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Let’s Rock and Roll through Ohio

Let’s Rock and Roll through Ohio

Rachael Allen made her way through Ohio, biking and running 250 miles to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. She talks about her journey here:

Let’s Rock and Roll Through Ohio

by Rachael Allen

July 1, marked the first day along my 250 mile adventure along Ohio to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. This is close to my heart because my grandma, Ruby Allen, suffered with ALZ the last years of her life. When she passed away in 2012, I knew I had to do something in her honor. The 250 mile adventure was created.

The original plan was to leave on July 4 ((my grandma’s favorite holiday)) but due to weather and thunderstorms heavier in the week, decided to get a jump start. Moving it early meant I would be riding by myself most of the way, with not a lot of support. Luckily, my dad was able to get time off work to bike with me. He’s such a big cyclist and was excited to bike across Ohio with him, 250 miles in 4 days…..

We kicked off our ride in Cleveland making our way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. By this time we had been hanging out in the car wondering when the rain would pass. We knew we had a long road ahead of us and needed some musical inspiration! The wait out the rain we decided to check out the museum.

By the time we were done the storm had passed, still dark and overcast we knew we had to get on the road. My mom, such a navigator and our biggest support was happy to help us in any way possible. We ate our CLIF bars filled out water bottles and headed off on the adventure hoping for the best!

For majority of the ride it was overcast and cloudy, with some rain in between. Biking through Northern Ohio offered some amazing sites that I never knew existed.

Biking through Ohio was gorgeous, minus the dark clouds that loomed over. For the most part I felt pretty good, but had been battling a stomach ache all day which didn’t want to pass. The ride was wet and muddy. By the time we stopped my entire backside was caked in mud and molded to my body. Riding mostly on limestone along the Towpath trail made for a difficult ride slowing down our pace. Riding along the Cuyahoga River made for some flooding along the way, but we powered through!

from a 75 mile day: 68 on the bike then running to my house to finish with 75 miles.

We finished around Massillon knowing we have a LONG day ahead of us! Praying for paved trails and no limestone would be ideal! Kicking off the morning with a run then hoping on the bikes! Overall, day 1 was good with a lot of obstacles out way. I never once thought that we couldn’t get through this! Rain or shine, we have to make this happen!

This biggest thing fueling me through this is the support from my amazing friends, family, Nike family, and Trisports team! You are all amazing! Your words of encouragement fuel me, and I look to them for inspiration. You can all support by visiting my website:

Also, follow me on instagram @raerunlove

Unicycle Across Alabama

Unicycle Across Alabama

Lauren Schifano is embarking on a unicycle trek across Alabama and it’s just 1 week away. Want to know more? Read her blog post on her exciting adventure!


As of right now, I am exactly one week away from embarking on a unicycle trip across the state of Alabama to raise awareness for childhood obesity. It still does not seem real. Only four months ago the flicker of a dream ignited into this beautiful reality. I cannot attempt to separate my preparations for this trek from the amazing support I have received both near and far, from individuals and groups. Planning this has taught me so much about how truly wonderful people are.

Why?: Raise Awareness for Childhood Obesity, Raise Money for Louie’s Kids (Check them out at, Raise Awareness for Sharing the Road with Bikes (and UNICYCLES ^^)

Formative Stage: The first month of preparations (after I convinced everyone that I was indeed serious and of a sound mind) involved reaching out for sponsorship and the beginning stages of a training regimen. Headsweats, Clif Bar & Co., Borden Dental, and Osa’s Garden (the wonderful health food store that I work in) were enthusiastic to get on board. Without you and the fantastic individuals who have donated their time, talents, money, and energy this would not be possible.

All of you gave me hope and the drive to keep pushing on.

Training: Considering that I started my training regimen only riding 5-8 miles per day… I can say that it has truly come a long way! Since these first weeks, training has involved back to back long rides of not less than 18 miles. I also included running and walking a few times per week to help with cardio conditioning. My goal on the trip is to ride approximately 40 miles per day, allowing me to reach my destination within 12 days after the start date, August 4.

The Trek and the TEAM: Thanks to the efforts of Dane Trelles, Unicycle Across Alabama has a set route that will take us from Florence, AL to Gulf Shores, AL (roughly 400 miles). Stops will be made in various cities to spread awareness for childhood obesity and the message of healthy and active living. We will be overnighting in Huntsville, Arab, Birmingham, Clanton, Montgomery, Greenville, Brewton, Bay Minette, and Gulf Shores. We will mostly be camping along the way, but a few wonderful people have already opened their homes to us. But who is this we?! I will have three drivers over the course of the trip to assist in hauling camping equipment in the sag wagon. The first leg of the journey is crewed by none other than my wonderful mother, Debbie Schifano, who will take me as far as Birmingham. The second leg will be crewed by my very close friend and ultra-marathoner, Steven Davis. My uncle, Tony Schifano, will be meeting us up in Montgomery to finish off the trip. Another very important member of the team is Wieland Claes. Wieland will arrive tomorrow from Belgium to ride a bicycle alongside me for the extent of the journey.

It is our unified goal to raise awareness to the issue of childhood obesity and how it can be mitigated. We hope to teach individuals the connection between body and mind, the importance of activity and nutrition, and the special balance that one needs in unicycling and in life. 🙂 We are very proud to be giving all proceeds from this trip to Louie’s Kids, who create individual programs for children and adolescents battling childhood obesity. Louie’s Kids, located in Charleston, South Carolina, serves the nation with great passion without expecting anything in return. I am very excited to have the opportunity to raise funds for this noble nonprofit.

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Captures First Podium Sweep of the Season

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Captures First Podium Sweep of the Season

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Captures First Podium Sweep of the Season at the 2013 Roswell Criterium, as Luke Keough, Hilton Clarke and Carlos Alzate Take 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place, Respectively

Roswell, GA – Amidst horrible weather conditions on Sunday, April 28th, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team outpaced the field from start to finish on a cold and rainy afternoon in Roswell, Georgia, en route to its first podium sweep of the season. Teammates Luke Keough, Hilton Clarke and Carlos Alzate, took first, second and third place, respectively, making it a clean sweep of the podium in Roswell for the Blue Train.

Now this is quite a Podium – the UnitedHealthcare boys went 1-2-3 in the pouring rain at the Roswell Criterium, the second stop of Speedweek. The Blue Train literally rode on the front from the gun, then rolled up their trademark lead out and delivered Luke first, Hilton second and Carlos third across the finish line!!! Congrats all around.

In his post-race interview with race announcer, Chad Andrews, Luke Keough remarked, “We’ve had a pretty good season so far and after last night (2nd place finish at the Terrapin Twilight Criterium in Athens), we wanted to come back strong. I think we showed that today. We knew it was going to be really wet and slick and we wanted to try and control it today. Everyone on the team rode a great race and I’m glad I was able to do my part and deliver a win for us.”

General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, added, “The boys were focused and motivated today. The weather was horrible and it was raining hard. It was impressive to watch them ride the front from the first lap to the finish. They worked hard for it, kept it safe, and delivered.”

The win in Roswell marks the sixth win of the season for the Pro Continental squad. The team will continue racing this week in the Southeastern United States for the balance of Speedweek A. The Blue Train will also head to the desert Southwest for the May 1-5 Tour of the Gila in New Mexico.


Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Carlos Alzate (COL)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Luke Keough (USA)
Brad White (USA)
Team Director, Mike Tamayo (USA)

2012 Tour de H2O

2012 Tour de H2O

Headsweats is a proud supporter of Tour de H2O – a charity in its 3rd year that raises money to provide clean water to African villages and schools. Since its inception in 2010, Tour De H2O has provided wells and clean water through the installation of rainwater harvest systems, hand-dug wells, and more to multiple locations in Kenya. This year’s Tour de H2O was a huge success, raising over $20,000! Tour de H2O’s Founder Steven Hurt gives his account of this year’s successful events.

The riders are gathering for a mass start at the third annual Tour de H2O (TDH). It’s a beautiful summer day in Columbus, Ohio, and the excitement is building! I can feel the positive energy in the air, which is coming from the many cyclists and volunteers gathered together for the purpose of supporting the construction of water supply projects at primary schools in a dry, rural area of Western Kenya. Tires are inflated, water bottles topped off, helmets on, sunscreen applied… we are ready to ride!

One of my favorite things to do on TDH event day is to say a few words to the TDH participants before the riders depart, but how can I quickly and clearly communicate to them the importance of this effort? The passion I have for helping bring clean water to those who have none? The dire situation so many people around the world suffer with daily due to the lack of clean water? The tangible difference I know we can all make with a relatively small amount of money? The compassion Keely and I feel for the extreme poor that we met while traveling in Africa?

Keely and I addressing the riders at the start of the 2012 Tour de H2O

Do I tell them about the e-mail we received in 2011 from a rural African water committee where a TDH funded water well had been installed with the help of the great folks from Global Partners for Development ( There had been an outbreak of cholera in the area near this particular village and they were not affected as they no longer were forced to obtain their drinking water from the nearby polluted stream.

Or maybe I mention the women of the very rural Village of Bam Got in Western Kenya… incredibly hard working and industrious ladies whose lives were changed overnight when water stared flowing from the new well constructed from funds donated during the first TDH in 2010. No more 2-3 hour walks each day hauling heavy buckets of water… no more illness caused by contaminated water… more free time to produce goods to sell so that they can have the money to send their children to school… the valuable experience gained in community development and project management… So many inspiring stories to tell and so little time.

Steven Hanging Out with the Bam Got Women’s Group Near Oyugis, Kenya, 2011

In the end, I had so many different thoughts in my head that I was only able to give a rider safety talk, thank our generous sponsors, like Headsweats, and thank everyone for supporting the TDH. Thankfully, my lovely wife Keely was by my side and quickly gave a brief but beautiful speech about the dire situation many of these Africans are in and the very real difference we all are making.

Please visit for more information on participation opportunities and how you can get involved.

Schaap Flexes Her Muscles at the Western Michigan Stage Race

Schaap Flexes Her Muscles at the Western Michigan Stage Race

Amanda Schaap of Jenison, MI won the general classification at this past weekend’s 2nd annual Western Michigan Stage Race (WMSR) in the women’s category 3/4. Clear skies, sunshine and temperatures upward of 80 degrees Fahrenheit were a fixture for the event.

One of the newest members to Team Kenda, Amanda was presented by Geargrinder, a women-only team based in Indiana which, since 1999, has been helping women compete on their bikes around the nation. Amanda is a registered nurse who works in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.

“I had a blast at this race!” gushed an overjoyed Amanda.  “This was Michigan’s first stage race of the year and we had at least 32 women in the field—which is one of the largest women’s category 3/4 fields I have raced. The more in the field the more fun the race. The field was smart and fast—two things that help make a great race, especially at this level.

“For the first time since I have been racing, my parents were there to witness my win on Saturday’s criterium: the second event of the stage on a 0.9-mile closed-course at Kent Intermediate School District at Knapp Street and the East Beltline.

“After the race my mom said, ‘Watching you win today will stay etched in my mind for a long time.’ Winning the overall stage race was my goal from the start, so to actually earn the win is surreal.”

After Saturday’s race, Amanda moved on to the third and last stage of the event, a 30-mile (48- kilometer) road race in and around the Flat River Grill in Lowell, MI. Again, Amanda finished in the field and solidified her overall general classification (GC) win.

Ellie Burke, a second-year racer who works as a business administrator and lives in Grand Rapids, placed seventh in the GC. Burke stated that this was a fun event with a phenomenal turnout. “It was amazing racing with so many women. Team Kenda had a terrific showing with women coming from all over the U.S. to participate.” She expressed her gratitude to Cheryl Olson and to the Priority Health women’s team for awakening the women’s cycling scene in the Michigan metro area.

In the professional category women pro/1/2, the team was among the largest with five riders of which three—Sheila Orem (NC), Krystal Lacy-McNutt (OH) and Beth Lauer (WI)—placed fourth, seventh and ninth in the general classification. Gray Patton from Bradford Woods, PA (Cleveland Clinic/RGF/Carbon) won the GC by securing a win in the road race.

The WMSR consisted of three events: a 7.2-mile time trial at Chief Hazy Cloud Park near Ada; a second stage on a 0.9-mile criterium on a closed-course at Kent Intermediate School District at Knapp Street and the East Beltline; and Sunday’s final stage—a road race consisting of 30, 60 or 90 miles, depending on the rider’s racing category. Sunday’s road race began at the Flat River Grill in Lowell. The event offered $8,000 cash awards.

The race was promoted and directed by 42-85 Event Promotions and Race Timing of Grand Rapids, MI. This year’s event drew 267 total riders (205 men and 62 women) with 50 from out of state. The majority of the riders traveled from Illinois and Ohio, while a few came in from as far as Canada. Race Director Brian Bangma declared that 42-85 Event Promotions and Race Timing is already planning for the 2013 West Michigan Stage Race and hopes to bring in 400 racers.

To view complete results, visit

About Team Kenda Women’s Cycling: Team Kenda began in 1999 as Team Ameritech with nine riders who excelled at bicycle racing.  Over the years, the team has steadily grown in size and now boasts NRC/NCC Elite, as well as Southeast, Mid-Atlantic Elite, Midwest, and West Regional Teams. The team competes in the United States focusing on the National Race Calendars, both NRC and NCC. In 2010, the team finished 8th among 73 teams in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) Women’s Team competition and 8th in the 2011 NRC campaign. (,, @teamkendaW)