We pull in to the parking lot at Mt. Airy Bicycles, and I jump out to say hi to Larry and check out the store while we waited out our 15 minute penalty. At this point, we switched to a different mode - the RV was sent along to the finish line, and we put all the racers in both of the vans and rotated through a few pulls to get to the end (about 55 miles). Kent was up first, and since we were sharing a van, this was my first experience actually riding in the van behind one of us! All I can say is the man is nuts! He took off like a bat outta hell, and immediately started bombing down some hills like an insane person! It really was a bit frightening to watch...was I that crazy-looking bombing down out of the Rockies? I never did ask...I didn't really want to know... It was particularly scary because we saw quite a few deer on the side of the road. Bill would honk and flash his lights to scare them away... Kent rode for 10 miles and then Willie took over. I didn't get to see much of Willie as we needed to get 10 miles down the road to set me up. This was a very fast section, and we didn't want to blow an exchange.
While Kent and Willie got to ride through idyllic forests and quiet country roads, I got the Interstate...again... Leading up to Interstate 216, we hit a few roundabouts. At 1am, traffic was non-existent, so it was kinda fun bombing around them at full speed! Onto the Interstate and I was cruising in the slow lane - no need to ride on the shoulder as there was no traffic. I had a few turns through Maryland City, and then it was time for Willie to ride again (JV decided not to ride due to his back issues).
Willie took the 10 miles into Odenton, where we were surprised by his brother coming out to visit! His brother then accompanied us in his car as Kent took the last 10 miles into Annapolis. We called into the TS, and the RAAM crew scheduled to have an escort for us at the last TS in Annapolis, 3.5 miles from the finish line.
We met at a gas station in Annapolis to get all four of us on the road to ride in to the finish line. This was the first time all four of us had ridden together in 7 days, and we had a great time yakking, poking fun at each other and just enjoying the last couple miles of the race together. The streets were empty...we had the whole town to ourselves!
Finishing at the pier was fun, but there was no fanfare at 3am! JV's mother came out to see us, and Kent's daughters were there (he hadn't seen one of them in a year and a half!). Willie's brother, a few homeless people and our crew rounded out the audience as we got pictures taken, received our medals, etc. I know the MC asked some silly questions...can't really remember what our responses were...I think we were all ready for bed!
My last pull!
Riding into the finish line