The Love Train, By Ted Martin

One of Steph’s friends, Kevin Schreyer (sp) who runs The Parking Spot, has generously donated his drivers in the Austin area and other cities around the country to pick up Steph’s friends and get them to The Love Train.

So I called Bill, and it worked out great, he picked me up at the Austin airport and drove me to the hotel where Steph and company were resting.  I walked into the lobby of the Marriott Courtyard in downtown Austin on Monday afternoon, and found Steph, Margaret, and a host of friends chatting in the lobby.  I greeted everyone, and the next song in the lobby (music subscription service, so they cannot pick the songs) was The Love Train. “Get on Aboard, Everybody, on The Love Train, Love Train” which is exactly what the Steph Challenge is all about, and what I was attempting to do, get on aboard.

That night Jud (personal trainer to the stars) and I went out in Austin to make sure we were properly oiled for the ride the next day.  Steph runs a tight ship, and 730am departure from the lobby came early.  When the RV and the trailer pull up, it does not matter if you have seen pictures of it, you need to see it in person.  This RV-trailer combo is “Mad Max Thunderdome meets Smokey Robinson and The Love Train”.   We had a great ride East of Austin, leaving the city in the rolling hills with some tough ascents and fast descents. Beautiful summer morning East of Austin, rural Texas, with roadsigns like Chihuahua for Sale(they cannot be worth anything except dinner).  I stopped to pick up the largest stick bug I have ever seen in my life, we are talking about a foot long Texas stick bug.  I thought it would be great to tease one of the RIC trainers who was afraid of snakes.  I picked it up and it swung it’s tail up like a scorpion and spiked me in the back of the hand. No venom, just a barb.  Chalk that up to the nature files, the Texas Stick Bug packs a pistol!

"listen guys, the stink bug was really big"

I had the pleasure of riding the extra recumbent bike (yes George, you can ride it without tearing up your ankle) which means it is great to ride next to Steph and chat along the way. Steph just keeps going.  His ability to keep churning those miles is remarkable, especially when it is 95 degrees, and the wind is SE and not helping.  And he was in the hospital two days ago for dehydration.  Lots of us were getting on and off the bikes, stopping for a bathroom break or a water break, and Steph just kept on truckin.  So you jump back on and go catch up to him, and realize he is a lot further down the road then you thought he would be.  He grinds out those miles.  Now I really understand how he has stayed on schedule, which I consider remarkable in its own right.  He just keeps on truckin. So if you get a chance to join The Love Train, then Get on Board, Everybody, because this is an effort that you want to be a part of, that you don’t want to miss.  And his great support team, Lincoln and his future wife Courtney, the massage therapist,  Katy of Sprout Films with Russ her boy “assistant”, the RIC trainers who applied sunscreen to each other like it was Love Lube, this is just one great traveling Love Train led by a fearless Road Warrior.  I was disappointed to be exiting early, but if you get a chance to Get On Aboard,  do it.  


Get on the love train, the love train...


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