The Tough Part is about to begin

Day 10, Chillicothe, OH to Athens, OH – 92 miles, 1,153m of climbing 

We had one of our best nights, going out for dinner at Old Canal Smoke House for a good dinner with a potpourri of tastes. We then had the plush Marriott to lay down our heads. It was quite exciting!

Great dinner

Our day started in Chillicothe at 3am, I went out and gassed up the van and picked up a couple of bags of ice for the Follow van. I almost started our day real badly, not yet thinking straight at 3:15am, I jammed the diesel pump nozzle into our gas tank and squeezed the trigger…Nothing, so I squeezed again…nothing, thankfully the station clerk had not registered my pre-purchase yet or we would have had one fried engine!

Today we are taking some inspiration from Survivor and “The Eye of the Tiger”

Risin’ up, back on the street

Rode my bike, took my chances

Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet

Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast

You trade your passion for glory

Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past

You must fight just to keep them alive

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight

Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival

And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watchin’ us all with the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat

Hangin’ tough, stayin’ hungry

They stack the odds ’till we take to the street

For the kill with the skill to survive

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the dream of the fight

Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival

And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watchin’ us all with the eye of the tiger

Risin’ up, straight to the top

Had the guts, got the glory

Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop

Just a man and his will to survive

I had aspirations of going to the 24hr IHOP but we learned that Pete had not made it to TS43, so we were going to have to start working backwards to meet the team, which didn’t allow for much of a breakfast.  We got yogurt, coffees and started out to find Pete.

It turns out that a major reason that Peter did not make it was the weather continued to pound these communities with torrential rains.  This had led to detours over the last several stages, but on this stage it appeared that we were the first to report the flooding and impassability of the route. From there, phone calls with HQ ensued, trying to find alternative routes. In addition to the challenging conditions, Peter was also finding his legs were revolting and while he tried to “Jens Voigt it (shut up legs)”, he was not having much success of creating continuous power.  We finally met up with Peter with around 30miles left in the stage. It was raining, but not hard and so we focused on a quick crew change, in order to get Peter back on the road – remember, between 7pm and 7am, Peter cannot make forward progress without a direct follow van – so he was stopped until we were ready to go.  

It is wet and getting wetter

This was the first time that we were in the Follow van when it was raining, which meant the other crew has endured a tremendous amount of wet! In any event, we got Peter into his rain jacket and we were off – slowly, very slowly but at least we were moving forward! For the next 3+ hours we would roll through these rural roads of Ohio, as Peter fought with his legs, trying to get them to report for duty – from our vantage point in the car he was fighting a losing battle. This was slow!! At one point, Greg had me jump out of the van to escort Pete up the climb for fear that he might fall over. While walking a modestly brisk pace, I talked with Peter going up the climb reminding him of all your comments, support and encouragement and that it was time to dig into that reserve.  He was doing this again knowing full well that it always gets ugly, then uglier and then better and then ugliest.  There was no straight line to be had for completing the task at hand.

Peter was trying to problem solve his legs not firing and thought maybe he was low on electrolytes. So we then had the following exchange:

Greg: Pete, what is wrong

Pete: I think that G2 doesn’t give me enough electrolytes, I want some eload!

Greg: Pete, I think you are getting enough electrolytes, you are not cramping are you?

Pete: No, but I want to get some eload into me

Conversation in the car:

Greg: QB put some eload in a bottle

QB: we pulled the eload out, remember we felt the G2 was working well

Greg: Ok, lets put some Gzero in a bottle and say it is eload, we will see if he notices

QB: ok (note GZero has less electrolytes than G2 and half as much as eload)

Back to Pete

Greg: hey Pete, remember that the two chicken soups you just drank have lots of salt

Pete: yeah, I guess they do, but still give me the eload

QB: here Peter, here is the bottle of “load”

Peter: takes a drink, takes a second drink, puts the bottle in his cage and rides on!

We finally got to the time station and we had decided to give Peter a sleep. Our hotel was off the route, so to minimize the down time, we wanted to find a spot that was sheltered from any possible rain, but was going to be otherwise open to the elements. We found this great spot. Note, right across the street we had a Tim Hortons, which made me quite happy. We got Pete undressed, yes naked on a cot in some backwoods town in Ohio at an abandoned gas station (so exotic a vacation we were all having ;)) where he would sleep quite soundly for the next three hours. 

Peter: there is too much noise here 

Greg: here are eye covers and earplugs Peter, now go to sleep.

Sleeping Beauty

No sooner had we put the earplugs into his ears, he was sawing logs.

A high class place he was sleeping at

Three hours passed and we were back on the road with a lot more focus and more energy although the legs were still not what they needed to be to get us through the Appalachians. We would reach the second crew at 4pm at the Athens time station, where CA worked vigorously on Peter’s legs to get him ready for what will be the toughest stages of this race.  

8 thoughts on “The Tough Part is about to begin

  1. From: Peter Oyler is Storming RAAM Reply-To: Peter Oyler is Storming RAAM Date: Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 10:40 PM To: Subject: [New post] The Tough Part is about to begin

    Pete, a word for the wise…

    “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it!”

    Philippians 3:15 (The Message)

    oylerraam posted: ” Day 10, Chillicothe, OH to Athens, OH – 92 miles, 1,153m of climbing We had one of our best nights, going out for dinner at Old Canal Smoke House for a good dinner with a potpourri of tastes. We then had the plush Marriott to lay down our heads.”

    Like

  2. Once again, Peter you amaze me with your unbelievable passion to your goal. No one I know could accomplish what you have set out to do. Keep on, keeping on. We are all with you.

    Like

  3. Pete you are one strong dude: physically and mentally. You can and you will do this. MINDSET

    We are sending all our positive vibes your way; go get those hills

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  4. Oh man that sounds brutal but if anyone can do it its you Pete. Your mental strength will keep you going and your amazing crew will keep those legs working. Doing awesome ! You will do it! Keep moving forward!

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  5. With tingles in my spine and tears in my eyes, I continue to be amazed at the grueling pace that you are keeping; and what a great support team you have. You are one amazing and elite athlete. Keep up the great work as the two women in you life will be there for your wild and well deserved finish. GPG (Go Pete Go).

    Like

  6. Mark Twain’s Wisdom on Cycling
    “Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.”

    You are living your dream. Get talking to those legs .

    Like

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