It is our last night at home for the next 4-5 months. We’ve packed our clothes, our tent and sleeping bags, we’ve tuned up our bikes and the Beast gave Coco her pre-ride bath. We’ve said good byes to neighbors, friends and our local bike shops; we’ve forwarded our mail and cleaned out the fridge. All that’s left now is the courage to get up on Wednesday and put the rubber to the road.
We’ve trained over a thousand miles and here’s a glimpse at life in the saddle:
Our hands have gone numb and our fingers have started tingling,
Our thighs have gotten chafed and ours ears have started ringing
We’ve ridden in the rain, in the sleet and in the sun,
We’ve ridden into wind and believe me it’s not fun!
We’ve cursed a jack Russell , screaming “for heaven’s sake”
We’ve swerved around branches, been hissed at by a snake,
Our trailer we had to trade in when it couldn’t make the turn,
We have each gotten our share of Florida winter sunburn
We’ve had pulled muscles, tired muscles and blisters on our feet,
We’ve had Sore hips, Chapped lips, and Burned our butts on hot seats
We’ve ridden through construction and gotten a dose of road rash
Why is it the downhill part is over in a flash?
We’ve had grease on our calves and chains that have slipped,
We’ve had so many bug bites, I want to be flea dipped!
We’ve had bugs in our teeth and bugs down our throat,
Why didn’t we try swimming? I’d have brought a float!
(Butterball is not nearly the poet that the Beast is, eh??)
But on the more serious side, on the eve of our EPIC bicycle adventure, we want to thank every one of you has read our blogs, sent us comments, emailed your support as well as your declarations of our insanity. (Honesty goes a long way with us!)
Neva (the Beast), Jay (Frankenbutt) and I (Butterball) thank …
Art Heinrichs and his crew at Tampa BMX for embracing our dream and running with it. Art, you set a standard at our track that brings us all up!
Kirk at J&R Bicycles for reaching out to us and making our ride financially feasible
Justin at Ohio Dreams for being the first sponsor to sign on with us and for teaching us “foot down” so many years ago
Mark at Riderz Ready Jerseys for the fabulous jerseys that make us feel professional and unified and strong
Smoothie King of Wesley Chapel, FL for helping us reach our goals and making it delicious along the way
Comfort Inns and Suites for giving us something we all take for granted: a restful night
Jerry at BMXmania.com for helping me reconnect with the writer within and giving us a voice where BMXers converge
Jess and Gary at the National Bicycle League for connecting us with track directors and making our many track stops affordable
Also, thanks …
to Jeff at Schwalbe Tires for discounting our tire purchase
to Chris at Santos Bike shop for discounting our parts and telling our story on santosbikeshop.com
to Amanda at Femmebmx.com for telling our story and showcasing the raw power and grace of women athletes
To Go2outfitters for discounts on our camping gear
to Ellie, our constant cheerleader since day 1, when Neva (the Beast) was only 4; for being a kindred spirit in Neva’s pursuits
to Sheena, for her unwavering support of everything in our lives and her daily quotes that put a bounce in our pedals
to Cathy and Glen Knapper of Trilogy Park for all that they do for BMX and for us; Thanks especially for giving Neva a really awesome bike frame that fit her after a growth spurt, when the money just wasn’t there to get a new one.
to Cori, the Editor, for her many blog comments, edits and support of her crazy parents' dreams; we love you and can’t wait to wrap our arms around you.
To Tiffany and Russell @ Cumberland, MD BMX for generously offering to put us up in their camper, let us shower and do laundry when we visit their track; you make us feel truly cared about as we embark on this epic ride.
To Bud @ Virginia Motorsports Park for also reaching out to us and offering us a safe place to camp and shower en route.
To Dee @ South Park for enthusiastically planning our arrival at the Stars n Stripes National in Pittsburgh.
To Michelle Messing at Jacksonville BMX for offering to open the track for our arrival if it should be on a day they’re not practicing or racing.
To Daniel Grooms of Hagerstown BMX,for being the first local BMX track to contact us in early March, shortly after I sent out the first of my rambling emails about this EPIC ride
And last but not least, thanks to Joe, for finally submitting a picture of him and his triathlon bike! (click on “me n my bike pics” tab)
My apologies if I have forgotten any one’s name or help you’ve given in our pursuit of this dream. You’re all a part of this and we truly hope we make you (and us) proud when we ride into the National Bicycle League’s Grand National Championship of BMX racing in September.
Now, go ride your bike!