Heading to the Barn by Greg Van Schaak

Like a hungry horse heading home after a long day on the range, Steph’s focus and determination are peaking.  It is a cool thing to witness.  Here are a few more things I witnessed since Monday morning:  all news coverage is focused on tropical storm Debbie, which is centered upon the riding team. Don Miller and I meet at ORD for 7AM flight to the storm center in Tallahassee. Game on.  We land in raging rain and somehow find Steph, Mead and Scott plowing through this crazy storm.  WTF??! So of course Don and I suit up in the RV and hop on a bike and are immediately drenched.  Three hours later the odometer reads the magic number and my fingers look 123 years old. Done for the day. Tuesday morning is delayed a bit while Maria drains Steph’s foot (apparently the stuff looked like a blueberry smoothly, which is now off the drink list forever).  Then we run into the Weather Channel Storm Chasers in the lobby (not a good sign when your about to ride for 8 hours).  They looked at us sideways and said that we would have “issues” on our ride.  Steph asked for the definition of “issues”.  Apparently issues to normal people are not issues to Steph. Duh. Soon we find the most “colorful” parts of the city and pass three (3) “correctional facilities”. Not sure why Lincoln hates us. I guess he forgave us in the afternoon when we rode 16 miles on the coolest path through a forest.  Major flooding on both sides of the path and we saw several homes that must have been Eddy’s in the movie Vacation. Great Day.  The following morning I became acutely aware of that special place located exactly between Bun 1 and Bun 2 which hurt like hell. Lincoln handed me the Butt Butter (chamois cream) and the application was administered by the only person still around me. Me. (Lincoln, rubber gloves are a good idea next time). We had a fantastic summer day ride along 98. Ed Chestnut and I took off to airport after 40 miles and wished the rest well.

I am thankful that I was able to be a small witness to this excellent adventure and I am awed at Team Steph and the real joy that occurs every day – rain or shine.
Thanks Steph, we are indeed well.


Greg, Mark, and Don pre-ride

6 thoughts on “Heading to the Barn by Greg Van Schaak

  1. Greg – thanks for the insightful commentary. It looks as if you guys were with Steph on the toughest day of the Stephan Challenge. Way to go!

  2. I had ponder what enables a person to take on such a challenge?
    the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

    I wonder how many others will draw on Steph’s heroic journey and accomplishment to muster up some courage to face their battle or challenge at hand. RIDE Steph RIDE !

  3. Your graphic style of writing (e.g. hungry horse heading home after a long day on the range, blueberry smoothie, or butt butter) comes as no real surprise, given the man behind the keyboard! Great summary. Congrats to all and especially Mark! Welcome home!

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