She's home! I drove to Baltimore to pick up the Beautiful Felt Z-100 from Race Pace today! This is the bike that will carry me over 4,000 miles across the country.
Today was a fun day as I had to opportunity to do something I don't always have a chance to do--drive through the DC-Baltimore area. I left this morning from Tenley Campus in a candy-blue Ford Focus Zipcar (not the most flattering color but hey, the car was functional). A little apprehensive about my first time driving in the Baltimore-DC area, especially in a rented car, I feared the drivers would be agressive and rude. As it turns out, that's only back in my good ol' hometown, Staten Island. Apparently learning to drive in NYC will enable you to drive in most environments.
Google maps lead the way out of the district and onto the highway. After missing a left off of I-95 and surviving the agonizing speed limit laws that exist in DC, I finally made it to Race Pace. This awesome bike shop, which cannot be missed off of Key Highway, was welcoming, friendly, and extremely helpful. The guys there got me set up in no time. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience and I highly recommend them for any cycling need. In the end, Zipcar got me where I needed to go; reservation was easy, and the car was clean, functional, and equipped with all the plugs needed for an A/V input (the iPod was blasting the whole trip). You can even Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving (which I highly recommend if you're a college student or city dweller).
The next task, besides reaching the $4,500 minimum and eventually the $5,000 goal, is learning how to use the clip-in shoe-cleat-pedal system. Race Pace was kind enough to show me how to use it there and allow me to practice some, but the real test will be making it functional on the road. I'm humbly preparing for the rite-of-passage zero-mph fall (*gulp).
It was an adventurous day, and it has only increased my excitement for this summer. Having the bike makes the journey all the more real. There is truly nothing greater than seeing hard work and dreams come to fruition.
I wholly acknowledge that I would not be where I am without YOU and your support (and the patience of a few very special people). So once again I extend my thanks and gratitude.
Also, a big THANK YOU to Fortune M. for her generous donation. We are faithfully climbing towards the $3,000 mark.
Lastly, do you have any recommendations for a name for the bike?
More updates will be posted later this week!