By Michael Kravitz, Izzy Janzen, & Co.
Today, amidst our typical blog fun and a handful of exciting trip starts, we are taking a moment to honor Apogee Support Staff- important members of the Apogee family. Our Support staffers are the folks who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the Apogee summer run smoothly. The long drives, the crazy errands, the never-ending energy, passion, enthusiasm, and well… support. These guys do it all. This Sunday we have deemed Support Sunday, and while we recognize that giving just one day to our beloved Support staffers does not do their around-the-clock work justice, we would like to highlight them below. Look for a special blurb in this post about our New England Support, Pacific Coast Support, America Coast to Coast Support, and Europe Coast to Coast Support. Thank you Support, for all that you do to make the Apogee magic a reality. We couldn’t do it without you! #SupportSupport
In addition, of course, please enjoy the updates and pictures on what our whopping 15 trips in the field got up to today!
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI3):The CI3 crew is up and running as they completed their first day on the Cape! After going over riding basics and learning how to set up tents and gear, the crew is excited for their first dinner in the field tonight and the adventure ahead of them.
New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC2): Our NEMC-ers enjoyed their final full day of the trip as they hopped into their sea kayaks for a beautiful day on the water. Tonight they will eat a celebratory dinner on the town in Portland, giving them a chance to enjoy each other’s company, relax, and reflect on the wonderful trip they’ve had together.
Vermont to Montreal A (VM3A): After an afternoon of orientation to bike touring and life in the outdoors, the Red and Ariel’s Vermonsters are settling in for an evening of good food and get-to-know-you games. The group couldn’t be more excited to hit the road tomorrow and begin their journey towards Montreal!
Vermont to Montreal B (VMB3): Chandler and Anna’s VMB crew is excited to finally be all together on the shores of a beautiful southern Vermont lake this evening. Tonight they will be hitting the hay early as they gear up for the nearly 200-mile adventure up to Montreal. We can’t wait to see what’s in store!
Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A): Emily and Kadin’s CQA is off and running. Having completed 15 miles of their ride before 10 am, this crew shows some serious promise for the miles ahead of them. Spirits are high as the group begins to settle in and get acquainted to the bike touring life.
Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B): Jess and Tim’s CQB group hit the road today with a solid loop ride around Freeport. The group loved having the opportunity to explore the town in the afternoon, visiting the gigantic L.L. Bean flagship store.
New England Support: We have a variety of folks helping us out in the Northeast this summer. Grubes, Gracie, and Michael! These guys work more generally with all trips in the Northeast and also help us out in the office. This is a job that requires immense amounts of flexibility, positivity, and energy. We can’t thank them enough for their dedication to making this Apogee summer great!
Montana Service Adventure (MSA2): The MSA crew rode one of the toughest days of the trip today, taking on the many hills that stood in their path. The group rode through the Milford Colony, a Hutterite community, which is an ethno-religious group with a focus on living in a pacifist, sustainable community. Descended from German immigrants, children at this colony do not learn English until the age of six. As of press time we weren’t able to get a picture with this crew’s spotty service.
Northwest Explorer (NWX2): The NWX crew enjoyed a fantastic day of whitewater on the Sauk River today. Having completed their “rest day,” the gang will be gearing up tomorrow for their six-day stint in the backcountry.
Pacific Coast A (PC2A): PCA enjoyed their first well-deserved rest day of the trip as they soaked up the sun surfing on the California Coast. As the crew perfected their pop-ups, they were able to rest their legs in preparation for more fun riding tomorrow.
Pacific Coast B (PC2B): The PCB crew made it to California today after completing a tidy little 29-mile ride. The group is excited to have made it to their second state and is looking forward to a relaxing day of surfing ahead.
Pacific Coast Support: Rockin’ the West Coast- Best Coast life style is the fantastic, one-and-only, Jack! He’s been bouncing between PC A and B this summer spending quality time with the group and dedicating his time to making sure things are running smoothly out there. You’re the man and your groups think so too:
“YAH, WE LOVE JACK!”
Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX2): The SHX crew continued on today with a fairly flat 11-mile day of hiking. Passing through a handful of charming little towns, the group is soaking up the culture, excited to get to some more mountainous terrain tomorrow – including the infamous “Devil’s Staircase…”.
Alps Explorer (AX2): Due to some poor weather on their mountain pass today, the AX crew took a train from Switzerland into France where they finished the day with some relatively flat valley-hiking. The crew is excited for a much rosier forecast for the the days to come.
Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): The ECC crew enjoyed a relatively easy day on their penultimate day of riding today as they made their way to Bassano-del-Grappa, a city one day’s ride north of Venice. Bassano-del-Grappa is the town in northern Italy most famous for inventing the spirit Grappa – traditionally a very strong after-dinner drink. While the group won’t be sampling any of this digestif this time around in Italy, they could not be more excited to make it to Venice tomorrow!
ECC Support: On this great Sunday, we take a moment out of our busy lives to #supportsupport(staff), the brave folks that keeps our trips running smoothly. Nate is our loyal ECC support staffer, back for a second European summer to make this trip run smoothly from start to finish once again. Nate has been described as “legendary” by his students and has also been noted for his incredible mustache. Our leaders say that he is “the reason our bikes haven’t fallen apart. He’s always totally solid and has the logistics down pat! He’s the ‘cool Uncle’ of our Apogee family.” Thanks for all that you do, Nate!
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): ACC1 enjoyed a relatively easy ride today (merely 66 miles) as they travel deeper into Arizona. Despite a long ten-mile climb in the middle of the ride, the group made it back to camp with plenty of time to relax and gear up for another day on the bike tomorrow.
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2):Though a challenging day today, the ACC2 crew crossed into Arizona. The group certainly burned off all the calories and more that they consumed in legendary Pie Town USA this morning (perhaps the most anticipated stop on the route).
ACC Support: Doig’s groups said it more articulately than we could so we’ll let their words do the talking today – thanks, Doig! “Today is a magical day in the ACC world…it’s the internationally recognized Doig Day! Here you see the rare sight of the majestic Doig sleeping peacefully before rousing himself for some casual 4 am bike maintenance. After finding a cat (because all living creatures find themselves magnetically drawn to this wonderful man) Doig was lifted in reverence! WE LOVE DOIG! Every day should be Doig Day because of what he does for our trips. Everyday our kids ask when Doig is coming because not only does he bend over backwards to make our trips run smoothly but he does so with an infectious smile on his face and a wonderful rock fact or story for all. Doig is a magical man and we are thrilled to celebrate Doig day on this hallowed support Sunday.”