TNT-Crewing-A view from behind the windshield
by Rose and Lanie Smith
This is a view from behind the rider. Lanie & I crewed
for Peter Pop
this year at TNT. This was my first experience crewing for this ride
instead of riding it. We were anticipating riding in the new Texas
qualifier this year and decided to crew for a friend instead so he could
ride it but in both instances the friend backed out at the last minute
and the new qualifier in the HILL country had to be put on hold due to
circumstances beyond control. Look for it in 2 years. It will be a
The start of the race! Good temperatures. Little wind.
is not wind! 35MPH is wind. Tailwinds forever. Why have
we never had
these conditions? Hopscotching back and forth with Lee (crewing for
John Hughes), Muffy (crewing for Steve Born), Roger (crewing for Nick
Gerlich) and several others. Hey we are in third place. Only
Moser and Tom Buckley are in front of us. Nick catches up and now
are all within minutes of each other climbing hills, running flats.
Crews meeting up over and over again cheering the other riders
Liquid nutrition-have another bottle-you have to drink water here.
don't want you to dehydrate. No this is not wind.
You don't know what wind is!!!!!!!! Keep on going, you're doing
The PA keeps cutting out. No music to ride by. Must be
wrong in the stereo. It will run for a minute and then cut out
Keep on trying but finally give up. The whole unit keeps shutting
Pass off another bottle--drink Peter--how about a Hammer Gel?
stomach hurts. You're riding strong. Keep pedaling. John is coming
behind you. I am sloshing. How about some crackers?
Drink, you need to drink. John going up hill. Is this Leakey?
two more hills and you will be there. Did you see that full moon
there? Lee, don't drive over John. I know it
was funny but it wasn't that full.
Catching up with Peter again. Time for another bottle. Hoping
over the seat one more time. Peter is going to kill us. The van
getting trashed. Trying to navigate, mixing bottles, keeping the rider's
spirits up. Is all of Texas like this? Where did these hills
from. I thought Texas was FLAT. My stomach hurts. Have a
on riding. No you can't rest yet. What do you mean you mixed
bottles the night before and added extra powder to them. More is
better-NO. OK, we need to keep the fluids in him. I cut the bottles
half and feed Peter at half strength. What are you doing? This
is not strong enough. You have to eat something and this is the only
way we can get some calories into you. Drink the water to dilute
stomach. Wasn't it flat when we started this ride? How about I stick
pin in it and deflate it? Drink water. Try some solids to dilute
I can't. Keep on pedaling you are doing great. Time station #1 and
are gone by. We are still running back and forth swapping
Hey there is Muffy again. Why couldn't it have been like this last
year. What great weather. There is no wind Peter. These
are fantastic. Time for another bottle. Slowly start to build up
nutrition to the correct powder levels. Have another Tums. How
we get you some Maalox? NO. Ok, we stop the next time and find
saltines and Maalox. Pull into Memphis and get to the store
Last stop for the night before we have to shadow all night. Race
the RR tracks with Tom Davies. Hey Tom, you OK? Just get the
filled and here comes Jeff Bells crew. There goes John again. Still
behind Peter. Tom has stopped. Catch up with John climbing out
town. Only two more hills to the beer stop John. This is not
(John was with us in the hill country for Hell Week and he found the
true Leakey Death Ride) . Pulling into Shamrock and the race is
going on. OK we can stop and refuel here and use the facilities.
passes everyone here. OK Peter time to get out of here. The tandem
still sitting at the time
station. John is looking for the beer. How far in front are the
riders? Keep on pedaling. Want some Maalox. Have n't had
decent to eat all day. Into the night we go. Off towards
think I made a wrong turn. Sorry. It is only back a quarter
thank god. Sorry. Was making a bottle and missed it. Back on
again. Crosswinds picking up. This is not wind. You don't know
wind is like. Next time station coming up in Quitique. Wonder when
teams will catch up? Whoosh!! There goes Team PacifiCare.
those taillights. Wonder how far the other riders are in front of
Keep on drinking. You have to eat. Still have
miles to go. This is not wind. Nick should be about an hour ahead
us. Hey, isn't that his van parked there. Is everything OK? Keep
going Peter you just passed Nick. You are now in 3rd. Daylight
My stomach is sloshing. Keep pedaling you is doing great.
another bottle. Got to keep those carbs up. Yes I am mixing it with
scoops. Can't be too sick. Look at him climb. Next time station
Daylight. Going ahead to get gas. Rider pulls in and occupies
restroom. Nick comes in and looks green. You OK-where is the
If I don't get something real to eat I am going to be sick. Have to
settle for a packaged sweet roll. Have to get going. I can't
that hill. The wind is terrible. This is not wind. You're
great. Have another bottle. I can't climb that hill. You have
triple. Use it. I can climb that hill. You will be on the flats when
get over the top into Plainview. Crosswinds are terrible up here.
you wanted flats, you got flats,
pedal. Going to stop and get you some milk. How about a Dairy
shake might help. Just stay on that road and we will catch up.
Strawberry shake coming up. How far is Plainview? Now I know why
call it PLAINVIEW!!! I suppose we have to go all the way through
town. How much wind will there be towards the finish. Don't
about that now just pedal. Time Station in Plainview. Change
get some ice on the ankle, drink another shake, extra one in the cooler.
Let's go. Yes these fries taste good. Almost real food.
You can go
faster than that. No I can't. OK--take off with the van. See I
he could go faster. Doing OK? Need anything. This shake is coming
twice. Hey, don't complain. We only paid for one. I'm
some Maalox. I see another rider behind us. Think it is John
Will be going into the first canyon soon. Awesome. You will be on
land for 20 miles. This is FLAT? Seemed flat to me. What if there
a few rollers. Hurry before the wind shifts up here. I can't. Yes
can. Ready for the next drop. Yes you can climb out of
here, We have
on the tandem. See, we told you so. Ok, now for the last 50
home. I need to stop and rest. NO. Keep pedaling, eat, drink, it's
windy. THIS IS NOT WIND. Boy is he going to be mad. We trashed
van. Oh well, he'll thank us, tomorrow when he has slept on it. I
to sleep. You're not weaving and you have only 45 miles to go. You can
sleep later. I haven't had any since we started. Pull ahead. Make him
chase us. Why are all those people fishing in the middle of a mudhole? I
don't see any water there. Cows running, wind blowing and we are getting
closer. Wonder if he knows about the last drop in the canyon at 11 miles
out. Should we tell him? Hey Peter, did you know about that last climb
out of the canyon? Bad question to ask. Almost there WE
MADE IT. CONGRATULATIONS PETER. 36 HOURS AND 31 MINUTES. SORRY ABOUT THE