Thursday, July 3, 2014

To the Finish Line! Annapolis, Maryland

We met up with the on-coming shift at a super nice gas station called Sheetz at the Time Station of Rouzerville, It was right about midnight and we were only 130 miles away from the finish and everyone was a little excited. It was a little surreal that after 6 days here we were, almost at the finish line! We stopped at one of the nicest gas stations I've ever seen to transition.Here's Troy just waking up and getting ready to transition with Bob.
 Troy transitioned and in came Bob's van. They did a few other tweaks to his bike seat at the transition and  then we headed in the super nice gas station to get something to eat. After eating fast food/prepared food for going on 9 days, I was getting to the point where I didn't even want to eat. Nothing sounded good- I just wanted real food! I was so excited when I saw that they had plain bagels with cream cheese and a toaster. It was the seriously the best bagel I've had in my life.
After eating something we drove up a bit and then stopped on the side of the road to take a nap. Even though we were 180 miles away, it was still going to take a while since the hills were still very steep. We got a good 2-3 hour nap in when they caught up to us. It doesn't sound like much, but realistically that's all I had been getting in the hotel any was it was pretty much normal. In our "hotel van", now known as "media crew" was Me, Kyle, Mike, Doug, and Kathy. The first little while Doug and Kathy slept like rocks while Kyle, Mike, and I went and helped and took some pictures. We strapped the Go-Pro to Mike to get some action footage of the transitions. We figured we only had a few hours left if we wanted to get any at all!

Mom and Chris decided to take Dad's van since they hadn't been with him at all.

Here's troy getting ready to start his last leg of the race!

 I loved when the little towns would put up signs to tell us which way to turn- it was very helpful!
This was Troy's very last leg of RAAM 2014. He was just a little excited to be off the bike for more then hour stretches!
This is how we looked 75% of the time, the rider in the headlights of the van.

We stopped at a little bike shop at one of the Time Stations to use the bathroom and they had Dad sign a Time Station poster. It was neat to see all the different signatures on it from all the different teams.

 Dad and the shop owner got to talking a little and it turns out that Dad's chiropractor Adam Baumgardner used to work in his bike shop when he was a teenager- small world huh?!
 Here's Troy coming into the Time Station! Look at that happy face! His riding portion of RAAM was finsihed!
Now it was Bob's turn to finish this whole thing up! We had fun driving up and cheering him on through out the last 25 miles of the race. Here is Mike looking for Dad around the corner.
 Doug finally woke up! Little Sleepy-head. We passed out the cow-bells and let Bob know how close he was!

 We were finally close enough to the finish that we just drove all the way there to get all set. Troy met us there and we waited for Bob. Here is Troy cheering on Bob at the finish line!
Our official time was 6 Days 17 Hours and 52 minutes!
 After the real finish line, the team (minus the riders, Phil, and Doug) went down to the pier to await that final final ride. Even though the timing ends at the pretty orange line in the above picture, they have to take the parade route to the fancy end for photo ops. Here is Kyle and I waiting at the Pier. We finally got a picture! Since we were both the picture takers we didn't get many of us together.

Here they come!

Man they look good for riding 3000 miles!

The whole team- Calleen, Mike, Phil, Kathy, Kelly, Bob, Troy Hull, Kathy, Doug, Alli, Troy Yost, and Kyle

 The Carbonneau/ Gardner's and the riders. It was a little family affair.

 Mom and Dad
 After they interviewed the riders they had the crew go up for some more photo ops.
Phil, Doug, Kathy D., Kelly, Troy Yost, Troy Hull, Bob, Kathy C., Me, Chris, Colleen, Kyle, and Mike
 Chris, Mom, Dad, and Alli
 This is Bob, Jason, and Troy. Jason is the guy that got my Dad involved with Team Donate Life (the charity that Troy and Dad both road with in the past). He was the one that started all of this! Jason met them at the finish line to say congratulations.
After the novelty of finishing wore off we kind of realized we still weren't done. We needed to go to the hotel in Annapolis and get the vans all ready to turn back in! With all the stuff we had packed in those vans we figured it would take awhile. The crew all hoped right in. We had tons of random things that we weren't sure what to do with, so we found somewhere that took donations and dropped them all off. We had to get everything from the stickers on the dashboard to the crates under the seats out. It didn't take as long as we thought with everyone's help.
After we got all the crew stuff taken care of Dad asked for our help with all his gear. He wasn't really sure how to pack everything into the few duffle bags he had. Mom and I hoped right in and got it done for him.
We got to check-in a little early at the hotel and so they only had the 3 rooms ready that the crew had stayed in the previous night (the crew that came and relieved us before we just stayed on as media crew). We gave Troy a room and he went up and crashed. We figured they would have rooms ready by the time the vans were done but that wasn't the case so we had everyone's stuff all lined up on their lawn with no where to put it. Some crew members had previously tried to get hotel rooms and the clerk lady just kept telling them the rooms would be ready at 3 when check out was. At this point we still had 2 hour until we could get up there and we were all finished. Around 1 Kyle and I decided to just go ask again, and they handed us all the hotel room keys. I think she was just irritated and needed a little time to cool off. 

We all went up to our rooms, had a nice long nap, then we all got ready to go out to eat and Buddy's in Annapolis. I was all ready to go when I accidently dropped my phone in the toliet :( I grabbed it super fast so I didn't think anything happened to it and off we went to eat. I called Marie to check on the kiddos when the speaker started to sound really muffled. Kyle and I dropped the people riding with us off at the restuarant and then headed over to find a grocery store with rice. We came back and the tables that the team was eating at was pretty full so we had a nice meal with each other with the view of the docks. I got some crab and Kyle got some non-fishie meal. Here's my bucket of shell!
We got some ice cream afterward and went and walked around the pier a bit and then headed back to the hotel. It was so nice to know that we would be going to bed and not have to wake up for at least 8 hours!

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