Not Much Left to do, But Drive for the Finish

Day 11, From Bridgeport to Cumberland, 126.6 miles and ~4,000m of climbing, some of the steepest climbing on the entire RAAM course

Adapted Lyrics from Joe Walsh

Life’s Been Good
life’s been good
I have a Franco, forget the price
Ain’t never ridden it they tell me it’s nice
My crew lived out of motels tore out the walls
I have Mr. O pay for it all

They say i’m crazy but I ride like the wind
I’m just putting out Watts it’s where I have shined
Life’s been good to me so far

My scott TT bike does 195
I lost my mojo now i just glide
I have a disk wheel that rides in the back
I lock the doors in case i’m attacked

I’m making blog posts my fans they can’t wait
They write us letters tell me i’m great
So i got me a studio with jerseys on the wall
Just leave a message maybe i’ll call

Lucky i’m sane after four RAAM races
Everybody says i’m cool (he’s cool)
I can’t complain but sometimes i still do
Life’s been good to me so far

Go to parties sometimes until eight
I need to leave when I’m training 24hrs straight
It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame
Everybody’s so different but i haven’t changed

They say i’m crazy but it takes all my time
Everybody says oh yeah (oh yeah)
I keep on going guess i’ll never know why
Life’s been good to me so far

These finishing sections are brutal on their own, let alone at the end of a 3,000 mile bike race. With that said, all of the competitors have to deliver, so we just need to get it done – come hell or high water (we have had a lot of the latter).

TS 45-46 – 46.4miles 5,539 of vertical climbing

TS 46-47 – 55.9miles 6,334 

TS 47-48 – 48.9miles 5,121

This race just keeps getting tougher!

Wow, morning comes early, wake up call at 2:30, shower and go. It sounded like rain was a nemesis again late yesterday and last night. They also had the time trial wheel flat, which is always challenging given it is a tubular disk, which is a pain to fix if it can’t be done by throwing goop sealant into the wheel. In any event, first order of business was for us to get some “breakfast” and coffee. Slim pickings in Bridgeport, the lone 24 hour joint, is closed for floor cleaning, the fourth time we have been thwarted by floor cleaning!!

OK let’s go chase down Pete and the crew and hope there is a gas station for coffee and food. Sure enough we were able to get 3 terrible coffees, 4 hard boiled eggs, 3 deli style vegetable and pork egg roll rotisserie tortillas and some beef jerky for our breakfast……I will just let that sink in for a bit. 

We do the crew exchange at 32.4 miles of this 46.6 mile stage and off we go – let’s go Oyler, clap,clap,clap clap clap; let’s go Oyler, clap, clap, clap clap clap, of course the rhythm was in keeping with our Raptors chant!

Making the final climb into the Grafton TS, the 8 man team of 807 was making a pass and with great sportsmanship the rider stopped and rolled with Peter for 500m or so talking to him – fantastic camaraderie from these athletes. 

Team pass is being made, but first a quick conversation with Peter

It was now 5:15am and the rain has continued to fall, Peter continues to push but the progress is slow. The key in RAAM or any ultra endurance race is to keep moving forward. Of course, moving forward at faster speed is the next thing to focus on, but time stopped is a big limiter to success. By 6:30 the progress had slowed considerably, the rain continued and Peter was increasingly complaining about the cold.  We took him off the bike for 20 mins and shortly after getting back on, Leah Goldstein, a fellow Canadian, would pass him. 

At 11:00am Peter had made two unexplainable right turns off the road to t-roads or driveways.  On the second one we decided to pull him and give him another nap.  This one was timed for 20 mins and following that we stripped him of all his wet gear and put on new dry clothing as the sun began shining….finally! For much of the morning we would go back and forth with Leah until she overtook us during this nap, and we didn’t see her again during our shift.

Pete was chasing Leah at this point.

Again, in this game, staying on the bike – safely, is key to success. If you take a 25 minute break/nap and your competitor rides by you at 20km/, they will be ahead by 8.3kms by the time you get back on the road. Now if you ride at 23km/h; to their 20km/h, it takes you almost 3hrs to catch them and that’s only if you can be 15% faster than they are when you are actually on the bike. At this stage of the race, being faster is much harder than outlasting, but outlasting, when you have already cycled 2,700 miles on ~40 hours sleep in 10 days, is no walk in the park either

Diego is capturing the action

The last 15 miles of the last stage of our day Into Cumberland was difficult as Peter struggled to keep his focus and drive. His heart was there but his mind kept wondering if his legs were going to get him there. Perhaps he began to question whether he could put down enough power to get him across the line and meet his goals. Or, if he drove all his energy into that next mile and then the one after that and the one after that, would he have enough in the tank to finish? I believe Greg’s view is that you don’t know that answer unless you try and fail. Even then, I would harbour a guess that even in those situations, Greg still suggests that you don’t know the answer when your sample size is 1.

Descending is Sweet only if you can find a comfortable position

We finished at a local gas station for the time station and crew change. It was now about 4:45 in the afternoon and Peter was going to have a sleep in prep for the push to Annapolis. We were hoping he could find the reserves that were being driven by all of your best wishes.

7 thoughts on “Not Much Left to do, But Drive for the Finish

  1. Keep at it Peter !! We love ya! We have been following you..! You will get this race done !! Your truly amazing…remember your in a class of few who have done this race, but by what you have done and have shown to others in these past days is what IS possible and that any/everyone just needs to be in the right MINDSET to reach their goals… Keep those pedals moving! Love Jen, Steve, M and O

    Like

  2. Wow! Another incredible blog of an incredible experience! Pete, you can do this! You have an incredible combination of so much physical and mental strength that will get you to Annapolis!! Continue being awesome! We are all cheering you on to the finish! Pedal Pete, Pedal!! 🚴🏽‍♂️👏🚴🏽‍♂️👏🚴🏽‍♂️👏🚴🏽‍♂️👏

    Like

  3. Love the blogs and love ya more Pete. You are truly amazing. Another day an easy day the finish is around the corner, you got this . So proud of you and so proud of your crew for keeping you safe. Bring it home!!! Pedal Pedal Pedal. Keep moving forward

    Like

  4. Congratulations to our hero

    I bet you are looking forward to a nice warm bed

    Enjoy your accomplishment.

    See you back at Mindset

    Like

Leave a Reply to Valerie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s