On June 16, four local women will embark on a 3,000-mile bike trek from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland with 170,000 feet of vertical climbing. The team, Love, Sweat & Gears, hopes to complete the Race Across America (which claims to be “the world’s toughest bicycle race”) in less than seven days. Team member Julie Lyons, 54, says she and her teammates have been on a six-days-a-week training regimen. The women hope to beat the current race record of six days and 11 hours. She and the rest of the team’s riders (Ann Lantz, 48, Amy Shonstrom, 62, and Dina Hannah, 48), want to prove that women of any age can embody active lifestyles.

The women will ride 24 hours a day by taking shifts where two team members will cycle as fast as possible for about eight miles. The riders will be followed in a car by 10 crewmembers for their safety and navigation. “We are really enamored with this challenge,” Lyons says. “Our goal is to finish, to finish as friends, and hopefully as winners.” Before race day, team Love, Sweat & Gears is planning to raise donations for the nonprofit LiveWell Colorado, an organization that fights obesity through healthy eating and active lifestyles. When they aren’t on a bike, the Love, Sweat & Gears team holds fundraisers including wine-tasting events and cycling training sessions, and sells custom team pendants.


The fundraising part can seem more daunting than the race itself, Lyons says. To support Love, Sweat & Gears and LiveWell Colorado, click here.

—Image courtesy of Julie Lyons.