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 kat.espino@theteamhope.com.


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: http://teamblock.com/

Also check out out facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/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: http://competitorradio.competitor.com/2011/05/amy-snyder/

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 http://www.theteamhope.com/!

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 rideforyourlives.com. To follow Spotz, see rowforwater.com.

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 www.blueplanetnetwork.org. For Drink Local. Drink Tap.© visit drinklocaldrinktap.org. To follow Team H2Ope, go to www.theteamhope.com.

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 http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php

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 sharpe1@kent.edu or 440-227-3722.
For more information on the event, view the facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/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 kat.espino@theteamhope.com.

Snacks & Beverages will be available.
For more information, please refer to the Team Hope facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/#!/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 kat.espino@theteamhope.com. Payment can be sent via PayPal to kat.espino@theteamhope.com.

For any questions, contact Kat Espino (562) 552-7669.
Please view the  facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/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: http://wishes.causes.com/wishes/247401

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??