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.  Peter, this 
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 Bill 
Moser and Tom Buckley are in front of us.   Nick catches up and now we 
are all within minutes of each other climbing hills, running flats.  
Crews meeting up over and over again cheering the other riders on.   
Liquid nutrition-have another bottle-you have to drink water here.  We 
don't want you to dehydrate.  No this is not wind.
 You don't know what wind is!!!!!!!!  Keep on going, you're doing great. 
 The PA keeps cutting out.  No music to ride by.  Must be something 
wrong in the stereo.  It will run for a minute and then cut out again.  
Keep on trying but finally give up.  The whole unit keeps shutting down. 
 Pass off another bottle--drink Peter--how about a Hammer Gel?  My 
stomach hurts. You're riding strong.  Keep pedaling.  John is coming up 
behind you.  I am sloshing.  How about some crackers?  Bread?  No!!!!!!  
Drink, you need to drink.  John going up hill.  Is this Leakey?  Just 
two more hills and you will be there.  Did you see that full moon over 
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 back 
over the seat one more time.  Peter is going to kill us.  The van is 
getting trashed. Trying to navigate, mixing bottles, keeping the rider's 
spirits up.  Is all of Texas like this?  Where did these hills come 
from.  I thought Texas was FLAT.  My stomach hurts.  Have a TUMS.  Keep 
on riding.  No you can't rest yet.  What do you mean you mixed the 
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 in 
half and feed Peter at half strength.  What are you doing?  This stuff 
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 your 
stomach.  Wasn't it flat when we started this ride?  How about I stick a 
pin in it and deflate it?  Drink water.  Try some solids to dilute that. 
 I can't.  Keep on pedaling you are doing great. Time station #1 and #2 
are gone by.  We are still running back and forth swapping positions.  
Hey there is Muffy again.  Why couldn't it have been like this last 
year.  What great weather.  There is no wind Peter.  These conditions 
are fantastic.  Time for another bottle.  Slowly start to build up the 
nutrition to the correct powder levels.  Have another Tums.  How about 
we get you some Maalox?  NO.  Ok, we stop the next time and find some 
saltines and Maalox.  Pull into Memphis and get to the store first.  
Last stop for the night before we have to shadow all night.  Race over 
the RR tracks with Tom Davies.  Hey Tom, you OK?  Just get the coffee 
filled and here comes Jeff Bells crew.  There goes John again. Still 
behind Peter.  Tom has stopped.  Catch up with John climbing out of 
town.  Only two more hills to the beer stop John.  This is not Leakey. 
(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 still 
going on.  OK we can stop and refuel here and use the facilities.  Nick 
passes everyone here. OK Peter time to get out of here.  The tandem is 
still sitting at the time
station.  John is looking for the beer.  How far in front are the lead 
riders?  Keep on pedaling.  Want some Maalox. Have n't had anything 
decent to eat all day.  Into the night we go.  Off towards Turkey.  I 
think I made a wrong turn.  Sorry.  It is only back  a quarter mile 
thank god.  Sorry.  Was making a bottle and missed it.  Back on track 
again.  Crosswinds picking up. This is not wind.  You don't know what 
wind is like.  Next time station coming up in Quitique. Wonder when the 
teams will catch up?   Whoosh!! There goes Team PacifiCare.  Follow 
those taillights.  Wonder how far the other riders are in front of us.  
Keep on drinking.  You have to eat.  Still have
miles to go.  This is not wind.  Nick should be about an hour ahead of 
us. Hey, isn't that his van parked there.  Is everything OK?  Keep on 
going Peter you just passed Nick.  You are now in 3rd.  Daylight coming. 
 My stomach is sloshing.  Keep pedaling you is doing great.  Have 
another bottle.  Got to keep those carbs up.  Yes I am mixing it with 3 
scoops. Can't be too sick.  Look at him climb.  Next time station coming 
 Daylight.  Going ahead to get gas.  Rider pulls in and occupies the 
restroom. Nick comes in and looks green.  You OK-where is the restroom. 
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 climb 
that hill.  The wind is terrible.  This is not wind.  You're doing 
great.  Have another bottle.  I can't climb that hill.  You have a 
triple. Use it.  I can climb that hill. You will be on the flats when we 
get over the top into Plainview. Crosswinds are terrible up here.  Hey, 
you wanted flats, you got flats,
pedal. Going to stop and get you some milk.  How about a Dairy Queen?  
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 they 
call it PLAINVIEW!!!  I suppose we have to go all the way through this 
town.  How much wind will there be towards the finish.  Don't worry 
about that now just pedal.  Time Station in Plainview.  Change clothes, 
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 knew 
he could go faster.  Doing OK? Need anything.  This shake is coming up 
twice.  Hey, don't complain.  We only paid for one.  I'm sloshing.  Have 
some Maalox.  I see another rider behind us. Think it is John Hughes.  
Will be going into the first canyon soon. Awesome.  You will be on flat 
land for 20 miles.  This is FLAT? Seemed flat to me.  What if there are 
a few rollers.  Hurry before the wind shifts up here. I can't.  Yes you 
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  miles 
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 the 
van.  Oh well, he'll thank us, tomorrow when he has slept on it. I need 
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 









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