Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to interview Katie Spotz, an endurance athlete and self proclaimed, “everyday person” who recently cycled across the country to raise money and spread awareness for clean drinking water.
Katie and her teammate, Sam Williams were scheduled to attempt to become the fastest 2 person team to make the trip across the country, however, when Katie became sidelined with a cracked pelvis, they needed to modify their plans. They added friends and crew members, Anne and Kevin to make a 4 person team and kicked off their trip from Oceanside, California on June 18.
The team and their crew travelled basically 24 hours a day for the next 8 days until they reached Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday, June 26.
Some More Details:
· The team crossed the finish line at 10:29 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, after biking seven days, 16 hours and 59 minutes.
· The team made 52 stops while riding through 12 states, 88 counties and 350 communities on their journey across the U.S. The adventure began in Oceanside, CA and ended in Annapolis, MD.
I was so excited to talk to Katie yesterday, just a day after she finished the ride.
First of all, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment. How does it feel to be finished with the ride?
Its been quite the journey and there have been so many moments when we thought we wouldn’t make it through, but it has been an amazing experience.
I watched the videos on Shape Whats to Come and saw your nasty fall. How are you feeling now?
Well, I fell on the 2nd or 3rd day, and I am still on crunches. I plan to take a week or so off now that we are finished but I was lucky enough to be able to finish the ride on my regular bike. (Not the hand bike she began the journey on)
Wow! Thats wonderful. How is your pelvis doing now?
Its doing better and I’m glad I was able to finish the last 2 or 3 days on the trip on a regular bike.
Last year, you were the youngest person to complete a solo row across the Atlantic to raise $100,000 for the Blue Planet Network and now you have cycled across the country. How and why did you get started in raising awareness for clean water?
I was living in Australia when they were experiencing a ten year drought. 1 billion people don’t have clean water to drink. Its hard to imagine life without water, yet 1/6 people in the world are without it. It just takes $30 to give one person clean water for life.
Amazing. Can you explain a little bit about how the trip worked?
It was predominately one rider at a time because it was a nonstop bike race. When I first started I was only able to make it about 20 or 30 miles a day and then another teammate would take over. We originally had about 11 crew members, and when I got injured, we recruited some of the crew members to ride, some of whom have not been on a bike in years.
How did you come up with your crew members?
Well, we choose people we would want around us and supporting us in the difficult times that were ahead. Through the sleep depravation, having 1 bathroom for 13 people, etc.
How did you chose the route?
Well its an established race, so that was the easy part. The course was laid out so that we were able to avoid busy/dangerous roads.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Well, the most rewarding part was the team dynamic. There were so many highs and lows but we all felt like a family. We are just everyday people, not professional athletes, working toward this cause.
What was the first thing you did when you were finished?
Well when we first got there, we were handed a bottle of champagne, so we started spraying that everywhere, but I felt like we needed to do something more so I started rounding people up and we jumped into the bay. Pretty soon there were 20 or 30 of us all the the water.
What a perfect way to end an adventure for clean water. So appropriate. What is next for you/Would you do it again?
Well, I still feel that there is some unfinished business, and I definitely want to take another crack at it in a 2 person team, the way it was supposed to be. I’ll probably take it easy for the next month or so, but I definitely want to try it again.
Thank you so much Katie. You are truly an inspiration to us all.
Katie also stressed the importance of the role Levi’s played throughout the entire journey. Saying, the entire trip would not have been possible without their support, the film crews that made it possible to share this journey, show the videos- the hardships and joy of the journey.
*Now levi’s wants to give YOU a pair of their Water<Less jeans! Leave me a comment if you are interested!
*Check out the Blue Planet Network here for more info on how to make a donation and check out Shape Whats to Come for more info on Katie’s journey!