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Posting Date: Saturday, October 2, 2004
Subject: TOH: Team B - The Nails

Day two saw another difficult and long ride. Our team (Team B - The Nails) drew an early challenge with back-to-back night stages. This stage also had an early 12-mile climb averaging 5% grade. It was definitely a physical challenge, but doing it at night made it monotonous. The night saw 6,500 feet of climbing.

The team worked together to keep us all focused and upbeat. I knew I had a wonderful team. Now, I know I have individuals with great senses of humor, which is important to keep us together and driving hard.

On tough climbs such as this, I find my mind thinking about and drawing inspiration from the many Messages of Hope and emails and letters I received. I thought about the woman battling a GBM brain tumor in San Francisco and she was with me on my ride. So was a 20-year Lymphoma survivor. Ride on. You all give me strength. Thank you. I am doing this for you.

Later in the evening, Kristen and I rode a stretch alone while the others were off to make adjustments on their bikes. The peloton doesn't stop and she and I got into what Darren called the "Rhythym of the Night." We worked hard, but had a terrific ride. Thankfully we had a full night sleep ahead so we pushed hard through our second 90+ mile night. Although tired we love this!