For a week, at least.
Last weekend's trip to Whitefish is kind of a blur.....the Rides are kinda runnin' together a bit, but I'll try and sort 'em out if you're interested. Workin' on the Ride Crew is different than being in the bike Room or on the road as a coach. It tends to be more like interval work - periods of calm interspersed w/ furious activity - but there still didn't seem to be much time for sleep! The MAIN THING is that the Ride Program is now 4 for 4 in delivering exactly the sort of meaningful and memorable experieince that we set out to provide for every Ride and every rider. Nothing's gonna do more to ensure the future of the Program and allow it to grow than that. Everyone behind the scenes worked hard, the weather was freakin' perfect (again!) and the riders had a blast.
Compared to that......what else matters?
I flew into WF on Wednesday, met Bill (another crew guy) @ the airport and we picked up our van. Went to Grouse Mountain Lodge, met up w/ Chase, John, Amy and bossman Brock and went over assignments. Basically we had until Friday morning to get all the shopping for food done, mark the route, set up the Rest Stops, pack all 5 SAG wagons, get the radios set up, set up the start/finish area w/ tents and tables and such and a buncha other little stuff, all of which had the ability ot make-or-break the weekend from the rider's point of view. (For instance - we ran outta safty pins...twice...and that was a borderline disaster of epic proportions to some riders!)
On Thursday the riders started showin' up, I spent some time helpin' out in the Bike Room and things got busy @ the Lodge. with 225 riders this was to be the biggest Whitefish Ride ever and /w Big Ride Program Boss Mike Malekofff in attendance the pressure was for damnsure on.
At dinner Thursday night Head Coach Tim St. Clair expressed his opinion that we were "fixin' to have the Best Ride to Cure Ever" and that set the tone for the weekend. The tune up ride went off okay - although I really think the route needs work - and Saturday morning dawned clear and bright. Of course when I say "dawn" I mean 4:30 am, 'cuz that's when our day started. It was about 40 degrees @ that moment, maybe, but the eastern sky held hope of bright sun and warmth. The riders rolled out in jackets, vests and leg warmers as the sun rose and started takin' the chill off. I was Sag Wagon #1 and my "beat" was the Whitefish Lake route until about 1:00. Very little business for me...and that's just how I like it! Lots of happy riders and bikes that were rollin' along. Later in the afternoon I switched to the North Fork leg of the route and followed the last riders and coaches in @ 5:20. Then it was time to hit it hard as we still had the course to tear down, 2 semi trucks to load and 5-6 hours more heavy lifting to do. Sleep came easy Saturday night for the crew....just like it does for the riders!
Sunday was for farewells and hugs, sort of like when the circus leaves town.
I can't wait for Death Valley! All you Ride Vets - Death Valley, Asheville or Whitefish - know what I mean when I say the same thing I said from the podium @ dinner Friday night.....I am so envious of anyone who gets to be @ their first Ride! I know that it's gonna be everything that you are hoping that it is.
I hope you guys had a great weekend, I havben't heard much about whatever rides folks did while I was gone. I'll be gone this weekend as well...but it sounds like there's stuff goin' on!
We leave for DV in egg-zac-lee 31 days! Your basic month, in other words. Let's make sure that we're ready...be it riding fitness or fund-raising!
I can't wait!
Monday, September 15, 2008
For a week, at least.