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Sea Otter 2008
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Got Pink?
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Pedros
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Sea Otter
Grand Theft Velo
In the Heart and Mind
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It's All About the Wheels
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Sea Otter: Super D
What is Sea Otter?



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Which Holiday Treat
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Raisin a Comeback
Marilyn Price:
Making Trips for Kids




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2006 CX Nationals Sidelines
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Warmth Recaptured
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Interbike '06
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24 Hours of Willamette
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Pedros Fest '06
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Pedros Fest Intro 2006



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Tasting the Brew
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Interbike '05/ Las Vegas
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Pedros Fest '05
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Pedros: Day One
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Death Valley:
Two Cyclists Enter

Car-Free: Kara
Car-Free: Max
And the Winner is...
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Interbike: The Event
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A d'Liteful Adventure
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BTC Daily 2004
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IBEX MTB Trail [Series]
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A Soggy 5 Island Tour
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Almighty Leap Ride
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PBBC 2003 Season Opener
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The Ride Dine 9.13.03
Road Riding Safety
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Gary talks about the experience of being crew

It's 1:00 AM it is pouring out. Navigating these dark, unfamiliar streets through rain is difficult to say the least. I am attempting to find the correct Starbucks parking lot to make a rendezvous with a truck carrying box lunches for 65 or so people. If I fail in this mission my flock will not have the sustenance required for the arduous task of riding and crewing for 275 miles. I am doing this on about 3.84 hours of sleep average for the past two nights. I am crewing this ride because my body needed a break from riding and I thought this side of the adventure would be less abusive physically... I persevere because I know my people need me.

I have been doing various AIDS and other charity rides for five years now, and for five years I have been supported, cajoled, encouraged and inspired by the folks who work to keep me fed, porta pottied, hydrated, and amused. I figured it was time for a payback! I signed up to crew the Bike for SCORES Ride. Covering 275 miles across 5 States in three days, what could be the problem? I figured, perhaps I'd enjoy a nice job sweeping. Sweep is the vehicle that rides along next to the riders, and if anyone has a mechanical or physical problem that requires them to stop riding they (the sweep) transport them (the discontinuing riders) to the next safe area, usually an "Oasis" or to the overnight spot. Their other main function is cheering and providing route encouragement to the riders. I was not chosen to be sweep.

Four feet of standing water on the roads ahead caused the crew to have to take action and carry riders around the flooded roads

Maybe I would run an oasis? An oasis is where the riders pop in every 15 or 20 miles for sweet and salty snacks, fruit, water and sports beverage to keep their energy and hydration levels in balance for their arduous task of keeping those pedal churning. They (the oasis crew) are also informally tasked with being silly and perhaps dressing up in a theme for rider amusement and a few chuckles along the way. Generally the oasis crew will handle two or three oasis along the route for the course of the day. Closing one down only to re-open it further along the route in a leap-frog fashion. I was not charged with Oasis crew.

an oasis is a place of respite for riders that provides tasty nutritious snacks and plentiful beverages


Maybe I would be medical? This is a critical job, there are two functions here. The medical staff usually remains near the main body of riders, but they also rove ahead to the next oasis, or back to the tail end depending upon needs and they also respond rapidly to any emergency situation. This is a highly important function and one which has you pretty much riding the entire route watching the health of the riders. Perhaps I would drive for medical? I was not medical crew.

Medics are along the route to make sure everyone is healthy and safe

OK, maybe gear? Now gear is getting a bit taxing. Probably the most physically demanding job of the ride, the gear truck is a 26 foot box truck which carries all of the rider gear, all of the supplies, essentially everything that is not tied down that is needed for the ride. Every morning, the gear truck loads up the rider gear and every evening it unloads the rider gear. They set up opening and closing ceremonies and pretty much take care of everything not covered by another specific crew, and generally help out anybody who needs assistance. They are up earlier and finished later than everybody else. My position was not in the gear truck.

When I arrived ready to roll into Maryland on the crew caravan, I fully expected a nice bus like the riders get, but instead, I was shuffled down to the Enterprise lot on 24th and 6th to pickup the rental car. OK, I can handle this! Nice car! I drove it to Maryland. Then I found out I was lunch! Confused I questioned, "Ok, how does that work with a car? I mean, there is the food, but there is also the shelters and stuff... does the gear van drop it off?"

When I arrived in Maryland I got my answer when the ride director said, "Ok Gary, here's the keys to your nice cargo van, say good bye to the car!" The car became the ride director's vehicle.

Adam prepares gatorade for the lunch booth where riders and crew will get a moment's escape from the rain

All right, lunch duty, this could be neat, I mean we have the most stuff to set up. Three shelters, one for the food, one for the Medical Team (they kind of hang out through lunch to monitor the herd health) and one for the riders... In the off chance that it rains, which it did abundantly. But I thought, still, only one meal. Set up take down once, done with tasks, I could get some decent shut eye! I could recharge those batteries for the next day...

Then I was informed, that each night Starbucks (who had generously donated them) has arranged to deliver lunches for the entire ride, riders and crew, to a specific Starbucks somewhere in the Northeast along with their normal resupply missions for the store. The store which may or may not be open and, may or may not be close by was something I had to find out. One night it was literally down the block from the hotel we were staying at, and the next night it was in an adjoining state! What it boiled down to was, forget about sleep. I had the choice of either napping, getting up, running out meeting the truck, unloading the supplies into the hotel refrigerator, and then crashing, or staying up after most everybody else had crashed and doing it. Then I had to get up extra early to unload ice and resupply the lunches from the refrigerator before breakfast every morning. Well, even on minimal sleep, I accomplished my task and managed to get everyone fed. Did I mention the rain? And I got to do all this stuff in a deluge of biblical proportions. Allentown, PA., which we rode near, recorded their highest rainfall ever, no not for the date, for all time, as we passed nearby. Everything was drenched, shelters, benches, clothes and riders particularly the riders.

It is funny that when I rode my rides, I heard the crew talking about "my riders" and I thought it a funny affectation. Yet, within minutes of seeing the first rider ride into my lunch oasis, tired, drenched, shivering and looking to me for some sort of comfort, they were officially "My Riders." On this particular ride it became my mission to keep them as warm and not additionally wet as possible. So add to lunch duties the mission to provide hot (or at least warm) beverage, and at one lunch fire. I began screaming for blankets and mylar space blankets, that and bananas, the power bar in a peel.

Occasionally the ride will get so difficult that a rider will need his mommy, the crew will have to step in

My buddy and fellow crewman Adam and I tried our best and no one asked for their lunch money back so I guess we did ok, but it does give you an entirely new perspective on what a ride such as this entails. As a rider you pretty much withdraw into your own space and pedal mechanically with moments of awareness. As crew you are responsible for everyone else so you tend to ignore how tired and wet you are, how cold and miserable you are as you watch "My Riders" pass through your stop looking to you for support. I can confidently state that until you have crewed a charity ride, you haven't experienced what a ride is all about. Perhaps this is why crew always fills up first.

Gary talks about the experience of being crew

It's 1:00 AM it is pouring out. Navigating these dark, unfamiliar streets through rain is difficult to say the least. I am attempting to find the correct Starbucks parking lot to make a rendezvous with a truck carrying box lunches for 65 or so people. If I fail in this mission my flock will not have the sustenance required for the arduous task of riding and crewing for 275 miles. I am doing this on about 3.84 hours of sleep average for the past two nights. I am crewing this ride because my body needed a break from riding and I thought this side of the adventure would be less abusive physically... I persevere because I know my people need me.

I have been doing various AIDS and other charity rides for five years now, and for five years I have been supported, cajoled, encouraged and inspired by the folks who work to keep me fed, porta pottied, hydrated, and amused. I figured it was time for a payback! I signed up to crew the Bike for SCORES Ride. Covering 275 miles across 5 States in three days, what could be the problem? I figured, perhaps I'd enjoy a nice job sweeping. Sweep is the vehicle that rides along next to the riders, and if anyone has a mechanical or physical problem that requires them to stop riding they (the sweep) transport them (the discontinuing riders) to the next safe area, usually an "Oasis" or to the overnight spot. Their other main function is cheering and providing route encouragement to the riders. I was not chosen to be sweep.

Four feet of standing water on the roads ahead caused the crew to have to take action and carry riders around the flooded roads

Maybe I would run an oasis? An oasis is where the riders pop in every 15 or 20 miles for sweet and salty snacks, fruit, water and sports beverage to keep their energy and hydration levels in balance for their arduous task of keeping those pedal churning. They (the oasis crew) are also informally tasked with being silly and perhaps dressing up in a theme for rider amusement and a few chuckles along the way. Generally the oasis crew will handle two or three oasis along the route for the course of the day. Closing one down only to re-open it further along the route in a leap-frog fashion. I was not charged with Oasis crew.

an oasis is a place of respite for riders that provides tasty nutritious snacks and plentiful beverages


Maybe I would be medical? This is a critical job, there are two functions here. The medical staff usually remains near the main body of riders, but they also rove ahead to the next oasis, or back to the tail end depending upon needs and they also respond rapidly to any emergency situation. This is a highly important function and one which has you pretty much riding the entire route watching the health of the riders. Perhaps I would drive for medical? I was not medical crew.

Medics are along the route to make sure everyone is healthy and safe

OK, maybe gear? Now gear is getting a bit taxing. Probably the most physically demanding job of the ride, the gear truck is a 26 foot box truck which carries all of the rider gear, all of the supplies, essentially everything that is not tied down that is needed for the ride. Every morning, the gear truck loads up the rider gear and every evening it unloads the rider gear. They set up opening and closing ceremonies and pretty much take care of everything not covered by another specific crew, and generally help out anybody who needs assistance. They are up earlier and finished later than everybody else. My position was not in the gear truck.

When I arrived ready to roll into Maryland on the crew caravan, I fully expected a nice bus like the riders get, but instead, I was shuffled down to the Enterprise lot on 24th and 6th to pickup the rental car. OK, I can handle this! Nice car! I drove it to Maryland. Then I found out I was lunch! Confused I questioned, "Ok, how does that work with a car? I mean, there is the food, but there is also the shelters and stuff... does the gear van drop it off?"

When I arrived in Maryland I got my answer when the ride director said, "Ok Gary, here's the keys to your nice cargo van, say good bye to the car!" The car became the ride director's vehicle.

Adam prepares gatorade for the lunch booth where riders and crew will get a moment's escape from the rain

All right, lunch duty, this could be neat, I mean we have the most stuff to set up. Three shelters, one for the food, one for the Medical Team (they kind of hang out through lunch to monitor the herd health) and one for the riders... In the off chance that it rains, which it did abundantly. But I thought, still, only one meal. Set up take down once, done with tasks, I could get some decent shut eye! I could recharge those batteries for the next day...

Then I was informed, that each night Starbucks (who had generously donated them) has arranged to deliver lunches for the entire ride, riders and crew, to a specific Starbucks somewhere in the Northeast along with their normal resupply missions for the store. The store which may or may not be open and, may or may not be close by was something I had to find out. One night it was literally down the block from the hotel we were staying at, and the next night it was in an adjoining state! What it boiled down to was, forget about sleep. I had the choice of either napping, getting up, running out meeting the truck, unloading the supplies into the hotel refrigerator, and then crashing, or staying up after most everybody else had crashed and doing it. Then I had to get up extra early to unload ice and resupply the lunches from the refrigerator before breakfast every morning. Well, even on minimal sleep, I accomplished my task and managed to get everyone fed. Did I mention the rain? And I got to do all this stuff in a deluge of biblical proportions. Allentown, PA., which we rode near, recorded their highest rainfall ever, no not for the date, for all time, as we passed nearby. Everything was drenched, shelters, benches, clothes and riders particularly the riders.

It is funny that when I rode my rides, I heard the crew talking about "my riders" and I thought it a funny affectation. Yet, within minutes of seeing the first rider ride into my lunch oasis, tired, drenched, shivering and looking to me for some sort of comfort, they were officially "My Riders." On this particular ride it became my mission to keep them as warm and not additionally wet as possible. So add to lunch duties the mission to provide hot (or at least warm) beverage, and at one lunch fire. I began screaming for blankets and mylar space blankets, that and bananas, the power bar in a peel.

Occasionally the ride will get so difficult that a rider will need his mommy, the crew will have to step in

My buddy and fellow crewman Adam and I tried our best and no one asked for their lunch money back so I guess we did ok, but it does give you an entirely new perspective on what a ride such as this entails. As a rider you pretty much withdraw into your own space and pedal mechanically with moments of awareness. As crew you are responsible for everyone else so you tend to ignore how tired and wet you are, how cold and miserable you are as you watch "My Riders" pass through your stop looking to you for support. I can confidently state that until you have crewed a charity ride, you haven't experienced what a ride is all about. Perhaps this is why crew always fills up first.

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