What does it take to finish a race like RAAM. Not quite sure yet, but I know what it takes to arrive at the starting line and often just getting to the starting line takes an enormous effort. I know that above all other factors, Nicole again and again is the difference maker for me. Trying to balance a 1 1/2 year old boy with a lot of energy, a full-time job, commuting, marathons and then throw in a bicycle race across the country, a lot of relationships might begin to crack under the stress. Yet time and again, Nicole has been there for me with support, encouragement and a love that still leaves me beyond words. There is no way that I could be attempting this race without her helping me get through each day.
I also have the help of 5 other crew members that have volunteered to help during the race. One of the unique aspects about RAAM is the race provides no assistance during the race. There are no aid stations. There are no SAG vehicles. There is a start and a finish line, and it’s up to you and your crew to make sure you finish the race in 12 days or less. So in addition to Nicole and Dylan, we have Bernadette Lopes, Dave Campbell, Jody Stange, Richard Sterba and Valerie Schropp. They will be splitting time in the follow vehicle (our Jeep), trailing me throughout the race with food, drinks, supplies, an extra bike, etc. Carlo Piscitello and Pete Tanguay will be helping out with phone calls, tracking other racers, “Where’s the next bathroom?” sort of questions. I hope we find our routine by day 3 or 4 and are into the flow of little sleep, slow driving and everybody outside their comfort zone.
I need to get a little sleep tonight or I would keep writing. Too many last minute details have kept me busy this past week. So many thoughts to contemplate before we even start. We would love to hear from you during the race. Most of the crew will have phones and I plan to ride with mine during the evening and night so feel free to call and chat. Again, I cannot say enough about Nicole, Bernadette, Carlo, Dave, Dylan, Jody, Pete, Richard and Valerie for their sacrifice and making this journey possible. And for those back in the office who let me get away and chase these crazy dreams. Thank you. I’m looking forward to starting the race and having us all dip our feet in the Atlantic Ocean when this thing is over.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt