Thursday, May 9, 2013

Returning to Haiti!

Hi Friends and Family!

Over the past several months traveling around the world racing my bike, I have been focusing my prayers specifically towards the country of Haiti.  Last spring, I had the amazing opportunity to serve in Haiti.  My life was changed in all directions by meeting the people, caring for children, working on homes, and most importantly, seeing the lives transformed by spreading a message of Hope through Jesus Christ.

I have the very exciting opportunity to return to Haiti to serve the Lord through a mission trip sponsored by my church, Forest Hill in Charlotte, NC.  The trip is this October 5th-12th (2013).

While in Haiti, my team will be serving the village of Minoterie and the Village of Champions.  We will be at Mission of Hope (MOH), a Christian organization that has been located in Haiti for over 25 years!  Some of the resources MOH offers to the Haitian Community are school, church, medical/disaster relief, orphan care and many more advancement opportunities! (visit to learn more!)

While in Haiti, I will be staying at the 75-acre Mission of Hope Campus.  Mission of Hope is in the process in developing their campus daily and advancing the growth for all Haitians.  Some of the exciting developments that my team will help serve in:

  • A new addition to the MOH campus is a 35,000 square ft. warehouse that will soon feed of 100,000 children a day! 
  • Mission of Hope is home to over 65 orphans who have 24-hour care by "mommies" that live on the campus as well.  MOH's goal is to spread to house 125 orphans by 2015
  • Mission of Hope has a school (K-high school) which educates 3,000 children.  In 2011-2012, MOH experienced a 100% passing rate and is the top 5% school in the nation.
  • Mission of Hope has a medical center that consists of a prosthetic lap, a mobile clinic, and an outpatient clinic.  Their hopes are to expand to a Hospital to better cater to those in need of medical help.
One of the ways you can help me with this trip is by your prayer.  Pray for our team, Mission of Hope, and the men, women, and children of Haiti.  It is only by prayer that I will be able to experience a return to Haiti.

There are financial costs to go to Haiti and serve on this trip.  The cost of this trip is $1700 and each member of my team are separately responsible to raise money through support.

Gifts to the church, with an indication of preference for my trip are tax deducible to the extent allowed by law.  If you are able to assist me, financially, on my trip to Haiti please: make checks payable to Forest Hill Church.  Indicate "Mission Trip Haiti- October 2013" on the Memo line and NOT my name.  Checks can be mailed to: 7724 Park Road, Charlotte, NC, 28210.  (**Please indicate my name on a letter to ensure the gift goes to the cost of my trip**)

If you wish to make an online transaction, please visit:

Thank you for your prayers and donations, may God bless you as you consider involvement in supporting this mission.


Addy Albershardt

Letter to include if mailing a check:

We want to support the mission outreach of Forest Hill Church and we are sending a gift of $                     , Our preference is that the gift be used to support the short-term mission that                                                is participating on.  We understand the use of the gift is subject to the discretion and control of Forest Hill Church.

Donor Name:                                                                                                                          

Street Address:                                                                                                                       


PHONE: 704-716-8700 ~FAX 704-716-5501


Village of Levec:

The church worship at the Mission of Hope Campus
 Sunrise on the Student dorms roof top:
 Haitians are really good at playing soccer!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Dare to Be Project

Today at 4pm, the Dare to Be Project visited the Boys and Girls club of Redlands, CA.  The Dare to Be Project gifted thirty bicycles to children of the club between the ages of twelve and fifteen.  Two-time Olympian, Amber Neben began a ministry project of reaching out to underserved children across Southern California.  She comes the children with a message about overcoming adversities and challenges that they might endure in life and bring them a gift of a bicycle.  After hearing an inspiring message, the children went outside to receive a helmet, a lock, and (for some) their first own bicycle.

With smiles as wide as the Southern Californian interstates, and hearts pumping of excitement, the children jumped onto their new bikes and immediately began cruising around in the parking lot.  Thirty cruisers and BMX bikes filled the half-court basketball lot as the children rode in circles and played with one another.  You could see the joy on their faces and in their laughter as some bumped into one another as if they were bumper cars.  Some kids began practicing tricks on the BMX bikes, while others stood aside talking to one another about where they were going to ride on their new bike.  

Finding small moments to connect with a child I asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.  I got responses such as "a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, a singer, a fashion designer, etc."  With Neben's message of persevering through the bumps in the road, I reminded the children that nothing in life is limitless.

With the gift a bike the freedom directly parallels to the freedom of opportunity children have in their lives.

I feel so blessed to have been included in the opportunity to serve the needs of children in Redlands, CA.

To learn more about the Dare to Be Project click on their website here:

To learn how you can help the Boys and Girls Club of Redlands, click here:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ice Skating on a Cloud

"Today is a perfect day to update my blog!" I thought to myself as I rolled out of bed, put my toes on the soft carpet floor, and veered out the window to see my fear: God is crying ice pellets this morning! Yes, Charlotte is witnessing the first (and probably only) ice storm of the winter.  So far the only damage has occurred in the grocery stores as people stock up on bread, milk, and eggs; no, not even classes in school are canceled. Unfortunately, the ice has in fact kept me from riding my bike outside today and it will be a trainer ride for me for the day.

SO back to my blog update!
After a long drive back from Wisconsin from cyclocross nationals, I made it home to my bed!  I spent the last 10 days, training in the mountains preparing for my team camp.  This was the camp before camp where I polished off some details on the bike.  My dad and step mom were fantastic help.  They would meet me at the base of climbs with snacks coffee/tea after I descended.  Nothing like fine southern hospitality right there!

Yesterday, I drove back home to Charlotte.  Marianne Holt, my neighbor/mentor/riding buddy, and I presented a women's cycling clinic in the suburb of Matthews.   Just under 20 women signed up to experience a clinic of a lifetime, jammed pack of juicy details and topics about cycling!  I met a lot of new faces that I have never seen before which is great progress in the city where I am from!

After realizing the situation outside this morning, so far I have unpacked my bags. Laundry. And now, I am re-packing my bags.  For what, you ask?  I am leaving for El Salvador on Monday morning for team camp!
This is the first time my team (Diadora Pasta-Zara) is getting together to train, laugh, and get to know the staff and equipment.   I couldn't be more excited to jump on that plane, walk down the aisle, buckle my seat belt and fly off to this new adventure.

I will be in El Salvador for about two months.  I will be racing the Vuelta a Costa Rica on Feburary 19th-24th followed by the Vuelta a El Salvador.  My journey begins in T-minus 3 days.  I stare out the window of the ice building up on the street, looking like an ice skating rink, but I know that in 3 days, I will be in a sunny paradise.

Paradise? Maybe not so much, I mean, I will be training with 'big girl' riders and I am just a first year elite. A rookie!  However, I will do best everyday to keep up and be a witness for Christ!  I am VERY excited to begin; I feel like I am living on a cloud!

I will be updating as much as I possibly can through this new chapter of my life.  Please keep me in your continual prayers.

Thanks for following!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keeping Busy leaving the Badgers (WI)

Cyclocross nationals was so much fun! We tied against Brevard College for the team overall classification (the most important part of collegiate racing) and we had to settle for second place from the tie breaker of the number of wins.

I was stoked to be apart of a great team and receive my first ever cyclocross collegiate team medal! I love collegiate racing; ever riders' placing counts for points.  It equalizes the men and women and every rider is just as important as the strongest rider.  A team cannot win with one strong rider, or a men's only team.

On Saturday morning, the whistle blew and I was off for my race.  I struggled to clip into my pedal and started far in the back of the pack.  I sprinted around carnage and hit right into the mud (which was more like smooth peanut butter covered in motor oil).  I fell over maybe 3 times within the first 500 meters of racing.

On the start line I was ready I was thinking "I'm gonna win this, I'm gonna win!"  Then halfway in, I was thought, "Well, I am so far back from falling over, I will just have fun and ride hard!"  Then towards the end I was covered in mud, wet, cold, and had a bloody knee.  I thought to myself "Okay, when is this going to end? Why am I doing this?"

Nonetheless, I had so much fun racing and being apart of the team.  I have never experienced a bike race where I was covered in mud nor have ever had to run with my bike so much. I can put that one in the record books.

I am just now getting home from a very long drive from Madison, WI.  Luckily, I can keep myself pretty entertained while sitting in a small space all day.  I start off the morning of an all-day drive by sipping a hot cup of coffee flavored water from the gas station and I sit and glaze out the window in a haze to wake up.

Next, I begin reading a book and I switch back and forth from my Bible, my journal, and my 'fun' reads.  After reading for a while, it's almost time to make a pit stop at a gas station where I run around the parking lot, doing lunges, and Richard Simmons' exercise routines.

I get back in the bus and settle in back to my books and if I am lucky, I will get a solid 15 minute nap in.  After 2 hours of twiddling my fingers and talking to my collegiate teammates about their thoughts on the food in the cafeteria (a reoccurring subject of discussion) it is about time to make lunch.

I wiggle my way down the one-foot ally of our short bus and fix myself a turkey sandwich with carrots and hummus.  After savoring every bite and trying to make it last as long as possible, I sit and twiddle my fingers in the opposite direction for another 2 hours.  I continue to read my books.

After I finish my reads, I get a phone call from my boyfriend Greg and we catch up from the very busy day!  It's about 3pm and my brain is fried from reading so I tune into my Ipod and jam out to my horribly sounding Dubstep songs.  I draw a picture. I make a list of groceries I have to get when I get home. I make a list of each price that I think each item will cost.  I even make a list of the laundry I need to wash.

Now it's dark outside and my eyes become dreary and heavy.  I get another 20 minute cat nap in.  The short bus rolls over the rumble strips and I am quickly awaken.  My friend, Sarah, moves into the seat next to me and we start singing and dancing to songs flashing back to the 1990s punk music then sing the whole soundtrack to The Sound of Music, followed by the Lion King, then Wicked.  We discussed how beautiful the movie "Les Miserables" was and how we wished we could watch it now!

We gave each other rapper names for singing old school rap songs.  I am Shugar Kube, and she is Shirley Temple.  Crap.... our Ipod batteries have died and there is only 15% battery life left in our phones with enough life to tell our parents that we are almost back to campus.

We make fun of our coach Hugh Moran who is jamming out to Pink Floyd while everyone else is half asleep.

 We twiddle our fingers for another 2 hours in anticipation to get to Asheville and eat some delicious Neo Burrito (  They were closing down for the night but were gracious enough to feed 14 hungry college kids some dinner!

It's about 9:30pm and with tummies full of burrito goodness, we make it back to school safe and sound and finally rest in our own beds! Ah it's good to be home!

Huge thanks to everyone from Mars Hill College cycling team for a great race.  Thank you to the USA Cycling staff and volunteers who spent everyday in the 15 degree weather with snow,mud, and ice.  Thank you to the MHC coach Hugh Moran for taking care of us throughout the week and all the driving.

Lastly, thank you to all the people who came out to cheer; the heckles I received kept me pushing through the race!

More blog updates to come! Thanks for following!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New Chapter

If you follow my blog on a regular schedule, you might have noticed I have not updated my experiences of life since Thursday August 16th, 2012...  that's quite a long time. I have not quite my blogging, rather, I have taken my off season hiatus from blog updates.  I take a break not only from blogging but I took a break from racing my bike and living out of a suitcase week to week.

After speaking with friends and family who love to follow my updates of racing on the road, they commonly asked me when will I publish my next blog post. I figured since it is a bit past the new year, and everyone seems to be twiddling their fingers in anticipation for the 2013 racing season to begin, it is a great time to update my "School of Life".

 I have experienced SO much change in my life in the past 3 months.  I witnessed how easily God can change my life and my plans in a matter of days.  I thought I was living for his glory, yet I was not fully submitted to His plans for me.   I listened, prayed, and studied His owner manual (the Bible) and realized that God was going to shake up my life life a salt shaker.  I have submitted to His plans for me.

To back peddle a bit, I experienced my first year of college at Mars Hill College.  It is a wonderful small school where everyone knows just about everyone (there are only about 1200 students; that's smaller than my high school).  I went to church events (youth worship) just about every night of the week.  I joined a D-group which is basically a small group of female (only) students that meet together to talk about and pray for one another.  It was great to have such accountability.  We studied the Bible, laughed a lot, and created a sisterhood.  For me, it was one of the best experiences to help me transition into my first semester of college.

The training at Mars Hill is absolutely fantastic!  I can start climbing from mile one if I want and just about every ride is classified as an "epic ride".  The area is like a pearl hidden in a lock tight clam: a rarity and secretly placed in the Blue Ridge mountains.  The ever changing weather, ambiguous routes, and the jagged ups and downs of the mountain terrain classifies Mars Hill as a heaven for cyclists.  Not to mention, on average, about five cars pass me on my rides.  The area is my giant playground!

Mars Hill is a great place to live and get an education.  The coach, Hugh Moran, is completely dedicated to the cycling team and there is a close bond between the all of the teammates.  Hugh is developing the next generation of pro cyclists.  We hang out together, train together, eat together, and a TON of laughing together.  The college provides a lot of support to the cycling team for instance, we do not have to pay for kits, or food when we go to races, or gas.  It's really nice to receive that support from a college!

I got the opportunity to race for a new team for 2013.  I honored to announce that I will be racing for a UCI team called Diadora Pasta-Zara.  The team is based out of Italy they have been developing women's cycling for over twenty years!  However, before I begin on my new opportunity  I wanted to describe how privileged I am to have previous opportunities!

 NOW Women's Professional cycling team has developed me for the past two years.  I have been given an immense opportunity and the blessing to race in the pro women's field as a junior rider.  There are not many junior women who have the same chance to race professionally and learn from experienced professional riders like I got.  I am truly grateful and very thankful for the whole NOW squad.  I got to know two wonderful people who love cycling and are passionate about developing women's cycling- Phil and Louise Keoghan.  They manage NOW Pro cycling; I was pretty nervous the first time I met them, but I immediately clicked with them and I felt like family!

 Kurt Stockton, the team director, gave me a shot to race a full season in 2011 as a pro.  It was a tough year for me.  I got dropped from almost every single race, yet each race I did, I got stronger and faster and I learned how to suffer longer. Determined to improve and progress, I trained harder, focused, and listened. Kurt has provided me with the opportunities and foundations in becoming an elite bike racer.  He gave me a second shot in 2012 and though I was not winning races, I was able to contribute to the team's successes.  He never failed to tell me what I could do to improve on my racing every single day.  That alone, my learning curve increased and I respected everything he did for me to have the patience to teach me how to race my bike.  Kurt is a dang good director!

Robin Farina has been the main person to lead me in my development in cycling.  She not only served as a coach, but a friend, a mentor, a sister, a teammate, and a boss all at the same time!  I would not be progressing without her unconditional help, support, and love.  She took me under her wing and poured out her knowledge and opportunities of racing on me.

Experienced riders like Alison Powers, Anne Samplonius, and Olivia Dillon helped me become more tactically savy and more efficient in the races.  I was well entertained by our sprinter Christina Gokey-Smith (aka Gookey).  Often times, I was to be her protector in a race; I brought her bottles and always made sure she was in good position in the field. We had a close bond on and off the bike because of the role I got to play has her domestique.  My other teammates, Beth Newell, Devon Gorry, and Ashley James each taught me separate skills of bike racing.

I was a bit upset to leave my NOW family and come to my senses that if I want to continue to progress in professional cycling, I knew that I needed to take the next step in cycling and join the new team that would take me to International racing and Europe!  I will never forget all the fun memories I had on NOW and I won't forget who developed me in my racing career.

I now get to experience all new things being on a different team.  Different languages, equipment, management, countries, and teammates!  I get to be teammates with two Amber's (Amber Neben and Amber Pierce-Rais).
Yet again, I get to start from the bottom of International racing and start working my way up the ladder again.  I am so excited to learn more and race alongside very experienced women.

I am SO privileged to be able to take on this next chapter of life! Welcome to Chapter 2 and welcome 2013 racing season!

More to come so keep following!

Huge thanks to teammate Amber Pierce Rais for including me on #ClickThruThursdays and reminding me the importance of updating my blog.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chapter 2 - College

Tomorrow is the big day! I am traveling to my new home; a place where I had always dreamed of living and in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people.  Tomorrow I am, yet again, putting myself out of my comfort zone and moving in to college!

Yes! I can't believe the date is already here!  I can turn back to a new experience like this one.  At the age of 16 (last year) I joined a professional women's team (NOW) thanks to my coach Robin Farina and my director Kurt Stockton for believing in me; I put myself in a position of unfamiliarity. 

I was used to being a typical South Charlotte teenager, living in your typical South Charlotte suburb and had the typical teenager dreams of wondering where life is going to take me.  It finally hit me that my life was going to be different when signed my contract and wrote the letter "T", the last letter of my name.  I packed my bags for several weeks on the road and took on the journey of living the dream of a professional bike racer. 

I wasn't really sure what I was in for, to be honest, I didn't really think I was ready for the new experiences or the big races that I attended.  I wasn't really sure what my team mates or my director would all be like (who are all adults).  There were many times I did not have an adult chaperon with me and I had to figure things out myself (like surviving the New Zealand customs).  I had to trust in God and stay strong and know that everything would be alright.  I am pretty lucky to have a dang good set of parents too, who just let me go off and experience life and support me!

If you have been following my blog through the past couple of months, than you probably know exactly what I am writing about.... if this is your first time reading my blog, well than you have something to keep you occupied!

 To those who follow, you know that I went on a mission trip to Haiti earlier this year.  It was such a challenging week: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I am not going to write about how life changing it was; don't get me wrong it was very life changing.  Going to Haiti put me far out of my comfort zone.  Once again, I had to stay strong in my faith.  I learned so much from that experience and I couldn't be more optimistic about searching for the next time I can go again and serve.

Some people would call my life so far 'living the dream' others might say 'you live in a fantasy land'.   However you describe it is your choice; I call it 'The School of life', thus, the name of my blog.  Today, I am ending Chapter 1 of my life.  I am beginning a new journey, a new life with new friends, and in a new town.  The life of college, or, Chapter 2.

There are so many people to thank for all the love, support, cheers, Facebook messages and status likes, Tweets, encouraging letters, phone calls and chatting over coffee! The list of people to thank goes endless, so thank you.  My life, proving the statement: it takes a village to raise a child!

A lot of people ask me  So do you think you're ready for college Addy?

My answer:  Do I think I am ready? I know.

I love challenges; the more I can mess up and learn from it, the better.  I couldn't be more ready to move out of the house and take on this new experience of being unfamiliar. Period.

Good bye Chapter 1, hello Mars Hill College!!!

Chapter 2 begins....  many more posts to come!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mars Hill Cycling Camp Day 1 & 2


 It's been a great, yet long, 2 days of MHC Cycling Camp.  We start every morning with a nice yoga session with Andy Crater, a pro cyclist and yoga instructor.  From there we head out to the parking lot for a couple hours of skills and drills with Coach Leslie Meadows.  She was the coach at a USAC camp I did a few years back, and she is still doing a great job on teaching kids skills!

Below a rider attempts to puck up a water bottle.
 The juniors focused on trying to get low and hold a straight line wile picking up a cone!
 Leslie teaching how to go through a feed zone!
 Madison (age:12) barrels through a narrow path while accelerating out of the saddle.
 Isabella Brookshire (age:12) giving her first interview to a local  news report about the cycling camp!

Corina (age: 10) practicing her skills!
 Weaving through the cones.
 Bumping and touching wheels drill.  This is one of my favorite drills, coming from a family of a lot of brothers, the boys don't notice how aggressive I can be, and it's great learning for them!
 Practice crit, working on counter steering and fast cornering.
After all the skills and drills, we went had lunch and headed out for a endurance ride.  The kids got to pre ride the road race course for the French Broad Omnium race this weekend and experienced the 3 mile finishing climb!

These kids have so much energy, it's crazy, but some don't mind the occasional push from the back to help them get up and over the climb.  I am building my arm strength this week, for sure!  Having lots of fun being 'Coach Addy'.

Stay tunned for more cycling camp updates!