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Q&A with Rob Recker

7/21/23, 1:00 PM

A short Q&A about the fundraiser ride

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Q: Why did you decide to go on this 430-mile bike journey as a rider (or driver)?
Chris has talked about this ride for a number of years, but coming from South Carolina, it was always so far away and so expensive for me to get there and participate. After Covid, I decided it was time to do the things that I have always wanted to do and not waste anymore time, so I put the time into training, spent $700 on the airline ticket, and took 10 days away from my family to do the longest multi-day ride of my life to support Chris in his effort to raise money for the Oak Grove High School band.

Q: What/where was your favorite view?
I had imagined that my favorite view was going to be in Big Sur going over the Bixby bridge, but because Hwy 1 was closed about 20 miles North of Ragged Point, I didn’t get to see that. I believe we were in Morro Bay when we saw the sunset over the Pacific Ocean while eating dinner in Morro Bay.  We had finished day #3, and I felt good about being able to complete the ride.

Q: What was the funniest thing you heard/that happen on the ride?

Oh, the funniest thing by far came on the last day during the ride from Monterey to San Jose.  Mike Zerbini was leading us up and over Hecker Pass and Chris Moura was commentating on all the going’s on in the group from the back, in a pseudo British voice as if he was Phil Liggett commentating the Tour de France.  It was so funny I was laughing out loud at some points.  It was the last day, we were all together, and Chris’s comedy made the hill feel like nothing.  it was priceless!

Q: Where was your favorite place you stayed on the ride?

For me, the best accommodations were hands down the night we stayed at Eric Krystkoiak’s house.  Between the serenity of the location, the hot tub, the fabulous home-cooked meals by Liz and Kenny, the outdoor space to just exist and laugh with old and nee friends was priceless.  A close second was Monterey.  The biggest hotel room of the trip, but especially nostalgic for me having grown-up on the Peninsula, rolling into Fisherman’s Wharf where I’d fished as a kid, the sights and smells told me I was home.

Q: What is your favorite refuel/SAG snack?

The Moura Bros. seem to have an affinity for Pop Tarts, but my go to SAG snack was to chug a bottle of Gatorade and eat a Clif Bar.  My favorite flavor is Peanut Butter, the same as my favorite Diddy Reese cookie!

Q: What was your biggest challenge?

Being the first time I did the ride, my biggest challenge was probably just to finish the ride.  Sleeping was also a challenge, though Steve said it sounded like I was sleeping just fine!  For me, riding in a pace line on an unfamiliar bike, with people I’d never ridden with before was tricky.  There is a trust factor doing that, and until that’s generated, it’s somewhat stressful.  The most challenging day for me was the 66 mile day to the Hwy 1 closure North of Ragged Point.  There were a number if hills, it was a little warmer than it had been, and we got separated from one another which made it a lonely, mentally challenging ride.

Q: What motivated you to continue when you felt like giving up?

Honestly, giving up is not something that is in my vocabulary.  I told Chris before the ride that the only way I was getting in the SAG van was if I was injured or everyone else was in it with me!  That said, I did think about it for a second on the hills North of Ragged Point.

Q: What strengths of your other teammates did you grow to value during this experience?

Of course, their physical strength.  The wind is incessant on the ride North from UCLA to OGHS and not sure I could have made the ride without their help slicing through the wind.  Also, their positivity and sense of humor is what made me feel supported and the ride special.

Q: What does "showing up for your team" mean to you (professionally, personally, athletically, etc.)?

To me, it just means being present and doing your best at whatever is being asked of you.  I was not able to spend much time at the front of the pace line, but I hope that my mere presence provided some sort of moral support for Chris.

Q: What is one weakness you felt you were able turned into a strength?

I’m not sure how to answer this one.  Not because I don’t have any weaknesses, but because I’m not sure I turned one into a strength.  Perhaps an objective bystander has some insight that I don’t.

Q: Please state the full name you'd prefer to use for publication; your title, occupation, or other identifier; and what background connects you with the band/Moura.

Rob Recker aka Rigoberto Caliente! (as dubbed by the great Steve Moura).  Chris and I (along with Mike Pierce and Chris Whitworth) were college roommates at UCLA many moons ago…

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