Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Reporting on: May 12, 2009
Riding Route: Interstate 10 from Indio, CA to Blythe, CA (on the AZ border)
Temperature: Up to 110 degrees/Winds up to 20 mph
Elevation Climb: 3200 feet
Miles ridden today: 100.4 (our first "century" ride)
Whew! What a day! We did 100 miles of Mojave Desert - and I felt every mile of it! It was 70 degrees when we started at 7:15 - 80 degrees by 8:00, 90 degrees by 10:00 and it continued on up! We did over 80 miles on Interstate 10 - with the other 20 miles on parallel roads. I've gotten use to the trucks and cars - they're not the problem. It's the debris on the berm that creates the problems for us: glass, tires, garbage, etc. We must keep our eyes on the road at all times! Two of our riders were taken to the hospital because of dehydration problems. They'll get IV's and be back on the road hopefully tomorrow or the next day.
We started our day at 7:15 a.m. Most of us would like to begin earlier, but our tour leaders won't allow it because it's the time of day that the glare is bad in the truckers eyes. The sun needs to be a little higher to make it safe. The picture above was taken at mile 80...and I still had 20 miles to go! I arrived at the hotel a few minutes after 3:00.
My good friend Steve Bates (of Bates and Bates) was supposed to ride with me yesterday and today. Our tour company wouldn't allow it at the last minute! He was ready and had trained for it. But there were so many problems crossing the desert last year that they decided not to let any guests participate in this part of the ride. I miss you Steve - but you can be thankful that you got a pass on this one!
There is a great spirit of camaraderie forming. The team is pulling together and each person is part of the supporting network. Each of us takes time to make sure the next person is doing okay as the day goes on. Our SAG team is wonderful! We stop mid-morning and mid-afternoon - and they have fruit, drinks, nutrition bars etc. for us. It was a day of gatoraid and electrolyte pills! I drank over 210 oz. of gatoraid from my camelback today - and kept tap water in my bottles to pour over my body. It was a full-on sunscreen day!
Just a note on the "elevation climb" statistic. It refers to the amount of elevation we accomplish each day. We go up and down hills - but this is the "up" climb we do. It refers to the hills. For instance, today we started out with a climb from -15 ft sea level to 1000 feet above sea level. It was an 11 mile ride up hill at a 7% grade. A good morning workout!