Barbara Gross has decided that riding farther is better. Barbara started riding her bike in law school to and from classes. Riding was a great way to stay in shape and an easy way to get around on campus during the school year. Barbara’s boyfriend and eventual husband, Jay, was also a cyclist. After graduating law school and entering the workforce, Barbara and Jay continued to cycle together for fun. In the summer of 2007, Jay and Barbara did there first 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 Jay's 2nd tour experience in 2010 was self contained and took them through the Grand Tetons.
Their experience touring has been so rewarding that they decided at the end of 2010 to ride across America, self contained. Barbara has been working with Coach Jesse Eisner for the last year to prepare for this tout. Barbara and Jay started their tour across America on April 15th from San Diego, California. They are scheduled to arrive at the Washington Monument in D.C., sometime the week of June 17th
If you would like to follow Barbara and Jay's progress, you can track them on their blog or twitter feed, http://www.slaam.net/Home.php https://twitter.com/#!/SlaamNet
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 your trip?
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 ever had?
A: “Don't tell the Surly, but it's my Litespeed Sportiv”
Q: What is your most memorable ride and why?
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 cyclist?
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