Day 3

In my opinion, Day 3 of any journey is a telling day. It is the day when the adrenaline from the anticipation of the start begins to wear down and you start to feel the fatigue of the road. It is the day when you figure out what works and what needs modifying. It is the day you search for some constancy and a good routine. It is the day when you show yourself and the world just how you respond to adversity. . . Our day 3 was a long one but held within it were so many dimensions of the Team FARA's strength.


Having overstuffed the RV with food the day prior, Meir and I didn't have any shopping duties today so we stayed close with the team to be on hand as things came up. In being with the team for a longer time, the first thing I was struck by was how upbeat all of the cyclists were. Nobody whined about being fatigued. No mention of sleep deprivation or physical challenges from time on the road. Look in their eyes and you'd see a trace of the weary but look at their faces and watch them out on the road cranking up hill after hill and pull after pull and you'd be overwhelmed by their heart.


On Day 3, the guys finished up our time in AZ in the morning, spent the afternoon moving through UT all in time to start climbing in CO in the evening and through the night. Climbing in CO in the dark. . .traffic moving by you going at least 65 mph around turns, up climbs and just whipping by you on the descent. Look at this figure moving in the dark night illuminated only by a bike light, reflective tape and the lights from his trailing support car and you'd be awe struck by their courage.


The follow vans and RV crew have been right behind the cyclists for every turn of the crank- keeping some long hours to make sure the cyclists are safe and that the efforts on the road are coordinated (ie studying maps to be sure the work is shared between riders and that everyone knows the exchange points so that the effort keeps moving forward and wastes little time). They found that some of the shifts were extending too long and needed some modification. It took the day and a lot of flexibility and selflessness from the individual crew members to get transitioned to the new schedule. It was a challenging transition but the team really pulled together to cover the intense shifts of the day and get on a new rotation.

Sean sustained a minor injury around his eye that we needed to have checked out at a local ER in Durango....(no worries happened in the safe confines of the RV while trying to wrestle a sleeping bag into its sack and he is OK with eye drops to treat it). Because we arrived in Durango (location of the medical facility) in the middle of Sean's on the bike shift, the crew chief took him off the course to get this addressed. This meant subbing John in on his rest time to keep the group moving forward. John rose to the challenge, and Sean immediately following his return from a 2.5 hour ER wait jumped into the rotation eager to get back and serve his team. When I left them around 4am this morning, John and Kyle had just finished their shift and Mike and Sean were about to climb to the highest point on the RAAM route. They started at an elevation around 7500 feet and were climbing to over 10500 feet. Watching the crew and the cyclists come together and cover each other, you'd be inspired by their teamwork.


You all feed us with you energy. Your notes, your postings, your well wishes, your eagerness to be on the route cheering the riders along. Keep up those kind thoughts and prayers for safe travels, health and energy. We really do feel it when we are tired. . . and it gives us the heart, the courage, and the inspiration to keep going.


Doug Reid said...

Way to go guys!! Hang in there Sean, it's gonna HAPPEN!!! Amazing what you are doing!!

Allison D said...

Felicia, you truly have a way with words and are bringing us there - we really feel like we're on those hills with you guys. We were sitting here in near tears reading the post. We're so proud of the whole FARA team and are overwhelmed and inspired by the perseverance, courage, and drive.

We're glad to hear that Sean is okay and was able to get right back out there. We'll be thinking of everyone as you battle the Rockies today.

- Mom & Al

Spinner said...

Thank you Felicia
Probably we will drive from Dodge City, KS. to meet up at the Walsh TS. at sun-rise tomarrow, But we will see

Marilyn said...

I just checked out the GPS and you guys are really moving along. You are inspiring so many--those with FA and those without who are following your adventure. We are sending positive ENERGY out to the Rockies to help you get up those mountains.

jmgsoffice said...

Felicia. Wonderful words! They take us right there. But I'm not at all surprised that our team is all about grace and teamwork. Hope you are all energized by knowing that you are A THIRD OF THE WAY THERE!!!

Sean, we are glad you are OK.

Juliann and Steve

Edie said...

I hope there are some big downhills in your day, with lots of coasting to help rest the riders. I can't imagine biking over the Rockies, even if one was well-rested, and you guys are doing it after biking straight for 3 days. Incredible! Keep it safe, and watch out for those sleeping bags!

steph and John said...

Hope you are feeling better sean, way to step up babe (john) I am really proud of you! You guys are amazing

Dynah said...

Thinking of you all! Stay safe!

Caprcrn said...

Great post! You all are so inspiring. I look forward to meeting you in So Cal this December!

hopper576 said...

What a great report on an awesome happening! We can really picture what is happening. We've been praying for and thinking of all of you throughout - with great pride and gratitude... and wonder - at the spirit that you all have. You guys keep all us going. When I dropped my 14 year old FA-er off at school today and watched her take on the school steps, I thought of you all in the field - literally doing battle - for her and for all of us - and felt so grateful that you were putting yourselves between my child and this disease. God bless. Keep on truckin'!

Blair DeSaw said...

Great post Felicia. Mary and I are really enjoying the ride vicariously through all the pictures, videos, posts, and GPS tracking. So much wish we could be there with you all. This is a great effort by a great bunch of people! Our hearts are with you!

Beth said...

You guys are amazing! Really! Thank you so much for your wonderful posts Fel! I need to keep kleenexes by the computer... (I do wonder about the details you don't post - no one is showering, right?) Keep chugging - when I got tired in RA3, it really helped me to curse Kyle's name! (people can try it) love & hugs