3,200 miles
25 Days, 7 cities, and ~52 hours spent driving in a packed team van all to race 4 crits on the west coast. Sounds exciting right? Okay, maybe not the most glamorous way to travel. Every few days you’re packing up and heading to the next place. Not many opportunities like this come along, so I jumped at the chance to meet up with my LA Sweat team to do just this! A lot can happen in 25 days, so I’ll share a few of my favorite ones with y’all!
Wet Chamois and Sandy Feet
Our first stop was Boise, ID which is Kelli’s hometown. It is such a cute town and if y’all ever get the chance to, you should definitely go for a visit. It’s a small city with a cute small-town vibe with amazing scenery. On our last day, Kelli took us on a bike tour to show us around where she grew up. This eventually led us to the reservoir right outside of town. Without hesitation, we all jumped in regardless of the fact that we only had out kits on. Next thing you know, Dani and Lexi are befriending a stranger and climbing onto their inflatable disc to be pulled behind their boat! We all watched and laughed as we saw our two teammates flopping from side to side until they finally flew off. Next up, Sarah and I. Boy was that some of the most fun I've had in awhile, even if it didn’t last very long, due to these scrawny cyclist arms.
Yeah We Like to Porty!
I can always count on this team to have fun no matter where we go! While in Salt Lake City, we had the chance to get to know the amazing staff at Assos USA and Specialized.
Friday before the crit, the staff at Assos hosted a happy hour where different teams, cyclists in the community, and the staff at Specialized could all come together for music, dancing, food and a libation or two. As a rider, you don’t always get to know the people behind the scenes who make a lot of what we are able to do possible. I thought this was a great opportunity to get to put faces to names and get to know them on a personal level.
How Many Adults Can Sleep In A California Studio? The Answer is 8.
While in California, we were able to take full advantage of the cooler weather in the bay area and headed to the beach for a little bonfire with burritos and s’mores in hand. If I had to paint a perfect night in my head, this is exactly what it would look like: A group of friends sitting around a fire, enjoying good food and the air filled with the sound of laughter and waves crashing on the ocean. I’d say nothing particularly exciting happened that night except, I realized this group of ladies truly are some of my closest friends. That’s the amazing thing about cycling, you get to meet some of the most wonderful people out there. Once we left, it was pretty late so we all went back to Dani’s studio and decided to just have one massive sleepover and watch Princess Bride. Who knew 8 people could sleep “comfortably” in a small studio!
Reality TV - It’ll Make You Feel Better About Your Life
I’ve never really been one for reality tv, but I was fully submerged into it while staying in Boulder. Most nights we ended up at Becca’s house, since she has a massive TV with ALL the channels. I got to learn about the Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Marrying Millions, Real Housewives and so on, and boy there are some crazy people in this world!! I was fortunate enough to witness this seasons finale of the Bachelorette and can honestly say that I upset Hannah picked Jed. I mean come on girl, are you blind!? Jed over Tyler C.?!
Here are some things I got to learn about my teammates while on this trip:
Kelli - She has the coolest secret life you never knew she had! She’s even been in a music video! She can keep you entertained for hours about the things that have happened in her life!
Emily - She could write a book about all fun facts she has stored in her head - I can always count on Emily for cool random information. Oh and she can Netflix like it’s no ones business!
Dani - We discovered Dani comes from a super talented family, she does finger guns and we all finally got to meet Fischer - HE’S REAL!
Sarah - Is seriously the sweetest person ever! Doesn’t matter if it’s past midnight after getting on the podium, she will help you pack your bike hours before you have to leave for the airport!
Lexi - She is always down to have fun and extremely hilarious. Oh yeah we’re basically twins on the bike ‘cos you can’t tell us apart while racing!
Christa - This girl is absolutely incredible! She had a baby at the beginning of the year and is back racing and CRUSHING IT! I’ve only raced with her twice so far and there is a lot I have already learned from her!
Marta - She might be down a spleen but can still kick anyone’s butt on a bike, and while she may not be currently racing she is still such a selfless teammate.
Becca - Probably the coolest person I have met to date. She is a super funny, stylish, successful, boss lady who is the creator of Mortal Kombucha!
Me (Ashley) - The girls definitely got to see me cry during movies/tv shows… a lot. And trust me it was not pretty.
Overall the trip was absolutely fantastic both on and off the bike. As far as racing goes, it was a great learning experience for each and everyone of us. This block of traveling allowed us to get more training time together and learn how to race as a cohesive unit. We ended the trip with multiple top 10s and even a podium at the Littleton Twilight Criterium. Seeing how the team connected and worked together makes me excited for our next stop, Gateway Cup, in my hometown of St. Louis! Hope to see everyone there, and if you get the chance, stop by and say HI to this rad group of ladies! K BYEEEEEEE!