May 19, 2016

Gear Up Florida 2016: The beginning

Written by Kevin Milone | Kappa Eta Chapter

Today is the day. A sense of urgency encompassed each and every cyclist as we finally received the opportunity to test out our (mostly new) bikes with a 45 mile practice ride through Miami.

Of course, nothing better than a 6 am wake up call to start the day bright and early. Breakfast, as promised, was promptly at 6:30 a.m. and cyclists were ready with all their gear by 7. We organized our own pace lines of 3, with myself being with Matt from University of Idaho (Kappa Iota) and Tyler from George Mason University (Zeta Epsilon). I was excited to see what all my training can really do with a new group of guys.

The ride started out smoother than I thought. I initially believed there would be strong heat throughout most of the day, but starting the ride at 7:30 a.m. allowed the cool air to give us a fast pace. Unfortunately, about 30 mins into the ride, Tyler lost a pedal as the threads of his crank became stripped away. He was “racked” for the day, which means his bike was fastened to a van and he stopped cycling for the rest of the day. It was Matt and I for the remainder of the practice ride.

As Matt and I pedaled though most of Miami, we met up with another group of 2 cyclists, Anthony and Tom from Virginia Tech. I learned a lot from these guys concerning communication and proper pedaling that really helped during the ride. As we rolled into lunch, provided by our lovely sponsor Ms. Allison Foster, we couldn't wait to eat. The food was amazing and consisted of Cuban rice and beef. As we stuffed our mouths, we took a team photo on a beach that is going to hang up in the national headquarters. Dinner later that night was provided by Mr. Hamilton at the Florida International University chapter house and was wonderful as well. As the day wrapped up, we all prepared for the day we've been waiting for, a 95 mile bike ride to Clewiston and the “start” of Gear Up Florida.

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Last modified on May 19, 2016

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