Jen Rides the TransAm Bike Race

Hey! It's me, Jen. A lot of you who know me know how much I love cycling and how it's an important part of my life. This and my love of a good adventure has led me to decide to participate in the TransAmerican Bike Race, a ride across the United States from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia in June. It should take me around a month to finish the whole thing.

I have been cycling most of my life. I really started when I bought my first road bike at age 15, but before that I was dragged along to meetings of Rails-to-Trails for the development of the Silver Comet Trail outside of Atlanta. I even spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Cobb County section.

Cycling has been both empowering for me and a crucial part of my life. I've never owned a motor vehicle, so it's always been my main form of transportation. It's also been a form of exercise and exploration. It's the best way, in my opinion, to see your city or the countryside around it. And endurance cycling has always been something I love--a form of meditation, of pushing limits and of knowing your own body and what it can do.

To do the TransAmerican, I already have the bike that I need. However, I'll need some better equipment, including a GPS tracker, lightweight camping gear, a dynamo hub to charge the lights and electronic equipment I'll use, getting myself and my bike to the start line, and lots of food. That's why I'm asking for help to fund this adventure.

Cycling has also led me to meet interesting people--those that want to see and explore and take care of the world around them. For two years I worked with a nonprofit, the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, to develop a bike education and recycling program called New Standard Cycles. NSC takes bikes donated from the community and trains volunteers to refurbish them for members of the community who lack reliable forms of transportation. With my work with New Standard Cycles, I've seen people working as hard as they can to improve their lives: those coming to this country as refugees who need a way to get to work; those transitioning out of homelessness or incarceration; or kids who work hard for their education in lower-income communities. That's why all funds I raise over my goal I will donate to the Savannah Bicycle Campaign for their New Standard Cycles program.

What do you all get from funding my adventure? I'll document the whole thing in photos and give you a write-up of it. I'll also work with SBC to host some events that will teach you how to embark on your own bike adventures.

Thanks all for any and all help! It means a lot to me.

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Jen Colestock 
Savannah, GA
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