Laurel and I are currently driving the chase car behind Eric and
Patrick, both of whom look like they're on day 1 of riding with fresh
legs instead of on day 3 (or is it 4?).
A couple stories from the road:
1) Yesterday Eric and Patrick dominated the Rockies, taking the team
to new heights-- literally-- as we hit the highest point of RAAM 2008.
It was so fun to watch them climb-- they both looked so strong and the
scenery was unbelieveably beautiful. We even got so high there was
snow on the ground, and Paul made us a snowball (which we then threw at him. Thanks paul!) Laurel and I were both jealous of the crazy
decent (about 1500 ft over 5 miles), but the guys deserved some fun
after all that climbing, so we were glad to see them taking full
advantage of the downhill and really flying down the mountain.
2) Paul and I were chasing Phil early this morning through Oklahoma
(he and Andrea tore up the road last night, finally taking us out of
New Mexico for good), and as Phil was cruising along at speeds so fast they might not be legal (*note to RAAM officials who might see this: just kidding- we always follow the rules), the sun started to rise.
Unlike our other riders, Phil does not use our awesome sound system
for music while he's riding. (Everyone else has a steady soundtrack as
they charge down the road). But for this occasion, Paul and I thought
a liitle music might be nice, so we turned on the classic Beatles hit
"Here Comes the Sun" (the version from the Love album, if you're
curious) and watched Phil sail into the sunrise. I'm not usually a
sentimental gal (um, at all), but seeing the sun come up with Phil
pushing some serious power to try and catch it made me choke up a
little bit. It really reminded me of how awesome this whole adventure
is, and it will definitely be a really great memory from the race.
3) Laurel can't sing. I'd heard rumors after last winter's Christmas
Lights Run (during which the runners sing carols), but wow. Laurel is
brilliant, talented, and a great cyclist in her own right, but the
girl couldn't hold a tune in a bucket. These are the things you learn
when you spend 19 hours a day together (we're tragically separated for 5 hrs at night). Though I guess as a failing, sounding like a dying
cat when you try to sing along with the radio isn't really that bad.
So we'll keep her, and not leave her in a field in Kansas like I
12 hour simulation, from a crew perspective posted by Erica Price :: Apr 22, 2008 :: 10:59 AM
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about our 12-hour training session this past weekend. Our last night ride ended with a pretty scary crash, and I definitely had some reservations about trying again—for even longer this time, and with both crew and riders tired after working all day Friday.
We all sat down earlier in the week to talk about our plan for the ride and—most importantly—how to be as safe as possible. There are some things, like 55mph wind gusts and herds of deer running out into the road (which Phil as the rider and Paul driving the chase car handled very well, by the way—even at 3am or whatever it was at that point) that we can’t control, either in practice or during RAAM. However, we as a team (and especially the crew) owe it to ourselves, and especially to the riders, to be as prepared as possible.
So we headed out Friday night armed with “Caution-- Bike” signs, flashing lights, and some serious determination. While I don’t think anyone would call the simulation “flawless,” it definitely assuaged many of my fears. The riders all looked so great (watching Andrea climb a really tough ascent in the middle of the night was totally inspiring—especially since I’m still intimidated by Capitol Hill!) and despite minimal sleep, everyone was really upbeat and worked well together. I don’t know about other people, but the 12-hour simulation definitely gave me more confidence going into the 24-hour ride this coming weekend.
In other Xtreme news, we’re holding a fundraiser tomorrow (6-9pm) at Hawk ‘n Dove—happy hour plus a VERY exciting date auction. For those of you in DC, come join us for a celebratory cocktail, and the chance to bid on fun dates (baseball game, dinner, theater, etc) with Phil, Paul, Kip, Erik, Laurel, or me. We’re at about 50% of our fundraising goal for the race, which is fantastic (and wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of so many of you), but we still have a long way to go, so if you’ve been thinking about contributing but haven’t done so yet, this is a great opportunity to come support Xtreme4.