My parents really were excited about this race and wanted to visit my brother Kendal in Hamilton, MT so they dropped off their life boat car in Gunnison for me to drive up and they drove their RV up slowly to Montana to play with grand kids. In Banff, they would then pick up the car and tow it back. I asked Eszter Horanyi (currently living in a tent near Crested Butte) and Josh Shifferly of CB if they wanted to car pool. It would be way cheaper than flying--just longer. Josh, always the frugal guy, and Eszter both agreed on the spot.
So now the story started to almost seem like one of those bad horror movies or a 1970's catastrophe movie like the Towering Inferno or the Poseidon Adventure (I being the Ernest Borgnine character) where you get to know all the main characters and then some great event happens, like riding the continental divide self supported as fast as possible, and one by one characters start to get killed with a few making it to the end. We had our characters. Two guys and a girl heading out of Gunnison.
|The main characters head out of Gunnison|
Eventually we reached my brother's house in Hamilton. You know sitting in a car for 15 hrs might be worse than riding your bike for 15 hrs. We got a nice little ride in in some rain the next day and had some R&R.
The next day we headed to Canmore just south of Banff where my mom found some really cheap rooms. It started to rain, HARD. Along the way, we picked up Chris and Brett in Whitefish, MT. They were two fun guys from Madison, WI. Chris hopped in with us and Brett in the minivan my parents had rented to drive up. Iin Eureka, we dropped off Aushman at a motel as Canada apparently doesn't like to let in Indians and my parents gave Tracey Petervary a ride. It was really raining now. We reached Canmore and hit the hay. It was becoming increasingly hard for me to sleep. I guess I had some nervousness. This is the point in the movies above where you start to wonder, 'Is that Chris guy really a good guy or maybe he's a killer that escaped from a dairy farm in Wisconsin?'
|Chris takes over the helm.|
That night I didn't sleep much. I had to have a rain jacket. I had to have gloves. It was going to rain. I thought I must have left my stuff at the YWCA where we were hanging out waiting for the film crew to come back from their trip. So the next morning, before the race started, I looked in all the lost and found areas. We start the race at 8. Hmmm. So luckily my mom and dad ran down to a bike shop in the van and found me some stuff just as the race was starting. Josh had also loaned me his spare rain jacket. So I had some useable stuff. By the way, after the race they found the jacket and stuff in the van....
We all gathered together for a group photo in the cool Banff morning.
|And they're off!|