I should state up front that this post is really little more than an unashamed love letter to the crew that took care of The Hammer, Kenny, and me for the entirety of the 25 Hours in Frog Hollow: Zach, Trisha, and Brooks.
Although, to tell the truth, they began taking care of us long before the ride began.
The Hammer and I got away from home in late afternoon, picking up our four singlespeeds from Racer, and were listening to The Cuckoo’s Calling in audio book format.
And then we passed an RV, pulling a trailer with “TOSH” (for The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, the place where Zach works, and which is also his cycling team) printed on it.
We honked and waved, excited that they had so much gear for crewing for us that it didn’t even all fit in an RV.
Our expectations soared.
But our expectations were about to be exceeded. Wildly.
The Hammer and I got to the venue about 5pm, with Zach, Brooks, and Trish just a few minutes behind. Kenny had taken the initiative of reserving the single nicest spot for crewing on “Solo Row,” which meant that there was room for our truck, Fred the RV, the trailer, tents, and Kenny’s Sprinter van right outside the exchange tent:
My truck is on the very far left of the photo. The exchange tents are on the very far right.
Yep, that’s all us. We had the biggest, nicest, prime piece of real estate in the Frog Hollow universe.
Here, let me show you around.
First of all, here’s Fred, now including the most awesome custom decal in the whole world:
Next, here’s The Hammer, relaxing on one of the couches our crew brought along, her feet resting on the carpet our crew brought along.
We were lucky to have Trisha — a professional photographer — take pictures throughout the event. Be sure to check out her photo site, crookedpinkie.com.
So yes, we had leather couches. And carpet.
All under a nice shady easy-up. Everything was so buttoned-down and nicely arranged that I had plenty of time to ogle my newly-built Specialized Stumpjumper Singlespeed HT:
Oh mercy, that is a nice bike.
And then there was the fire pit.
Brooks and Heather relaxing by the fire pit during some rare downtime.
I don’t even know how to describe how wonderful it is to finish a lap at three in the morning and be able to sit down for a minute by a fire while drinking warm soup. It just makes the whole experience better.
Plus, they brought strings of lights, which — aside from making it easy to see everything — just made the whole place incredibly cheerful and welcoming.
Every single rider had to go by our setup every single lap. I have no question that the envy levels were incredibly high.
They brought a microwave. They brought food. They brought tools. They brought a bike stand.
They even brought a suture kit, which came in handy when Zach took a nasty spill and cut his leg open.
Yep, he numbed and stitched himself up all by himself. Tell me you wouldn’t want this guy taking care of you.
Seriously, I do not believe they forgot a single thing.
Let The Race Begin
With such a competent, friendly, funny, easygoing crew taking care of things, the normal night-before-the-race jitters were much lower than usual. We all sat around the fire, eating brats, relaxing, talking, and just feeling happy.
Our bikes were ready. Our stuff was out. We had a group of three people with us who pretty much instantly had become good friends.
I know. I know. I’m gushing. Fine. So be it.
The crew gave The Hammer and me a bed in their RV, we ambiened out, and got a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, all we had to do was get our number plates on our bikes…
… and suit up…
And then get in line for the Lemans-style race start. We knew that Zach, Brooks, and Trish would take fantastic care of us.
All we had to do was pedal our bikes for the next 25 hours.