RAAM is one week away and as I sit among all the items that have been shipped to my house for the trip (Bike racks, nutritional supplements, bike tools, reflective safety equipment, bike parts, trike parts) I am a little nervous but I am feeling pretty confident. We have done everything possible to give the team the best chance at conquering this race.
1. We have been training like crazy. In fact the team is finishing up our heavy training this weekend and we will be pretty light as we make the final preparations this week. Sean rode 70 miles yesterday, I rode 50 today, Mike rode 60+ today and John rode a century today. We all plan to ride a pretty good ride tomorrow and then the rest of the week is just mental preparation.
2. We have assembled a solid crew with a strong commitment to the cause:
Mike Bryant - Grass Valley, CA
Diane Bryant - Grass Valley, CA
Paul Konanz - Santa Rosa, CA
Tracy Algeier - Sacramento, CA
Aaron Farley - Sacramento, CA
Blake Andrews - San Luis Obispo, CA
Phil Vickers - Bakersfield, CA
Mike Gore (Mechanic Mike) - Seattle, WA
Mike Andresen - Portland, OR
Felicia DeRosa - Exton, PA
Mary Caruso - North Branford, CT
Bob O'Neal - Boston, MA
Steve Parsons - Boston, MA
These 13 people come from different places all over the country and each person has a different specific reason for joining the team but there is one thing that unites this crew: the desire to find the cure for Friedreich's ataxia.
We have had weekly conference calls with our 13 person crew for several months. The stuff discussed on the calls included topics like figuring out how to rack 5 bikes and two trikes on two rental vans when we aren't even guaranteed that we will get the vans we want. and What are we going to eat? and How are we going to get the gear back when we get to the east coast? and How do we fit 9 people in an RV with 6 people sleeping at a time? and What about showers and other hygienic things? and the list goes on...and on. I am sure there have been a few sleepless nights among the crew members as the ponder their inpidual tasks. And we still have quite a few sleep deprived days and nights ahead of us.
With all of this in mind when it comes down to it the fact remains that we just need to do whatever it takes to get safely across the country. In doing so we are representing of FA FAmilies worldwide who are willing to do whatever it takes to cure this disease.