#LongForTheRide August Winner
To call Camille a "cycling enthusiast" would be an understatement. She's a community staple there in Hutto, Texas, located just outside of Austin - and is a part of two bike groups there: Austin Bike Chix and Black Girls Do Bike Austin. When Camille is on a ride, it's safe to say that no one gets left behind – which is exactly why we selected her as this month's winner.
Read on for Camille's #LongForTheRide story:
"On Aug 1, 2015, I set out on a scorching hot Texas morning to hammer out 34-42 training miles for the upcoming Texas Mamma Jamma Ride, a ride that benefits local families coping with breast cancer. The route was aptly named the "Pflugerville Safari". The route traverses a special part of Central Texas that has farms with zebras, emus, ostrich and many other exotic animals on open farm land.
The group started out strong with about 30-35 riders. After a few flats, a leading group of hammer riders and a rest stop somewhere in between - the big group settled into 3 mini-pelotons for the last 17 miles back to our starting point.
I was in the middle pack floating and chatting as usual with about 8 – 9 other riders. When I took the lead and started to really up the tempo, I noticed a lone rider up ahead that kept looking back.
I was curious and concerned.
So what did I do?
I blurred the lines and caught up with the rider after closing a 2 mile gap. As soon as I introduced myself and asked if she was doing okay – Sally let out a big sigh. Come to find out Sally (far left in photo above) was dropped or could not keep up with the group of hammer riders, and was not in the best of moods because of it.
Sally then went on to share, rather sadly, that she came out today for a group ride and did not enjoy riding by herself. I said whoa - no worries. I can ride alongside you for the last 7 miles and you can join my pack. She immediately perked up, said she would love that and turned on the jets as we came around the Manda Carlson cemetery bend.
After we hammered up the New Sweden Church Hill - I slowed the pace a bit so we could regroup with my pack and introduce her to the other ladies before we made a major turn on the route. After all – no cyclist left behind is my group ride motto – and you always leave with whom you came with. There was pure joy & laughs from Sally, Sunny D (to the right of me in photo), & Kim (far right in photo) as we cracked jokes, chatted about saddles, GPS units, upcoming rides and ladies cycling jerseys.
When we arrived in the parking lot, we took this photo and I was blessed with the best hug and thank you for turning her frown upside down into a smile. I was disappointed in my "Safari" experience in that I did not spot any Zebras, but I made a new friend on the road."
Camille is very active with her local bike advocacy group, Bike Hutto. Her social media posts depict her adventures in the area with her friends and family – almost all of which are by bike.
Jessica Romigh, Founder of Bike Hutto, had this to say when we contacted her about the $1,000 donation, "Bike Hutto is humbled to be the recipient of this generous donation from Saris Cycling Group. Thank you to Camille Baptiste who honors us not only with this designation, but with her continuous leadership within the Hutto bicycling community. Bike Safety Education Programming, as well as Bicycle Amenities, are two of the areas that Bike Hutto is currently focusing on here in Hutto, Texas. This $1,000 donation will help support both of these initiatives."
We're not done yet! There's still $1,000 to give away. Help your local bike organization and send us your #LongForTheRide story today.