We heard this awesome story from one of our customers, Julie and had to share!! She rode across the entire US... all with her Boho Bandeau! Read below!
I was a hospital-based Cardiac Nurse for 25 years. I worked in procedural areas that often didn’t have windows. I have often been quoted as saying “I need to feel the day”, meaning I need to get outside. The dream started in 1999 while living in Saudi Arabia and while working as a nurse, I managed over 1000 miles of bike riding inside our compound. I have been riding and working ever since. Last April, I met a beautiful, stylish, woman who had completed the Northern route and was heading back across the Southern Tier. She explained a lot of the logistics about different companies and routes and I started doing research. My husband was completely supportive and as long as I figured out how to get my pets taken care of while I was gone (and he was working), I was ready to go. I knew what my training would require and I used a combination of rides outside and on a home trainer during bad weather.
Honestly, what kept me motivated was wanting to complete a goal. I had spent 3 years working on my Nursing Doctorate and we moved twice during the program. Each time I tried to reconnect with a hospital and get my clinicals completed but it became too much of a challenge and I decided to withdraw as a student. It was really frustrating because I tried every resource I could think of and normally I am a great problem solver. Perhaps healthcare was changing and so was I. In November 2015 I quit my job and focused on this trip and having my house in order before I left. I left March 1st for San Diego and the ride started March 5th. After 8 states, 52 days, 3000 miles, we (36 riders: 14 women, 22 men) arrived in St. Augustine, FL.
I knew before the trip what my biggest challenges would be: heat intolerance and altitude. I had a series of ways to deal with the heat including your headband and later a cooling product around my neck. I also put ziplock bags of ice down my bra!!!! The elevation I couldn’t do anything about except to take it easy and drink ginger tea and eat ginger candies. I threw up the morning of our ride starting in Tombstone, AZ and somehow managed the climb into Bisbee, AZ for lunch.
I would say my favorite part of the trip was feeling the freedom to ride and feel safe. We had a great leader, incredible support staff, and routes which were the best for making us successful. Our group was nice, no drama, and down to earth. Our meals were catered and I felt better than I had in years. We slept outside in a tent 70% of the time, 20% in hotels (good chance to shave legs) and 10% in school gyms and armories (pray you weren’t next to the snorers).
This picture was taken outside Hunt, TX at the halfway point.
My advice to others is to take an opportunity when it presents itself. Listen to others, learn from others, meet others and challenge yourself. Most of our riders were people who loved riding bicycles, not super competitive athletes who have high end bikes and won’t stop for an ice cream at DQ. The rural parts of the USA are what makes this country great. I was fortunate to see it from the ground up and to meet the people who live and work in those areas.