Monday, June 30, 2014

Missouri to Illinois

After Missouri and Kansas RAAM gets kind of fuzzy for me. I'm pretty sure that this is in Missouri. Missouri seems to last forever for some reason. Mom and Colleen waiting to transition somewhere. 
 Back East the bugs are really bad- in order to keep ourselves and the riders bug free we use lots and lots of bug spray!
 This was somewhere in Missouri along the route- Kyle got a picture of some kids that were waiting for Pippa to come through their town. Poor kids, they probably didn't know the chances of seeing her riding in a team of 8 was pretty slim. 
 Dad got stopped by a train for a bit. It was probably because he beat it last time. Touche' train.
 This is what the back of the van looked like a lot. Both Troy's snoozin' away.
 Next up was my shift again. Kyle had to go be the Hotel Driver so we got put on seperate shifts again. I was back with Doug for a bit. Here is Troy just cruisin' along. Something fun about Troy- this guy is always happy. Even when he's been on the bike for like 2,000 miles- he's just a happy guy!
 This was a typical list for crew to pick up for the riders. Sometimes they had random cravings that we would need to run and go get- but if we took too long the craving was gone and we were out of luck. 
 This time station got pretty sketchy for Doug and I. We missed a turn at the very beginning which threw off our whole odometer. This was even where we got the "highway" but felt much more like a freeway to me. This was the most nerve wrecking part of the whole race for me. There were cars everywhere, the road was pretty dirty, and we weren't even sure we were supposed to be on there anyway. Luckily, we saw a few other RAAM racers so we were pretty sure we were in the right place. 

My Dad has a joke that anything that could go wrong usually happens in Missouri, and let me tell you, we had one eventful day. Anything from Dad's chain messing up, his front derailer, odometer getting messed up, the bike boxes on the roof shifting a little too much for comfort, no cell service, bad transitions, and the list goes on. 
 To throw things off a little more, Troy even decided it was his turn to hop in the drivers seat. Troy's job for this RAAM was to help the rider Troy in the bike of the van and make sure he had everything he needed when it came to food, water, nurtition, and laundry- he was pretty much Troy's Wife for the trip :) It probably got a little boring back there and he asked for a little change in his schedule.
More of Smiley Troy. 
 We went through the coolest towns along the route. We don't go through very many big towns/cities so we really got to see small town America. The architecture was pretty cool. Everything was SO green!

 With everything that went wrong on our shift, go figure that the other crew was having some kinks in their plans too. The uncoming shift had to wait for some medical supplies to get mailed to the hotel. They had worked it out with Fedex that it would all get delivered by 10:30am that morning. 10:45 came around and there was still no package, so they called Fedex to see what was up. Well, the address was missing a number so the package was on it's way back to Arizona. The got everything worked out, got the medical supplies and everything, but now they were going to be a little late to crew transition and everyone was in a hurry to get back on schedule. We met on the side of the road along the route to transition and everything seemed to be back in order. About 20 minutes after transition we got a phone call from Troy that he was on the side of the road and his van forgot him!

When we crew transitioned, we transitioned Troy's van when Bob was supposed to go out, which meant Bob's van was supposed to go pick up Troy and Troy's bike. Well, they picked up the bike but Troy went into the woods to use the bathroom so each van thought he was in the other van and they took off. Troy called his wife, chilled for a bit, and then decided we weren't coming back and he should probably call us. The hotel van turned around and rescued him :)

After an extra long shift and little sleep for the past 5 days, I slept like a baby in the van. I woke up in Illinois and just in time to see this massive cross and take a picture. Those trees beside it are HUGE trees, gives you a little perspective. No sure what it's there for- but it was a reminder to see that there is still good people and Christianity in America.
 With Dad getting dehydrated Crew Chief Chris decided a nurse probably needed to be in the van with Dad at all times in case he needed any medical attention. We had two nurses on crew, Kathy D. and Kelly, so they had to work the schedule a little bit to get a nurse in with him. I tried to work it in that I would be the next hotel driver (to get in on the same shift as Kyle), but that didn't work out :/ It did work out that we would be together again the next day, so that was better.  
 I'm ALMOST positive this is Troy going over the Mississippi River into Illinois. It's always a good day when Missouri is over!

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