Here the team poses with some of the third through fifth graders before their talk and in front of a sign that the kids made.
Team Director, Carmen D'Aluisio, a former crit national champion, proudly introduces her team to the kids.
Each of the racers introduced herself, and then the kids got to ask questions. It was hard to pick a hand, as so many went up!
When a boy asked if the team knows any bike tricks, Erica Allar (PA), who started racing on the track in 2001, showed them a track stand.
Another child asked how the team talks to each other during a race, so Kristin Sanders (2007 Master's National Champ) used Erica to show the kids how they are "wired" with radios during races.
After the riders showed the kids that they clip into their pedals and wear special shoes to do so, one child asked if the shoes are comfortable. Katharine Carroll (who just came home with the Sprinter's Jersey from New Zealand!) was nice enough to pass her shoes around...yes, a few children sniffed them. Nobody fainted, though.
When the talk was over, children swarmed the riders like rock star groupies, and asked them to sign their arms. (Apparently there's a paper shortage in Exeter?....)
Carmen McNellis, a former 5th grade math teacher and also a member of the US National Team, felt right at home with the kids, and signed a few arms -- and a forehead!
From left to right: Kristin Sanders, Carmen D'Aluisio, Carmen McNellis, Katharine (Kat) Carroll, Erica Allar, and Meredith Miller. Shapin' the next generation!
(I wrote an article for velonews.com, and will put a link here when it's up)