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SCOTT MCINTOSH: A Man on a Mission
By Vic Armijo
6/18/08, In a “non-smoking” hotel room in Rouzerville, Maryland that smells like an ash tray. 22:00EST

Tuesday I caught Scott McIntosh, somewhere in Indiana (or was it Ohio, it all blurs together in the waning days of RAAM), shot a few photos of him on his titanium Moots as I passed and then waited at the next time station, hoping that he would stop so I could talk with him, only to see him ride on by. So, back on the road, pass him again—getting a few more shots as I did, and jet ahead to the next time station, only to see him ride by again. Dang.

Finally, I found his second car waiting in the parking lot of the time station, (don’t ask me which, there was a Burger King and a Wal-Mart, which actually doesn’t narrow it down that much), and I asked the driver if he was going to stop. “I’m not sure. Maybe,” he said. So he called the follow-car driver and seconds later told me, “No, he wants to keep going.”

I had to wonder, “What’s driving this guy.” He’s been bouncing around in about 6th to 8th place for these past few days. Does moving up the field a position or two really mean enough to him to drive him to ride on and on and on? I finally got my answer today. No, I still didn't get to interview Scott, but I did talk with his sister Michelle at a Time Station at a convenience store at the Maryland boder. Scott was (of course) up the road by himself while his follow car crew filled their bellies and their gas tank.

“He just wants to get this done!” she declared, “He wants it to be over. It’s not his position in the race. We try not let him know where is unless we think it’s going to give him motivation. He just wants to keep motoring.” Throughout these past few days McIntosh, Martin Jakob, David Jones and Julian Sanz Garcia have all been within a two to three time station spread, “Being so close together is motivating to him too,” added another crew member. “It kind of gives him a goal, a perspective instead of just pedaling into the abyss. It makes him feel like he’s not out there alone, that it’s more of a race instead of just going straight.”

I was glad to have finally learned more about this guy who seemed determined to not get anywhere near my tape recorder. And he’s obviously a determined kind of guy. He works three jobs to finance his RAAM effort; including working at a bike shop and being a bartender. That focus and hard-headedness has helped him to have gone on this hard despite suffering through digestive issues in the early days of this 27th RAAM.

Before leaving the Time Station I overheard his sister asking the convenience store clerk if they had any bananas—they didn’t. They headed out to catch Scott and I rolled out a few minutes later. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “I have bananas.” So when we caught Scott and his follow car I grabbed one and as we pulled alongside him and offered him one, “No thanks,” he said, “I just had a snack.” Finally, I got to talk with Scott McIntosh.

DON’T STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW: Barring bad luck, Scott McIntosh will be at the finish on Thursday.
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