Merriam Webster defines “crew” as “a group of people who work on and operate a ship, boat, aircraft, spacecraft or train.” Um, I don’t see “two idiots on bikes….” But that’s what they’ll be doing! We are very proud of the crew we have put together for our race and encourage you to check out each crew member’s bio below! They will be responsible for many things, the most important of which is our and each other’s safety. They will take turns driving (3 vans), navigating, cooking, cleaning, massaging and cheerleading! They may need to remind us why we’re doing this, especially when we’re powering up those climbs! They may need to rebuild our bike if we wreck, or they may need to keep us from throwing our bikes over a cliff during a tantrum. They may need to administer IV fluids or bandage scrapes, and they will surely need to sing to us over the loud speaker when we get bored. We were told by RAAM veterans that we should not choose crew members who love us, because it will be hard for them to see us suffer. And while we understand that, we couldn’t do this any other way. Cheers to the crew!

Chris Taylor

I was raised on a small farm in southeastern Washington with my sister, Sandy. We grew up playing a variety of sports and participating in outdoor recreation. I attended Central Washington University and later received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington in 2000. I have been practicing for 15 years at Therapeutic Associates Inc. in Richland, WA, an outpatient orthopedic clinic, and I am now the Clinic Director. I have specialty certifications in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, which tends to be helpful in treating my sister’s many musculoskeletal injuries from her cycling and triathlon adventures. I continue to enjoy being outdoors for biking, horseback riding, hiking and boating with family and friends. I look forward to helping Sandy and Molly Race Across the West!

Betsy Charles

I met Sandy when I was in veterinary school and we have remained great friends because we love horses, teaching veterinary students, and making a difference wherever we can. I am the Executive Director of the Veterinary Leadership Institute and get to speak at veterinary colleges throughout the country. When not trying to make a difference in the veterinary profession, I love riding my horse Lenny, taking my dog for walks, and spending time with my husband of 25 years. I once supported my husband as he rode his bike from Death Valley to the Mount Whitney portal in 24 hours (the Whitney Classic). And, I do know how to ride a bike. I am thrilled to be a part of Team Cycling for Autism and look forward to an amazing adventure.

Megan Elliott

I’m always up for a challenge, and if it’s for a great cause like supporting people with Autism, then count me in! Since I’m the kind of friend who will back you to the ends of the earth, I guess it’s only fitting that I’d be willing to follow Sandy and Molly across the Western U.S. Apparently, the first hurdle is writing a bio … so here goes. Sandy and I met when we were assigned as roommates and team buddies at the Veterinary Leadership Experience, and we’ve been Facebook friends since. We became colleagues last summer when I became the Clinical Operations Manager at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where I also had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Molly. Since I grew up on the island of Oahu in Hawai’i, I have to admit this adventure will be a bit more driving than the “circle island” tours I’ve been on. Hopefully my stints as a vet tech, wild life and fisheries biologist, police officer, hospital leadership team member and human resources professional have filled my tool box with the skills necessary to support this awesome team and crew. If all else fails, I’ve picked up a thing or two about going the distance from the last six seasons of The Walking Dead and I have to agree with Marilyn Monroe that if you give a girl the right shoes, she can conquer the world.

Tim Lescun

I am a friend and work colleague of both Sandy and Molly. Inspired by their determination to complete this challenge, I am looking forward to supporting them in their effort. I run and like to keep fit so this will be a great experience to be a part of, doing anything I can to help.

Meera Heller

Sandy has been one of my best friends for over 12 years! Wow, I can't believe it has been that long! We have laughed and cried together and supported each other through our residencies, graduate school, and becoming grown-up faculty members. We will continue this tradition as she and Molly tackle RAW! Like Betsy, I also know how to ride a bike, but I prefer to do crazy things on my own two feet rather than on wheels. I enjoy backpacking in the Sierras, and running trail marathons; however, I think running long distance relay races has prepared me best for logging lots of miles in a van and cheering on my friends! I also have a 5-year old daughter, so I am well equipped to deal with frustration, mood swings and the occasional epic tantrum with a smile, hug, distraction, or an Oreo - whichever is called for at the time. My other role on the team (besides cheerleader, motivator, tantrum absorber and entertainer) will be to help keep Sandy and Molly cool and relieve their fatigue using the Avacore Core Control which has helped many athletes reach their goals, and was invented by my dad!

Craig Thompson

Nathan Birt

Molly is my crazy wife. While I'm content to nerd out with science and roll my eyes at her antics, I also love her and want to see her & Sandy succeed. I figured that my experience crewing for Molly's previous endurance rides will come in handy, and there is absolutely nothing I love more than preparing a strategy for total domination. Also, I think I should see the Pacific Ocean sooner rather than later.

Laura Furey