Sunday, June 20, 2010

*REPORT FROM THE ROAD: 6-20-2010 3:00 AM EDT*

Just to elaborate a little more on the previous post: Another friend from high school, Robin Gonzales and her husband Dave, joined me as we drove out to see Rob as he was riding into Hancock, MD. We caught up with him just as he was near the top of the last and worst of four massive climbs in the section of RAAM that race organizers say is the toughest of the entire race.

I simply could not believe how good he looked and how fast he was riding up that hill. It was truly something to see. Dave, who is quite a cyclist in his own right, echoed my sense of awe at how Rob was doing.

At the time station in Hancock, we met up with Rob's wife Kate and her sister Michelle, and visited with Rob for about five minutes before he took a break.

According to night crew driver Mike Desilet, Rob has been dodging weather bullets for the entire race. It happened again tonight. Almost as soon as he went into the motor home, the skies opened up. By the time he was ready to ride again, it was 10 degrees cooler and there was not a cloud in sight. (I think it's his mom running the show up there...)

We had a small fire drill (which Rob will not know about until he reads this): the battery on the pace van was dead. We could not get the van re-started, despite a jump start from my car. Motor home driver Javier Lowe checked the water level in the battery and it was bone-dry. We couldn't find any distilled water at 11:30 at night and AAA was not able to get us a new battery, so we just dumped some Poland Spring into the battery, jumped it again from my car and Rob was back in business.

RAAM is a thousand little fires like that, and this crew is so calm, cool and collected, it's almost eerie. That, or they are just so dog-tired, nothing can get their blood pressure up.

This is night crew's last shift. In a few hours, they will transition and day crew of Mike Perron, Bob Conrad and Luis Ramos will take Rob into Annapolis.

I hope to capture video and post it later Sunday evening. No promises as I am using a borrowed video camera (forgot mine, thanks AGAIN, Dave and Robin.)

Today will be a great day!

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