Saturday, December 10, 2011

Website Under Construction

Hi all,

Our website is currently under construction. For updated information, please refer to our blog and facebook page, Team Hope, until then.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Registration Done!

That's right!

Team H2ope is returning to RAAM in 2012 and registration fee is paid. All four riders are hard at work training in preparation for the Epic Race in June 2012!

We are now seeking out corporate sponsorships to support our journey. Contact our Team Director Andre for more information.

Ride On


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Team Hope Updates

Long awaited Team Hope updates will be coming soon...

Stay tuned for details!

If you haven't seen some of our articles in the past, scroll down to the bottom right tab!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

RAAMing Up for 2012

2011 has been a world wind. Race Across America 2011 has an amazing experience finishing in 7 days, 21 hours, and 31 minutes. Team H2ope would like to thank you for your support and following our progress through our journey to bring awareness to safe, clean drinking water with Blue Planet Network and Drink Local Drink Tap 

Many of you have been wondering what is next for the Team H2ope crew-
Our crew member, David, has been planning the run of a lifetime for Blue Planet Network. Visit David's Facebook Page to learn more.

More updates coming soon for the rest of the Team H2ope including RAAM 2012 and introducing our new rider.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WE Finished!

Sorry for the delay in posting. Internet access and finding the time to post was a challenge indeed.
Team H2Ope finished in 7 days, 21 hours, and 31 minutes.

I will post pictures soon on our blog. Albums can be found under The Team Hope Facebook Page.

Thank you everyone for your support of our team and our cause St. Charles School in Uganda, Blue Planet Network, and Drink Local Drink Tap.

We could not have done it without you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

One More Day

At 2pm Pacific (PDT) The Team Hope will cross the starting line in Oceanside, California and begin the journey of a lifetime to Annapolis, Maryland hoping to finish in 7 days.

The last few days is a balance of organized as our crew chief Kat and her family have opened up their home to 4 racers and 14 crew members. we have a full size RV and 2 vans plus Kat's CRV which will act as our chore vehicle probably driving her neighbors crazy yet have been very supportive once finding out what (us) all these crazy people are up doing.

Today is our last day "TO GET SHIT DONE" This has become my new favorite saying over the past few days personally.

Josh stepped up with creating the schedule today and delegating the last minute tasks including switching out our RV due to something wrong with the dry shaft or something of that nature. I would go into more detail might I do not know trucks.

Ruben, Ociel, Nick and others are working out some issues we had with the PA system this past evening during a full out practice session. It was a great learning experience and well done for little experience. From the racer perspective, I felt very safe and comfort with communication between my immediate follow vehicle. Lessons were learned it will only help us work better as a team.

Several other crew members are WORKING-to clarify not just working. I mean hauling ass.

Over the past few days I finally been able to meet in person this random group of people that has been emailing constantly back and forth for months. It has been such a great experience and everyone brings something unique to the table. I think it was Ociel who said it is like the Real World. (I am a 21 yr old. It is a stupid reality show that puts people in a house together). Anywho...We will be taking video and pictures 24/7 so I guess that is like the The Real World confession room?

Yesterday the whole team went down to Oceanside and we will return today again as a team for the team meeting this evening. I will apologize now. Re-reading my sentences back and I feel like I am back in Elementary school failing my writing class. As you might imagine, the logistics of such an event is hard to even describe. Over the past few months, my life come to be solely about RAAM with school and a thing called a social life outside of cycling on the side. I am excited yet stressed and filled with anxiety rolled into one. Take this as my explanation of this rambling blog post. Welcome to my thought process right now of a 21 year old endurance junkie racer.

Tomorrow hopefully our crew members will be able to post updates and I hope you enjoyed getting some insight and a 'behind the scenes' look to my adventure in Race Across America. Safe travels to all RAAM participants.

Ride On.
Sara Harper -Racer


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


No one knows better how much RAAM prep work needs/has taken place more than our Crew Chief Kat. Kat along with some the California based crew members worked over the weekend beginning the prep work on the vans and RV. A good portion of the team is present though today to help make everything happen

So far- paperwork is being finished, the RV, CRV (chore vehicle), and our 2 vans our going through "Pimp My Ride". Larry and myself (Sara) will be sharing one van since we are on opposite shifts. Tupperware containers will help keep us organize for the 7 days will be living in it between our 4 hour 30 minutes on and off the bike. Alex and Andre will share a vehicle as well racing on opposite shifts.

How it works: Andre and I (Sara) will trade off in 4-30 minute tempo rides where our opposite vehicles will pick up and drop us off the road waiting for the next rider exchange to occur. After our shift, we will make our way to the RV where 4 crew members will be sleeping at any given time. The racers will shower up, eat, sleep, then after 4 hours-we will make our way back to our vans. Then the opposite team will be off. Starting Saturday, we will have a racer on the road 7/24.

To-Do List Getting Crossed Off: The vehicles were outfitted with decals for RAAM and sponsors while being installed with a PA System today as well. I'm sure there's so much else going on in Kat's house today that I don't even know about.

Tonight a few of us will make a trip to San Diego, CA to pick up Emily Monahan who is flying form Erie, PA.

Pictures will be uploaded soon. Stay tuned for more exciting RAAM blog posts!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Help Support Team H2ope!

Updates, updates..where to begin! As the starting line quickly approaches and it just 6 days away everyone has been hard at work preparing for our big day NEXT Saturday June 18!

Our race might end in 7 days but our cause-Blue Planet Network and St. Charles School in Uganda will always continue. We will continue to being awareness to the global water crisis with our partnership with Cleveland non-profit Drink Local Drink Tap. Their outreach program promotes drinking tap and giving back while bringing awareness to the water crisis. Erin Huber, Drink Local Drink Tap, joined our conference call this evening to brief the team on the upcoming details regarding the St. Charles well building.

Erin and her crew will be traveling to Africa while we are traveling across the country documenting their trip. Building a life-sustainable well is just one step, they will work with the community to educate them on safe drinking water and how the well works. The headmaster of St. Charles School has welcomes Erin and her team with open arms. The documentary will have several aspects such as showing the children how to use cameras.

At 4:30am, they will walk the 4.5 miles with the children that they take every day to receive buckets of drinking water. It will then go through a process in a makeshift shack to use the water. Every child at St. Charles School has a voice and that voice should be heard. We can help give them that chance.

Through the film and our day is done it will live on. We can tell the stories of these children, the global water crisis, and for Team H2ope-to do our part. Every and any donation can make a life-changing impact for another-here's your chance to be a hero. We are racing our bikes to bring awareness, what will you do?

For more information on Drink Local Drink Tap, visit

Other Team Updates:

The California-based crew have been extremely hard at work as well prep the vehicles for Race Across America. The RV and supplies have also been picked up!

On the Cleveland side, Larry did an awesome job pulling together the Cleveland's Touring Club main event called the Sunday in June tour ride! This ride brings out an estimated 1,000 riders to tackle 25, 50, or 100 miles! Josh, Andre, Trish, Larry, (Debbie-Trish's awesome helpful friend :) ) and myself representin talking about St. Charles School, Blue Planet Network, and Race Across America.

As things continue to develop, we will be sending out information through our twitter (see the top of the blog), Team Hope facebook page!/pages/The-Team-Hope/249965686468, our website, and of course our blog site!

Once the race begins, make sure to follow our updated progress across the RAAM route on the RAAM website! Based on our estimated pace, it can even calculate where will be in let's say Ohio.


Okay well we ain't cool...but we are cycling for a COOL CAUSE and the Berea Sun Newspaper thinks so too! Check out Larry Smith's interview below :) Way to go Larry!
Berea high grad cycles across U.S. for fresh water causes
Larry Smith
BEREA -- Larry Smith, a 1988 Berea High grad, has ridden a bike since age 5. He began racing BMX bikes at age 12 and rode in many endurance races in later years.
But this month’s cycling endeavor is beyond any ride so far.
Smith will be part of a four-rider, 24-hour team who will travel across the U.S. covering 3,000 miles, climbing through the Rocky Mountains in 40-degree weather, descending into valleys at more than 90 degrees, facing potential storms — all in an estimated 7½ days.
"Why? It’s an awesome opportunity," said the former Berean whose mother, Lorraine Smith, still lives in the city. "We’re helping to provide sustainable, fresh water to villages in Africa and even towns in Ohio where there is a fresh water problem. It’s going to be a pretty amazing ride — and accomplishment."
He is part of Team H2Ope participating in RAAM — Ride Across America. The team is riding for a charity, Blue Planet Network. He is accepting donations that will go toward the charity that helps the fresh water cause.
Smith, a teacher at Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy in Cleveland, said a fellow teacher from Africa explained the need for fresh water. Smith said there is a village called St. Charles in Uganda that has an orphanage of 300 children. He said the children walk two to three miles each day for their drinking water from a river.
"The sad thing, children who go to get the water on a daily basis fear of being physically assaulted. And some of the young girls even get raped on occasion to get that water," he said. "Even if that occurs, they still bring back the water."
His group also has partnered with the village and Drink Local, Drink Tap, the latter a grassroots effort to reconnect people in Northeast Ohio to their Lake Erie drinking source.
Smith, with the other riders, will begin the race June 18 in Oceanside, Calif. They will ride through Ohio hitting Oxford, Dayton, Chillicothe and Athens as they travel to their final destination — Annapolis, Md.
The riders will break up into two-person teams, each having a four-hour shift. They will ride for 30 minutes, rest of 30 minutes and return to the bike over that four-hour shift. Each will ride about 700 miles to cover the route. Smith has ridden 400-500 miles over a four- or five-day weekend.
"It is not above and beyond me but the way we are doing it, it’s a huge challenge — but for a great cause," said Smith, a Twinsburg resident.
His teammates are Andre Husain of Garfield Heights; Sara Harper, Strongsville and Alex Galindo, California.
Donations are accepted at and click on Team H2Ope’s link. Follow the team at
See more Berea news at

Saturday, June 11, 2011

USA Today RAAM Article

The ride stuff: Race Across America marks 30 years!

When John Marino, John Howard, Michael Shermer and Lon Haldeman straddled their bicycles at the start of the Great American Bike Race in 1982, they were embarking on a cross-country ride that would redefine their physical and mental boundaries.
It was the dawn of the endurance sports boom and there were few cyclists who could realistically race across North America and fewer still who wanted to try.
"This was a going-to-the-moon kind of odyssey," Haldeman says. "People would say, 'There's no way you guys are going to be able to do this.' The first people who did it, everybody thought you were absolutely nuts."
When the 30th edition of the event, now called the Race Across America, begins this week, the start will look a lot like it did in the '80s.
Though 45 or so riders will clip into their pedals in Oceanside, Calif., to race as solo entrants, all of them will be drafting behind the four pioneers at the opening of a transcontinental journey that will require nine to 12 days of grinding through 20-plus hours in the saddle.
"There is nothing else in the culture of sports like the RAAM," says Jim Lampley, who covered the first race and four after it for ABC's "Wide World of Sports." "To this day I still see it as the greatest undiscovered sports event on the planet."
Historically, half of the riders will complete the 3,000-mile test. Of those who do, many will need weeks or months to recover.
Thirty years on, Howard still feels the effects of the carpal tunnel syndrome that made it hard to turn doorknobs for weeks after the race. The extreme fatigue was temporary, but nonetheless devastating.
"I just didn't want to get out of bed," he says.
Marino was the driving force in conceiving the coast-to-coast contest. Drafted at 19 by his hometown Dodgers, he turned to cycling after a back injury cut short his baseball dreams.
Determined to make an impact in sports, Marino was perusing "The Guinness Book of World Records" when he came across the transcontinental cycling record of 13 days, 5 hours, 20 minutes set by Paul Cornish in 1973. Cornish also lived in Southern California and Marino called him to set up a meeting.
"I went to his house and told him I wanted to beat his record," Marino recalls.
A bike mechanic by trade, Cornish agreed to help Marino, receiving $500 for sharing the secrets of long-distance cycling. After two years of training and fine-tuning his equipment, Marino was ready. Setting out in August 1978, he broke the record by four hours.
An attempt to lower the mark the next year failed, but in 1980 Marino chopped nearly a day off his record, finishing in 12 days, 3 hours, 41 minutes.
During an interview to promote a book and film about his experiences, Marino was asked by a magazine editor if he'd make another record attempt.
"I said 'I'd like to do this again, but it should be a race,' " Marino says. The editor wrote an article laying out the concept of a "great American bike race."
With a name in place, Marino set out to find riders who could complete such a feat.
Howard was an obvious candidate. A three-time Olympic cyclist, he had won the third Ironman in February 1981 on the strength of a dominating bike leg.
"It was a timely venture," Howard says. "I had been successful in Ironman, so I was looking to do something different."
Haldeman stated his case for inclusion with an audacious double continental crossing in 1981.
Starting out from New York City, he took 12 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes going east to west into the prevailing headwinds, setting a record that still stands but failing to better Marino's time. Haldeman made an eight-hour layover and then "turned around at 3 a.m. to beat the L.A. traffic on the way out." He was back on the East Coast 10 days, 23 hours, 27 minutes later, breaking Marino's record and lopping more than 12 days off the double-crossing mark.
"When I finished the double I figured that's the last thing that I'm ever going to do. I almost felt depressed at the end," says Haldeman. That changed a few hours later, when Marino called to invite him to race across the country before ABC's cameras.
The deal with the network was the key to the race, and, once again, Marino had played a crucial role.
On the advice of his book publisher, he had hired an agent, Jerry Kushnick, who counted an up-and-coming Jay Leno among his clients.
"(Kushnick) had some clout, and along with the film we'd made, we pitched the idea to ABC and they agreed to do it," Marino says.
The Great American Bike Race was on.
Howard was considered the favorite given his extensive cycling resume and Ironman victory. Marino was tabbed the most likely challenger because of his record-setting rides and role in organizing the race.
Shermer and Haldeman weren't given much of a chance. Shermer had never crossed the country on a bike, gaining the race on the strength of his record-setting ride from Seattle to San Diego, and little was known about Haldeman despite his stunning double crossing.
Another unknown before the race was how long the riders planned to pedal each day. Given relatively equal speeds, whoever could stay in the saddle longest would win.
It didn't take long to find out once the race started.
"Some time very late the first night, it was after midnight — I choke up thinking about it to this day — I was on a freeway overpass in Blythe (Calif.) with Lon's girlfriend, Susan Notorangelo," Lampley says. "Lon had already put 15 to 20 miles on the other riders and I asked her, 'When is Lon going to sleep? She looked at me and said, 'We're going to New York. Aren't you going to New York, too?' That's when I knew that sleep deprivation was going to be a big part of the story."
Haldeman stunned his competitors and the ABC crew by riding through the night and most of the next day.
"I went the first 42 hours without sleeping, and basically had a six- to seven-hour lead at the end of the second day," Haldeman says. "It was the first time someone had gone that long without sleeping."
Haldeman credits Notorangelo, his future wife, with opening his eyes to the possibility by riding 600 straight miles in setting a women's crossing record a month earlier.
"That's what gave me the confidence to try it at the start of the Great American Bicycle Race," he says. "After that I was gaining an hour or so a day. I never really had a strategy. I just knew I was going to get caught if I stopped."
Shermer was somewhere in Kansas when he found himself questioning whether he could finish.
"I remember feeling so bad at some points that I didn't think I could go on," he says. "And then I'd take a two-hour nap and wake up thinking maybe I could. I'd get on the bike and start pedaling and the next thing you know the sun would come up and I'd start feeling better. The body's ability to recover and keep going is just amazing."
Haldeman crossed the finish line at the Empire State Building in New York City 9 days, 20 hours, 2 minutes after he left Santa Monica, shattering his own record for the coast-to-coast crossing by more than 27 hours.
Howard was next, about 15 hours later, and Shermer trailed another nine hours behind. Marino gutted it out, finishing in just over 12 days, 7 hours.
Haldeman, Howard, Shermer and Marino are reuniting at this year's RAAM to reminisce, hang out and reconnect with a race that all four remained involved with during its early days and has grown to include categories for women as well as teams.
The four also will ride — only 50 or so miles to the first checkpoint — when the solo men head out Wednesday to begin their transcontinental odyssey.
"It will be sort of like an old-timer's thing," Shermer says. "It's nice that it's made it to 30 races. I'm proud that it's still going.
"For me personally it was less about beating the other guys and more about an Everest-type of thing. It has given me the confidence to go out and do the other things I've done."
That includes getting a doctorate in the history of science and founding the Skeptic Society and Skeptic Magazine, which are dedicated to "critical thinking about controversial claims." He's also written 10 books and pens a monthly column for Scientific American.
Howard is the only one of the four who didn't do the race again.
"I decided it was just too brutal, it took too much out of me," he says.
He focused on other challenges, setting speed (152.2 mph) and 24-hour (593 miles) records and becoming a coach to those who would follow in his footsteps.
"The bicycle to me is a tool of life. It serves so many purposes, some of which are therapeutic. I didn't want to ruin that by continuing to race in RAAM," Howard says.
Marino was involved with the race as a participant or organizer for a decade before deciding to move on, becoming a general contractor.
Like the others, he still rides and is looking forward to the reunion.
Haldeman cemented his legend by repeating as champion the next year and going on to other exploits that included teaming with Pete Penseyres in 1987 to set the tandem crossing record of 7 days, 14 hours, 55 minutes.
He and Notorangelo run a touring business that specializes in transcontinental trips and has been the proving ground for many riders who have competed in the RAAM.
His latest challenge is taking place in Peru, where he's combining tours with charitable work such as building schools, digging wells, donating supplies. "We basically go where other tours won't," Haldeman says.
Sounds familiar.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Team Hope is Complete!!

Team Hope now has filled the final two remaining crew member spots!!
Our team roster consists of:

Alex Galindo
Andre Husain
Larry Smith
Sara Harper

Alonso Gomez
Bill Potter
David Christof
Diana Woolf
Emily Monahan
Josh Futrel
Kat Espino*Crew Chief
Katie Klein
Michele Souder*new crew member
Nick Corrette
Ociel Villamar*new crew member
Ruben Marquina
Trish McNamara

The countdown continues! 10 DAYS!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Team Hope Video

See what Team H2Ope is all about

Wednesday June 8

A lot can happen in a 24 hour period.
I finished my gloves. I am dyslexic-directionally challenged so as silly as it sounds, I would like to make the correct turns while RAAM.

Our Team H2Ope kits arrived...

Larry was interview by the Sun Newspaper here in Cleveland, Ohio. The article will print this upcoming Thursday.

Yesterday the Strongsville Post (Cleveland, Ohio) publication called me and I have an interview with them this afternoon.

Trish and I show off our kits...[a kit refers the jersey top, shorts] around Strongsville, Middleburgh Heights, and Berea as we had a nice easy ride.

In Southern California our crew chief Kat and crew hosted the Ride-In movie night at the Block Shop.

I even  made friends with a snapping turtle while waiting to meet up with Trish for a ride.  
For those of you who are just checking our the Team H2Ope blog for the first time, thanks for visiting!
Team H2Ope is a RAAM-Race Across America team spilt mostly between Cleveland, Ohio and Southern California.  The team is made up of a 4-person relay with 13 (looking for 15 crew members) that begins at Oceanside, California following the RAAM route all the way to Annapolis, Maryland.  We will begin our adventure on Saturday, June 18, 2011 just days away!!!
This is not exactly a 'ride-in-the-park'. The racers have been hard at training for months in preparation for the race. Team H2ope is taking an unique approach to racing compared to some teams. Within a 4-6 hour period, two of the four person will trade off in estimated 30 minute hard effort rides. They will be trading in and out of the same vehicle. The driver and navigator will be hard at work finding a place to pull off the road an estimated 30 minutes ahead on the route where an exchange can take place. During the daytime, the rider who been riding will be approaching giving a signal to the new rider. The current rider must past the hub of the new rider which constitutes the relay. After 6 hours, these two riders will be 'off shift' while the two other on trading off for 6 hours.

Team H2ope was brought together with a passion for cycling and a desire to help provide safe, clean drinking water for those in need. We are racing for Blue Planet Network along with 2 other team [2-person relay and a soloist racer]. Through our Cleveland connection Drink Local Drink Tap and Blue Planet Network we are racing to provide a sustainable well for the children of St. Charles School in Uganda. For our team, this project has become close to our hearts. I think it is something quite amazing to take a skill set such as cycling and make it apart of the bigger picture and make an impact for the better in the world.

The journey to the starting line of RAAM is the most challenging part. Everyday or so I go to the RAAM website sadden that the number of participants drops as the starting date becomes more of a reality. Team H2ope would like to personally thank everyone who has helped to support our cause and bring awareness to the global water crisis on our world.

To our sponsors: Polar Bottles, Dash Cycles, Action Wipes
We truly appreciate your support and we look forward to representing you as we travel 3,000 miles in 7 days across the United States. You not only support us but our cause and for that we are thankful.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Final Countdown!

No more can express it better than Europe-Final Countdown as we prepare for ...

Okay so I might be born in the 90's but I have a soft spot in my heart for 80's hair bands <3

I feel like I am waiting in super slow motion for the ball to drop on New Years Eve counting down...

The team-crew members, crew chief, sponsors, and racers have been hard at work in preparation for months and I can say at least for myself that it feels great to see everything coming together!

We keep pushing hard to complete our ever growing to-do list as the race start approaches. Last night we had a great turnout for the RAAM Rules Quiz conference call with everyone and on Saturday Kat (crew chief), Trish (co-crew chief), Andre, Larry, Alex, and myself were fortunate to hear and learn from Bent Up Cyclists racer who gave us some important tips for the race ahead.

Larry and I got recent upgrades in bikes! We are now Sram Red twins feeling faster than ever :) Dash Saddles, one of our sponsors, sent us our custom saddles which I think are almost too beautiful to put my ass on really :)

Larry worked his magic and put together one last fundraiser in Cleveland that will take place at the Cleveland Touring Club's Sunday in June ride which looks to bring together 800-1,000 riders from what I hear. I just think it's cool that even Cleveland can have a large showing of riders! YAY CLE!

Till the start of the race, I will be posting daily as new developments occur with Team H2Ope!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crew Members Wanted!

Team Hope needs your help! We are looking for 2 CREW MEMBERS for Race Across America!
***1 must be a bike mechanic!***

You must be available from June 15-27. If you're interested, e-mail our crew chief, Kat, at


Over 700 kids from St. Charles School in Uganda don't have access to safe water,
They have to walk 3 miles twice a day just to fill their 5-gallon container.
The Team Hope, Blue Planet Network & Drink Local Drink Tap is raising funds to build a sustainable well,
To make this happen, a monetary gift from you would be quite swell.
This water well would provide adequate sanitation and reduce disease,
With your help, we will see the number of deaths decrease.
We hope you follow our progress as we ride our bikes across the states,
Via Twitter, Facebook or on our website - 3000 miles from California to Maryland, for 6 days we will race.
But even when our race is over, our efforts will not stop there,
The Team Hope will raise funds for St. Charles School and others to show that we care!
- Crew Chief Kat Espino & the rest of the Team H2Ope

Ride-IN Movie Night!

Tuesday, June 7 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
The Block Shop
604 West Ave L, Unit 101
Lancaster, CA

In Lancaster, California join TEAM H2OPE for a bike ride around Lancaster & a benefit screening of "Tapped."
Tapped examines the role of the bottled water industry and its' effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

Meet Up: 6:00pm
Roll Out: 6:30pm
Screening of Tapped: 8:00 pm

Food & beverages will be provided. Donations will be greatly appreciated!
For info about The Block Shop, go to:

Also check out out facebook event:!/event.php?eid=226836160665446

Help Us Reach Our Fundraising Goal!

Mark Steele from Blue Planet Network has updated our donation fundraising page! We are getting close to our goal amount but we NEED your support to reach it!

Team Updates:
This week several conference calls took place to discuss our budget, finances, RAAM supplies, and vehicle set-up that will take place days before the race. Some of the California crew members will be assisting our Crew Chief Kat in vehicle set-up as Trish, Diana, Josh, and myself fly out to LAX on June 14!! The days are flying by I say!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tapped Documentary!

Thank you everyone who came out in support of Team Hope in Pasadena for our benefit Screening of Tapped!!

Everyone enjoyed learning something from the documentary and we hope it helps to create a change for the better!

We appreciate your support!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Learn MORE About RAAM!

Listen to Amy's interview to learn more about the Race Across AMerica! Our very own crew chief, Kat, was a part of Amy's numerous interviews while she was preparing to write her book "Hell on 2 Wheels."

The radio program is on Competitor Radio:

Get YOUR Team Hope Gear
At the Team Hope shop a portion of every sale goes to support The Team Hope & the Blue Planet Network – and every order comes with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you like what you see, please tell your family and friends to check us out too!

Don't forget to go to our website!

Free shipping is available for orders over $50!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Go Team Hope Go!

The last few days have been action packed for Team Hope!

This past Saturday night was our RAAM Benefit Fundraiser at Bilo's Bar & Grill in Strongsville, Ohio. Local Strongsville area businesses had been very generous along with our team sponsors to donate over $6000 in raffle prize items!!!

Thanks to Esbi Salon, King Nails, Absolute Chiropractor, Hoopla, Conrad's Tire Center, Grand Fiesta, Royal Park Fine Wines, Quince, Penn Station, Gepetto's Pizza, Dairy Queen Romeo's Pizza, Steak Escape, Chipotle, Cold Stone Creamery, Sheiban's Jewelers, Pampered Ched dealer-Diane Hawk, Fitness Together, Fleet Feet Sports, Pettit's Garden Center, Lakewood Starbucks, Daybreak Lavendar, Studio Wish, Strongsville Spirit Shop, John Bilo and Bilo's Bar & Grill, Dash Saddles and all the individuals who supported and assisted to make the event a success!

This past Sunday Andre, Larry, myself (Sara), Kat, and Josh got together in Twinburg where we practiced RAAM hand signals and signs, rider exchanges, and a number of different scernios.

The days are flying by but we are ready! Trish, Diana, Josh, and myself (Sara) are flying out to California on June 14!!! I can't wait!

Ohio Sport & Fitness Magazine Article about local cyclists ready to tackle 3,000 miles

Four competitors who will race in this year’s Race Across America (RAAM) hail from Northeast Ohio. Katie Spotz, 
24, formerly of Mentor, is teaming up with a fellow adventurer in a two-person relay. Andre Husain, 45, of Cleveland, Larry Smith, 41, of 
Cleveland and I (21, of Strongsville) have team-ed up with Alex Galindo, 26, of Los Angeles, to cover the distance as a four-person relay team.

RAAM, one the most respected and longest-running endurance sports events in the world, is a continuous-stage competition where the clock doesn’t stop until the racer crosses the finish line (unlike, say, the Tour de France, in which each segment of the race is separately timed). It begins at Oceanside, Calif., crosses 12 states and 3,000 miles (while climbing 170,000 feet) and ends at the City Dock in Annapolis, Md.

Soloists, whose race begins June 14, must ride an average of 250 to 350 miles per day to complete the distance in 12 days. Teams will set out June 18 and have nine days to finish.

The first RAAM was in 1982 when four cyclists dared to race from Santa Monica Pier in California to the Empire State Building in New York City. Since then, it has grown into an international affair, with 40 percent of competitors coming from outside the United States. It added the team (relay) division, including two-, four- and eight-person teams, in 1994. In June, the race celebrates its 30th year with its largest field of competitors. Fewer than 200 people have finished the solo race.

Katie Spotz
Spotz, who became famous in 2009 after becoming the youngest person and first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean in 70 days and 5 hours, will team with Sam Williams of London, who rowed solo across the Atlantic in 2008.

Spotz and Williams are racing to raise money for two organizations, Blue Planet Network and Farm-Africa, which are collaborating on a project that will bring safe drinking water to a community in northern Kenya. They hope to raise $50,000.

Training: Spotz’s training has consisted of riding between 20 and 25 hours per week, with 20 percent as interval training.

For more information about Spotz’s team, visit To follow Spotz, see

Team H2Ope
My four-person relay team also is racing in partnership with Blue Planet Network to build awareness of the fact that a billion people on the planet have no access to safe drinking water and to raise funds for projects that will provide cost-effective, sustainable solutions for several communities around the globe. We’ve also teamed up with Drink Local. Drink Tap.© to raise funds for Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda, a project to raise the funds and awareness needed to provide fresh-water facilities for St. Charles School in Uganda.

Training: TeamH2Ope’s training includes repetitive, short, hard efforts mixed with long endurance rides. This approach mirrors what we will experience as we take turns riding during the relay. We also incorporate strength training, yoga and weightlifting into our workouts.

Speaking for all the competitors, I have no doubt that RAAM will be the most difficult challenge yet for the cyclists competing. Knowing that our efforts will make a difference in the lives of those in need will give us the motivation we’ll need to keep riding.

For more information about Blue Planet Network, visit For Drink Local. Drink Tap.© visit To follow Team H2Ope, go to

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strongsville Fundraiser Raffle PRIZES!!!!

Only THREE MORE DAYS LEFT TILL our RAAM launch fundraising party at Bilo's Bar & Grill in Strongsville Saturday night beginning at 6pm!!!

Drumroll please.......buzzzz-zzz-zzz

1        Esbi Salon Gift Certificates: 2 gift certificates including highlight and styling [1: $125/2: $160 value]
2        BPN Gift Basket: Blue Planet network Shirt-gift book,
3    Chiropractor Basket: 1 package of biofreeze, 1 free visit to Absolute Chiropractor {$250 value}
4        Chiropractor Basket: 1 package of biofreeze, 1 free visit to Absolute Chiropractor {$250 value}
5        Fluffy Puppy Basket: Pamper your pup with this 'dog gone to heaven basket'. {$150 value}
6         Uptown Girl Basket: Hoopla Purse, King Nails gift certificate [$80 value]
7        Pimp My Ride Basket: 2-Conrad’s Tire Center oil changes and car cleaning product {$100 value}
8        Grand Fiesta Fiesta!:  Enjoy a dinner out of Gran Fiesta Mexican Restaurant, a bottle of tequila, and a sombrero to make it a party! {$40 value}
9    Friday Night out:  Enjoy a wine tasting at Royal Park Fine Wines in Strongsville, $50 Quince Restaurant gift card, and a bottle of bicycle wine to make it complete! {$75 value}
10    Food on the Go Basket#1: Penn station ($20), Gepetto’s Pizza ($10), Dairy Queen Package! [15$] Romeo’s $10, Steak Escape $10,  {$65 value]
11    Food on the Go Basket: #2chipotle $10, Penn station $20, Steak escape $10, DQ cake $15, Romeo’s $10 {$45 value}
12    Food on the Go Basket: #1
13    Food on the Go Basket: #2
14    Cold Stone Basket:  Cold stone creamery package {$30 value}
15    Hoopla Purse: Go green with a 100% All Natural Basket {$25 value}
16    Sheiban’s Jewelers:{$50 value gift certificate}
17    Pampered Chef: Perfect for the chef in your life! {$60 value}
18    Pump n Run Package: Fitness Together Personal Training 1 week package/ $25 Fleet Feet Gift Card {$300 value}
19   Couple’s Personal Training: Fitness Together Assessment and 1 week package {$250 value}
20  CAVS Basketball : CAVS signed Basketball Ball 2010-2011 season by...
21    Pettiti’s Garden Basket: Gift card and garden fun {$30 value}
22    Starbucks Package: Have a caffeine addiction? Problem solved! {$30 value}
23    Daybreak lavender Farm gift basket:  Simply amazing {$70 value}
24    College Student Survival Kit: Everything you could possibly need to survive including ramen noodles, 5hr energy, cheese whiz, and other necessities! {$50 value}
25    Studio Wish Basket:  A beautiful package by Studio Wish {$75 value}
26   {Ukrainian} Pyccknn Ctahapt Russian Vodka {$50 value}
27   Wine Basket: Enjoy wine and other items so you are ready to serve!

Silent auction items

1 Espi International Salon - Highlight, haircut, and styled by the owner himself-Nuccio! {$250 value}
2 Lavender Farm Package - Simply amazing! {$190 value}
3 Fitness Together Duffel Bag - training sessions and the tools needed to train! {$350 value}
Barrel o’ Booze - including: 1 bottle of Capt. Morgan Spiced Rum, 1 bottle of Smirnoff Vodka, 1 bottle of Seagram's 7 Crown Whiskey, 1 bottle of El Toro Tequilia, 12 pack Bud Light beer, 12 pack Miller Light beer, 12 pack Coors Light beer, 12 Great Lakes Burnign River Ale, 4 pack Bartles/Jaymes Mojito Wine Coolers, 4 pack Bartles/Jaymes Strawberry Daiquiri Wine, 1 bottle of Barefoot Riesling, and 1 bottle of Madria Sangria {$150 value} {Please not the wheel barrow will not be included}
Strongsville Mustang Football Sign! - Donated by the Strongsville Spirit Shop {$50}
6  John Bilo himself is donating an autographed item!!!
7 Dash Saddles-Carbon Fiber Saddle- {$500 value}
8 Dash Saddles-Carbon Fiber Saddle- {$550 value}

30 days till RAAM!!!

I cannot believe it! Only 30 more days till we begin Race Across AMerica!

This Wednesday myself, Trish, Diana, Larry, and Andre are getting together to go over the details for Saturday's Bilos Bar & Grill Fundraiser! We will be getting crafty and preparing our baskets for the Chinese and silent auctions!

Today is the annual Ride of Silence that takes place all over the world to honor cyclists who have been injured and killed while cycling. A ride will begin in Cleveland this evening at 6pm in different locations around the city all eventually meeting at University Circle in East Cleveland at 7pm.
For more information on the Ride of Silence, visit

Monday, May 16, 2011

RAAM Details

This week Ruben, Kat, and Alex had a RAAM practice in California using 2-way radios so the vehicle and communicate with the racer. The vehicles will also have a PA system too which will be nice when I could use some tunes on the bike!

This upcoming Saturday is the 'launch' fundraiser for the Cleveland crew. We will be having the fundraiser in Strongsville at Bilo's Bar & Grill 6-midnight!

This upcoming Sunday afternoon Kat, Andre, Larry, Josh, Diana, and myself will be practicing in Cleveland!

It looks like the vans are almost finalized in California meaning us Ohio racers will be shipping our bikes out to California.

In less than a month Diana, Trish, Josh, and I fly out on June 14 to California!!! Andre and Larry will be flying out the following day.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Strongsville's Bilo's Bar & Grille Fundraiser!

Northeast Ohio!

On Saturday, May 21 from 6pm-midnight Team H2ope will be hosting our last big Cleveland fundraiser in Strongsville at Bilo's Bar & Grille!!
Tickets are $20 which includes from 6-9pm: all-you-can-eat buffet, draft beer, coffee, and pop!

There will be Chinese raffles, 50/50 raffles, and a silent auction!

Chinese Raffle Teasers!
-Fitness Together Assessments
-Absolute Chiropractor Packages
-Strongsville restaurant gift certificates
-Fleet Feet Gift Certificate

Silent Auction Teasers!
-Barrel of Booze
-CAVS signed basketball
-Russian Standard Vovka
-Daybreak Lavendar Basket
-Strongsville Spirit Shop Basket
-Esbi Salon Gift Certificate

For pre-sale tickets for the event, contact Sara Harper at or 440-227-3722.
For more information on the event, view the facebook link:!/event.php?eid=140960602635816

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Duo will trek across USA in charity cycling

The Record Courier, a local newspaper just South of Cleveland features Team H2Ope and the nearest residents Diana Woolfe and myself.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Team Hope feature in The Gateway News

Local Streetsboro resident/crew member Diana and local area student were featured in the article:
Firefighter to 'Race Across America' to help Ugandan school
Thanks to Bob Gaetjens for helping bring awareness to our cause!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Southern California: The Team Hope Presents...A Benefit Screening of "TAPPED"

Southern California!!! Attention!

On Wednesday, May 25 8pm-10pm at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre (Pasadena Playhouse) on
39 S. El Molino Avenue Team Hope will be hosting a benefit screening of the documentary "TAPPED".
Come out to learn more about the world water crisis and how corporations are trying to find ways to legally "claim" water away from local communities. Learn more about what REALLY happens to that empty plastic bottle once you put it in the recycling bin.

Also meet some members from The Team Hope and learn about their participation with this year's 3,000 mile nonstop Race Across AMerica and their goal to raise funds for a sustainable water well for the children of St. Charles School in Uganda.

Doors open at 7:30pm

Suggested Donation: $10
Pre-sale Tickets available. Send donation via PayPal to

Snacks & Beverages will be available.
For more information, please refer to the Team Hope facebook event:!/event.php?eid=223279957686782

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Team Hope Presents...Gamblin' for Hope

Southern California Folks!!!
On Saturday,  June 4, 2011 the event to be at is Gamblin' for Hope!

Because you are going to Primm, Nevada to some great casinos!!
Details: For only $40 per person (21 years or older) you can enjoy a stay Buffalo Bill’s Hotel and feel free to visit any of the three casinos and the outlet mall!!! Each participant will receive a buffet coupon and drinks & snacks will be provided. Please feel free to bring your own. Please note no glass containers, sunflower seeds, nuts or popcorn are allowed. All coolers must be stored either under or on the seats. No coolers in the aisle.

Pick-Up Location #1 @ 6:30am:
Norwalk Metro Park & Ride
12901 Hoxie Ave.
Norwalk, CA 90650

Pick-Up Location #2 @ 6:45am:
Chino Park & Ride
21300 E. Via Verde St.
Covina, CA 91724

To sign up, e-mail Kat Espino AKA Best Crew Chief EVER with your name & contact information to Payment can be sent via PayPal to

For any questions, contact Kat Espino (562) 552-7669.
Please view the  facebook event page here:!/event.php?eid=194816887230117

Kent State TV2 Interview

Last week Kent State University's local television network TV2 did an interview with Kent State student yours truly about Team H2Ope's upcoming RAAM Adventure for Blue Planet Network!

Keep an eye out for articles in the Record-Courier (Kent/Stow/Streetsboro-Southeast Cleveland), Sun Newspaper (Strongsville/West Cleveland)!!

Help Support Kat's Birthday Wish

Kat Espino, the Team H2Ope Crew Chief is donating her upcoming birthday to our cause on behalf of Blue Planet Network! Help support and donate to a great cause!

Kat's Birthday Wish:

Pedal for the Planet Duathlon

On Saturday, May 7 Andre, Larry, Trish, Diana, me (Sara) are going out to Erie, PA to beautiful (yet cold) Presque Isle State Park for the Pedal for the Planet Duathlon organized by Mercyhurst College.

The Duathlon will consist of 5k Run, 20K Bike, 5K run followed by a luncheon where Team H2Ope has the honor of being the guest speaker for the event. 

We all share common interests being avid cyclists, runners, adrenaline-junkies, bike advocates, but most important we all are striving to make an impact to difference in our world. We will speaking about our charity Blue Planet Network, our local connection through Drink Local Drink Tap, and our Making Waves From Cleveland to Uganda Project to build a well for St. Charles School in Uganda.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekend Recap

Thursday night was the (Cleveland) Twinsburg Panini's Bar & Grille Fundraiser. Thank you all who supported our cause for Blue Planet Network and Drink Local Drink Tap! It was a successful night and we are getting closer to our goal but we need your continued support!

This Saturday myself (sara), Larry, Cassie and Andre raced at Calvin's Challenge in the 12 hour time trial in Springfield, Ohio. Quick recap: I had GI issues making it quite an interesting/painful 101miles, Larry rode a good/hard 101miles before deciding to back off due hamstring cramping, Andre rode an impressive 192 miles, Cassie (not drafting too) rode (I think) 204.5 miles.

This upcoming weekend the Cleveland crew will be going to the Pedal for the Planet duathlon in Erie, PA hosted by Mercy Hurst College and Slippery Rock. Who doesn't like running, biking, and then running??

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Got A Feeling..

TONIGHT IS Going To Be A Good Night...Cuz I Have A Feeling

Tonight is Team H2Ope's Shifting Gears-Saving Lives Fundraiser at the Twinsburg Panini's from 8pm-12pm. There will be great food, great people, great cause, and even some awesome raffle prizes you can enter to win!!!

Help support our cause for Blue Planet Network and Drink Local Drink Tap!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cleveland Peeps

Hi Everyone!!
We have been busy here in Cleveland as we prepare for our upcoming fundraiser at the Twinsburg Panini's this Thursday 8pm-12pm. Don't worry we know it's a 'school night'. We will have our awesome raffle prizes ending by 10pm at the latest!

We hope to see you there!!!

Here are some more teasers!
 Esbi Salon Gift Certificate,  BPN Gift Basket, Pet Basket, Pimp My Ride Basket by Conrad’s Tire Center, Theatre Basket: Wine Basket, CAVS 2010-2011 signed basketball!

Saturday: Calvin's Challenge
This Saturday Andre, myself, and Larry are joining Cassie and going down to Springfield, Ohio for Calvin's Challenge where we will be competing in a 12 hr time trial challenge!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

55 days till RAAM

Wanna know what the individual riders/chief are up to? View their pages!!

Hoppy Easter everyone!

The countdown is getting real. Just 55 days till Team Hope takes to the RAAM starting line in Oceanside, California but we need your help to get there. All donations are welcome in forms of gas cards, airline miles, food gift cards and others!

Saturday's Ride:
Last night Trish and I began riding and via text message found out Andre was on the hike n bike finishing his 100 mile for the day. The mission was ON. For once in my life I did not feel directionally challenged as Trish and myself FOUND not just Andre but Cassie too on Highland Road. We had a fun impromptu group ride of sorts until we went our different directions.

Trish and I made it back to the Lock 29 Peninsula, Ohio parking lot where a MTB night towpath ride was made interested when dodging toads on the TOADPATH. Get to hoppin and enjoy the semi-nice weather in Cleveland! Hoppy Riding!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shifting Gears and Saving Lives Fundraising Event

Next Thursday, April 28 at Twinsburg Panini's from 8pm-12am Team H2Ope will be hosting our Shifting Gears and Saving Lives fundraising event!
  • $10 tickets pre-sale or at the door includes all-you-can-eat!
  • The 50/50 raffle that be will announced around 9:30-10pm.
  • A series of Chinese raffles will be taking place too! Here are some teasers...
  •  (1) Barrel of Booze Barrel: over 150 dollars in liquor, beer, wine, and wine coolers! That's enough to go on a full week binge for you and all of your closest friends!
  •  (2) Dinner at Blue Canyon Basket: Treat yourself well with some dine and wine!
  •  (3) The College Package: AKA cheese whiz, ramen noodles, reddy whip, and some other awesome college/junk food necessities!
  •  (4) Lotto ticket Package! Who doesn't love the chance to win the lottery?!?!?
  •  (5) "Best Friends" Basket: My dogs are my kids..why not try to win them something special
  •  (6) Children's Book Basket: perfect your the beginner reader in your life!
  •  (7) Handy Dandy Basket: Perfect for the handy man in tools and more tools!! 
  •  (8) Uptown Girl Basket: Every girl needs a purse, hair styled, and nails done..
  •  (9) Chiropractor Basket: Need your back cracked? Come on out and try to win a gift card for the best of the best here in Cleveland!
  •  (10) Biker Dude Basket: Wanna represent Mellow Johnny's and work on those tan lines? Well we have you covered-Mellow Johnny's wool sweater and a tanning gift certificate
  •  (11) Biker Chick Basket: Rock on a Pearl Izumi tri top, Fleet Feet Gift card, and other fun items!
  •  (12) Food on the Go Basket: Do you like quick meals? Try win our Dairy Queen, Pizza, and sub basket!
  • THAT'S NOT IT.....More to come-but first our auction bidding items! These will take place just after the Chinese Raffle approx. 9:45pm
  • (1) Toronto Blue Jays Package: Are you a baseball and are looking for a fun weekend getaway to Canada?! Then raise your hand to bid
  • (2) Russian Standard Vovka: Do you want a chance to taste the best of the BEST RUSSIAN VOVKA that CANNOT be imported?? Here's your chance..and you thought Grey Goose was good.
  • (3)CAVS FANS EVERYWHERE: A 2010-2011 Cavs Team Autographed BASKETBALL-put those hands up and bid!
More teasers to come! It will be a great event as School Girl Crush takes the stage. Come out and support and great cause : ) Sara

Monday, April 18, 2011

We NEED 5 Seconds of YOUR Time.... please???

The Team Hope REAAAALLLLY needs your help!!! AND we're only asking for 5 (yes, FIVE) seconds of your time! All you need to do is:
  1. Click on this link!/bradsdeals
  2. Sign into your Facebook Account
  3. "Like" the Facebook Page
  4. Scroll down and look for the pic with our crew member "David Christof" (he's wearing a tux next to his silver car, which he proudly names the "Peacemobile," as it is adorned with over 100 bumper stickers)
  5. "Like" David's pic
  6. Share this with your friends!!!

We are trying to win this contest for a $500 gas card! If we win the gas card, we will use it for one of our vehicles for our Race Across AMerica, and thus be able to donate more to safe drinking water.

By the way, if you're curious, here are some of the bumper stickers on David's Peacemobile:

  • An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind
  • Be the Change You Wish to See in the World
  • The Earth Does Not Belong To Us, We Belong To The Earth
  • No Tolerance, No Peace. Know Tolerance, Know Peace
  • Live simply so that others may simply live
  • You may think I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one
  • What Would Gandhi do?
  • Be who you are and say that you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind
  • If you think we have bad fights over oil, just wait until we start fightin over water
  • Water is Life

Thank you in advance for your continued support!!!

Fundraising Weekend Recap!!!
This weekend was a productive one for the Cleveland crew as we spilt up and attended the Earth Day Festival Celebation at the Cleveland Metropark Zoo by Andre, Diana, and Trish. Larry and I (Sara) made our way to the Steel City to attend the Steel City Showdown where Team H2Ope set up a booth in the tailgate selling hot drinks and baked goods on an unusually cold day! Great weekend guys and thank everyone who helped to support our cause!