In the year 2010, we hosted our first professional cycling team, Team Globalbike from North & South Carolina. We weren’t sure what to expect, and as it turned out, the team wasn’t sure either as the Nature Valley Grand Prix was the first big national race the team would travel and compete together as a team.
I offered the use of our two spare bedrooms to our Host Housing coordinator but just days before the race, I was asked if we had room for the entire team. I remembered that when our daughter was traveling with her collegiate team, they often sprawled sleeping bags on family room floors, so I offered two couches and plenty of floor space in our lower level. My offer was taken.
As a MN Nice gesture (and because I simply like to cook!), I offered to have a hot evening meal ready for their late night arrival as well as breakfast snacks for the following day. The team was most appreciative and dialed up their Southern Charm to a point where this midwestern gal was quickly wooed into preparing meals for the entire race week. And of course I baked plenty of Kakookies, sending them off in ziploc bags and boxes for pre-post race snacks. I later learned they rarely survived more than 30 minutes en-route to a race!
We attended all the races, cheered them on by name, and quickly became proud Host Mom and Dad. Jay and I are grateful to Team Globalbike because they were such good ambassadors and introduced us to the rewards of Host Housing, giving back, and paying it forward. Over the past 7 years, we have hosted teams and training camps to over 100 athletes. Stay tuned for the rest of the story….