Day 23 - Harrisonburg, Virginia to Ashland Virginia
in the trip, Gerry Tatrai, who had just won RAAM dropped by on
his way to Michigan with his race mechanic. He left his RAAM winning
bike, a softride, in case anyone wanted to try it out. John decided
to give it a go, and set it up the night before.
We started the day with our last major climb of the trip. Ray
had been having trouble with his back and had only been riding
half days. I suggested he could noodle along with me and probably
make it all day. We decided to try this, but he didn't want to
leave early. Knowing we had a big climb first thing, I rolled
out at my usual time, figuring Ray would catch me by the first
I waited for a long time at the first stop, but then got nervous
about the rest of the day, and rolled out, expecting him to catch
me at the second. But I guess I was feeling better than I realized,
and I didn't see him until lunch. While at lunch I noticed John
was moving pedals around. Apparently Gerry's handlebars could
not be adjusted to suit him, so he was trying Lon's bike, which
was identical, except for the stem. On this bike, he could get
the handlebars higher. He was really enjoying the Softride, so
I suggested that he ask Lon if he could use it on the qualifier.
But Lon had already offered, which obviously meant that Lon felt
John had excellent chances of doing well. We ended up jockeying
back and forth, as John had to make several adjustments to his
seat position. At one point I looked at my cue sheet and noticed
that we would be passing through a town named Bumpass. This was
an ideal photo opportunity, and I had to get a shot off John on
the Softride in front of the Bumpass sign.
The next day was our final day, and while most of us were glad
to be this close to the end, we were also a little sad that it
was almost over. I realized that I had not asked Susan to ride
her tandem yet, something I had really wanted to do. She said
that she never got to ride the last day, and decided to ride in
the morning. I put my pedals and seat on her bike, and got things
set up for my ride with yet another RAAM champion.
When John planned his trip over from Ireland, he had arranged
to do some work here, so he could stay around and ride the qualifier
in Illinois a couple of weeks after PAC Tour. I had helped him
put together a crew, consisting of Ray, Robert and Mike. I suggested
that Ray spend some time with Joanne getting some tips on crewing.
So John and Ray went off to dinner with Pete and Joanne to do
some RAAM qualifier strategizing.
After dinner, John, Nancy and I headed off in search of ice cream.
We decided to find a supermarket with Ben & Jerry's since
there was no DQ around. After a long walk in search of an open
store, we hit pay dirt, but kind of forgot about spoons. Nancy
showed resourcefulness, using her lid as a spoon, until we found
forks at a Taco Bell.