The East Coast Contingency

Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
Trip End Aug 29, 2013

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Flag of Romania  , Sibiu,
Friday, August 9, 2013

There are several riders from the eastern part of the U.S. :
Chet is from the western part of NJ near Pennsylvania but also spends about half his time in Crested Butte, CO. He's an intelligent and interesting man who seems to be able to converse well on any topic. A former Green Beret in Vietnam, he does alot of work with the Wounded Warrior Project. He and his wife have raised Arabian horses on their farm and have several business interests, including a construction/remodeling firm, hence the many sitings of Chet taking pictures of plumbing fixture retailers. He's done a transAmerican ride to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and works directly with young wounded war vets in Colorado. He says his mission is to help these vets get out of self-pity so that they can be productive members of society and share their story with other vets who are struggling with the emotional aftermath of their experience. Chet is also a stroke survivor who carries the message of healing by helping others to stroke patients as well. He works with a local stroke support group, sharing his experience and hope.

Jim took early retirement from GE and has been enjoying the "easy life" for a couple of years now. He's completed a Bike Across America tour and seems to be enjoying our European adventure. He asks questions of the locals, often revealing historical facts and can always find a good restaurant in even the most remote locations. Jim proudly hails from Saratoga Springs in the Adirondacks.

Bob "is there WiFi?" Shapiro is also known to some as "Gary Garmin." Bob has also used his Garmin extensively to lead some of the group through dubious routes, especially in the early part of the trip. A retired general surgeon who specialized in Bariatric surgery, Bob loves to talk about his work and one would surmise that his meticulous nature and organization likely served his patients well. He is always ready to get started, no matter the task, but patiently listens as others compare notes and try to corroborate on the correct course. As I've said before, the instructions appear to be suggestive only. Thank goodness for Bob and his Garmin.
Bob has a warm laugh, is a great storyteller (and singer, as evidenced at Talent Night) and beams when talking about his grand-daughter Ava. Bob and his wife make their home in Southport, South Carolina.

Dan and Shirley are our super-cyclists. They ride matching Ritchie break-aways and boy do they ride them. They are usually the first ones in camp unless they stop to have a beer. It comes as no surprise that Dan held the NATIONAL record for the mile at age 40 and 50 - a blazing 4:11. Shirley has a marathon PR of 2:42 and ran in the Olympic trials after training with Billy Squires. Dan retired as an Oceanographer with Woods Hole and Shirley just recently retired as a bank CFO in Falmouth, Mass. They've done Ride Across Canada and now plan to sign up for The Silk Route next year (4 mos from Shanghai to Istanbul).

We are now in a rather remote campsite in Medias, Romania run by a very nice couple (Hans and Wilma) from Holland. This part of the world is in a 3 yr drought and water is very scarce. With the forecast for continued hot temperatures and no rain, it's likely to get worse. And the people here have few options with their very shallow wells (25 ft here). We've all enjoyed a nice cool dip in the pool (no showers tonight) and are looking forward to one of our last camp meals. Bonny has done a fabulous job feeding the hungry cyclists - her cooking is delicious and nutritious, providing the energy needed for getting to the morning espresso stop ;-)
We have six consecutive days of riding before we reach Bucharest.

And tomorrow we ride...
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