About

Welcome to our website! We will be participating in the Race Across the West (RAW) as a 2-person women's team, with the team name “Cycling for Autism.” Our goal is to raise money and awareness for Paths to Independence while realizing an awesome adventure on our bicycles! Paths to Independence is a non-profit, accredited school in Bartlesville, OK that provides support services to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their goal is to promote a life-long view of education and functional independence from a young age. We are excited to raise money and awareness for this organization. We will be starting the race in Oceanside, CA on June 12th, 2018, and expect to make it to Durango, CO within 2 hours and 20 days. Our crew will be invaluable in keeping us safe and keeping it fun! Please read more about us (Sandy and Molly), what we’re doing, where we’re going and why we’re doing this!

Who

Sandy Taylor

I'm Sandy, and I'm really excited to Race Across the West (RAW) with my friend Molly in a 2-person women's relay! Although I started riding a bicycle back in the day of banana seats and handlebar streamers, I didn't take up road cycling until about 10 years ago, when I ventured into the sport of triathlon and realized a mountain bike wasn't that effective. I moved from Washington State to Indiana 7 years ago for a job as a veterinary professor at Purdue University, and joined the Wabash River Cycling Club. This club has been a huge part of my life, as I have made lifelong friends and have fallen more in love with my bicycle. In the winter of 2011, our club gathered to watch Bicycle Dreams, a documentary about the Race Across America (RAAM). The seed was planted, and I'm excited to share the adventure of RAW with a good friend. I can't express how meaningful it is to have family and friends on our crew. They will be charged with holding our hair while we barf, cleaning our cycling shorts after we ride through the desert in 120 degree heat, and most importantly, getting our butts across the western United States in one piece. Thank you for visiting our webpage! Your support is very much appreciated. 

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Molly Birt

Hello! Sandy is a good friend of mine - and also a woman I've looked up to for quite some time!  We have worked together at Purdue Large Animal Hospital since 2011, and she had single-handedly convinced me to join the Wabash River Cycle Club. I went from an avid cycling commuter to dabbling in ultra-endurance cycling events, including the National 24-Hour Challenge. I had been watching and cheering Sandy & Craig on from the sidelines during their preparation and execution of RAAM 2016, and was stoked to crew for their 2018 adventure. But with Craig's injury, Sandy asked me to join her as 2-person women's relay team for Race Across the West. "You only live once," right? So, I'm gearing up to take on something that I never thought possible, ultimately honored that Sandy thought of me for her team. I'm humbled that our friends are willing to crew us from California to Colorado - they are so awesome to spend their time supporting us! And many thanks to our sponsors & donors, as the support we receive helps Paths to Independence, a school that provides so much for their community. 

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What we are Doing

We will be riding in a 2-person women's team for Race Across the West, starting from Oceanside, CA to Durango, CO (930 miles). We will ride as a relay team, alternating every 1.5 to 2 hours (more frequently in Arizona during the hot hours, I'm sure). We will each have our own follow vehicle, and the crew will alternate between these vans and a 3rd vehicle. Racers will sleep in the follow vehicles, and the crew will sleep in hotels (and wherever they can find a minute to doze!). We have an amazing support crew made up of family and friends, and we're excited to share this adventure with them! We will all be sleep-deprived by the end of the 3 days, but since most of us are in the healthcare field, we're used to it. We start on June 12th, 2018 at noon PST, and must be finished within 2 days and 20 hours to make the time cut-off! We will need to boogey....

Where We are Going

We will start the race in Oceanside, CA on June 12th, 2018. We will ride for approximately 930 miles to Durango, CO, and must finish by 9:00 am (MST) on June 15th, 2018. This route is part of the Race Across America (RAAM) course, and includes the toughest climbing on the entire route. The toughest sections will be the mountains in Arizona and Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado. The heat will be a huge factor, but we have received many tips from veterans of both RAW and RAAM on how to keep cool. Fingers crossed for good air quality (no fires!) and minimal wind. :)

Why We Are Doing This

Because we are ordinary people who love to ride our bikes, and want to do some good while we’re at it! Because we are adventurous and a tiny bit crazy. Because we want to see what we’re truly made of, and experience the camaraderie and teamwork with an amazing group of crew members. We want to see the Western United States from our bicycles!

© Copyright 2018, Sandy Taylor & Molly Birt, Cycling for Autism 

cyclingforautismRAW2018@gmail.com