Team Morlock crew member Sal Dicello and I spoke this afternoon. He commented how completely different this year's race has been for Rob compared with 2008 (in a good way, obviously).
In Sal's opinion, motor home crew members Ginger Gagliardo and Wave Smith are two of the many positive factors that have contributed to this year's effort.
Ginger is new to Rob's crew this year. She is a licensed massage therapist and has been providing leg massages every night as Rob goes down to sleep. This has helped in (at least) two ways:
1. Rob gets to sleep faster
2. His legs recover faster and he gets going more quickly when he wakes up and gets back on the bike.
She is quite the hero. She is the only woman among a band of 11 men, all of whom have memorized the most important parts of the "FCC v. Pacifica" Supreme Court decision. These are cops and firefighters and war veterans and college dudes, gentlemen all, but they're guys.
Luckily, Ginger spent a good chunk of time with Wave Smith, who is about a solid a RAAM crew member as there has ever been. Wave has driven the pace van and the bikes out to the start of all five of Rob's RAAMs, and this year decided to take the trip back as part of the crew as well.
Wave is funny, smart and about as easy-going as anyone can be.
Ginger and Wave are a huge part of why Rob is where he is right now.