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I'm a Kitty; You're a Kitty

By Carol Hyman

June 23, 2011

Carol Hyman.

Carol Hyman.

June 22, 10 a.m.; Jefferson, Mo.

It's Wednesday and the morning greeted us with a flat tire on one of our vans. That along with sleep deprivation, sore muscles, cramped quarters and unannounced route changes have led to more than just a few frayed nerves.

Yes, there has been some yelling, and more than a few tears. The racers are frustrated with navigation issues coupled with unrelenting winds and long climbs. Their muscles are screaming at them and they can't take showers until we find someplace to dump the RV gray water.

Welcome to midweek on RAAM.

Ron just joined the crew in Kansas, and we are grateful for his level-headedness and RV-driving skills. We once again have web access, and found a thumb drive so we could print out the route changes.


And Cisco and Jim just got back to the RV, beaming at how they ran down racers far younger than they are. And needless to say, those other racers are not HIV positive, taking handfuls of pills every day.

On AIDS Lifecycle, which two of the racers and numerous crew have participated in, meltdown usually happens on Day 3, and it's when "I'm a kitty; you're a kitty" is instituted. It basically means be nice to others and make sure they are nice to you. I'm not sure when or how it started, but if someone says that magical phrase, you know it's time to take a deep breath and chill.

We are definitely at that take a deep breath and chill phase. But it seems to be working. We are speaking more and more civilly to each other, making each other sandwiches and smiling.

You can be sure there will be more frayed nerves and tears in the next few days, but we'll keep the kitties on board with us and I think we'll be fine.

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Bike Rides to Raise Funds for HIV/AIDS

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Race Across America: Team4HIV Hope Cycles to Raise Awareness and to Win


Team 4 HIV Hope

The Race Across America is a bicycle race in which cyclists ride 3,000 miles/4,800km from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md., in June each year. There is about 110,000 feet of climbing involved. This year for relay teams begins on June 18.

RAAM is not a stage race such as the Tour de France. In RAAM, there is only one stage: start to finish. It is essentially a time trial, but a very long one! Challenges include heat, deserts, violent winds, thunderstorms, riding at night, sleep deprivation, muscle injuries and mental acuity. And for the HIV-positive riders, there are more health challenges. An HIV-trained nurse is part of their crew.

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