Day Four

Note: This blog was written a day and a half ago, but I haven't had internet access and am just now able to post it.

Just came off the night shift. We covered nearly two hundred miles through Kansas and crossed over into Missouri, just before we handed the baton (there’s really no baton—that would be dangerous, especially in the hands of Henry Kaestner) to the next team. I got to ride the last leg, from the town of Fort Scott. Henry K flew up the hill and we had a smooth transition, and I went as hard as I could to the border.

The Rockies are their own kind of hard, and I hear that the Appalachians are really killer. But these middle days through the Plains are especially challenging. The crew and team are tired, and as the fatigue sets in our nerves are more on edge. The peddling may be the hardest part of this race, but a close second is managing the intense and complicated relationships on the team. All the more when, as with our team, you have many chiefs on board.

We’ve gotten more competitive than I had expected. Every time there is a shift change, or sometimes in the car between rides, people are checking the stats. We phone in our times at every Time Station—usually a 50-70 mile section. So we can check and see if we’ve gained or lost ground on the teams ahead and behind.

That’s all fun and motivating, but I hope we can keep the big picture in view. The success of this race won’t be judged on whether we end in fourth place or fifth, but on how we hold together as a team. A team whose motto is “Love Your Neighbor” will be judged on more than our time.

Still, we’re sure hoping to finish this thing, and finish strong.


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