Whew. I am tired. We had what could only be described as the best team weekend EVER this weekend. And never let it be said that we don't know how to throw a party. We threw the Christmas party of the season... I'm quite sure people will be talking about it until next year. More on that later...
So we started out the weekend at my house with Mark's famous pancakes. For those of you who have never had them, they are a MUST for any big ride day. With the weather threatening rain, we headed out quickly for our excursion into the hills and mountains of Northern Hamilton County. We did a ride that is best described as "parts unknown" and like all good rides, it involved a few dogs (thanks a ton to Mark in the follow car for the "horn action") and a dirt road. It was a good thing the rain held off until after we were past the dirt. Bill Parsons, our "team photographer", braved another day of hanging out of the back of a support vehicle driven by Mark-the-mad-man-Fasczewski to get some great shots of us. I'll post those up as soon as I get the final cut. Everyone rode strong and we lucked out on the weather. It started raining just as we pulled back into the house 5 hours later. After a quick burrito we all parted ways to go get cleaned up for the "evening festivities".
THE PARTY: Okay, we all decided as a team that we needed to do something to say "thank you" to all our sponsors, friends and family that have helped support or crazy cycling habit this year. Without them, we would not be as successfully as we are. Paula had the killer idea that we should throw a holiday party. PERFECT. Shannon volunteered her house and we all brought food. After a few "beverages" we even had our very own dance club in the downstairs complete with a strobe light. There was much dancing by everyone and we had 40+ people attend. All our guests seemed to really enjoy themselves as was proven by the LATE night. Hey, don't we have a ride planned tomorrow!!??? UGH. Did I mention we had a "kissing bandit" at the party? I'll leave it up to you to decide which Vantaggio/Specialized lady took that title for the night. I also will have photos from the party as soon as I get them off of Gina's camera.
Sunday morning was a bit slower than we had planned. It was COLD and damp outside and everyone was feeling the effects of the party. We started the morning with a long but necessary team meeting over bagels. We found out some really cool stuff like WE ARE RIDING SPECIALIZED BIKES AGAIN FOR 2008!!!!!! This made every one's weekend. We have loved our bikes so much this year and were really hoping that we'd have the opportunity to ride them again in 2008. Much of our morning was spent pouring over bike catalogs and trying out each other's bikes. We are going to go with more of the women's specific products for 2008 and we cannot wait.
After the meeting we loaded up the cars and headed toward Raccoon Mountain for some mountain bike riding. WOW IS IT COLD. Okay, for those of you who live in the great white north (hi mom and dad) it would have been a heat wave, but for us, it was by far the coldest day of the year. 34 degrees with 25 mph winds and snow flurries. Wow, makes a bunch of tired girls want to ride. We toughed it out for about an hour and a half and decided to call it a day and head to Lupis for pizza. YUM. My favorite.
Unbeknownst to me, my AWESOME teammates surprised me with a birthday cake and a gift certificate to my favorite shopping experience, Rock Creek Outfitters. I LOVE YOU GUYS. We all pigged out on chocolate cakes and went home with full bellies and a great weekend of memories.
The only thing that could have made the weekend better was if Catherine could have been there too. She was moving into her new house this weekend and could not sneak away. We missed you!!!
Thanks to everyone for reading and for all of your support. Look for those photos to be posted soon.