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This blog documents the racing, training, & riding experiences of the participants of PWP

Pedaling with a Purpose

My name is Kristen Meshberg and I am a former category 1 bike racer. I competed nationally in both road and track. I am a USA Cycling Coach, and help individuals develop plans to achieve their goals. To survive the Chicago winter, I developed an indoor workout program called "Pedaling with a Purpose."

I now have various locations across the United States. To find out more about Pedaling with a Purpose or Coaching, email Kristen at: kmesh.pwp@gmail.com

Monday, May 20, 2013

UCI Para-Cycling Open, Greenville, SC April 20-21

When Kim asked if I wanted to do some road racing with her this year, I was thinking that our first event would be Nationals, in Madison, WI in July, so we'd have plenty of time to practice.  But when she asked if I'd like to do this event, which was a UCI selection for World Cup races, and would be the same course as the 2014 World Championships, of course I was game!  It just meant we wouldn't have a lot of practice beforehand, and the race itself would be the practice.

In Para events, visually impaired people compete on a tandem, with a sighted pilot.  We are a separate category, competing at the same events as other individuals with disabilities.

Traveling as a tandem team is no small amount of coordination, but the race venue could not have been easier to deal with.  The hotel was basically on the start of the course.  There was a Whole Foods across the street plus lots of restaurants.  It made everything so easy.

We did a Time Trial on Saturday, and a Road Race on Sunday.  The course for the RR was an extended version of the TT course.  It was technical, and while we struggled with it, we felt like we made significant improvements every lap we did.

The weather was awesome; for contrast, here's a pic of Kim and I riding in shorts and jerseys:


And here's what Jason and the kids were doing while I was away:


Kim and I gained a ton of valuable experience, which was our goal for the weekend.  Here's us hanging out with some other tandem teams and individual para athletes, some of which are olympians.  It was also cool to see our Chicago friends Joe Berenyi and Greta Neimanas compete after their London Olympics experience.  

L-R  Me, Kim, Greta Neimanas (Chicagoan/Olympian) Clark Rachfal (Olympian) Kara Vatthauer,  Mackenzie Woodring(Kara's Pilot), Mackenzie's partner, Dave Swanson (Clark's Pilot), Alison Jones (multiple Olympian in both Downhill Skiing and Cycling) and a friend.  

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