(Image courtesy: http://steel-cut.blogspot.com)
Remember when you were a kid? You'd get home from school, throw your books on the floor, change clothes, grab a snack and head out on your bike to ride with buddies?
I'm talking fourth grade here. Banana-seat Schwinns. Jumping over garbage cans like Evel Knievel. Rockin' out to Helen Reddy.
It was pure joy. The bicycle represented freedom. It was exhilarating.
Well, RAAM is like the Bizarro version of that childhood bliss. It's a lot of pain and suffering and yet, for some reason, Rob does it.
One of the hardest parts of being on the crew is watching him suffer. The crew is there because they have great respect and affection for Rob. But, they have to show tough love, because as he tires, he will look for any reason not to be on the bike. Probably the single best motivator is reminding him that every minute he is not on the bike is one more minute before he gets to see his beautiful wife in Annapolis.
There's only one way to finish RAAM: Get on your bike and head east. The joy comes later.