Ally Stacher and Patrick Dempsey at the Dempsey Challenge

Lobster sandwiches at the Dempsey Challenge – A blog by Ally Stacher

By Ally Stacher

Its that time of year again. Off season. Its peak leaf season in certain parts of the world and fall is underway. I love it. This October I’ve been lucky enough to participate in some really great events. Last Wednesday (Oct 10. 2012) I flew up to New York to hang out with some really cool people. The event started early Thursday morning. I’m not a morning person. We arrived in this really sweet boathouse in the middle of central park. The room started to fill with some good energy. You could tell with how quick all the people from Specialized set up that it wasn’t their first rodeo hosting an event. The event that specialized was putting on was directed towards women and empowering cycling.

To put it lightly it was awesome. Evie, Katie and I got to speak to some really great people. We also heard some pretty inspiring stories. This woman 8 years ago weighed 240lbs and now has lost the weight, kept it off and has participated in the Race Across America in almost record time. After all the speaking and educating was over, everyone at the event rode cruiser bikes around Central Park. There were 25ish people. All wearing specialized helmets. All on specialized Vita bikes.

Later that day we headed to Bicycle Habitat. Where we were going to go and be on a Q&A with some of the locals in New York. Kristy, Evie, Katie and I had a great time talking to the crowd and getting to know the NY cycling scene. Which btw is freaking incredible. What a fun group of people who are fired up about cycling.

Friday rolls around and its time to head to Maine for the Dempsy challenge. Katie and I carried the Specialized-lululemon flag high and headed north to mingle with some new people. Specialized was there to help host the event. I feel like the Specialized crew, Katie and I became a little family over the few days we were together. When we arrived we met up with the most lovely girl from Self Magazine. (Read it ladies!). Yep, new friend for life. We had about 10 minutes to change and we were off to a classy party. Well, I mean, there was some arm wrestling involved. Oh, and the fish was amazing.

The next day was a smaller ride for all the donors, fundraisers, media and riders. We did 15 miles around a through the hills of Maine and around a lake. The weather was beautiful and the leaves were captivating. It was nice to ride with a group of people that I enjoy and know that I would never have the opportunity to ride with them in my day to day life. After the ride we had a little lunch at the ski resort and I had lobster rolls for the first time. That night we had the champions for hope celebration Where we listened to cancer patients that thanked what the Dempsy Challenge is doing. Awards were given to some pretty amazing people that raised money for this great cause. I’m not going to lie it was a tear jerker.

The last day of this great trip. We woke up at 6:00am to meet and leave to the event at 6:30am. It was raining and in the low 40′s. It was freezing. The spirit was high which made the cold not seem so bad. Patrick and his family were embracing the Maine weather. So was everyone else. We did a hair over 50 miles pretty wet and cold. But to be totally honest it was probably the best 50 miles in my life. The people I rode with made every minute worth it. Maine is gorgeous. I’ll put my ride up on strava as soon as I get a few minutes.

After the ride everyone tried to warm up and headed to the lobster feed. Ted King and Allison Tetrick, this one goes out to you! Great job on the aggressive consumption of the Lobsters.

What a beautiful way to cap off a great trip. Hot chocolate and Lobster with butter.

Thanks for inviting us. I look forward to next year!