The 2012 Ride America for Safe Routes Team trekked across the great United States on two skinny tires to advocate for bike friendly roads and communities. They started in Key West on Feb 5, 2012 and landed in San Francisco on April 30, meeting with local bicycle advocates all along our route to combine our efforts in raising awareness for bike safety in their communities.
Jeanie Ward-Waller, Organizer, Head Mechanic
Rides: Charge Filter Hi Cross steel frame bike.
Bio: Jeanie, 29, is a civil engineer currently based in Washington DC. She recently completed a masters degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development with a thesis investigating methods to promote higher rates of cycling in US cities. Also passionate about getting kids outdoors and active, she took a break from engineering in 2011 to teach environmental education at the Mountain Institute in the mountains of West Virginia and to teach rock climbing in the DC area. A 2-time Ironman triathlete, Jeanie has spent countless hours in the saddle on unsafe and unfriendly roads, growing increasingly frenetic about making roads safe for all cyclists.
Stephanie Palmer, Head Chef
Rides: Trek 720 touring steel frame bike.
Bio: Stephanie Palmer is a 26 year old outdoor enthusiast from northern Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Science in Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, as well as a Masters certificate in Environmental Education from Northern Illinois University. After dabbling in restoration ecology Stephanie pursued her passion of working with children and lived and worked as a field guide instructor at the Mountain Institute in West Virginia. She is inspired to take this 5,000 mile bike trip across the southern U.S. for bike advocacy and awareness to show Americans that they too can live a healthy outdoor active lifestyle and enjoy the fierce beauty of nature, while being safe at the same time.
Jane Ward, MD, Team doctorRoad name: Titanium.
Rides: Specialized Tarmac carbon frame road bike.
Bio: Dr. Jane Ward is a 60 year old physician and Masters of Public Health grad student in the Physical Activity and Public Health track at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Service in Washington DC. She has completed over 10 triathlons including a Half-Ironman in the past four years since her daughter Jeanie introduced her to the sport. Jane is a veteran of over 8 marathons and the 24 hour/50 mile Caledonian Challenge in Scotland. She is now very intrigued by preparing for future endurance athletic events. Dr Ward feels strongly that the path to a healthier US population is through both healthier nutrition and increased physical activity. For most Americans, organized sports and fitness clubs are not a realistic option so modifying our built environment to help promote active commuting will be critical for our future health as a nation. Jane looks forward to RASR as an opportunity to encourage citizens across the US southern tier to work towards safer pedestrian routes and bikeways in their communities and to improve fitness and outdoor fun for young Americans through increasing participants in and numbers of Safe Routes To School programs.
Chelsea Ward-Waller, Head rock identifier, Social Media Coordinator
Asst Coordinator/Mechanic/ChefRoad name: Patches.
Rides: Charge Filter Hi Cross steel frame bike.
Bio: Chelsea, 22, has been based in Middlebury, VT for the last four years, where she is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College in geology. The past 8 years she has focused on running and playing water polo, but came to cycling through triathlon training. She is proud of her active upbringing and excited about sharing an active lifestyle with others. Sharing these passions with others through the Ride America for Safe Routes while gaining a much deeper appreciation for the people and landscape of this country will surely prove to be one of the best experiences of her life.
SAG wagonRoad name: Manatee.
Bio: Manatee, native to Bethesda, MD, joined the team in January 2012 with no previous bike touring experience. She's rigged to carry 6+ bikes plus camping gear, traveling bike shop, personal items, sleeping space for 1, and mobile kitchen.
Honorary team members
Hannah MeierRoad name: TB (tiny bladder)
Rides: Cannondale road, blue
Bio: RASR team member for week 1. Returned to college life. We'll miss you!
Steve WallerRoad name: Daddy
Rides: Fuji commuter, stealth black
Bio: RASR rider at critical locations (early days, midway, home stretch) and team member throughout as our top supporter. Cheering us from DC where he works as distinguished professor of global health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Thanks for your excellent comments!
Darlene CookRoad name: Pink Primera
Rides: Trek road with pink handlebar tape
Bio: Regionally renowned massage therapist and owner of Harris Neck Massage Clinic in coastal Georgia, Darlene joined RASR just before we crossed our first state border in pursuit of adventure and FIRSTS! She led us over the Sydney-Lanier Bridge - the tallest bridge in the Southwest - and will ride with us for 9 days until Atlanta. Then she'll finish out the last week with us in CALIFORNIA! Joining our team is preparing her for her own cross country trek.
Rides: Specialized silver road bike
Bio: Great friend and Middlebury teammate of Chelsea's, Kaitlynn joined us in Phoenix to ride in the final two weeks to San Francisco between jobs in Breckenridge and Bangalore, India. She earned her road name during her first days with us learning to use her new clipless shoes and pedals. Despite joining us as we headed into some of our toughest days through the desert and Death Valley, Kaitlynn fell right in with the group and has been a strong addition to the team.