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13.6.10

A Note From The Crew. . .

First, we are so proud of our Team FARA cyclists for such a strong start. Mary & I last saw Sean and Mike at an exchange near Time station #2 in Brawley, CA. They should be tucked into bed for some well deserved rest by now, and Kyle and John pedaling away on 78 on their way to Blythe, CA.

They are accompanied by Crew Chief- Mike Bryant (Kyle's Dad), Phil Vickers (Sean's Brother), Blake Andrews (Kyle's friend), and Mike Gore (Sam Bridgman's friend). The crew makes sure the riders are protected from traffic, that their path is well lit, that they know which direction to travel, are well fed and hydrated, and that the transitions between riders is safe and within the rules. Everyone is decked out in stylin reflective gear and headlamps. (When we get a good photo of the crew in their gear, we'll post it.) Most of this crew has worked back to back shifts (ie on the road since the start)---and they retire for the evening at 4am and a new shift begins. The RV was manned by Stephen Parsons (Erin's O'Neil's friend) and Bob O'Neil (Erin O'Neil's Dad) on the first shift. Steve masterfully navigated some curvy, narrow and hilly terrain to get to the meet up point with the riders back in Borego Springs. Paul Konanz (Brianne Konanz's Dad) and Tracy Allgeier (Mike Mellott's friend) are at the helm of the RV now-----finding quiet places to pull the RV off the road so resting riders and crew can get some sleep. They juggle that with the need to stay ahead of the riders on the road. Diane Bryant (Kyle's Mom) and Aaron Farley (Kyle's Roommate) have had the food prep shifts--keeping the fridge well stocked with sandwiches and making sure the riders eat. Mike Andresen (FA parent), drove one of the rider follow vehicles at the start. Mike meticulously researched the Day 1 route for the team to ensure that the riders were well informed of the challenges of this route---and planned their coverage accordingly. Mary and I spent the late evening attempting to chase down our first "go for" run. The mandatory safety flags on our two follow vans got pretty beat up over the first 80 miles---so we went in search of replacements. We struck out at Home Depot---and with most stores closing by 9pm we decided to make our way up the course to put us in closer position to the team tomorrow morning as well as possible safety flag suppliers like Walmart or Sears.

One of the things I find most striking about the crew's role is the care, focus and coordinated effort required of the group. There is constant communication between two way radios in the different vehicles to keep everyone moving in the same direction and on the same page. There is also an awful lot of care and focus---crew watching out for cyclists, crew looking out for other crew. Great work team!

11 comments:

Bucduke said...

Hats off to Team FARA. What a monumental undertaking. I know I am not alone when I admit that this whole event has just captivated me. With the Blog and Facebook and emails from some of the SAG crew, it's as though..."I AM THERE". Rock On!

Make no mistake. This is it. FA is going to be defeated. You guys are going to make it happen. I couldn't be more proud. Much Aloha, Calvin

Andy and Linda Johnson said...

Felicia, Thanks so much for a tidbit of the logistic details! The more you tell us, the more it brings us to you! (Even the go-for's getting the replacement safety flags!) So don't hold back ... who is driving what van, who is riding, sleeping, pains, music the riders are listening to, who is eating what, the mood, and most importantly ... the road kill count! :-) You guys are our new favorite TV show! Thinking of you all 24-7!

Feverishly waiting for more news,
Linda

Spinner said...

Linda, I couldn't have said it any better!!! Felicia and the whole Team/crew, keep the guy's safe and all going the correct direction;)

Dave said...

I absolutely agree with Linda on all points....except the road-kill count! But THAT was funny! I wait in anticipation for the next update!

Stay safe everyone!

- Dave

hopper576 said...

Great update - it really gives us a picture of what is going on. I went to bed last night thinking of you guys on the road and woke up this morning thinking the same. Hope you get favorable weather and a good tail wind.

Tom Hopkins
Quinebaug, Ct

Pam said...

Thanks for the update, Felicia - and also for all the work you have done over the last few months coordinating all of this! You all are awesome!

Allison D said...

Thanks for the update, Lee. Love the post - it helps us all get a better picture of what is happening out there. I've been thinking about you all since the start yesterday...even while posing for bridal party pictures :). It is an amazing thing you are all doing and I look forward to following every step this week. Everyone is and will continue to be in my prayers. Stay safe...

t.bridgman said...

Yes, the details are great. We are following closely. I keep wanting to put my bike on my car and go find Team FARA. Turn that Crank!

Lane said...

We are so proud of the riders and the crew. This is a such a HUGE undertaking, but please know that everything that everyone is doing is so appreciated. Thank you for making a difference.

jgolanec said...

Thank you all for your sacrifices and all your hard word that you do for FA. You all are amazing.

Jeff Golanec

Edie said...

I thought of you all when I went biking Saturday night and encountered 20 minutes of gnats. Every time I opened my mouth to breathe, I ate gnats. Extra protein...

Great post, I love to hear the details. Beth and I are watching, praying, wishing we were there!

You guys rock!!!