Back in the Saddle

It takes a university education to fit this many bikes in a van.

It takes a university education to fit this many bikes in a van.

RISD Cycling hit the road with a full van on Friday night (9 bikes and 8 people in total!) and a big black jeep trailing close behind.  We spent 6 hours singing, chatting, and discussing tactics for the next day's race.  Eventually we found ourselves surrounded by mansions in the suburbs of Philadelphia, mere blocks from our host housing.  Turns out, we were staying in a mansion, too!  Although it took nearly 30 minutes to park in the snowed-in driveway, it was totally worth it.  We were greeted by Vince and Debbie (BAE), two precious dogs named "Dino" and "Dunny," massive beds, and a kitchen table piled with fresh fajitas. 
 

Dani (@browncycling) and Dunny.

Dani (@browncycling) and Dunny.

Team bathtime?

Team bathtime?

Despite pre-race jitters and utter shock at the kindness of our hosts, we all slept fast until the next morning.  When we came to there was a full breakfast spread (courtesy Debbie) endless coffee, and good vibes all around.

Two types of bread! TWO!

Two types of bread! TWO!

At the race course, we quickly pinned our new racers Matthew Minchello (Men's E), Max Pratt (Men's D), who were eager to get this over with.  Luckily we had some help from Tia, who didn't race but still made the drive to show her support for the team.  

Tia, Maya, and Matt pretending it's not cold outside.

Tia, Maya, and Matt pretending it's not cold outside.

Matt finished his first ever bike race in the Men's E field, as did Max (despite a crash mid-race).  Returning racer Maya Cannon finished in the middle of the Women's D field, using practiced race tactics to work with women from other schools in the ECCC, while Christina Strachoff finished 7th in the Women's C field, earning points for RISD.  Though Lizzie entered her first race in the Women's B field with doubts, she won 2nd place and is now eyeing an upgrade.

Brown also brought home some great results, including Dani's first road race win in the Women's A field!  We all returned to Debbie's cold, wet, and ready to go home.  Of course, we stayed a while for hot cocoa before we hit the road.

Lizzie Wright