Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
  Ride Alongs

Because we were so slow, we were unable to meet up with Bill and Zach in Arizona. We were also supposed to meet up with Chris Klug, but my teammates and I dropped the ball, so by the time we got in touch with him, we were already in Durango and there was no way he could get to us in time. Talking with Chris on the phone was a real pick me up. For me, it was like getting a call from Lance Armstrong, Micheal Jordan, or Tiger Woods. Chris is getting ready for the Olympics and this time he's bringing home the GOLD.

I met Ruth Ann in Trinidad, CO. Her brother had had a kidney transplant but passed away in 1992. I believe she said her mother and sister were on peritoneal dialysis. We chatted for awhile. I explained the mission of the Give Life Foundation and our goal to increase blood, organ, and tissue donation. I think we got a bystander interested in donating blood. It was really great to meet her.

From Kim, CO to Walsh, CO we were able to maintain a pretty high pace. Bruce was riding into town in a dust storm, like something out of DUNE. Muad-dib! We had been just hammering down the road, so we were early for our shift to end and we headed out of town. Although it took a couple seconds to get started, while waiting for Bruce, the wind caught my rear disk and nearly yanked the bike out of my hands. The tailwind was so strong that I could go 25mph with little pedal effort. I easily cruised at 30 miles per hour. The only down side is that I am coated in a fine layer of dust. Its in my hair, its in my pores, its everywhere. Its time for my massage. Ah, the life of a Pro-Cyclist.

Early on in the trip, Bruce told a story about the time he was driving trucks to put himself through law school. He wasn't getting along with his co-driver and at one point Bruce pulled the truck over to fix a tire or something. Bruce jumped back into the truck and started jamming down the road. A couple of hours later, his dispatcher called and said, "I know you hated him, but did you have to leave him standing on the side of the road in his underwear?"
Bruce replied, "Whattdya mean? he's asleep in the back." Bruce checked the back and sure enough, he wasn't there. "Does that mean I get solo rate?" Bruce asked.

Somewhere in Colorado, I awoke as the RV pulled into a McDonalds. I told them I wanted two cheeseburgers and that I was going in to use the bathroom. By the time I got out of the bathroom, the RV was gone. So...I waited...and waited. I had no phone. I had no wallet. Luckily I was wearing a bit more than tighty whities. I was hoping that they would say, "geez, there are two cheeseburgers left. Who ordered the cheeseburgers?" and somebody else would say, "Lou wanted two cheeseburgers." the someone else would say, "where is LOU our rider?" Then in my imagination, they turn around fetch me. I couldn't ask any of the locals if I was on the RAAM course, because they generally don't know. For all I knew, they could have pulled off the route to get some food and jumped right back on it. My best hope was that our support vehicle would come by or another competitor would give me a lift to the next time station. As you can tell, I had a lot of time to think of alternative scenarios standing by the side of the road.

Eventually, the Jet Truck came around the corner and I waved like mad and tried desperately to get them to understand that I was stranded and they had to pull over. This being my second McDonalds incident, some of the crew started calling me Big Mac. The really really sad part of the whole incident is that somebody ate my cheeseburgers.

More Intrepid Crew members:
Chris & Xuan Independence Air Volunteers in front of Jet Truck
Chris and Xuan work for Independence Air and graciously volunteered their time to support us. And there is that Jet Truck.

solo rate Catherine. No, she's not as mean as she looks
Catherine happened to be the one who actually drove the RV away from the McDonalds, so she gets solo rate.

Sorry about the bad picture Clay.
This is Jacques and Clay. Clay kept me feed with plain pasta and scrambled eggs, which surprised Clay's mother. Food is the most important element to Team RAAM. It takes time to digest. The quicker you can get it into your system, the better. Sleep would be second, I could always catch a few zz's in the van. Hydration is relatively easy. Plain water anytime I was awake and not eating.


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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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