Sweep Categories: Cargo - Women, Fundraising
What was the race equipment you used?
I ride a Hunter touring bike, which is pretty sturdy and can handle a lot of weight. I have racks on the bike which I load down with front and rear Ortlieb panniers and I have a Burley Trailer ( I won it, in a previous SMSW; Thank you Burley!), which is attached to the rear triangle. I really recommend a trailer if you want to be competitive. :) Oh, and I carry a big-ass backpack too. Ouch!
Why is the Sweep important to you?
The SF-Marin Food Bank does so much good for so many people and it is really important to remember that not everyone has the good fortune to have enough to eat everyday. The Super Market Street Sweep raises money and food for people in need but also raises awareness of this important issue, hopefully being a friendly reminder to donate to your local food bank. On top of that it is super fun, especially so if you have a great team of people to ride with who know the city well.
Biggest thing you've learned since the first time you did the Sweep?
The first time I did the race, I did not have a sense of how much I could carry, or how much the food would cost. I didn’t have a trailer but I tried to carry as much as I could and probably ended up spending about $75. In later years I got people to donate money to my food campaign and I was able to buy more. Last year I had two fundraising campaigns. One to raise money to buy hundreds of pounds of food and one for money that would go directly to the SF Marin Food Bank.
Favorite Sweep moment/memory?
Well I love to win things, so it is a great feeling to physically work really hard and then have praise and prizes showered upon you! But it is also a great feeling to raise money to give to a great organization like the SF-Marin Food Bank and make a real difference in our community.
Speaking of winning, I’ve noticed in the last couple of years the competition in the Women’s Cargo category has gotten fierce. My days of being on top are probably over but it makes me very happy to see so many strong women coming out to kick butt in the cargo category. I say: Bring it On! Let’s break some records this year, ladies!!
Any tips for someone considering racing speed for the first time?
Make sure you give yourself enough time! Even though it’s not a speed race you still need to be back at the food bank by the cut off time or you will be disqualified.
Don’t lose your receipts!
Riding with a fully loaded bike is very difficult, especially starting out from a stop at at red light. Don’t put too much weight on the front of your bike, or your bike will become very dangerous to navigate! Unless your bike has independent steering (like a REAL cargo bike), put most of your weight in the rear of the bike. Trust me.
Make sure to drink lot’s of water and eat a little something while you’re riding. It uses up a lot of fuel!