Mother-Daughter Team Raise $52,000 in Cross-Country Bike Trek
We will be interviewing the Bond Girls - Marybeth (Mom), Julieclaire (daughter), Laura (god-daughter) and Annalyse (daughter) - to hear more about their fantastic trip across America to raise Osteoporosis awareness and donations for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Marybeth's Bio: Marybeth Bond, the nation's preeminent expert on women's travel and National Geographic Author of the best-selling Girlfriend Getaways Guidebooks. She is the author/editor of 11 travel books, including 50 Best Girlfriends Getaways (National Geographic), A Woman's World and Gutsy Women.
Marybeth was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. Her articles have been published and syndicated in magazines and newspapers around the country, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Copley News Service, Universal Press Syndicate and Chicago Tribune, to name a few. Marybeth has extensive experience on radio and TV; including 20+ satellite media tours (Bond Girls Bike America Website, 2010).
Julieclaire: JC pursued her swimming career at Cornell University, where she swam on the women's varsity team for her freshman year. She continues to maintain an athletic lifestyle, but is happy to be able to branch out from swimming. As an-ex-varsity-athlete, JC was excited to explore other things that collegiate life offered, such as interning at the Supreme Court, playing underwater hockey and spending a semester studying abroad in Nepal. She recently climbed Half Dome in Yosemite with her best friend and fellow Bond Girl teammate, Laura Maxwell (Bond Girls Bike America Website, 2010). She is in her first year of law school at the University of San Diego.
Laura: Laura attended San Diego State University to pursue a degree in Special Education. In college she studied abroad in Australia in the spring of 2008 and hiked Half Dome for a second time with her best friend JC Sheppard. Laura graduated from SDSU in December 2009. At the moment, Laura is splitting her time between making lattes and cappuccinos at a well-loved coffee shop and biking from one San Diego beach to another. If the application process goes as planned, Laura will be attending the Moderate to Severe Special Education Credential Program at SDSU in the fall of 2010. Laura will be acting as the Communications and Social Networking Director as well as aid in day-to-day operations (Bond Girls Bike America Website, 2010).
Annalyse: Annalyse Sheppard, is a college sophmore at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and a soccer, lacrosse, crew and cross-country athlete. She will be joining the team for training, the kick-off and an exciting week riding across California before she returns to the mountains near Yosemite for her summer job as a counselor at Camp Tawanga (Bond Girls Bike America Website, 2010).
Trip summary and calendar: The Bond Girls departed from San Francisco, on June 3, 2010, and arrived in Yorktown, VA on July 28, 2010. The trip is now complete and was a great success! To see all they accomplish go to their blog and map.
Let's welcome the Bond Girls!
Marybeth, I understand that Osteoporosis is dear to your heart because you have a strong family history of this; but was this the sole reason you decided to bike across America to raise awareness and donations for Osteoporosis research?
We decided to have a great adventure and physical challenge and wanted to do it for a cause greater than ourselves. In the early planning stages we searched for a "cause" that was directly connected to our lives.
A few years ago I compared notes with my sisters and mother and discovered that between us we've lost six inches due to Osteoporosis. We're shrinking! And I don't want my daughters to face the same fate. When we did more research on Osteoporosis we learned that it is a preventable but not a curable disease.
No one talks about Osteoporosis. It doesn't get the media attention that other diseases do. It's the silent disease; it weakens your bones without your knowledge, and we shy away from the subject because it is thought of as a natural part of aging, but it doesn't have to be!
This disease does not just affect older people, it affects younger people too, even those in their 30's and 40's. It is important that people of all ages know that it is never too early or too late to protect your bones..
JC and Laura, we know that we accumulate the majority of our bone mass by the age of 18, so is this why you two decided to join your mom on this endeavor to give us the youth perspective on this disease, and promote early Osteoporosis prevention, if so, could you gives us any tips applicable to the younger readers?
Eat well and exercise. Diet coke is not a breakfast food. Pay attention to the amount of calcium and vitamin D you eat every day and hunt for easy ways to get it - like a bowl of Total Cereal with milk for breakfast.
JC and Laura, at HealthCentrals' Osteoporosis site the members feel that this disease is reserved for the elder population and in particular women. We know this is no longer an old ladies disease, and that men, young women and children can get this too; did you experience the same sentiment on your trek across America in all the different states and cities?
Yes. We discovered that most women don't think about bone health except in terms of their very old parents or grandparents. Everyone we talked to was surprised to learn how much women, at all ages, can do to maintain bone health.
Marybeth, you mentioned that the majority of people you'd meet in the towns you visited were men, if so, did you find that they felt this way too and that this isn't a disease they need to think or worry about? Were you able to educate them otherwise?
Actually I met a lot of women too, and communicated with many over the internet. Men don't think Osteoporosis applies to them. Mothers are concerned for their daughters and my daughter tried to convey the message that daughters can take care of their mothers too.
Marybeth, I'm really hoping that we do have a moderate amount of awareness in America; were you able to find some awareness or are there many who still don't know much about bone loss?
We were surprised to find a lack of information and awareness about bone health all across the nation, in all types of communities.
Laura and JC, did you notice that awareness varied from state to state, and if so, what would you attribute this to?
Women seemed more aware in large cities and they may have more health information available to them by radio, tv and print.
Ladies, what were the three hardest things you encountered in your travels? It had to be very challenging, and I can't imagine what it would have been like to actually do this, day in and day out.
For every up there is a down, and for every high there is a low - an universally acknowledged rule of physics that applies to the most mundane aspects of life. And of course, to a summer spent biking across America.
We spent six months planning, gearing up and getting ready for this journey, but here are a few things that have still surprised us.
The heat and humidity that we encounted from Kansas to the Atlantic Ocean. The Midwest and East had a record summer for heat and we rode through all of it. We often got up at 4:30am and rode before sunrise and stopped by noon. The day we finished the ride in Yorktown, VA and put our front wheels in the Atlantic Ocean, it was 108'. Sunstroke and de-hydration were constant dangers, as well as wild dog attacks and over-sized coal trucks in the rural areas of the Appalachian Mountains.
How much work is involved with the logistics of living; maintaining the camper, filling up with water, fuel and propane, and getting rid of grey and black water.
We are constantly re-provisioning for food. We consume huge amounts of milk, eggs and cereal. Laundry. We ride until late in the day, we get to camp and have to do laundry, plus make dinner and often we're not finished with chores until 10pm. Camping can take a lot out of you after a day of tough biking. Innumerable RV difficulties (clogged up sewage, cupboards hitting us in the head, AC pouring water on the floor all night long). Difficulty communicating by phone and internet. We're cycling back roads through mountain passes and we haven't had easy connection.
Marybeth, I understand that Total Cereal is you corporate sponsor and is matching donations up to $25,000.00, so we're wondering how you did on this, since we'd all love to see more research done on Osteoporosis and this money could help so much with awareness and further study.
Total Cereal has been the perfect partner because they are dedicated to helping women start the day right. No leading cereal has more Calcium and Vitamin D than Total. They have been extremely generous in matching the donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000. So we raised $27,000 and they donated $25,000. I feel great about this summer challenge because we raised so much money that went directly to NOF for more education and research on Osteoporosis.
We did interviews on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and blogs that helped spread the word too. In fact, I was on CNN last week and mentioned the bike trip and Osteoporosis.
I hope to continue to help NOF and speak out about the importance for all of us to take care of our bones! And we're sincerely grateful that we returned uninjured from the 3,114-mile bike ride.
We want to thank you ladies so much for undertaking something that most of us can only dream of. You are a true inspiration to us all, and we hope you were able to raise awareness in areas of the county where it was very lacking. If we all knew more about this disease, then maybe we could do much more to prevent it early, by getting the optimum amount of exercise, supplements and changing any lifestyle habits that are not conducive to bone growth. Of course, if at some point we need treatment, then each of us has to decide what is best for us, with the help of our physicians.
Bond Girls Bike America, June 3, 2010 http://www.bondgirlsbikeamerica.com/home/bond_girls-about.php