Friday, June 26, 2009

Home sweet motor home

Breakfast of champions, breakfast of crew

Actually, when it comes right down to it, RVs are not all that comfortable. To be fair to RV afficianados, I will say that my previous RV experience is rather limited and also that my current RV experience comes in an already challenging environment. The thing is, I'd rather just sit in a moving vehicle and ride to wherever I'm going. I guess I'm odd that way, but all this holding on for dear life is starting to get a little irritating. Last night, I opened the refrigerator and a can of Coke dropped on my toe. Doesn't sound like much of an injury, but that hurt. My body now has numerous dings and bruises that I'm not sure were here a week ago.

Please hear, however, that no one is complaining.

There are some circumstances that make this RV experience both unique and especially challenging. Our refrigerator is absolutely stocked with liquids in small bottles or cans - Ensure, Gatorade, bottled water, Coke - and that combined with the neccesity of all of our starts and stops for exchanges makes opening the door a unique opportunity for self-defense. When the vehicle is moving, the situation is, of course, exacerbated.

Our RAAM RV is pretty much divided into two sections - the racers' quarters in the back and the crew space in the front. Richard and Charlie have pretty much exclusive domain over the bedroom, bathroom and shower. Crew, of course, drives, navigates, cooks, cleans and sleeps on the forward couches/beds.

It's difficult enough for Richard, who is 6-8, to even stand up straight in the bedroom - in fact, he can't. When he comes in, he usually sits down on the bed to drink his Ensure or to eat. If he stands, he has to contort himself in odd ways just to drink from a bottle. I don't even want to know how he makes the RV shower work.

Richard's feet don't exactly fit the bed

Charlie, at his size, has no trouble at all fitting into the RV shower. But that doesn't mean he especially likes using it - particularly when the vehicle is moving. After a harrowing experience, he asked the RV staff to wait until he's taken his shower before moving the vechicle. That wouldn 't affect our race results after all, because when Charlie's in the shower, Richard's on the bike. So that's our new rule - the vehicle doesn't move until the racer is in and out of the shower and comfortably getting massage.

"I could just see it, a DNF (did not finish) by my name and the reason listed as being 'RV shower injury,'" Charlie said. "Seemed best to avoid that."

Good call, I say.

I have no inherent prejudice against RVs; I just don't think they're all they're cracked up to be. It's one thing to think of the concept of a rolling living room but it doesn't actually translate to reality all that well. Unless you have everything in the place bungee'd down, you will be picking up stuff off the floors, things that slid around or fell out of the cabinet, anything that wasn't nailed to another surface.

I'm not even going to get into that whole dump station/fill up thing. Let's just leave that alone, shall we?

From here on out, though, the one thing that I will always love about RVs is that they are an essential element in the RAAM process. That right there, in my estimation, is enough to make them very special machines.

So I guess I actually love RVs. Under certain circumstances.


(Kelley) Brooke said...

For starters, not bad writing for somebody who should be delirious by now. You've got my respect. Secondly, I have enough RV experience, dumping included, to have a deep appreciation of the Fun House nature of living while on the roll. The 'house' is always rocking and rolling, and so is half of its contents. I think you all have nailed the coffee issue down quite well, pun intended.

Pasta for endurance that's a novel idea! NOT! Now exactly how is it that it took until THURSDAY to think that one up??? OK, ok...I'm sure you have your reasons.

Are we still on track for the record? (You notice I said 'we'...but what I mean is ya'll)

You made mention of MASSAGE? The Units get massages? Whoa dudes. You've got it all!!!

I just got back from my 45 minute spin class and may I say, I sacrificed 5 pounds of sweat to the RAAM gods. I hope they are pleased and are smiling down upon your journey today, bringing good weather, sharp mindedness, and availability of all essentials as need arises. :)

Sending Crew and Riders lots of Love and Light!!!!

Chocolate Labs said...

Having spent two weeks in an RV with 8 people traveling from WI to CA, I feel your pain. Of course, it wasn't supposed to take two weeks, but when the RV broke down and need a new engine, it sort of delayed the trip.

Dan & Nancy in Cleveland said...

Hey Richard:

Sounds like you guys are doing awesome. I think you have met your expectations. We wish you well.
It sounds like you are not nearly as sore as you were on the last ride!

Take care and God Speed.

Dan & Nancy

(Kelley) Brooke said... more music dedication...

This one is for Friday Afternoon in particular:

Steamroller ~ James Taylor

Well I'm a steamroller baby
I wanna roll all over you
Yes I'm a steamroller for your love, babe
I'd like nothing better than to roll all over you
I'm gonna inject your soul with some sweet rock & roll
And shoot you full of rythm and blues

Well I'm a cement mixer baby
A churnin' urn of burnin' funk (Yes!)
I'm a cement mixer for you baby
A churnin' urn of burnin' funk
Got down right now baby
Well I'ma demolition derby babe
A hefty hunk of steamin' junk
Mr. McD got the blues for you and me

(Solo break)

Well I'm a napalm bomb for you baby
Stone guaranteed to blow your mind
I'm a napalm bomb for you babe got to tell you one more time
To sit down, stand up, go home, back to LA
Stone guaranteed to blow your mind momma, yeah
And if I can't have your love for my own to take me home
And keep me warm there won't be nothing left behind (Oh!)
Broken heart, broken heart, oh
I just don't seem to cut loose
This here low down
No where
Half life
Freeze dried
Fat fried
Chicken chokin', mother f*cking pain
Oh, roll on over
I got those steamroller blues

JimmyNick said...

Richard: I focused on your undertaking when I was grinding up Sherman Rd. the other night. It's a great way to keep perspective and remember that "hard" is truly relative!
Now tell your crew never to mention George Thorogood again. Please!


cj said...

Uncle Richard,

And I thought doing Z-Machine crap was guys are doing awesome. I've been following the race over the last few days, and grandpa and my dad can't stop talking about how proud they are of you and your team. Keep going strong and give it hell! :) All the best!


Anonymous said...

Holy guacamole!

You guys must be musicians...I mean, magicians! How'd you get ahead of the E-Hub team last night?

I suppose by this point in the race the phrase "peddling your wears" has a whole new meaning! I'm sure you're worn but not worn out!

Still rooting for you in Grand Junction,

Barb & Bud Fosdick said...

Hey you guys..we're still watching...the RV experience is brutal, but at least the shower routine is better. It's all a matter of learning as you go along. You all are doing such a wonderful job--and supporting 2 very special guys to all of us.

Keep it up and God Bless ...
Cheering you on from San Diego..see you soon!
Hugs..Barb & Bud

Caroline said...

You guys can come to my house for pasta anytime! It would be a thrill to host legends. Keep on biking. All of us are on your team.

Caroline K

Anonymous said...

Whoo-hoo! Looks like you are 40 mins ahead of the EHubs right now. Good work, guys!

Enjoy your pasta!

Laura Stokes

PS - Love you, Daddy! Hope you get some sleep soon!

Anonymous said...

job well do boys! keep it up! george jahant

Anonymous said...

I must agree with Amy Jensen, I'm also impressed with the feet! Ha!

Jody in Grand Junction

Anonymous said...

At my age, I don't use teen-age cliches much, but--MAN! THIS IS FANTASTIC! We're following Jeannie's blogs and the racing reports all day long (and part of the night). During these last, wearying hours, Richard, know that we're thinking of you and Charlie every waking minute. We love you!

Papa Hank in Peralta