Monday, April 30, 2018

Trans-American Cyclists: Naomi and Maya

This weekend we hosted, with great delight, two trans-American cyclists, Naomi (from Maryland) and Maya (from Lexington, Virginia).

I met them along Blacksburg Road, where I was doing the ride part of a brick workout. I ride there almost weekly and it's part of a popular coast-to-coast route for cyclists. I saw quite a few riders with the telltale panniers.

These two riders were pulled up on the side of the road so I stopped and asked if they needed anything. It turned out Maya's knee was bothering her so they were looking for a place to camp in Blacksburg. I offered our home - we have tons of room. And given ALL the times we have the kids' friends over, it was my turn!

I gave them the address, and called ahead to let my kids know.

I finished my workout and returned home to find their bikes in the garage. I was happy they had made it safely!

I was intrigued to learn more about these two and their journey.

They are both just a few years out from their undergraduate years at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Naomi graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and is beginning medical school at George Washington in August (she JUST got her acceptance the day prior - yay!). Maya has been working as a chemical engineer. They've been talking about this journey for a few years and decided this summer was the time to do it. Maya got a leave of absence from work, and here they are!

Spencer brought food home. Maya iced her knee. We all refueled and the pair napped, woke briefly, then went to bed early. They were going to take a rest day the following day. I convinced them to stay at our house and we made plans for them to get to our LBS, East Coasters, for some help with bike fit. They needed more comfortable positions for the long journey - which would also reduce injury risk.

They had 12 hours of sleep and a good breakfast, then we loaded up the bikes (it was a rest day). I took them on a short driving tour of campus and the town and then dropped them at the bike shop. They were in good hands with Nate at East Coasters (thank you so much!!).

Naomi, who had been having shoulder issues, got a much shorter stem and some recommendations for riding more comfortably. Maya got a new saddle to better support her seat bones and her seat was raised.

Then they rode to Gillies for lunch and enjoyed the nice descent down Harding to our house!

After one more night of sleep, they left this morning, off again on their journey to the Oregon coast.

I hope this brief stop-off will, in a small way, contribute to their success. They are quietly, humbly courageous and I have every reason to believe they will be successful. I reminded Maya - it's one pedal stroke, one mile, one day at a time. I'm definitely rooting for them!!

I'm so happy I crossed paths with these two.

If you'd like to follow their adventure, they are on Instagram @twotired.