So, you may be wondering…”What’s up with Jamie Bookwalter?” Jamie is the creative force and co-founder of the Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo.
She spent her winter months chatting with Binge sponsors, taking Spanish lessons via Skype, visiting friends and family members, cycling with Brent and…oh yeah, she went skiing. Unfortunately, Jamie took a fall on the slopes that left her with a torn ACL. She stayed in Asheville long enough to have surgery and begin rehab…then she jetted off to Girona Spain.
Brent & Jamie live in Spain for much of the year and, in the past, Jamie could be spotted along race routes cheering Brent and the BMC Racing Team along. This year, she decided split her time between supporting Brent and her true passion…bugs!
Here’s an update from Jamie from late April 2017:
I am currently in my first year of a phD program in ecology from Barcelona University Autonoma. I’m studying climate change effects on high altitude arthropod communities in Andorra, specifically flies and beetles. It’s been quite a challenge with the language barrier, the 1:45 hour commute each way, and recovering from the ACL surgery! However, I’m very, very happy to be embedded back in a community of like-minded scientists that wear t-shirts with scientific names of insects on them- these are my people. Next week we are building insect-flight-interception traps. If I’m able to hike, we will be setting out these and other traps in Andorra in June through September.
This weekend I’m in York watching Brent race Tour of Yorkshire. It’s very odd being a tourist in an English-speaking foreign country. This is my first time driving on the left side of the road (besides some Bahamian islands with no center line anyway) and my first time driving a car with the steering wheel on the right side! Managing the stick shift with my left hand is tricky as well.. I feel like I’m learning how to drive again, as my sense of space in the left lane is totally out of whack!
The people in York have proven thus far to be incredibly gracious and kind and curious, and nuts about cycling. Everyone is also dressed like it is the middle of summer (I’m here in a winter coat, it’s 45 degrees F!). Loving the town as well. I feel like I’m in Hogwarts, and the town is kept very clean. I’ll be in the countryside tomorrow- Brent’s race starts and finishes in some smaller towns. This morning, I drove through the area they will be finishing tomorrow, and I noticed a sign with an arrow that said “Old Church, 3/4 miles.” This must be investigated.