Hi all - Thanks so much for all the notes of encouragement for the guys. They really need it. Richard is in great pain in his knees, but like the champion he is, he hobbles back out to the bike every time it's his turn. We keep telling him, "Six more times on the bike, Bro. Five more times. Almost home." Charlie, even though he is bleary eyed and dead tired, remains Mr. Consistent. "Just keep taking bike rides," he says.
These guys are champions through and through.
I hopped a ride with the Chase last night and slept like the dead for six hours in a hotel in West Virginia. Essentially, that got me back to zero, and now I'm good to go. Lots to do in this last 200 or so miles. There's a lot of climbing, and the exchanges today will be critical. Everyone, especially the racers, is fatigued, and we just want to take extra care with our exchanges and not make any careless mistakes.
About 240 miles from the finish line, Team Reaching Heights is still riding penalty free. We are quite proud of that. Even with "just" 240 miles to go, it's a brutal 240 miles and will be slow-going. It is a highly inexact science, but we are projected to cross the finish line in Annapolis about 3 a.m.
Our strategy remains to break the 50-59 age group record, and that is very likely to happen. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we will not beat the Hubsters, but we have achieved a major feat there in even staying close and being competitive with them for 3,000 miles. Plus, we made some nice new friends from Slovenia. While we were waiting to make our exchange this morning, the Hubsters came by and we all got out of our vehicles to come to the side of the road and cheer them on.
"Zivijo! Zivijo!" we all yelled, because this is a Slovenian word for "hello" which, literally translated, means "To Life."