North to Alaska Day 5

After leaving Grande Prairie yesterday morning and learning of Chris Culos and David Baxter’s incredible rides in the PowerCranks Contender and the Naked Challenger I started to really think about what Alessandro is accomplishing ( so far) and it added some shock to my system. I like to be honest, so here goes: When I met Alessandro at his hotel a day prior to starting the Tour of BC and he handed me his race plan to finish in 12 days I thought “ambitious” and I thought good I don’t want this to drag on but I really didn’t expect him to be able to pull it off as I was thinking 14 or 15 days.

Now as I sit in the rain swept Fort Nelson 450 kilometers along the Alaska Highway I have seen him deal with mucho problems and challenges. The climbing, the climbing in intense heat, the descents in the cold of night, the pain in his legs and buttocks, working to sync his crew, brutal headwinds, some stressful traffic at times and now about 16 hours of rain and I got to start thinking this man from Italy is the real deal. That this man, the lone person in the entire world brave enough to race this race might just be having the race of a lifetime. Sure he gets grumpy and withdrawn in moments; anyone would, but the man bounces back like a basketball and almost always smiles. I see him playing electrician to get his flashing lights on escort vehicle working better, cleaning his own chain, even getting food for others, the man is on a mission and he is not allowing the pressure, pain or conditions to get in his way.

When I woke on the side of the road in the advance vehicle there was no sky – only clouds and rain at daybreak and I felt for the man, but an hour or so passed as doubt built and boom then he was there. He didn’t stop to talk, he didn’t even acknowledge us. Simple, pure, old-fashioned focus.

I hopped in the follow car with his daughter Laura who might be getting sick of me but she is my translator. She was sleepy a little grumpy and she kept her window open seeking some energy in the breeze when a tractor trailer truck whizzed by and doused her with a solid spray of road rain. Again I found this hilarious but tried not to laugh. I asked her if she was having fun and she said “no”. But just like her father she quickly bounced back and herself the ever supportive Daniela and myself shared laughs even if at times we weren’t quite sure what we were laughing at.

The night before while everyone slept except myself and Lorenzo (Alessandro’s son) at a Esso Station on the Alaska Highway we talked the best we could about adventure. This young man almost never stops smiling and for some reason he reminds me of the Karate Kid so how can you not like him. After a few trucks went by 2 motorcyclists riding BMW 1200’s fully loaded rolled in for fuel.

Lorenzo soon decided it was time for a powernap but I stayed on to talk to the motorcyclists. They turned out to be Geert and John from South Africa who were rocking their rides from Alaska down to Hollywood. They were busted for rolling a bit too fast as the RCMP handed them a couple of $350 tickets which they seemed more embarrassed about then mad. They raved about how water there was in Canada, bid me farewell and headed off in search of adventure.

Next a lady ran out of gas, the station was closed and I assisted her in emptying her spare gas can into her tank. A gentleman’s work is never done. Nor is the work of this fantastic crew and Alessandro.

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We now look towards the Yukon and Watson Lake about 500 kilometers away, but once we reach it I know that I will be sad because we will change direction and head for home. I love this sport and I love adventure. Thank you once again for Team Colò to help this obsessed Canuck the opportunity to live one of his dreams.