May 14

Today we were hauling the mail.... The alarm went off at 4:15. I'd forgotten just how early that feels. But, we had to be "at the station" at 5:10 for our TV appearance. Dig THAT! The local NBC affiliate in St. Louis does a Today Show format "weatherman in the crowd" scene. The show starts at 6:00. Around 5:30 we set our shot, decided where the bikes would be, our best angles, etc. By 5:45 we were ready. Except for the floor manager and one guy from a fitness group, we were alone.

THEN, as if by magic, at about 5:50 there was more noise and people than I thought possible at that hour. There were firetrucks, and ambulances, and a Shriner's Brass Band, and.. oh... 700 screaming 8th graders all jumping up and down to get on camera. Where they came from is anybody's guess. When it was getting close to our time, we weaved the bikes through the crowd to get "inside the barricades" and waited.

We hadn't met the weather guy, hadn't talked to him AT ALL, had no idea what he was going to ask... and we waited. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION... the guy shoved a microphone in my face, asked what the Ride, Run, Rock is all about, and before I could really finish, he turned to Terry and asked him about the music on the course.

Terry did a great job, gave all the information perfectly, and looked 'good' on camera. So good, I guess, that the guy forgot I was there because the next thing he said to me was "Thanks for being here." After a quick breakfast with Russ and Kecia [two St. Louis Penguins] we were off.

The sun was nowhere to be seen, so we just pointed the bikes west and held on. Terry got into 'the zone' and we ended up doing a 90 mile segment, then lunch, then ANOTHER 90 mile segment. Got to Kansas City just as the sun was coming out. But, that may be the last of the sun we see for awhile.

Tomorrow's forcast doesn't look good.

Stay tuned, John