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June 18, 2010 / teamoperationprogress

Day 4 – June 16th, 2010

These riders are nothing less than amazing, not only Team Operation Progress, but all of them.  They are riding in extreme temperatures from very cold to exhausting heat, sometime within a matter of minutes.  With great determination, they ride around the clock with little or no sleep, meeting the dawn on unknown highways to cross into a quiet night with only the follow vehicle as company, casting a lonely stream of light so the rider can see the road.  It must seem like eternity to each rider as he or she listens to the hum of the tires, mile after mile while forging ahead.

Team OP is completing Day 4 and has covered 1,487 miles with 1,517 more to go; almost half-way there, averaging 14.61 miles an hour.  Yesterday had experiences to offer; some good and some not so good.  Climbing up to the Continental Divide was truly a challenge for any athlete of any stamina.  The 10,800 foot elevation was attained by snaking up the mountain, switchback after switchback, trading out each rider every 10 minutes to conserve strength and energy.  Their strategy worked:  They made it to the summit in astonishing time.  Their desperate need of rest was not theirs to have, though.  As Kristina prepared to confront the descent, she did a last-minute brake check before taking off on her bike to discover there were no brakes.  Because of the altitude an air bubble formed in her brake line.  (This woman definitely has a Higher Power watching out for her.)  Luckily, the South Fork and Alamosa PD were keeping tabs on the team and South Fork’s Chief of Police was waiting for them at the summit.  They were able to escort them down and to a bike shop where Tim, who hadn’t slept in 36 hours, was able to get the bike repaired.

Two of the riders, in their moment of joy at conquering the mountain, accidentally crashed, leaving Nancy with a very sore hip, but the true athlete that she is, got back on her bike, dead tired, and did the descent working through the pain  like a trooper.  Nancy will be 60 in two months.  But all was not lost.  Alamosa PD had hot showers and a great barbeque waiting for them.  With full stomachs and refreshed spirits, an hour later the team bid their thanks and farewell and were on the road again.

Today was a tough day for all of them.  You could tell the lack of sleep and stress of the race was taking its toll, but they are holding tight with firm purpose in their stride.

Team OP needs your help!  They are burning through gas as the team caravans.  If you are able, we could use some help.  No amount is too small; you can donate by going to our PayPal friendly web site   Your donation will help a lot and we’ll make sure it goes to the race expenses or however you want to designate it.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to bring awareness to the mission of Operation Progress which is to identify, improve and invest in the potential of students who might otherwise be denied an opportunity to succeed!


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