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"It's all About the Journey"

The Incredible 17-Day Tour of Marianne Mason

I wanted to take this moment to Highlight the incredible journey of Marianne who has been a fantastic being to work with Coaching and nutritionally. She has been working VERY hard and preparing for this Big event to have completed and done an incredible job. She has gone through injury and setbacks, but to receive a text of her incredible completion of this 17-day Bike tour makes me shed happy tears to all her passion and drive to ride her own incredible ride through good training and lots of preparation. I would love to highlight her recap to you all to not only be a great story but to inspire you all.

Inspire you all that nothing can stop you no matter age or injury. time and drive to never give up is the recipe for success and having a team there with you is something that can create the most rememberable journey.


Seventeen days of riding from Lexington KY to the Yorktown Victory Monument in Yorktown, VA, covering 873 miles (out of a potential 931), and 48,983 of climbing. I took a bump (ride) in the van two times. Once because it was raining cats & dogs. And another, to avoid dog alley. My terminology. We started with 23 riders and finished with 22. Once departed early due to nagging knee pain and an unfortunate crash mid-way through. The ages ranged from 60-75. Two were 71yo and two were 75yo. You would never know by the way they rode. The group comprised of mostly retired individuals: nurses, doctors, teachers, cancer survivors, financial planners, IT geeks, an anesthesiologist, and a nutritionist. We had two guides, one doubled as our chef, who prepared amazing meals, using only a two-burner stove. We toasted the Queen with her favorite drink, gin, and Dubonnet (a wine aperitif). We also celebrated crossing into Virginia with the traditional WomenTours (WT) Margarita.

I signed up for this ride in November 2021. As time went on, I realized I was consistently riding in my comfort zone and needed to be pushed, especially considering the amount of elevation and duration of this ride. The BEST decision I made was to work with Charlotte Backus as my coach. Not only did she formulate challenging and fun workouts, but she also helped me with my nutrition. About a month out, I learned about the various grades I would be facing were steep at 10-15%. Charlotte provided reassurance and recommended changes in my cog cassette, which I did immediately. I went from a 12x28 to an 11x32. This was a game-changer and a confidence builder.

Many of the participants had ridden together on previous WTs and seven were finishing up the TransAmerica tour. Which started 4-5 yrs prior, on the West coast (COVID caused some interference). Could you insert yourself into a randomly chosen group of people, and expect to meld with everyone? Probably not. Fortunately, there’s someone for everyone with 22 riders. This group of women is independent and inspiring beyond words. They demonstrated an unwavering commitment to staying active, no matter what their age or life challenges. Either way, we all got to Yorktown, VA. Although this journey is over, the rewards are endless and will be remembered for years to come.

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