This is not a dissertation on my recent participation in this year’s Adirondack 540. I need to let everyone in the club know about three incredible BCCers. They are well known and long standing club members. I am speaking of: Jonathan Tice, Kerri and Speedy Steve.
In June of this year I resolved to attempt this event and although a crew is not absolutely required I felt it was mandatory. As Jonathan had expressed an interest in these events he was an obvious choice. He is also very positive, dedicated and calm and is very highly respected within the club. Kerri and Steve also volunteered and they, too, demonstrated qualities I admire of commitment, enthusiasm, ambition and also have an aura of self confidence. I knew I had the best crew!!
Over the summer JT demonstrated his wonderful organizing abilities and through several meetings, beers and emails we brought it all together. JT and I headed out Wednesday night and drove a few hours then stayed over in Gananoque and finished the journey by mid afternoon on Thursday. Kerri and Steve would leave on the Friday and arrive mid afternoon and hook up with us during the race.
All three had taken time off work and for one and only one reason: to support me. Not once during the entire weekend did I hear one complaint, gripe or negative comment in anyway and believe me they would have been well within their rights to let me have it.
Although I could go on about the race route, the great organizers of the race, the fabulous scenery etc. I feel compelled to, by way of example, relate what fabulous people I had looking after me.
To begin with I was never really alone as our rented minivan was either directly behind me or just up the road. JT crewed for the first lap of 220 km and Kerri and Steve took over for the second lap. The first lap went well and JT had prepared well for so many eventualities. He even had newspaper for me for the downhills (which by the way really works). So here is a crew that has spent so much time in preparation that they were ready for even the most trivial eventuality!! That is such a confidence boost.
The first lap went well with JT handing me stuff along the way, giving encouragement, scouting out gas stations, grocery stores, bars and making notes for the night crew on road conditions, hills, descents etc. He was busy!! He also worked the Blackberry and relayed some great messages. JT was MR. Dependable. I never had to go without.
After a quick shower and change of clothes I started the second lap with Kerri and Steve and the transition was seamless. It was as if this was routine for them. At the halfway point things started to go pear shape for me. We knew the forecast was calling for a cold night and the forecast was inconceivably correct. Temperatures dipped below zero with lots of fog and after a long fast descent I was getting really chilled. I am not sure what time this was but I suspect it was around One AM and here I am warming up in the van while Steve is getting me out of wet clothes and putting me in some warm stuff including his own jacket while Kerri kept my spirits up with encouraging comments while she sat on coolers in the back trying to get some food in me. I finished the lap a few minutes before 7 AM so these two had stayed with me from about 6 PM to 7 AM !!!! Often crawling along at 10 km/hr in blackness on deserted roads again for the sole purpose of keeping me safe and helping me reach my goal.
JT had stayed in touch all night and was ready for my arrival with breakfast of pancakes (my fav) and clean clothes ready. It was obvious that I had little chance of completing the race but none of the crew let on about being disappointed. After two hours of sleep it was decision time. Jonathan, being the consummate crew, remained calm and helped me dress (fully assuming I was still going although I had my doubts) and sent me on my way. JT had brought his bike stand and the bike was well cleaned and tuned.
Although I could go on and on with examples one in particular stands out. One part of the route was very narrow and busy and JT kept that van right behind me on those two lane roads despite mounting traffic looking to pass (even very loud 18 wheelers) but he was not let me come to harm!! I finished 3 of the 4 laps and my language would make even a sailor blush.
At the end I was unprepared for my emotional release and much of it was due to the altruistic care I had experienced. It was an experience that will stay with me forever and I believe this crystallizes the BCC spirit.