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Transplant Athlete
Sunday, July 03, 2005
  I Love the smell of Monument Valley in the morning

Somewhere in AZ, after my pull, I fell asleep on the couch in the RV. They had just started to make pasta and chicken. I woke up what felt like hours later, the RV was quiet and dark, Catherine was the only one up. I hadn't eaten after my pull and I was seriously jonesin' for some food. I walked out to the gas station we were parked at and bought some muffins. There was a huge McDonald's sign out front and the clerk told me that the McD's was 1/4 mile down the road.


I felt like I had burned 20,000 calories, but had only replaced 2000, so I started walking (my bikes were on the follow vehicles and the spare bikes were locked to the back of the RV). If I had been thinking clearly, I would have woken up a crewmember and asked for food, but I was seriously bonking. The walk was more than a 1/4 mile, and I saw lots of stray dogs wandering around. I ordered 2 quarter pounders and some fries. I figured there was lots of salt, fat, and protein in them. I was a bit wary walking around with a half pound of beef and so many dogs, but as I got back to the RV, I could see that it was ready to roll. I'm not sure what they thought when they realized I was gone, but Bill said they made it sound like I just got pissed and walked off. If I had been thinking clearly, I might have left a note.

So, while I was having issues getting enough calories in, another rider was having his own problems getting sleep in the RV. For the past couple of pulls, Martin had been unable to sleep during his rest break. The RV was too hot, or noisy, or moving...it got to the point where he desperately wanted to get a hotel room.


I think Bruce and I started our pull somewhere between Tuba City and Kayenta, Arizona. Bruce says we started at Midnight which means Tuba City. Martin and Bill were coming off of a long pull. My first quarter pounder was digested and I was riding well when we got to Kayenta. I had the pleasure of riding into Monument valley at sunrise. There were monuments on either side of the road like giant sentinels. I got into a good tuck to pick up some speed and Jacques felt I was a bit skittish on the road. We started to reel in larger teams though (6 and 8 person teams).

When we got to Mexican Hat, Martin our former Army Ranger had gotten less than 1 hour of sleep and he had warned me the night before that if he didn't get any sleep, he wouldn't be able to continue today. So I told him to go back to the hotel and sleep, Bruce and I would take another pull. Bill (our Navy Veteran) jumped in the van ready to go. We decided to do a three man rotation until Martin joined us. I was under the impression, that it would just be to the next time station, that would give Martin at least another hour and a half to sleep before he had to jump in the van and get shuttled up(it would take us about 2.5 hours to get to Aneth). The time station at Aneth, Ut came and went and no Martin. We gradually shortened our pulls to 20 minutes because the day was really heating up. We had no choice but to press on to Cortez, CO in the three man rotation. By Cortez, Colorado (another 3 hours down the road) Bruce and I had pushed to the point where we were pretty tired and would need some recovery time. Bill had been out for nearly his full pull, so theoretically, we should have been relieving him within an hour. And Martin was still AWOL.

At Cortez, Bruce made the decision to drop me at the RV for sleep and food, this was after about 12 hours on the bike. It was around 2pm when we got word that Martin was nearly in Cortez. Martin showed up at Cortez and then went off to join the rotation. Bruce stayed in the minivan and they dropped him off in Durango. He had spent nearly 14 hours in the rotation. Martin claimed to have only gotten an hour of sleep on top of the first 40 minutes. I then started using that as a running joke, "I can't sleep, can we get a hotel room?" The reality was, I was sleeping very well on the RV couch, in fact, MikeLou and Mike in San Diego
had to drop a bag on my head to get me to wake up. That's Mike on the right. If you see him on the street, buy him a Red Bull or hit him over the head with a suitcase, whatever strikes your fancy.

In Durango, Bruce's friend Sheila was genereous enough to give us a place to shower. I've been fighting a cold since a couple of days before RAAM, and now its a full blown sore throat and hacking cough. Sheila made me some tea. We likes Sheila, don'ts we preciousss. Golum, golum.

 

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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