Fast forward to the race we were actually there to compete in, the Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hour, and I found myself in a world of hurt in the closing hours of the event. A sheared derailleur on the first lap saw me run seven mud strewn miles to get my spare bike, the extra effort only compounded by the stifling southern humidity. I definitely burnt more matches than I should’ve that early in a very long day. Things only got worse as I tried to make up places in the ensuing hours. By hour 10 I was feeling the effects of the humidity and by hour 11 I was puking in the woods while trying to complete my last lap, and by hour 12 I was barely moving. I was a sad sight in the pits-nothing would stay down and I’d lost so many fluids that my cheeks were gaunt. And that’s when Queenie came to the rescue. Even though we’d just met that weekend (but I’d been a secret stalker fan for a few years already), she generously brought me a bowl of soup. Warm. Salty. Good. And it stayed down. We would forever be friends after that.
There are people in your life that you would do anything for-out of love, friendship and respect. Queenie, Rebecca Rusch, is one of those people. When my wife and I heard that her movie, Blood Road, which chronicles Rebecca’s 1,200 mile journey along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in search of her father’s Vietnam War crash site, was premiering in her hometown of Ketchum, ID, it wasn’t a question of IF we’d drive out to surprise her, it was WHEN, or how soon, could we leave?! Plans were quickly plotted to pull off the mid-week marathon drive to Idaho.