As the weeks wound down to our appointed time of departure, which was the week after RAGBRAI again, there were many quick developments in The Race Against Death Tour. First of all, we all got two weeks off work to give us more time. We were not going to be denied the planned finish this time around!
The other development of note was a bit more complicated. I mentioned a fellow by the name of Tim in my opening post. Well, he was another mechanic at the shop. He wanted to go, but he wasn't sure about coming, or whether he could hang, and several other excuses that he created for not coming. Well, I went into "intense mode" again on Tim, much like I did with Ryan. Tim also didn't have a bike, and he was short of stature, so finding one for him wouldn't be easy.....or so I thought!
There was a good customer that just happened to say she was thinking of getting rid of her old Trek 650 touring rig. It had racks that were painted to match and it was all there ready to roll. It was as if it was meant to be. So Tim ended up with it. Here was a fourth traveler! I was stoked.
I developed a route that went through Tim's hometown, went to the Black Hills, and then south to Colorado over the Rocky Mountain National Park and down to Winter Park. I figured that with 100 mile average days we could get there and have two "mulligans" if we needed them for bad weather or rest.
I found campsites along most of the route so we wouldn't have to "beg" for a place to stay, like we did the year before, and I even found roads with low traffic counts to ride on. I thought I had it pretty well figured out, and Troy was pleased. He signed off on the plans and we were good to go.
Things were being prepped and readied. It would be just a few days to go now before we set off westward. About two days before the tour, Tim bailed out on the trip. He really didn't want to talk about it either. I never did find out why, but he did say at the time he might recant. I said whatever he wanted would be best, and hoped he would come. It was kind of a bummer to me, since I felt bad now about twisting his arm so hard to go and he with all this gear bought, and a bike I basically pushed him into buying. But that would all work out years later.......
Next Week- "The Race Against Death Tour" begins!