Time Waits for Nobody – Mother Nature’s wrath

Day 5 Commentary – June 15th

The best laid plans in a bike race of 3,000 miles can easily go astray for any number of reasons. Yesterday we had a rear tire flat after a flat front tire the day before – both on tubular tires that are supposed to be more durable, particularly the Gatorskins. However, when you are putting 300-400 miles on those tires each day on some challenging road surfaces, it shouldn’t be surprising that we flat. Those are just minor setbacks relative to the havoc that Mother Nature can deliver.

Right Sentiment, wrong location

Modified Lyrics from the Doors, Riders on the storm

Riders in the storm
Riders in the storm
Into RAAM we’re born
Into this race we’re thrown
Like a climb without a peak
An actor cannot speak
Riders in the storm

Crew you gotta love your rider
Crew you gotta love your rider
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
His world on you depends
His life will never end
Gotta love your rider

Once again, I was riding shotgun with Mr. O as we were in the Gopher van. Today we started the day at 6:30am, scouting out the town of Trinidad, CO. We could have used lyrics from Harry Chapin – We spent a week there one afternoon!! This was a big town comprised of a lot of closed store fronts – if we were being generous, it had some interesting architecture.

We are sure this was a happening spot, some decades ago! And yes, you can see the Safeway.

We grabbed some gas (always fill your tank when you get a chance, you never know where the next open gas station will be), added some ice to the cooler, went to Safeway for some groceries for the Follow van and had terrible breakfast sandwiches from that same Safeway. We ordered breakfast for the incoming crew from a diner that we heard about AFTER ordering our own sandwiches and from there just waited….a theme that would play out the entire day.

Just don’t plan to fill your tank at this Marijuana parlour in Trinidad

We tucked the team in by 9am, having ate breakfast and then waited for Peter’s arrival in downtown Trinidad. At this point, there were some warning signs of storm activity but nothing that was looking troublesome. The time ticked by and we waited at the hotel and then took in some of the sights and sounds of Trinidad – that is a dad joke! It was now a waiting game.

Peter and the team arrived at Trinidad at around 1:30pm and then everything goes from slow motion to Sulu – Warp Speed. We needed some ice, and gatorade for the van (we had that), a hot breakfast (yes it is afternoon, but the reference for time becomes immaterial when you have been pedaling for almost 4 days) and sticky notes. So I ran to the Safeway, Mr. O was off to the diner to get pancakes and the Follow team was working Peter over to reenergize him for a big stage of 71 miles. The feet were still hurting, so we were switching insoles, massaging legs and neck. I came back with the goods, now we were looking for the KT tape. Couldn’t find it in the van, so back I went to Safeway. Finally, after about 30 minutes we had Peter back on the road.

By this time, the skies were looking a bit more ominous although still not bad in the direction that we were travelling. Following the next stage, Peter was planning to get on his TT bike but wanted alterations to the seat by adding foam. This was a KMan aka MacGyver special. It was now for Mr. O and I to get to Kim, CO, where we would wait for the arrival of the team, and while there doctor up the seat to get it ready for Peter. We took about 90 minutes to get to Kim, blinked and found ourselves past the town line. No worries, found a parking spot opposite the town cemetary, parked and waited. We are quite sure, there were more dead people in Kim than live ones, but there were 3 beautiful horses that kept us company.

The Race begins, can Mother Nature catch him?

Mr. O and I began the process of applying the foam to Peter’s saddle. Should anyone want to try this at home, here are the MacGyver directions:

  1. Put foam on top of seat and trace out the perimeter
  2. Use exacto knife to cut foam
  3. Trace seat outline on mactac and cutout
  4. Apply the mactac to seat top
  5. Apply crazy glue to mactac
  6. Apply foam to seat top and press firmly for 5 minutes
  7. Trim the edges of the seat

Task complete, now wait. We sat waiting for 4 hours and during that time, the skies started looking more pained. The skies were looking good ahead of us, so we kept our fingers crossed the Pete could keep pumping out the Watts.

Looking like he may lose this battle

He arrived at our time station in about 5hrs 30mins. We changed over the bikes to the TT machine, and changed over the crews at that juncture and Peter was off to Walsh, CO.

The two teams were now going up the road to Ulysses to get some sleep. About 20 miles down the road, we got a call from the Follow van that they would need gas and could we find a station. We found one and waited. While waiting we got to see one of the greatest electrical storms that I have ever seen. Soon we got the call that Peter had been put into the car while they waited for the storm to pass.  After about 90 minutes, the Follow van arrived to get gas while Peter slept in the car. We ordered pizza, shared some with the KMan, Dave and Janet and then made our way to Ulysses.

Our Van making a Leap-frog pass.

Times like these are tough to swallow. The storm took about 30 miles out of Peter’s day and if we had been able to get up the road by about 15 miles earlier in the day, we would have likely outrun the storm. It was not to be and this is the beauty of RAAM. Time stops for nobody, not for mechanicals, not for sickness, not for sleep and NOT for the wrath of mother nature.

7 thoughts on “Time Waits for Nobody – Mother Nature’s wrath

  1. Thanks for all the updates. Makes it almost like we are there with you. Thinking of you a lot…We are watching closely and cheering loudly from home. We would love to be there to cheer you on in person. So amazed by what you are focused on accomplishing! You are doing amazing and we know you can do it! Go Pete!

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  2. This U2 song sums up one of the best things about riding on the open remote road…going where the streets have no name…awesome place to be if you ask me…
    ..
    I want to run, I want to hide
    I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside
    I wanna reach out and touch the flame
    Where the streets have no name
    I want to feel sunlight on my face
    I see that dust cloud disappear without a trace
    I wanna take shelter from the poison rain
    Where the streets have no name
    ..
    I’ll show you a place
    High on the desert plain
    Where the streets have no name

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