I'd like to claim to have ridden the entire race, by myself, but no. I was a support driver. What does a support driver do? Well, I drove. Obviously. And every 1/2 km or so, I pulled over, leapt out of the car, and cheered my butt off as some poor sucker on a bike sped past. Then I leapt back into the car, drove (very slowly, and carefully, which is not at all my usual style) past the biker, pulled over again, and repeated the cheering segment of my job. It was an absolute blast! Unfortunately I neglected to write everything down as it happened, so now I can just give you the highlights of the trip:
-Sara and I did NOT leave at 5 am. This is a highlight because at one point, that was the plan. Instead we left at the reasonable hour of 7:15 am.
-Sitting in the car line in Haines Junction, waiting to start our day, I realized I would be learning a lot of very important skills. Like sitting, and waiting. Driving slowly. Being friendly to other people on the road. Sigh.
-I saw BEARS!!! Yay! I love bears!!! And I did not feed a single wild animal!!! Yay for personal growth!!
-They let me into the USA with my brand new passport. Bwah ha ha!!!!
-Sara's leg of the relay was truly the most brutal bike ride I've ever......watched. The head wind was nasty! She also neglected to eat enough before the race, so when a teammate asked her "Do you want a cookie? Here, have a cookie!" she screamed back at him (while still pedalling for her life) "NO! I DO NOT WANT A COOKIE! I NEED HALF A LUNA BAR, UNWRAPPED!" Thankfully this made sense to me, and I was able to be a fully functioning support driver, and hand her half a Luna bar, unwrapped.
-I got lost in Haines, Alaska. It is a teeny tiny town, and I'm sure there were signs, but I got completely lost. In fact, I ended up driving down a road clearly marked "NO CARS. BIKES ONLY". The official bike relay person guarding the road got tired of me driving by asking for directions, so he finally just let me through. I was still lost, though.
-Our hotel room (term used loosely) was very....special. It didn't have a bathroom, but it did have clearly labelled trash cans.
I am not sure what "INERT WASTE" is, but it made us giggle.
-In Haines, the gentlemen are trained early. The cute, adorable, very young bartender dimpled and smiled at me, and I totally forgot to go pee when we had stopped in for that very reason. He asked my name, and when we came back 2 hours later, he remembered me! He greeted me by name! Swoon.
The next morning we went to a local spot for breakfast. Our waiter was a charming young (12? At the most?) man who came to our table and said "How are you young ladies doing today?" Of course, Sara was knitting, and ordered tea, so we noticed the age difference even more.
All in all it was a fabulous trip. I am already training for next year by driving slowly, watching for bears, and cheering at random bikers. I vow to be the best Athletic Supporter the world has ever known.