Not everyone that we work with is an elite athlete. Some ride not for competition, but just for fun, fitness, and to see the world from two wheels. Barabra Gross is no crit racer, she has decided that riding farther is better. Barbara started riding her bike in law school as a way to simply get to and from class. . Riding was a great way to stay in shape and an easy way to get around on campus during the school year. Herboyfriend and eventual husband, Jay, also rode bikes, and this is one of the many things they bonded over. After graduating law school and entering the workforce, Barbara and Jay continued to cycle together more for fun than for transportation. In the summer of 2007, Jay and Barbara did their first organized tour , RAGBRAI. A tour company carried their gear for them, so they just had to ride 80 or so miles from town to town each day for seven days. Barbara and Barbara and Jay enjoyed that experience so much they decided in 2010 to do self contained tour through through the Grand Tetons. They Grand Teton trip inspired them to ride across America, self contained. Barbara has been working with Coach Jesse Eisner for the last year to prepare for the trip, and has learned that even long distance tour riders will improve by throwing in some intensity. They set out April 15th from San Diego, California and are scheduled to arrive at the Washington Monument in D.C. about 2 months later.
If you would like to follow Barbara and Jay’s progress, you can track them on their blog or twitter feed,
Before Barbara and Jay left, I sat down with
Barbara and asked her some questions.
Q: So what is your favorite power food
to eat when riding?
A: “If I’m eating correctly, Cashew Cookie LaraBar or Peanut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar. If I let too much time go by without eating and then all of a sudden I think I’m gonna die, I stop for a Cucumber Lime Gatorade and potato chips.”
Q: What are you most excited to see on
A: “I’m looking forward to the 18-mile bike path along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. And I kinda hope we see a tornado or bad thunderstorm in Kansas or Missouri. Not from too close, though.”
Q: What do you love most about cycling
and riding your bike?
A: “I love that, at the end of the day, you can look back at what you’ve accomplished–either long miles or steep hills or battling a headwind. I also love the unexpected stuff you run across like turtles, ostriches, bear carcasses, and things you’d never notice in a car. Or maybe you’d notice them but wouldn’t stop. Overall I just like how it’s you on a bike dealing with whatever the world throws at you that day.”
Q: What bike are you currently riding?
A: “Surly Long Haul Trucker from 2007.”
Q: What is your favorite bike you’ve
A: “Don’t tell the Surly, but it’s my Litespeed Sportiv”
Q: What is your most memorable ride and
A: “That would be the 2011 Palm Springs Century, which I finished in 6:37 despite going 12 mph for the first 25 miles. I had trained for it thinking Jay would do it too, then he got sick, so I had to do it by myself. At first I was all mopey and sad and then I’m all “come on, you can do this,” and I bore down and started cranking and started passing people like I was getting paid for it. I was going so fast and so effortlessly that other riders (guys in their 30′s!) said things to me like “nice job.”. I felt soooo great when I was done.”
Q: What is your primary goal as a
A: “Well, when I’m touring it’s to go slow and see things. When I’m not touring I would of course like to go as fast as possible and make other cyclists fear me. HA!”
If you need help preparing for your next big ride or tour let us know. We work with all types of cyclists across all disciplines.
Coach Jesse Eisner