Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I believe you can get me through the ni-ight
ooh Dream Weaver
I believe we can reach the morning li-ight."
If only I could successfully get you into West Virginia. It began hours before on US RT 50. I awoke to find the RV travelling as if it were fleeing a crime scene. I poked my head into the cockpit to find my Mother strewn with maps and cue sheets mumbling something about crossing a bridge four times. After confirming the only law broken was speed, I hopped down and relieved my mom of duties she wasn't responsible for when I went to sleep. Seems her navigator fell asleep and they wound up lost. And so did H2. Lost that is not fell asleep, despite the Navigator's name. But let's not blame the Sleepigator. We consulted maps, cue sheets, even GPS; clearly Farson St was right there off Route 50 and yet it clearly wasn't. Brenda never saw it and kept asking what to do. I was at a loss; Sit tight. But what should we do she repeated? SIT TIGHT. Leave it to Sylvia to employ a 'local' to the rescue. She and this New York native 'local' found them on 50 and directed them to 7. It seems a brand new road opened just last week. Bugger. They successfully escorted our weary crew home.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The race was on, no joke. The congestion seemed to get worse as night fell even though by now we had gotten far from the unsupported race route. It became a cutthroat competition with 2,710 miles to go! On the sweltering pitch black desert floor, teams jockeyed for position for the legal five foot pull off. The long, straight road offered few pull offs and was tightly sandwiched between deep loose sand. The battling teams ate up the possibilities and created a chaotic scene. Many teams were executing dangerous transitions as bikers and cars tangoed along the shoulder of Highway 78. Teams were now closely followed by their support vehicles and were riding up on top of each other rather than allowing the 100 meters required by race rules. It seemed like everyone except us was doing rolling exchanges although not very well. I think they meant to be legal, but needed more practice or didn't anticipate the chaos of other riders. I for one did not expect it to be this tight this far into the race. It was pretty exciting, but I'm not sure if I could have handled the intensity for seven straight days. If everyone continues to use two vehicles eliminating the need to stop to do a transition we could end up dropping more than 30 minutes every single night. We'll see how it plays out, but I'm afraid our strategy might be too conservative in this tight a race.
Slamming success. The route restrictions can be challenging but we strategized, practiced, and executed. No stress; no penalties. It didn't seem all that difficult really. Just get out of town early and don't worry about your riders. The unsupported parade route went off without a hitch with Mike leading the way. Denise, Brenda, and I left the start line and headed for our first legal exchange point to wait. Hummingbird One picked up the other team of Bob and Robin after the ceremonial ride out of town and zipped to Time Station #1 to also wait. The RV skipped the gnarly glass elevator and went all the way to Time Station #2 per Bob to...of course wait. The mood of the entire race would be, you guessed it, HURRY UP AND WAIT.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Four days in Oceanside without organization or a clear agenda. I was very jealous of the riders who just got to hop on their bikes and enjoy the sea air. I constantly felt like there was a ton to do but very little was getting done. First of all it was overwhelming to have a bucketful of things left to do that should have been done at home. Tasks became more challenging with limited time, supplies, and space. This was most often due to a control issue and it's just something we had to deal with. Things within our control, however, were also just left hanging. There was no formal agenda, no start time, no scheduled meetings. Even when there were, they were often overrided. Within our team there were three separate entities operating around our own central hub, creating conflicts and future confusions. Decisions were made separately, times decided independently and no concise way to communicate between the groups. Our ideas were constantly overlapping and conflicting. We were subconsciously outlining our destiny to fail, or at the very least building up the wall in which we would eventually need to climb over. Sheer grit, determination, and a dedication to our goal would be our only hopes to pull us through.
Just a side note, this isn't just a bike race across the United States. I am never far in thought from my personal mission on this trip and that is to raise money and awareness for the DC Firefighter's Burn Foundation back in DC. Please take time if you are following our progress to remember those local heroes. Thanks!
Let's Get It ON!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Team Cycle Smart is now complete (minus Feather, who will be joining us day 2). We had a productive day, stickering the vehicles, discussing the first couple days' strategy, and even getting a tiny mechanical lesson from Matt. It's a lot smoother than I thought, but it's still a bit hectic. There's a ton of things that need to happen in the next couple days that are fairly critical to our success.
So far the team is great, but we'll see how we do on zero sleep. The best advice I got for this thing from someone who's been there, done that is "always say please and thank you, even when you are too tired to do anything else"